Friday, November 16, 2012

Mazda's 2013 CX-5 SUV is new and nice

Mark Glover’s AutoGlo reviews also can be seen on the business page of The Sacramento Bee’s website – via the “GALLERY: Reviews of new cars” link at

Sacramento, California – Mazda’s all-new 2013 CX-5, a sensibly-sized, five-passenger sport-utility vehicle, seems to be a nice fit for the middle-class family looking for people- and cargo-carrying room for a price that won’t break the bank.

Even my comparatively pricey Grand Touring version with front-wheel drive started at a relatively easy to swallow $27,045.  A base CX-5 starts at around $21,000.

Good mileage?  Check, at 26 miles per gallon in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.

Good cargo-carrying capacity?  Check.  I filled the tester up with boxes and was pleasantly surprised how many the CX-5 took in.

Long list of safety/security features and comfort/convenience perks?  Double-check, and they were easy to understand and use.  My tester had an optional tech package that included a “burglar alarm”.

Burglar?  Haven’t heard that applied to a motor vehicle of late, but I assumed it was capable of foiling the bad guys.

I read up on the new Mazda offering before cranking the engine and saw where Motor Trend basically liked the CX-5 but noted that the 2-liter, 155-horsepower was a bit lacking in the oomph department.

I agree.  This CX-5 was decidedly agile on city streets and dicey interstates, but I really had to put my foot in it when it came time to separate myself from the crowd or zip into a tight space in quick order.  And the engine made fairly noisy complaints when I did this. Please understand, this was not a deal-breaker, but it’s something to consider if you spend plentiful amounts of time on the highway or climbing up hills.

Mazda touts its SKYACTIV technology as an efficient blend of engine, transmission and chassis providing maximum efficiency.  Not having an engineering degree, I can only guess about the time and effort put into this.  But strictly from a seat-of-the-pants perspective, the marriage of major components seems to function well and deliver respectable fuel mileage.

It’s just not a road-burner, and my guess is that lots of folks who have grown weary of price extremes at the gas pumps are going to be just fine with that.

One slight annoyance on my tester: The lane-change warning system was a little too cautious, beeping at me when I was clear of a lagging car going 20 miles per hour slower than myself.  Considering the madness on the highways these days, erring on the side of caution might also be considered a blessing.

All in all, this CX-5 is a nicely crafted introduction from Mazda.

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