Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Review: 2017 Mazda CX-5 AWD Sport

On the surface, it seems Mazda has lost their engineering mojo. After coming up with all sorts of buzzwords to fill up the first-generation CX-5 in 2012 (KODO and Skyactiv to name two), this second-generation model doesn’t seem all new. Yes, there’s the sexier styling and more premium cabin, but the dimensions and engine look all too familiar. Is Mazda now riding on the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” bandwagon?

Thankfully, the answer is no. Sure, it requires a bit more digging, but meticulous work has been done to make the CX-5 once again the benchmark in the compact crossover genre.

It starts as soon as you lay your eyes on it.  It avoids the typical boxy silhouette of a compact crossover. It’s best appreciated from the front where the CX-5’s narrow headlights and large, wide grille give off an imposing look that’s more like a sleek sports car than a family-oriented SUV. It continues to ride on large 19-inch wheels though this time around, whether it’s because of the spoke pattern or the body design, looks small.

Next, you open the doors. Hefty and solid, they feel more Germanic than Japanese. Once you step inside, you’re greeted with improvements which are far grander. The previous CX-5 was good enough, but was starting to look and feel dated. The 2017 model improves on everything with an execution that’s way more premium than before. The seats are swathed in quality leather with contrasting stitching. There’s also stitching and padding on the dashboard, doors, and center console. And in typical Mazda fashion, they’ve made various trims (in this case: dark wood, metal alloy, and high-gloss piano black) all work together.

There are functional improvements to the CX-5 as well. Though it still trails other crossovers, the CR-V most especially, for overall space and versatility, it’s much more family friendly with lots of usable cubby holes and improved rear accommodations. Not only is there slightly more legroom, but the cut of the doors allows for easier entry and exit. The seat cushion itself is better padded and can be reclined by an extra four degrees. The cargo space is more or less the same as the previous model, but since the rear seats fold in a 40/20/40 split, there’s much more flexibility now.

And then, there’s the driving position. Mazda has always prided itself with their human-centric design and the CX-5 elevates that to the next level. The steering wheel and pedals are both positioned in a way that promote a relaxed driving position and couple that with seats which are especially designed to distribute pressure points evenly, and you have the most comfortable way to spend Manila traffic in. Sitting behind the wheel just feels right. Plus, it now offers a higher and more commanding seating position, solving one of the major qualms of the previous CX-5.

Mazda’s approach to honing a driver-oriented cabin translates very well to the new CX-5’s on-road behavior. The previous CX-5 was arguably the driver’s choice in the compact crossover segment, and the new one sends the ball further downfield. If life has you being dragged kicking and screaming out of a fun car and into a family vehicle, then the CX-5 ultimately brings that fun back.

The steering, devoid of any fancy driver-selectable setting, is linear, natural, and consistent. It feels quick and responsive at slow speed, predictable and precise at high speed. The throttle is also spot on as well with no perceptible delay between what the foot does and how the engine reacts.

The suspension doesn’t see big changes, but Mazda has enacted improvements that improve the overall road holding and comfort. One is G-Vectoring Control which debuts on a crossover for the first time. Simply put, as you turn the wheel, the car reduces just enough torque from the engine to subtly send weight forward onto the front wheels. This improves steering response, reduces excessive steering inputs, and thus makes you a better and smoother driver.

Perhaps the 2017 CX-5’s biggest dynamic weakness is its carryover engine. Though some enhancements were made to the 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G engine, power outputs remain the same at 190 horsepower and 250 Nm of torque. It’s more sufficient than exciting, but at least being normally aspirated means it never has to deal with the sort of lag inherent to the turbocharged engines found in its many competitors. Mazda has to thank its 6-speed automatic to cover up the engine’s lack of grunt. Tweaked more for performance, it delivers quick up- or downshifts at the expense of lower fuel economy. This 2017 model drops to 7.58 km/L at an average speed of 12 km/h despite having i-Stop turned on all the time. In comparison, the 2015 model does 8.47 km/L.

Although it gives up a bit in terms of efficiency, at least Mazda has made tremendous gains in making the CX-5 much more comfortable for everyone on board. Thanks to an obsessive attention to detail, the CX-5 is quiet for a Mazda—a brand previously known for the exact opposite—and the entire segment.

The second-generation 2017 Mazda CX-5 may not possess headline grabbing changes. Yet, there are a multitude of smaller, sometimes imperceptible tweaks that add up to a much better vehicle. That said, it’s still not for everyone. Instead, Mazda continues to cater to buyers who’re willing to trade some utility for better looks, a better drive, and an all-around premium feel.

2017 Mazda CX-5 AWD Sport
Ownership 2017 Mazda CX-5 AWD 2.5 Sport
Year Introduced 2017
Vehicle Classification Compact Crossover
The Basics
Body Type 5-door Crossover
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/AWD
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 2.5
Aspiration Normally Aspirated
Fuel Delivery Direct Injection
Layout / # of Cylinders I4
BHP @ rpm 190 @ 6,000
Nm @ rpm 251 @ 4,000
Fuel / Min. Octane Gasoline / 91~
Transmission 6 AT
Cruise Control Yes
Fuel Economy @ Ave. Speed 7.58 km/L @ 12 km/h
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 4,550
Width (mm) 1,840
Height (mm) 1,680
Wheelbase (mm) 2,700
Curb Weight (kg) 1,626
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Independent, Multi-link
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Disc
Tires Toyo Proxes R46 A 225/55 R 19 V (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 6
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control Yes
Parking Sensors Yes, Front & Rear with Camera
Other Safety Features Hill Hold Assist
Blindspot Monitoring System
Exterior Features
Headlights LED, Active
Fog Lamps Yes
Auto Lights Yes
Rain-sensing Wipers Yes
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Tilt/Telescopic
Steering Wheel Material Leather
Seating Adjustment Electric (driver)
Seating Surface Leather
Folding Rear Seat Yes, 40/20/40
On-Board Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, with Fold
Climate Control Yes, Dual Zone with Rear Vent
Audio System Stereo
USB x 2
# of Speakers 10, Bose
Steering Controls Yes


  1. 190 hp is still not enough?

    1. Because for the same amount of money you can get the quicker and faster Forester XT with a turbo engine rated at 240hp/350Nm.

    2. The chassis always feel like it can take more. I'd love to drive the Forester XT in a straight line, but its dynamics and build quality is starting to show its age. Hopefully a shift to the Subaru Global Platform for the all-new model will make it shine.

    3. I drive a Forester XT and the engine feels like a normal NA engine at 2k rpm or below. Once the techometer goes above 2k rpm and the turbo spools, it just goes (surprisingly quick for its boxy shape). Give it an open road like an expressway and 200kmh is easy without even pushing the engine to redline.

      I think Mazda is too conservative to put their 2.5L SkyActiv Turbo on the CX5 chassis. US reports say that this turbo engine gives the CX9 a smooth drive. Place it on the CX5 and you got yourself one hell of a sporty CUV.

  2. This is a far bettwr buy than the CRV 1.6 diesel. If you have money to buy either vehicles, you shouldnt have a problem with the slightly higher cost of gasoline compared to diesel. Gasoline is also smoother, faster, cleaner, less maintenance,makes a better engine sound and cheaper by several hundred thousand pesos.

    You also did'nt mention the Yojin 3 btw. I personally heard from an uber driver that he pays around 8k per pms in the casa and 4k outside the casa. I bet it is more expensive for a bigger car.

  3. This, or the 2.2 diesel variant. I think I can't go wrong with any of these. If only I have the money.

    1. For the amount of additional stuff you get with the diesel? I'd go diesel.

    2. The price of that CX5 diesel is pretty steep at P2.2m. It is nearly the price of the Grand Santa Fe, Explorer or Sorento, all of which are more comfortable and powerful. Maybe not the Explorer.

    3. what are the extra stuff on the diesel variant?

    4. Power tailgate, i-Activsense (lane keep assist, etc.).

  4. 1.85m and it doesn't even have an automatic tailgate?

    1. No sunroof either :(

    2. No automatic tailgate, but it does have a sunroof.

  5. This review is what ive been waiting for thanks sir uly, but im a bit disappointed about the FC,7.58km/l? Im planning to have one this coming september, if i could only add more for the totl diesel

    1. Well yeah...honestly, I was shocked at the fuel consumption as well. I was expecting something close to the previous CX-5 too.

  6. Sir uly did they discuss to u about the maximum discount they could give if you purchase this cash?

  7. Does it have sunroof and drl?

  8. And paddle shifters?

    1. It has DRL, sunroof, no paddle shifters. No i-Eloop also.

  9. They should have put the shifters, how about the totl variant, does it have the shifters? Btw thx for answering sir!

    1. I'll double check with them, but if it's the same as the previous model, it doesn't have paddle shifters too.

  10. A while ago im surprised about the fc figures, but i think one of the reasons is it has no ieloop system, i though i could get almost evrything that the totl have aside from the diesel engine of course but sorry for me

    1. Previous diesels don't have i-Eloop as well. That's both in the Mazda6 Skyactiv-D and the CX-5 Skyactiv-D.

    2. 2.5 skyactiv is jusy a carry over engine right? So why is it that its fc has a great diff from the previous model, idont understand

    3. As I mentioned in the article, it has to do something with the gearing or the tuning of the AT. It feels much more responsive now but at the expense of lesser fuel economy.

    4. Im so disappointed about it's fc, at first this is the only car im eyeing, but now maybe i should also consider the totl subaru xv, what do u think sir uly?

    5. Oh yeah sorry sir i overlooked it, what is the recomended fuel octane for this?

    6. Oh sorry once again overlooked it

    7. Considering it's a 2.5 liter engine? It's good. The XV will do around the same.

      CX-5 requires 91 to 93 octane. XV requires 93 to 95. 95 is recommended.

    8. fc suffered a bit because this one is a wee bit heavier compared to the previous model and that is due to more sound insulating put in the car hence the added weight. I'm pretty sure you've noticed its quieter than the prev model Uly, but all is good, its a competent car nonetheless

  11. Thanks for the effort in answering sir, cx 5 is really what i want to have, but my wife keeps on telling me to also consider the xv, so if you are to choose sir? And what do you think are the pro's and cons of each over another?

    1. Cx5 bigger, newer, better looking and free maintenance for 3 years.

      XV is a segment lower. It is cheaper and is smaller but its pretty slow. Get the cx5, if you have the cash... no-brainer.

  12. Before, it was only the Korean automakers that offered Diesel compact SUVs with the Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage. Now we have 2 new contenders with the Mazda CX-5 and Honda CR-V. I do hope thay more automakers like Toyota, Mitsubishi, Ford, and the likes will follow suit. Price is a bit too steep though...

  13. Sir, iwould like to know if the cx5 fwd has navigation system? I,m planning to buy the fwd . Tnx


    1. You're better off using waze, the stock maps are 2D only. -Mazda 3 2017 owner.

  14. Pfft.. I'd go for Forester XT.

  15. What the hell really? Old school navigation, but i hope the once in the cx 5 is different

  16. Sir uly, does the cx 5 have apple carplay and android auto?

  17. I dont think that mitsu, toyota, and ford will give us diesel variats of their cuv, coz it would definitely grab the sales of their ppv's,

  18. The diesel CRV will smoke this crap. Just you wait and see!

  19. Can you elaborate how? The diesel crv is just 120hp, it cant even win in a straight line against honda city

    1. Ihampas ko kaya sa iyo ang 300Nm na torque? Gusto mo?

  20. I might have to agree with him. What you pay is horsepower, but what you really drive is torque. Honda City will lose against the CRV, but the CX-5? Even in a straight line walang panama ang CRV, much more sa curved roads.

  21. I dont think honda city will lose to crv, yes its torque is high, but also consider the weight of the vehicle, and to the other guy who is very obvious a honda fan boy, dont bring your fanboyism here, try to drive honda city first and try to test drive the all new crv, u will know what im telling u

    1. 300Nm for 1,600kg of weight? No big deal. Some heavier SUVs have lower power to weight ratio.

  22. Yes i agree thats why ppv's cannot beat the city in 0 to 100

  23. After my experience with a recent flood, I'm now considering a CX5 over the MX5 or the mazda 6. Goodbye mx5 dreams..

  24. Hi Sir Uly, i wonder how's the ff:
    1. Acceleration
    2. NVH
    3. Comfort levels

    1. If you read the review,

      Acceleration is good, but not exciting. The chassis could handle more power, but it's not lacking.

      NVH is easily most improved aspect. Currently, it's the quietest compact crossover.

      Comfort levels have also been improved. It's not firm but not bouncy as the Forester. I would have to say, the ride is perhaps the best one out there too.

      We'll see how the all-new CR-V does though.

    2. Great! I missed out the acceleration part on the article. Thanks Sir Uly!

  25. HI. New Mazda good, but the price of it makes you look the other way. For such money you can buy toyota highlander. And this car will be much more practical and comfortable.

    1. You do not buy a mazda for practicality. You have toyota and honda for that. You buy a mazda because you love driving and prefer a more premium car.

    2. i agree, if you want practicality, go for toyota vios

  26. Planning to get one in diesel. Any new owners here? How long do you have to wait to get the unit? Thanksss

  27. Wish it had a turbo. For about the same price I'd get the Forester XT. Or for a few hundred thousand less, the turbo diesel Tucson and Sportage are almost as quick as the Forester XT and with a more supple ride. Wish gasoline SUVs in the Philippines came standard with turbos. We have a CRV 2012 and CX5 2014 and the weight and lack of torque makes the sluggishness very apparent. It's missing that frightening surge of torque when you floor the pedal on the Forester XT and CRDi Tucson/Sportage.

    1. Yan ang problema kapag nakasubok ka na ng turbo. You'll always crave for it. Driving naturally aspirated vehicles will never be the same.

  28. Sir Uly, help please! We are planning to get our 1st crossover/SUV. Among our 3 choices, which is the best?
    MAZDA CX-5 (2.0L FWD PRO) VS.
    SUBARU XV (2.0i-S CVT)


    SUBARU XV (2.0i CVT)?

    Hope you can help me. We are looking at:
    -Fuel Consumption
    -Comfortable Driving
    -Good for city driving mostly

    1. I would have to throw this question back at you: are you looking at the crossover as a family car? A second car? A personal car?

      Because based on your list, you're looking at two different segments. The first one is a list of crossovers above the P 1.5M mark while those at the bottom would be below the P 1.4M mark.

      Given your criteria (and not knowing anything else), the crossover that offers the best fuel consumption would be the CR-V diesel. Plus it's more spacious than the CX-5 or XV. It's probably going to do well for city driving as well.

      That said, the Mazda CX-5 is certainly a very individual choice. I love its driving dynamics, interior fit and finish, and styling. However, I cannot comment on the fuel consumption because I've yet to try the 2018 2.0-liter gasoline. Expect it to be roughly the same as the Subaru XV in terms of fuel efficiency. The main advantage of the Mazda is its all-inclusive 3-year/100,000-km PMS package. This removes the headaches for the first 3 years of ownership.

    2. Sir Uly I will take your advice. I'll get the CRV 2.0S petrol model.

  29. Sir Uly, kapag ba naging available na ang apple carplay at android auto sa mazda, i-uupdate lang ba system ng infotament?

    1. From my understanding, yes...update lang. It has to be done by your dealer though.

  30. Hi sir uly i really need ur advise.

    Im planning to get a crossover im torn between

    Mazda cx5 2.2 diesel
    Honda crv sx
    Subaru xv

    For personal use, im looking for good

    Fuel economy

    If its you what will you choose?

    Btw will mazda cx8 be release here in ph?



Sponsored Content