• By: Dan Donovan

Mazda’s CX-5 is Top of its Class for Smaller SUVs

Like millions of Canadians, I am a fan of smaller compact SUVs. What I look for in a SUV is a combination of fuel-efficient power matched with performance that provides comfort smooth handling and a maintenance regimen that is not going to cost me hundreds of dollars every time I take it in for an oil change and check-up. I don’t want to be driving an SUV that feels like a truck or an oversized van.

2014_Mazda_CX-5_0024The Mazda CX-5 hits the mark on all counts. Similar SUVs from other automakers in this class are the Nissan Rogue, Toyota Rav 4, Ford Escape and Honda CRV. Since I drive a Rogue, I was curious to test drive the CX-5 for a week and make a comparison. The CX-5 was very impressive.

First off, it is a really snazzy, sleek and sporty looking vehicle from the outside. The interior features great amenities including push-button start (my Rogue doesn’t have this and Mazda offers it at no extra cost) and a touch-screen dashboard with phone, audio and other navigation features. Optional luxuries include a moonroof, Bose Centrepoint Surround Sound System, blind spot monitoring and ample storage and legroom. I was able to fit hockey gear, as well as my daughter and her friend’s gear in the trunk—no problems! Then of course there is the Smart City Brake System, keyless entry and the actual “ride,” which is comfortable and quiet.

2013 Mazda CX-5Mazda has responded to the numerous complaints regarding horrible fuel economy on its previous SUV models and stepped up big-time to address the problem. The CX-5 is now one of the most fuel-efficient SUVs sold in Canada. Each of its models offers Skyactiv-G 2.0L engines with 7.8 city/5.7 highway litres per 100 kilometres, when paired with manual transmission, 7.7/6.1L per 100K for automatic and 8.0/6.4L per 100 km for the All-Wheel Drive system. The Mazda CX-5 2014 model offers Skyactiv-G 2.5L engine for its GS and GT models.

I still prefer  the Nissan Rogue in this category- but the Mazda CX-5 is a close second.

The Mazda CX-5 starts at $22,995 for its basic GX model and can reach to the upper $30,000s for its more deluxe GS and GT models.