2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring
2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring in Soul Red Crystal Metallic (a $595 option)

Quick Spin2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD

Class: Compact Crossover

Miles driven: 268

Fuel used: 10.0 gallons

Real-world fuel economy: 26.8 mpg

Driving mix: 35% city, 65% highway

EPA-estimated fuel economy: 24/30/26 (city, highway, combined)

Base price: $30,945 (not including $975 destination charge)

CG Report Card
Room and ComfortB-
Power and PerformanceB+
Fit and FinishA-
Fuel EconomyB+
Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.
Big & Tall Comfort
Big GuyB
Tall GuyA-
Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.

Options on test vehicle: Illuminated doorsill trim plates ($400), special paint ($595), rear bumper guard ($125), retractable cargo cover ($250), Premium Package ($1395; includes head-up display with traffic-sign recognition, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, and windshield wiper de-icer)

Price as tested: $34,685


Quick Hits

The great: Upscale interior trim, excellent ride/handling balance

The good: Fuel economy, available safety features

The not so good: Some testers dislike infotainment-system control interface

More Mazda CX-5 price and availability information


Mazda CX-5 Cabin in Parchment
The CX-5’s cabin has a sporty, sophisticated look and feel. Standard features in Grand Touring models include leather upholstery, heated front seats, Bose 10-speaker audio system, adaptive cruise control, and a navigation system.

CG Says:

Mazda’s spritely compact SUV is a perennial member of our Consumer Guide Best Buy list. We’ve long appreciated its sporty, fun-to-drive character, nicely finished interior (especially in the top-line Grand Touring models), and respectable fuel economy—all virtues that were amplified with the CX-5’s redesign last year.

For 2018, all CX-5 models get an expanded list of standard features (a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and leather-wrapped shift knob are now standard on the base Sport trim level) and the i-ACTIVSENSE suite of safety equipment is now standard on Touring models and available on Sport models.

However, the most noteworthy update for 2018 is the addition of a fuel-saving cylinder-deactivation feature as standard equipment. This system shuts down the engine’s two outside cylinders when the vehicle is at steady, light-load cruising speeds between 25 and 50 miles per hour. Cylinder-deactivation technology is fairly common among 6-cylinder and V8 powertrains, but Mazda is currently the only manufacturer to offer it on a 4-cylinder engine in North America.

First Spin: 2017 Mazda CX-5

Implementing cylinder deactivation no doubt helped the 2018 CX-5 achieve slightly better EPA numbers than its 2017 counterpart; it’s rated at 25 city/31 highway/28 combined with front-wheel drive, and 24/30/26 with AWD, compared to 24/31/27 and 23/29/26 respectively for 2017. A mild improvement to be sure, but every little bit counts.

2018 CX-5 Grille
The CX-5’s finely honed styling looks especially attractive in Soul Red Crystal–an extra-cost hue that boasts a luminous “candy-apple red” effect in bright sunlight.

Our own testing results seemed to bear out the EPA numbers. In a similar driving mix, we were able to achieve better fuel economy with our 2018 tester than with the nearly identical 2017 CX-5 we tested last year (26.8 mpg versus 24.5). What’s more, the cylinder-deactivation feature is unnoticeable in normal driving.

You can check out our road test of the 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring here. Our impressions of that vehicle carry over, with some extra appreciation for the 2018’s slightly—and seamlessly—enhanced frugality.

Styling Walk-around: 2017 Mazda CX-5 Versus 2016 Mazda CX-5

2018 Mazda CX-5
It may not be quite as powerful or as cargo-commodious as some compact-crossover rivals, but the Mazda CX-5’s fun-to-drive character, nicely finished interior, and attractive mix of available features make it one of our favorites.

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