Compared to the other small SUVs I test drove, the Mazda was clearly the best driving experience. Not that the CR-V, RAV-4, Forester, and Rouge were bad, but the CX-5 feels much more in tune with the road. In addition, I have been pleasantly surprised at the ride quality.
WHile it obviously doesn;t compare with the VW CC Turbo 4 that I had been driving, performance is also at the top of the group I noted. There is a click spot on the gas pedal, however, that keep performance down a bit unless you mash the gas pedal. One of the ways that they can get the gas mileage up.
This is what got me interested to begin with. I like the lines of this car.
Driving position & visibility
Took a while to get used to the firmness of the seats, but now that I am, I find the vehicle to be quite comfortable, and the visibility is good as well.
Hard to complain about averaging 27 mpg in an all wheel drive vehicle that is mostly surburban driven.
The interior is a bit on the bland side. Dash instruments lack pizzaz for sure, but nothing is lacking.
Color choices are limited for sure. And because I couldn't wait for a vehicle and the color I wanted (Stormy Blue) was available at the time I purchased, I ended up with the Soul Red which, while it does set off the lines of the car (you can see it in about every Mazad commercial these days) it is a bit on the too bright red side for me.
The wheel housings entend into the cargo area quite a bit. WOuld have been nice if they could have reduced that some.
If you enjoy driving and find curves in teh raod an excuse to accelerate, this is your small SUV. If on the other hand carrying cargo is your biggest concern, I don't think this has the space of a CR-V or maybe even the RAV-4 with the back seat up - mainly due to the wheelwell humps. Another 20-30 HP wouldn't be a bad thing, but it is already at the top of the class, so it's not like it's lacking in comparison to its competition. And of course that bump in power would put a dent in the gas mileage, which is better than I expected it to be.