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2015 Mazda CX-5 Touring FWD Long-Term Arrival

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 9/18/2014 Robert Guio, Kelly Pleskot

As automotive journalists, we are always exchanging one car for another. With everything from convertibles to pickups, we are spoiled with receiving a few new cars per week to review. So why would we commit a whole year to a 2015 Mazda CX-5?

There's a good chance that if you're looking for a small crossover, you will start with tried-and-true players like Ford or Toyota. But that doesn't have to be the case. Since the Mazda CX-5 was introduced for the 2013 model year, the compact crossover's sales have been soaring. With its spunky appearance and athletic handling, this new offering manages to stand out among a sea of RAV4s, Escapes, and CR-Vs on the road. With that said, however, the small crossover segment is growing quickly, and the competition out there is fierce with so many good options. We wanted to see how this much-hyped newcomer would measure up, not just over the course of a week's commute, but in a variety of situations over a full year of driving. Close readers of Motor Trend may remember our long-term 2013 Mazda CX-5, which was powered by a 155-hp 2.0-liter I-4, an engine that's now relegated to the base-model Sport trim.

MotorTend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTend Image MotorTend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTend Image Compared to others in its segment, the Mazda CX-5 comes with a slightly lower base price than top competitors. Mazda allowed us to configure our own CX-5 just the way we liked it, so we selected the mid-range Touring trim level. Sandwiched between the Sport and Grand Touring trims, we believe this is the sweet spot that most buyers will enjoy. For 2015 models, this trim level brings important features like keyless ignition/entry, rearview camera, power driver seat, leather steering wheel, upgraded sound system, a 5.8-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity with text message reading, Pandora radio connectivity, and HD radio. Our model also tacked on an optional $1485 Technology package with TomTom navigation, Smart city brake crash avoidance system, and HID headlights. Somehow, this package also requires opting for the Moonroof and Bose Package. Including the $830 destination charge, the final price of our model came out to just over $30,000—not bad for an SUV with such a long list of features.

In the past few weeks, average fuel economy on our test crossover has hit 26.4 mpg. Our initial impressions? We noticed this SUV handles bumps on the road with extreme confidence. Its precise steering control and powerful 184-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine provide for fun driving experience, whether on twisty mountain roads or on long highway drives. We do, however, notice a good amount of noise coming from the tires, and this noise permeates into the cabin more than we would like.

Every month, we'll continue to update you on our thoughts and experiences with the 2015 Mazda CX-5 Touring. Stay tuned! MotorTend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTend Image MotorTend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTend Image

2015 Mazda CX-5 Touring FWD
BASE PRICE $25,795
PRICE AS TESTED $30,245
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE 2.5L/184-hp/185-lb-ft turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4
TRANSMISSION 6-speed automatic
WHEELBASE 106.3 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 178.7 x 72.4 x 65.7 in
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 25/32/27 mpg
ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY 135/105 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.70 lb/mile

2015-Mazda-CX-5-passenger-rear-three-quarters1© Provided by MotorTrend 2015-Mazda-CX-5-passenger-rear-three-quarters1
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