A new 2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring (top trim) compact crossover was our ride around Hill Country Texas recently.  We found this 2-row, 5-passenger CUV to be agile, nimble, roomy and very comfortable for people and their gear PLUS easy to drive and delivering a very good ride.

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Smartly crafted on the outside and featuring soft-touch premium materials on the inside with careful thought given to features, function and layout – like a raised front console – the CX-5 is a winner for all generations.

The new generation Mazda CX-5 was introduced to the market in March of 2017.  In its first 12 months (through February 2018) it has resonated with consumers who have purchased 154,202 of them, making it the best-selling vehicle in the Mazda lineup – more than 45 percent of all Mazda sales in the period.

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Consumer and industry recognition has included being named a 2018 10Best Truck and SUV by Car and Driver, 2018 Top Safety Pick by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and a 2017 Best Mid-Size Crossover for Families by Parents Magazine and Edmunds.com.

The 2018 Mazda CX-5 would be on our short list as adventuring empty nesters.   If you are in the market for a compact two-row CUV, it should be on yours too.

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2018 Mazda CX-5 AWD as tested

Our 2018 CX-5 AWD came in their new optional signature Soul Red Crystal Metallic with the handsome Parchment Leather interior.  It was powered by a SKYACTIV-G 2.5L 4-cylinder engine with their new cylinder deactivation.  It was mated to SKYACTIV-Drive 6-speed automatic and equipped with SKYACTIV-Vehicle Dynamics with G-Vectoring Control for sure footing on all types of roads and conditions. Delivering 187-hprsepower with 186 lb.-ft. of torque, it is fuel economy rated at 24/30 mpg city/highway and 26 mpg combined.

2018-Mazda-CX-5

The new CX-5 offers an extensive list of features and convenience items standard – many of which are not even optional on competing compact crossovers.

Features of note include Power Sliding Moon Roof with Sunshade, LED exterior lights (front and rear),  Auto-leveling Adaptive Front-Lighting, Heated Side Mirrors, 19-inch Alloy Wheels, Rain-sensing Wipers, Power Lift Gate, Leather-trimmed seating, 6-way Power Driver Seat, heated front and rear seats, Dual-zone Climate Control, rear AC vents, Keyless Entry and Pushbutton Start, Rearview Camera,  Stop&Go Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Dynamic Stability and Traction Control, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Hill Launch Assist, and lots more.

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Infotainment in the CX-5 includes a BOSE 10-speaker audio system w/Mazda NAV & 7-inch color display, Mazda Connect Infotainment System, SiriusXM and HD radio, Bluetooth Hands-free, USB inputs front (2) and rear (2), 12V power outlets (2) and Voice Command.

Also, standard is the i-ACTIVESENSE suite of safety equipment that includes Automatic On/Off Headlights, High Beam Control, Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keep Assist, Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Smart Brake Support and Rain-sensing Windshield Wipers.

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Packages and Options

Mazda keeps it simple, offering (and including) just one optional package on our CX-5.

The Premium Package ($1,395) added Heated Rear Seats, Heated Steering Wheel, Windshield Wiper De-Icer and an Active Driving (head-up) Display that included Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR).  This feature is top notch keeping the driver alert to all traffic signs as they are approached.

Other extras Included were very nicely done Illuminated Door Sill Plates ($400), Rear Bumper Guard ($125), Retractable Cargo Cover ($250) and the signature Soul Red Crystal Metallic ($595).

Our test CX-5 Grand Touring AWD – with delivery – priced at $34,685.

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2018-Mazda-CX-5

Adventuring in the CX-5

We – as many of you know – are part of that emerging class of aging empty nesters who still have the will, means and ability to enjoy an adventuring lifestyle.  Accordingly, we look at small or compact CUV’s critically to see how they meet adventuring needs as we seem them.

Mazda gets it with their CX series – particularly the CX-5.

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2018-Mazda-CX-5

Mazda offers a range of accessories for youthful at heart owners – both young and old – who are into adventuring.  All are available through dealers and like Roof Rack Crossbars and Side Rails plus attachments for the roof rack including Bike Carrier, Ski/Snowboard Carrier, Kyak Carrier (2 types), Surfboard Carrier, Cargo Box and a Luggage/Gear Carrier.  Additionally, Trailer Hitch mounted accessories include Bike Carrier (2 or 4 bikes) and a Cargo Box.

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CX-5 tows too – when properly equipped – up to 2,000 pounds which would handle small utility trailers with camping gear or one of the ‘tear drop’- type trailers like the Little Guy ‘myPod’ http://golittleguy.com/mypod/ , that are gaining popularity across the country.

mypod-conclusion
mypod-conclusion

2018 CX-5 Line-up

There are three trim levels in the CX-5 line for 2018 – all powered by the SKYACTIVE 2.5L engine with the SKYACTIVE-DRIVE 6-speed automatic transmission.  Prices start at (FWD): Sport MSRP $24,150, Touring MSRP $26,216 and Grand Touring MSRP $29,645.  All are available in AWD for $1,300 more.

For more information on the 2018 Mazda CX-5, visit https://www.mazdausa.com/vehicles/cx-5