The 2013 Mazda CX-5 represents a whole new approach for the Japanese carmaker in the way it goes about producing vehicles. With their new SKYACTIV construction philosophy, Mazda claims to have reinvented the way they design and build cars, and the first model they built this way is the CX-5.
The CX-5 is a small crossover SUV, which certainly isn't revolutionary, but it is quite handsome. The vehicle features attractive exterior styling that keeps with its CX-7 and CX-9 siblings, but also looking forward, with a nod to Mazda's KODO "soul of motion" design mantra.
At the heart of the CX-5 is its advanced powertrain. Mazda's new SKYACTIV-G 2.0L 4-cylinder engine features variable valve timing, advanced direct injection to stabilize combustion, an impressive 13:1 compression ratio and an innovative piston cavity to improve combustion efficiency. The result is good for 155 hp and 150 ft-lb of torque, with 10 to 15 percent more low and mid-range torque, as well as 15 percent lower fuel consumption and emissions than the company's previous 2.0L engine.
Power runs through a 6-speed transmission--either manual or automatic. The manual is called SKYACTIV-MT and offers the shortest shift throws in its class for sporty driving. When equipped with the manual, the CX-5 is EPA rated at 26 mpg city and 35 mpg highway. The automatic is called SKYACTIV-DRIVE and incorporates a torque converter and clutch in one unit to deliver smooth, direct shifts, along with an advanced control module. The result is a 4- to 7-percent increase in fuel efficiency.
The CX-5 comes in three trim levels: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. Sport offers the manual transmission as standard, as well as halogen headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, power windows and locks, cruise control, remote entry, 4-speaker CD/MP3 stereo, cloth seating and a 60/40 split fold-down rear seat. Touring adds niceties such as halogen fog lights, dual illuminated vanity mirrors, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, 6-speaker stereo, 6-way power driver's seat, premium cloth seating and a 40/20/40 dual split one-touch folding rear seat. Grand Touring offers even more, with standard rain-sensing wipers, power moonroof, heated side mirrors, 19-inch alloy wheels, Bose 9-speaker surround sound stereo with Sirius XM satellite radio, an 8-way power driver's seat, heated front seats and leather trim.
A Bluetooth Audio Package available on Sport models adds Bluetooth, HD radio and a 5.8-inch monitor. The Moonroof and Bose Package on Touring models adds the power moonroof and Bose stereo, while a Touring Technology Package adds Adaptive Bi-Xenon HID headlights, TomTom navigation, and more. A similar package is also available on the Grand Touring.
Safety is paramount in the new CX-5 and standard features include a bevy of front and side airbags, anti-lock braking, and stability control. Blind Spot Monitoring and a rear backup camera are optional on Touring and Grand Touring.