I was provided with a 2015 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD to test drive to facilitate this review. The opinions in this post are 100% mine. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
I admit I don’t think I’ve ever driven a Mazda before, though I always like the look of them on the road. Sleek and yet practical. Right up my alley. We recently had the chance to spin around in the snazzy 2015 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD and I absolutely LOVE this car. Seriously. I’ll give you the details below but overall I just loved the feel of it on the road, it’s the perfect size for a family without being enormous, and it’s a stylin’ car to drive. So here are my favorite features.
Top 4 Highlights: 2015 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD
The 2015 Mazda CX-5 differentiates itself from the competition with enhanced performance, style and safety. See? That’s what I said above. I love how it drives, great for a family, and it’s a cool looking car. Check, check, check! Mazda has a reputation for performance and it was immediately apparent during our test drive period of the Grand Touring AWD edition. Compared to other SUVs of similar size, it’s more nimble and make better use of its power. Within the first minutes of our drive we could tell that it was really responsive and just plain fun to drive. It’s a car for people who want a little more than just utility. And who doesn’t, right? We all like a little fun and style to go with our grocery trips and soccer mom stints.
The CX-5 is Always Ready to Deliver
Compared to other small SUVs an increased level of performance was very obvious in the CX-5. The SKYACTIV 2.5 liter 184 engine and 6-speed automatic transmission delivered immediate power across a range of speeds, whether we were driving in town or on the highway. No drag, just GO! The SKYACTIV 6-speed worked exceptionally well and really set the CX-5 apart from other SUVs that we’ve driven. There was no lag going up hills or merging onto the freeway and the next gear was always ready. The SUV was fun to drive and lived up to Mazda’s reputation for building sporty vehicles while still reaching 30 MPG highway MPG (or up to 35 MPG with the 2.0 liter engine and manual transmission). And check out the interior! Totally stylish and comfortable with plenty of room for car seats and the whole 9-family-yards.
Over the Hills and Through the Woods
We live out in a pretty rural area with lots of windy roads. Driving the CX-5 around the curvy roads was really comfortable with handling that feels more like a sports car than an SUV. This may be the area where the CX-5 sets itself apart from the pack the most (and maybe my favorite feature). Other SUVs tend to “rock” around corners and feel heavy, but the Mazda feels very well-balanced when going through turns as it grips the road tightly with no top-heaviness at all. The CX-5 is very stiff but also light and potholes and speed-bumps were no big deal. Hopefully you’re getting the idea when I keep saying ‘fun to drive’! It has the roominess I love in a family SUV, but handles more like a car – and a zippy one at that! One more feature I have to mention is this ‘Distance to Empty’ display. Someone like me, running all the time on those windy roads to and from appointments, the school, soccer games and practice…you get the idea; I’m apt to run out of gas. I love knowing just how far I can push before I push too far. It’s like this car KNOWS me! 😉
So, I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about headlights but these were hard to NOT notice. The first time I drove this vehicle at night I was blown away by the Adaptive From Lighting System with B-Xenon headlights with Auto-leveling. That’s a long description for headlights but it’s really amazing to see them in action. We have a dark woodsy road very close to the neighborhood where we live and when I turned onto the road I could see details of the side of the road that I’ve never been able to see any other time. They tend to turn a dark road into an illuminated tunnel, and that’s a great feature in our area where you never know what sort of animal might run out into the road.
Safety Enhanced by Technology
Sometimes too much technology is…too much technology. But we really appreciated the blind spot monitoring and back-up camera. There are times when the human driving the car can manage everything just fine but the technology offered in the CX-5 offers another level of security. In the morning when the side mirrors are covered with dew or a little foggy, it’s nice to have the extra level of awareness provided with by blind spot monitoring and it really does work. On the turnpike a small orange indicator in the corner of the side mirror illuminates when cars are to the left or right. If you get too close there is an audible alert to let you know to stay clear. It made me wonder about the times I haven’t been aware of what’s around me. The back-up camera is another example of that “extra-check” the cautious drivers who like the safety of double or triple checking before backing out in a busy parking lot or neighborhood like ours where there can be a lot of kids running around.
The 2015 Mazda CX-5 received a 5 star overall government safety rating. In addition to the host of features that can help you avoid an accident in the first place, safety features are in place to mitigate the effects should one be unavoidable. Advanced front air bags with seat belt-use, passenger-weight and driver’s seat-position sensors come standard on the CX-5 along with front side-impact air bags and side-impact air curtains. Living in a part of the country where we experiences all four seasons, we value the All Wheel Drive. It’s practically a must-have here in Pennsylvania with snow and ice that we get especially in a winter like last year. Together with the anti-lock brakes, excellent handing and awareness technology, I felt like I’d be less likely to experience an accident in this car and it’s a great choice for a safe family vehicle.
The 2015 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD starts at $21,545 and goes up from there depending on options added. If you’re in the market for a sizable, family-friendly SUV that doesn’t feel too bulky but is still roomy, and handles like a dream on those curvy roads, definitely give the Mazda CX-5 a test drive! I LOVED this car!