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2015 Mazda CX-5 Touring Long-Term Update 2

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 11/18/2014 Kelly Pleskot
2015-Mazda-CX-5-profile2© Provided by MotorTrend 2015-Mazda-CX-5-profile2 2015 Mazda CX-5 Touring Long-Term Update 2

During our journey with the CX-5, we have taken note of the SUV's ride quality, fuel economy, and noise insulation -- all important things. But when you're going about your day-to-day business, chances are the infotainment system is the first thing you touch after turning on the ignition. Being able to navigate your way to where you're going and back, and staying entertained in traffic, is essential.

Mazda has done things quite differently from other automakers in this area. The CX-5 comes with a 5.8-inch color touchscreen display with navigation not produced in house, but sourced by TomTom. On our midrange Touring model, it is available only with the $1,485 Touring Tech Package. Buying this package also requires tacking on the Moonroof and Bose Audio package for $1,130. So unless you opt for Mazda's $560 aftermarket navigation accessory (which might be a more cost-effective option for those who don't want a moonroof), the navigation system is a big investment.

When it comes to this system, there are high and low points. The screen produces plenty of glare, which isn't ideal when the backup camera comes into play. It's very prone to smudging and difficult to clean. On top of that, it can be slow to respond when entering an address. Constant traffic updates and other notices that pop up when you're sitting on a heavily congested highway can also be grating.

On the other hand, the system comes with some very cool features you don't always find in nav systems. If the system notices there is a toll road on the desired route, it will automatically give the driver the option to change the route before guidance begins. It also shows posted speed limits on every road, and will warn of speed cameras ahead. These are the type of features that make us trust this system, which, although not perfect, has so far always led us to our destinations safely and soundly.

People might say the system is outdated, and that is also true. Drivers can't swipe the screen to see different areas on the map, a common feature on newer cars. However, the infotainment is overall easy to use, with simple menus and a few straightforward buttons that surround the screen.

There is another point of contention. The USB port located in the center console was very slow to recharge my iPhone. On a few different occasions, after half an hour, my phone had only charged 5 percent. There is also a noticeable lag in the satellite radio, but I'll need to investigate that further.

More on our long-term 2015 Mazda CX-5 Touring:

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