I recently had the pleasure of driving the 2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring FWD, and discovered there is a lot to like about this car. From functionality and fuel efficiency to comfort and aesthetics, there’s not a lot that’s missing from this vehicle.
When on the road, the 2016 Mazda CX-5 wastes no time getting up to speed. And once it does, you’ll have a smooth ride free from road noise. I really liked how effortlessly it handled the road, with no uncomfortable bumps or bouncing I’ve experienced in other small cars. Much of this can be attributed to the SKYACTIV-G engine with its 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, automatic transmission along with the electronic power-assisted steering. I also noticed that my fuel economy was as advertised, with 26 mpg around town and 33 mpg on the highway.
For driving, though, my favorite features were the many “automatic” aspects of several daily driving tools. For example, when using the Mazda Radar Cruise Control with close proximity warning (part of the GT I-ACTIVSENSE package), the car would achieve the set speed, but when encountering another car, the vehicle would automatically reduce speed to avoid a collision. Once I moved into the passing lane to go around the vehicle, the CX-5 would resume the set speed on the cruise control. I loved not having to hit the brakes – thus, disabling the cruise control – and then “resuming” cruise control after making the pass. So easy!
Another “automatic” feature I like showed up when using my “bright” headlights at night. As I drove down a road with my “brights” on, once an oncoming car was detected, the CX-5 automatically dimmed the “brights” until after the car passed. There were times when the car dimmed the lights without an oncoming car present, so I think some fine-tuning is required, but overall I really like this feature, too.
The 2016 Mazda CX-5 reflects upgrades to its exterior that include a new grille and foglight surround design, available LED headlights for Touring and Grand Touring models, and two new colors: Sonic Silver and Titanium Flash. Although these make the car look sporty, it’s the interior features and upgrades that I really enjoyed. For instance, the CX-5 includes an upgraded center console, dashboard and armrest design. These changes made using the car’s information center a breeze.
Speaking of the information center, the Mazda CONNECT Infotainment System with a larger, 7-inch, full-color touchscreen display and multi-function commander control was easy to navigate. When driving the car, the touchscreen capability is disabled to keep the driver’s attention on the road. However, there is a control knob in the console that makes it easy to toggle between menus.
Driving the Mazda CX-5 was quite comfortable, too, thanks to the eight-way, leather-trim, power driver’s seat that included lumbar support. My husband, who stands at 6 feet, loved that he had room to stretch out without pushing the seat all the way back, thus squishing my daughter. The kids, too, had lots of room, even with my son’s car seat in place.
One more feature I enjoyed in the CX-5 was the extensive cargo space, especially with the ability to fold flat the second-row seats at the touch of a handle located in the cargo area. That’s right! No more walking up to the rear passenger door so you can reach the button to flip down the seat. Additional great features are the rearview camera, the blind spot monitor, the standard Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio controls, and (of course) the sunroof.
The Mazda CX-5 also comes with a lane departure warning system, but I can’t say I’m a big fan of that just yet. You can set the system to warn you as you approach the lane markings or once you’re on the lane markings. Originally, the system was set to warn me as I approached the lane markings, but it was beeping almost constantly. As someone who lives in a rural area with narrow roads, this was not appreciated. It got better once I changed the setting to “on the markings,” but it never seemed consistent. I decided to “test” the system, and I noticed there were times when I went over the lane markings, and the system never alerted me. Again, I think this needs to be fine-tuned, and, once it is, it will be a great safety feature.
All in all, I think the 2016 Mazda CX-5 is a great car for everyone – families, couples, rural, city dwellers – it doesn’t matter. If you’re looking for a new ride, you’re going to want to check the CX-5 out.