• (4.8) 180 reviews
  • MSRP: $24,045–$30,695
  • Body Style: Sport Utility
  • Combined MPG: 26-27 See how it ranks
  • Engine: 187-hp, 2.5-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel Drive
  • Seats: 5
2017 Mazda CX-5

Our Take on the Latest Model 2017 Mazda CX-5

What We Don't Like

  • No Android Auto or Apple CarPlay at launch
  • Touchscreen locks when car is moving
  • Less cargo room than competitors
  • Backseat legroom
  • Multimedia control knob tricky to use
  • Diesel engine comes later

Notable Features

  • Redesigned for 2017
  • Five-seat compact SUV
  • 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • Front- or all-wheel drive
  • New styling inside and out

2017 Mazda CX-5 Reviews

Cars.com Expert Reviews

The Verdict

The redesigned 2017 Mazda CX-5 fixes several of the problems that plagued the previous version — offering a smoother ride, quiet cabin and a much improved backseat — while remaining fun to drive.

Versus the competition

Though the CX-5 is more stylish and offers a superior driving experience, its cargo room is at the lower end of the class and its multimedia system needs an upgrade.

While Mazda's vehicles are among the most fun to drive, they can fall behind in other areas. In the case of the previous generation of the CX-5, that was the case with ride quality, family-friendliness and multimedia technology. With the redesigned 2017 CX-5, Mazda has directly addressed two of those issues, and the third has a potential solution looming on the horizon.

Don't think of the redesigned 2017 CX-5 as a completely new model. It's more of an iterative evolution, like an iPhone 6 to a 6S, not a 7. That doesn't mean there aren't useful changes baked in, but the core of the CX-5, including the powertrain, remains intact. Compare the 2017 CX-5 with last year's model here.



In our latest Compact SUV Challenge from 2016 (in which the CX-5 did not participate), the top three finishers were the 2017 Ford Escape, 2017 Kia Sportage and 2016 Honda CR-V. Since that Challenge, the CR-V has been completely redesigned for 2017. Compare the CX-5 with those models here.

The 2017 CX-5 starts at $24,985 (including destination charge), and there are three trim levels: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. Opting for all-wheel drive adds $1,300 to the price of each trim level.

I tested front- and all-wheel-drive versions of the Grand Touring, both equipped with a Grand Touring Premium Package for an additional $1,830, bringing their as-tested prices to $33,465 (FWD) and $34,765 (AWD).

How It Drives

With the redesign, the CX-5 drops its 2.0-liter engine and six-speed manual, leaving only one powertrain for 2017: a 187-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder that makes 185 pounds-feet of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Nobody was sad to see the smaller engine go, and you can mourn the manual if you'd like, but the reality is that not many CX-5s were sold in that configuration — a quick search in mid-April 2017 of Cars.com inventory for 2016 CX-5s revealed only 0.7 percent came with the manual (86 out of 12,441 nationwide).

Those who want another engine will have to wait for the enticing 2.2-liter, diesel four-cylinder option that's scheduled to arrive in the fall. It's unclear if the CX-5 or 2018 Chevrolet Equinox will be the first model in this class to hit the market with a diesel.



Ride quality is an area in which the previous model struggled. During the last Cars.com Challenge from 2015 in which the 2016 model participated, the CX-5 was rated first in handling and acceleration but dead last in ride. To address this, the chassis was stiffened 15 percent, and Mazda engineers said that added strength gave them leeway to make the suspension more pliant while maintaining the CX-5's desired handling characteristics.

The changes seem to have worked: The suspension is more composed than the previous version, while the car's wonderfully responsive handling remains intact. It's impressive how flat it stays in corners and how all the mechanical parts seem to work in harmony — especially the transmission, which knows what gear to be in with almost telepathic precision. Though I drove both FWD and AWD versions, I did so only on dry, well-maintained roads, so there was no detectable difference in performance.

Fuel economy figures are identical for all three trim levels, and they're competitive overall within the class: 24/31/27 mpg city/highway/combined for FWD models and 23/29/26 mpg with AWD, both on regular gasoline. Versions of the Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson and Nissan Rogue rate higher, but in some cases, only with more expensive trim levels or options. Similarly, the CX-5's mileage play — the coming diesel option — is also likely to carry a price premium.

Interior Updates and Technology

The most dramatic change is something occupants will immediately notice: It's now very quiet in the cabin. I won't go over the long list of steps Mazda engineers took to keep noise out; just be assured it works without employing any sort of active noise cancelation technology.



The CX-5 continues to employ Mazda Connect with a 7-inch touchscreen that has moved atop the dashboard, following suit with the rest of Mazda's models. I'm not the biggest fan of this system because the touch control is disabled when the car is moving and it takes too long to do things with the control knob behind the shifter.

If you don't care for Mazda Connect, help may be on the way. Mazda has said Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability are coming and should be backward compatible with existing Mazda Connect vehicles, including the CX-5. So even if you bought a CX-5 prerelease, there will be a way to update it and add those useful technologies — at a price yet to be determined.

Backseat and Cargo

Backseat passengers will be especially thankful for the redesign. The rear seats now recline slightly for a more comfortable seating position, and air-conditioning vents have been added back there. I set up the driver's seat where I would drive (I'm 5-foot-11) and climbed into the back to check the space. While legroom is a bit tight (there was only an inch or two between my knees and the seat), there is plenty of headroom, which is more important for keeping passengers from feeling claustrophobic on long rides. Touring and Grand Touring models also add a pair of 2.1-amp USB charging ports to the backseat, which are powerful enough to charge tablets. There's a caveat, however: The ports are mounted in the fold-down armrest in the center seatback, so if there are three people in the backseat, bye-bye charging.



The CX-5's compromises still come in two key areas: child-safety seats and cargo room. The backseat dimensions are very close to what they were in the 2016 model, and the car's snug legroom versus competitors — while bearable for passengers — makes it harder to fit an infant seat. The new reclining mechanism should help with installation, however, and we will update our 2016 Car Seat Check scores when we get our hands on a 2017 CX-5 at Cars.com headquarters.

For cargo room, the CX-5 has 30.9 cubic feet behind the backseat and a maximum of 59.6 cubic feet with the seats folded down. This lags behind the 2017 Honda CR-V, which sets the pace for this segment: 39.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 75.8 cubic feet with the bench folded. The CX-5's one advantage is a 40/20/40-split folding backseat, versus the other models' 60-40 benches, along with a nifty set of handles in the cargo area that allow you to lower each seat from the liftgate without having to walk around.

Safety Technology

The Grand Touring models I tested came equipped with every safety option Mazda offers on the CX-5, including lane keep assist, automatic high beams, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control. The adaptive cruise control in particular made big strides in the redesign thanks to an added forward camera (in addition to front radar). The additional camera allows the system to work all the way down to a stop, where it will hold and then take off again if the car in front of you moves after less than three seconds. If it's stopped for longer than that, you have to tap the gas pedal or press the resume button on the steering wheel to continue moving forward.



The CX-5 also includes an updated Active Driving Display, which is just a fancy name for a head-up display. Unlike some Mazdas, the CX-5's ADD displays information on the windshield rather than a short supplemental pane of glass atop the dashboard. Part of the Grand Touring Premium Package, ADD now recognizes stop signs and speed limit signs and projects their info onto the windshield along with a speedometer, navigation directions, adaptive cruise control status and more. The position of the display is also tied to the seat's memory system now, so there's no need to adjust it when the seat gets moved around.

Mazda's application of this technology was already one of my favorites; it does a good job of distilling the information displayed to fit what the driver needs, including blind spot warnings. That's very helpful, keeping the driver's eyes up when thinking about lane changes.

Conclusion



The 2017 CX-5 keeps the driving acumen that made it stand out in a class that's short on fun-to-drive models. The improvements to some of the sore spots of the old model (especially when Android Auto and Apple CarPlay arrive) are exactly what the doctor ordered. It's quieter, more composed and more stylish to boot.

Consumer Reviews

(4.8)

Average based on 180 reviews

Write a Review

Great car for your money

by Great Car from Queens, New York on February 14, 2018

This is my fourth Mazda, the first two were great but the last two were greater. The CX-5 fit my family needs. Its economical and a great car to drive.

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8 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2017 Mazda CX-5 trim comparison will help you decide.
 

Mazda CX-5 Articles

2017 Mazda CX-5 Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Mazda CX-5 Grand Select

Overall
Overall Front
Overall Side
Overall Rollover Rating

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Mazda CX-5 Grand Select

Overall
Overall Front
Overall Side
Overall Rollover Rating
Driver's
Passenger's
Side Barrier
Side Barrier Rating Driver
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat
Side Pole
Side Pole Barrier combined (Front)
Side Pole Barrier combined (Rear)
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $1,400 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

Bumper-to-Bumper

36mo/36,000mi

Powertrain

60mo/60,000mi

Roadside Assistance Coverage

36mo/36,000mi

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained

Bumper-to-Bumper

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

Powertrain

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years