Her + His Car Reviews

2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD

There are two sides to everything, right? To keep our car reviews innovative and interesting, we provide an animated, insightful, detailed and sometimes uncouth two points of view on the same car from - Her + His perspectives.

Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate, women-drivers.com
His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com 

$30,945 $26,945 base price - and front wheel driver. $30,945 for the all wheel drive Grand Touring version.
With a rugged 2.5 liter four cylinder engine and a 6 speed automatic transmission, this new 2018 CX-5 was a great handler for our frozen tundra. It is simply a joy to drive and is responsive to the touch - especially in inclement weather. Aces for Mazda with this new mode. Need I say more? The CX-5 is a terrific car to drive, even in deep snow. It's as stable a can be, corners quickly, and acceleration can be had by the barrels-full by just a touch of the pedal. Handling is never an issue--this one is among the top products in its market segment for handling and cornering. Braking and steering are more than adequate, too.
Fuel Economy
25 city miles and 31 highway. The fuel economy rating is 25 city, 31 highway and 28 combined, which makes the CX-5 quite competitive with others. But I found it tough to hit those numbers in everyday driving. They fell a mile or two per gallon lower than those ratings. But we will say that the use of a cylinder deactivation system did improve the mileage a bit over last year's CX-5.
The Vehicle
The 2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD is a strapping, powerful and sturdy compact SUV that is a standout. Mazda, the best little brand around, has upgraded some aspects to make this model a competitive leader in its class.

What Mazda delivers in this compact - which doesn't really feel like a compact at all - is dazzling handling, performance and quality. Remove the logo and you are certain you are driving a luxurious upscale brand.

What we really like are two key aspects, the quietness of the drive - the cabin is shhhhhhhh-quiet all around. Also, it's a roomy car with two rows of comfortable seating for all five passengers. But not so roomy in the cargo areas that we will go 'gaga' about that. This model has 31 cubic feel of space behind the rear seats; when they are folded, you will max out at about 60 cubic feet.

Comes with a spare tire.
The one thing that is a constant with any Mazda product is that it is built by a company which understands who they are, who they represent, and what that means to consumers. And the CX-5 personifies all that. Styling is one of a kind. The interior looks like its hand-crafted. Fit and finish is absolutely impeccable. And the CX-5 is for people who want to drive, not be driven. If you are looking for a sporty crossover that is easy to manage in an urban area, this is the one for you. If you want something boxy, stolid, marshmallowy---well, you better look elsewhere.

Since the CX-5 was heavily refreshed during the last model year, you won't find a lot of change for 2018. extensively redesigned. New for this sales year are such standard features as a leather-wrapped steering wheel and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. Also new is cylinder-deactivation technology intended to improve fuel economy slightly. The 2.5-liter engine automatically shuts down the two outside cylinders at cruising speeds to maximize efficiency. Last year's Grand Select trim level has been discontinued for 2018.
LED foglights & tailights, Safety trunk release, 911 Automatic Emergency Notification in the event of an accident. Rain-sensing Wipers, High Beam Control, Lane Departure Warning, Accidental Lane Drift.

Smart City Brake Support, Brake Assist, Forward Collision Warning, Cross Traffic Alert, Blind Sport Monitoring.

On our test vehicle is a smart package with a display of traffic sign recognition [stop sign, yield sing, traffic light] to let you know your approaching; also the speed limit.
Every 2018 Mazda CX-5 Sport, Touring, or Grand Touring - comes standard with the latest and most reliable safety features. From keyless entry, to speed-sensitive power door locks, to Brake Assist, the CX-5 leaves no stone unturned.

Features include:
  • LED Headlights: The CX-5?s LED headlights consume very little energy, while illuminating the roads ahead with a warmer and brighter light than halogen bulbs and HIDs can provide.
  • Rearview Camera: Accessible via the standard 7-inch display, the rearview camera powers on when the CX-5 is put into Reverse. This helpful feature lets you grab tight parking spaces with ease.
  • Smart City Brake Support: On busy streets, Smart City Brake Support watches out for probable frontal collisions, and can apply the brakes if you're unable to do so in time.
  • E911: Included as part of the MAZDA CONNECT™ Infotainment System, the E911 automatic emergency notification can summon assistance should an accident occur.
You can also order the I-Activesense safety package, if you buy either the Touring or Grand Touring versions. The package includes: High Beam Control which alternates between low and high beams according to road and traffic conditions; Lane Departure Warning which works in tandem with Lane Keep Assist. This system notifies you of accidental lane drift at speeds of 37 miles per hour or faster; and rain-sensing wipers which automatically adjust their intermittent frequencies to suit heavy rains or light drizzles.
On our model we had push button start, leather upholstery with extended leg cushions, heated seats, heated steering wheel, and in our frozen ice week - we loved the heated exterior mirrors. Bluetooth, a Bose 10 speaker sound system, four (4) USB ports, and a 7" touchscreen infotainment system. Also included are a Rearview Camera, Satellite radio, HD radio, AM/FM, Satellite radio, Navigation. A Moon roof surrounded by internal grab handles at each window.

The drawback to the tech package on this Mazda is that it cannot connect with Android Auto and Apple Car Play, like the Honda CR-V can, for example.

Cargo organization is a cinch to maneuver with the easy release on either rear seat with collapses to 40/20/40 spilt rear seats; the seats also fold and recline.
You can choose your Mazda CX-5 from three versions, Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. All models have front-wheel drive with all-wheel drive available as an option. There are no optional engines you can order--just the 2.5 liter, 187 horsepower four cylinder. We will say that some other automotive testers found this engine to be somewhat slow, we beg to differ. The transmission is a six speed automatic unit on all models.

The standard equipment list is pretty generous. Each CX-5 has 17-inch wheels, LED headlights, a 7-inch touchscreen, a rearview camera, a 40/20/40-split rear seats (fold and recline), a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a four-speaker sound system, Bluetooth, a four-speaker stereo and two USB ports. Low-speed forward collision warning and mitigation and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert are also included.

The top of the line Grand Touring, which we had, also adds leather upholstery, driver-seat memory settings, a power-adjustable passenger seat, satellite radio, and LED fog lights and taillights. The available Grand Touring Premium package includes a head-up display with traffic sign recognition, a heated steering wheel, heated second-row outboard seats and windshield wiper de-icer.
Aesthetics & Styling
Supported by 19" wheels, this favorite compact SUV is a best seller. Mazda does it again by keeping an edge over the others - mainly Honda, Toyota and Kia. They add a sophistication in detail on the inside specifications, and the outside silhouette is bold, attractive and powerful. Even the air vents are designed well. This model has two (2) sets of LATCH connectors for installing car seats.

Which comes first - more dealers and sales would increase? Or, sales increase and the demand for dealerships will elevate. We aren't the trend mappers, but we sure know a great car when we drive I, see it and sense it.
The CX-5 comes across as a muscular, athletic crossover, thanks to its curvaceous lines and well-placed, attention grabbing details along its flanks. Its about as far away from boxy and boring as you will possibly get on a crossover. Inside, Mazda CX-5 uses high quality, rich looking materials throughout the interior. Everything is tastefully done, and there are chrome and aluminum accents here and there. Our only problem was the Navigation system. There are symbols that are hard to decipher here and there, and it takes a few more minutes to input information because of the way the system operates.
3 Years/36,000 Miles Bumper to Bumper. Not too competitive. For a brand with very good owner satisfaction, this is an area Mazda could creep up to be more competitive. The car's bumper to bumper warranty is 3 years or 36,000 miles.