The 2017 Mazda CX-5 may look like the outgoing model, but the changes go deep and are, indeed, substantial.
Mazda kept the strengths of the previous version, including its responsive and economical 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and spry, nimble handling.
But they also addressed many weaknesses, making the ride more supple and absorbent and significantly reducing cabin noise.
A six-speed automatic is the only transmission; a diesel engine comes later.
The cabin is versatile and very nicely trimmed, especially in Touring and Grand Touring trims.
Low-speed automatic emergency braking is standard on all trims; a more capable full-speed system with forward collision warning is optional.
Figuring out the infotainment system, which is controlled by a console-located knob, takes some time.
Upscale options, including driver seat memory and a heads-up display, are optional. Updates for 2019 included a new top-shelf Signature model, which adds special leather trim, and a 227-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
The turbo engine is also standard on the Grand Touring Reserve.
Adaptive cruise control and auto emergency braking with pedestrian detection are standard for 2020.
Updates for 2021 include a new infotainment system.
The system, however, isn't a touch screen; users must adjust audio and infotainment features using steering wheel controls or the rotary controller and buttons mounted between the front seats. For 2022 all CX-5’s will come standard with all-wheel drive.
The freshened CX-5 gets a mild facelift, redesigned seats, and updates to the transmission and suspension.
The Grand Touring Reserve version is now called 2.5 Turbo.