In a marketplace where all small SUVs start to look the same, the Mazda CX-5 offers an alternative. Agile handling, sporty looks, and a well-trimmed interior make the CX-5 feel somewhat less utilitarian than many rivals. Add in very good fuel economy, a roomy interior and a generous array of features, and the Mazda CX-5 ranks in the top tier of small SUVs. True, a noisy cabin and choppy ride can be nuisances.
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Mazda CX-5 Road Test

In a marketplace where all small SUVs start to look the same, the Mazda CX-5 offers an alternative. Agile handling, sporty looks, and a well-trimmed interior make the CX-5 feel somewhat less utilitarian than many rivals. Add in very good fuel economy, a roomy interior and a generous array of features, and the Mazda CX-5 ranks in the top tier of small SUVs. True, a noisy cabin and choppy ride can be nuisances. But for enthusiast drivers looking for the versatility of a small SUV in a sporty-handling package, the CX-5 may be just what they're seeking.

Most CX-5s come with a muscular 184-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a six-speed automatic. Acceleration is quick, yet the CX-5 posts impressive fuel economy: 25 mpg overall with all-wheel drive. A less powerful engine comes only on base front-wheel-drive models with a manual transmission.

Quick, well-weighted steering and a taut suspension make the CX-5 one of the few small SUVs that can tackle tight curves with poise. A good-sized cabin, spacious rear seat, easy visibility, and versatile cargo space are further pluses. The CX-5's lack of sound deadening and the ride's persistent low-level jiggles will turn some people off. Updates over the years have made it quieter, but it remains relatively loud inside. Mastering the controller knob-based infotainment system takes some doing; it's not immediately intuitive. And although well shaped, the deeply contoured front seats aren't ideal for all physiques.

Best Version to Get
Here are the major decisions you need to make when picking a CX-5: At this point, should I wait for a 2017? Maybe. Mazda will likely be wheeling and dealing to clear out 2016.5 CX-5s to make room for the 2017 redesign. But you might want to wait. The redesign is an evolution of the current model...
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