With the redesigned CX-5, Mazda retained most of the sporty handling that made the first-generation enjoyable, but the SUV is much more mature now with vastly improved ride comfort, noise isolation, and interior quality. It's one of the more desirable models in the compact SUV class. Unlike purely rational choices like the Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester, there’s a bit of joie de vivre with the CX-5.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Side and head protection air bags standard. Forward collision warning and full-speed automatic emergency braking available from 2016. Low-speed automatic emergency braking standard from 2017.
Road Test

With the redesigned CX-5, Mazda retained most of the sporty handling that made the first-generation enjoyable, but the SUV is much more mature now with vastly improved ride comfort, noise isolation, and interior quality. It's one of the more desirable models in the compact SUV class. Unlike purely rational choices like the Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester, there’s a bit of joie de vivre with the CX-5.

The sole powertrain for now is a 187-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder linked to a six-speed automatic transmission. This makes for a docile, responsive, and easy-to-drive combination. Due to the added weight that achieved a quieter cabin, fuel economy is down by one to a still competitive 24 mpg overall. That's a tradeoff we embrace. 

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2.2-liter 4 turbodiesel (174 hp)
  • 2.5-liter 4 (187 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2018 Mazda CX-5 owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Display screen freezes up

"The entertainment system and bluetooth link to the phone has been slow and getting slower. Seems the technology is behind other bluetooth connected devices."

Anonymous, PA (2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Display screen goes blank

"The engineers at Mazda should be held accountable for their mistakes and should offer a fix. As for myself, I installed a Mickey Mouse reusable decal over the face of the gauge which has transported me back to my 1938 Chevrolet that provided the same Info that I'm blocking out of my current"

Gary B., WI (2018 Mazda CX-5 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"difficult to learn and use. The voice does not always provide directions."

Stephen K., PA (2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"the navigation system took the short route not the fastest"

Anonymous, NY (2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The nav system is dumb as a stump. Instructions to navigate to prominent landmarks: So and so airport, hospital, shopping center, etc. require an exact street address or it doesn't even try. Quick---what's the street address, including number, street, town and state, of the big one across town? This nav system requires all of that. It is ridiculous and I have wished that it would commit an impossible physical act innumerable times. If the system records commands given to it and keeps them, I'll bet the most common one is F You."

Joe C., OR (2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Navigation system is out of date by at least three years. There is no update available for it. I find this totally unacceptable!"

Jerri F., OH (2018 Mazda CX-5 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"We have 2 drivers with each having their own iPhone. It get mixed up all the time not recognizing whos phone to use"

Gerald G., FL (2018 Mazda CX-5 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Bluetooth is intermittent. Not consistent one way or the other."

Anonymous, NH (2018 Mazda CX-5 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Voice control commands

"Vehical was delivered to me with a tsb outstanding for the voice reognition system. It was corrected with the instalation of a new SIM card. I think all new vehicals should be checked for outstanding tsb's' before they are delivered to the customer."

Anonymous, NJ (2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"It is difficult to reconcile the overall excellence of this car with the mediocrity of the voice control commands. Ask it to call someone, it often says it is memorizing my Bluetooth contacts, try again later. I've been using the same phone with it from the beginning! Tell navigation to guide me to Portland Int'l Airport, it demands the exact street address. Tell it to do something it CAN do, and it requires me to practically cross my heart and swear. It is the dumbest computer interface I can recall, ever. I keep thinking Mazda will upgrade this insulting piece of garbage, but they do not. When I bought the car, I understood that Android Auto for it would be available in 6 weeks and that it would be complementary, since the Mazda 6 already had it. But it came, I think, in December and cost $400! Absolutely ridiculous. I have had a couple of technical writing careers, and the manual for this car I like so much is another insult. It reads like it was written by nanny lawyers, more to provide tort defense against lawsuit happy customers than to tell one how to operate the car. Impossible slog through that drivel. I can NOT understand why Mazda has let that awful interface continue."

Joe C., OR (2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

"During extremely hot summer weather (approx 110 degrees), the smart safety systems (emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, etc.), all failed."

Vaughn R., NV (2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"The system works fine most of the time. But on occasionally, the system will not let me set a speed for the cruise control. nothing happens when I press the set button. The cruise control system will only work when I switch it to regular mod and not the smart mode."

Tianliang X., IL (2018 Mazda CX-5 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"once a while i will get a error message saying front camera malfunction. and the lane-keeping assist system will be disabled."

Tianliang X., IL (2018 Mazda CX-5 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Some times it is slow to apply the brakes. It will sound a warning but doesn't apply the brakes for a few seconds. In my opinion it should hit the brakes and then sound the alarm."

Orvell M., MO (2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Should steer the car back to the center of the lane, but it just lets it drift right on across the line. Sometimes it vibrates the steering wheel sometimes it don't."

Orvell M., MO (2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Failed camera"

Anonymous, FL (2018 Mazda CX-5 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Numerous little specs of paint that looked similar to rock damage, on hood, fender and rear hatch door. Those area were repainted by dealer. Said they had 3 or 4 similar problems with red paint."

Anonymous, NB (2018 Mazda CX-5 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Swirl marks"

Anonymous, ON (2018 Mazda CX-5 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Paint chips too easily. I did not purchase the dealership applied additional coating to protect paint from road debris. Wish I had."

April E., FL (2018 Mazda CX-5 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"I have the $595 Red paint and there are chips of paint coming off all over the hood."

Anonymous, VT (2018 Mazda CX-5 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

"Dozens of paint chips appearing in almost all body areas of the vehicle. Dealership told us this is a KNOWN ISSUE with certain paint colors (Red) in Mazda production process. Photos have been taken and submitted to Mazda for review and approval to re-paint the vehicle. We were told the process could take 6-8 weeks... we are waiting."

Anonymous, AB (2018 Mazda CX-5 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Premature brake wear

"Brake shoes were wrecked by inter road salt. Have never seen this on other cars. Mechanic said it is a known problem of recent Mazdas of this model"

Paul H., DC (2018 Mazda CX-5 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Rotors

"After just 4 weeks of use I experienced a shimmy in the steering wheel upon medium braking from 50 to 60 mph. Dealer did slight cut on both front rotors which solved the problem."

Anonymous, NJ (2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Squeaking

"I had it back to the dealer/service department three times, and, although a little better after the third time, the brakes still squeak"

Anonymous, WA (2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Gauges

"The Info gauge in the Cluster is poorly lit and dangerous while underway. There is no reason why this gauge can't be displayed fully lit all the time unless an engineering problem occurred that could only be corrected by this stupid move. That rod with no soft tip on it is too far out of the way and that little beep that does virtually nothing is an embarrassment to myself and to my friends that want an explanation. How you could pull a stunt like this is an insult"

Gary B., WI (2018 Mazda CX-5 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)
Headlights

"The front driver side headlight had water inside of it. This headlight is supposed to be sealed - it does not contain a changeable bulb."

Anonymous, IL (2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

"Engine light appeared & felt less power driving while out of town. (This vehicle is high performance & I felt it took effort to continue and to restart.) Mazda service determined a small arm broke off and new engine was required. It was replaced under warranty, rental car provided & my vehicle transported to my local dealership when completed. I paid nothing for any of this. Mazda Customer Experience facilitated the rental car, kept me informed, showed real concern, even offered extended warranty free of charge. In spite of the need for a new engine in a car not yet 18 months old, they have proven to be a brand worthy of loyalty."

Lynne Z., NV (2018 Mazda CX-5 Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"hear air noise"

Anonymous, GA (2018 Mazda CX-5 Sport 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"The check engine light came on approximately 30 days ago. Dealership said it was a computer problem. I’m 62 years old and I’ve bought a lot of vehicles. I have been to three Mazda dealerships (moved since purchasing vehicle) and service has been pathetic at all of them."

Terry R., NE (2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Doors or sliding doors

"While parked downward on a slight hill I opened the driver's side door to exit the vehicle. The door swung open at least 90 degrees and there was a loud crunching sound as it popped out of both door hinges and broke the door stop latch. The door was stuck in this over-opened position and would not close. We consider this a design defect: the door hinges and door stop are inadequate for the weight of the CX-5 door."

Anonymous, PA (2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 2.5-L 4 Cyl)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

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