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2013 Mazda CX-5 Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Mazda CX-5, the best overall compact SUV around! by walkingman

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Reviewed: 2013 Mazda CX-5

4dr SUV 155-horsepower 2.0L I4 6-speed shiftable automatic AWD

Why the 2013 Mazda CX-5?

Handling

I drove several SUVs (Honda CRV, Suburu Forester, VW Tiguan) and although all had their ups and downs, I liked the "feel" of the Mazda and Tiguan the best. They seem to pay a bit more attention to the handling ergonomics of the car with the driver's pleasure in mind. My other car is a 325 BMW and although the CX5 doesn't come real close to the road feel and handling of that car, it was as good as it gets in a compact SUV, I felt. Most importantly, it is a fun to drive vehicle that is comfortable on a windy road.

Materials & workmanship

The CX5 seems to use high quality materials throughout the inside and outside and is put together well. I like the feel of the doors when they open and close the materials chosen for the seats and dash and in general it seems like a well made car that will last a long time. Some of the other SUVs I drove did not have quite the same level of quality feel, or looked like they used cheaper materials. This is somewhat subjective of course, but that's my impression. So far, after 7 months of ownership, I have yet to have any problems, so hopefully that trend will continue!

Fuel economy

Being a "green" thinking person, I liked the fact that the Mazda has the best fuel economy in it's class, by a fair margin! It does deliver on it's claim: I get 30-33 on the highway, depending on average speed, even in the up and down terrain of Seattle highways, and average 20-23 in strictly city driving. Again, we have a lot of hills in Seattle, which have a big affect on fuel economy. The modest sized engine does work and rev a bit more than some of the others I drove, but it does just fine overall. IF you want a very fast 0-60 time get a BMW or Porsche SUV, but be prepared to pay the price at the pump!!

Exterior styling

I wanted a great looking car that didn't look like everything else on the road exactly, so the styling from all angles of the CX5 was somewhat different and sexy, at least to my eye. It looks like a serious automobile and is. The lines on it are terrific and it looks good from just about any angle. Thanks to Mazda for getting rid of the "smiley face" grillwork finally and the exaggerated arched front fenders in it's recent past models. The new styling is MUCH improved! Yet, it doesn't sacrifice practicality. It's easy to get in and out of , and loading or unloading groceries or cargo is a snap!

Reliability & durability

This last category was hard to choose because there are so many things this Mazda does well, but the brand does have a very good reputation for being built well and being reliable and I did have an older '89 626 that was very reliable and lasted until the trannie gave out at 165K miles. I'm sure it could've gone on for many more miles past that, but it didn't make sense to pay $3000+ to fix the transmission on a car that was only worth a little more than half that at the time. If this new car is as good as that one, I'll be a happy camper!

Why Not the 2013 Mazda CX-5?

Discounts & incentives

I can't say about now, 7 months after I bought the car (in July 2012), but when I purchased it, the dealers I checked with politely declined to give any kind of discount or incentives to buy the car except a very low financing percentage. (1% or so). While that is nice, many cars offer low or zero interest rates on financing and now (2013) Mazda does too! I like a deal as much as the next person, but if you choose a "hot" new model like this, I guess one can't expect to get a screaming deal.

Color choices

This is a fairly minor complaint I guess, but for some reason, some colors (like the dark blue) can only be had with a white interior, otherwise I would have considered that color. Some of the other nice Mazda colors on other models were not available on the CX5 so I guess I feel the color choices for exterior and interior could be better.

Rear seat room & comfort

The rear seat is roomy enough for an average or above average adult, but the seats themselves could be better-- perhaps more sculpted and padded. Not nearly as comfortable as the front seats after an hour or two. I'm sure, however, that this is a common complaint on other smaller SUVs too, having tried them out at dealers, so it's not unique to Mazda. Again, a modest complaint since I'm in the driver's seat most of the time! (which is VERY comfortable, I might add, even for long drives!)

Conclusion

I bought the CX5 because it had the best overall combination of handling, driving pleasure, ergonomics, economy, quality, looks and utility in it's catagory. Others were quite good, but in my book, the Mazda outpointed the others in more catagories!

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