By Asian Journal Auto Editor

2018 MAZDA CX-5The latest version of the popular 2018 Mazda 2016 CX-5 Skyactiv mid-size crossover has an unprecedented number of fresh new changes coming off its 2017 revamp. The current Mazda CX-5 is powered by either a 2.0L or the Skyactiv 2.5L direct-injection gasoline four-cylinder engine. The engines are paired with either the six-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. Interiors also get a makeover with a redesigned higher resolution seven-inch, centre stack touchscreen, a head-up display available for the GT with Technology package and minor changes to the ergonomics for better driver and passengers comfort. The outside of the CX-5 has small changes such as a slimmer lower headlamps and a slightly different grille. The CX-5 is probably the best looking CUV in its class thanks to its slinky sleek sheet metal and rich looking cabin.

The top level 2018 CX-5 GT trim level as tested offers the Skyativ-G 2.5 liter engine as standard with the 6-Speed automatic transmission, leather heated seats, leather wrapped seats, and steering wheel, and shift knob; brake handle and leather look door inserts. The driver’s seat is 8-way power adjustable. Base price was $35,000. Other GT offerings include: auto dimming rearview mirror, dual zone automatic climate control, Bose premium audio system with nine speakers and intelligent key, High tech safety features include as standard: Blind Spot Monitoring, with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Adaptive Front Lighting system, LED foglights and taillights. Options as fitted to our CX-5 GT included: The Technology package featuring: Smart City Brake Support (SCBS), Smart Brake Support (SBC), Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC), Forward Obstruction Warning (FOW), High Beam Control (HBC), Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) and SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and Traffic sign recognition system. With the options at $1,600 plus $1,895 for freight and PDE, our tester came in at a total price of $38,495.

2018 Mazda CX-5 PIC 2The Interior wise the CX-5 has a typical Mazda sporty look and feel. Sharp styling, comfortable seats and a high driving position dominate, the available 40/20/40 rear seat folds at the push of a button. The clever tri- split seat allows you to seat two people and still carry a long load. Cargo capacity is 966 liters (34.1 cu. ft.) behind the rear seats and 1,852 liters (65.4 cu. ft.) with the rear seats folded. The Mazda CX-5 gets a 2,000 lb tow rating.

On the road, the sporty CX-5 impresses with its responsive 2.5 liter engine generates peak torque at 185 horsepower 4000 rpm and proves very tractable. The six-speed automatic makes great use of its engine matching shift points and delivers enjoyable and well-balanced acceleration and performance. The well designed chassis allows for precise steering with refined road manners in terms of handling. Braking and acceleration. Mazda’s proprietary G-Vectoring Control (GVC) proves to be a handy aid in mitigating any of the CX-5’s  body roll, and provides a more comfortable ride by adjusting engine torque in response to steering wheel action; a boon in CUVs with their high centre of gravity. Fuel economy is rated at 9.8 km/100L in the city and 7.9 on the highway which is not bad at all, to sum up, the CX-5 offers great styling in a compact package along with enjoyable to drive dynamics. Nothing to complain of really, in cabin storage could be improved a tad, but that’s about it. With its fuel efficient and technology advanced engines and optional All Wheel Driver the Mazda offers a lot to potential buyers. Add a high quality, expensive looking interior (Especially with the white leather seats as in our tester) and tons of features and you can’t go wrong in choosing the CX-5 as a wonderful family CUV. Highly recommended.

2018 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD MRSP Priced from $35,000. Price as tested with all options, freight and PDE $38,495.