View Full Version : New CX-5 Thoughts & Impressions

06-26-2012, 01:04 AM
So I've been lurking here for months, gobbling up every littl bit of info I could. I started my quest back at the end of March, took a test drive on April 13th, and waited patiently for weeks as the supply of AWD Touring models dwindled to near nothing in So Cal. I put a deposit on May 21st for a Metro Gray AWD Touring w/Bose and Tech.

I was told it would be in in "2-3 weeks". I emailed my sales rep 4 weeks later (after being told enthusiastically by the "VIP Sales Manager" that the vehicles "were enroute!") and was told that the vehicle was built in the first week of July and would arrive in the 2nd week of July. Needless to say I was disappointed.

So I searched all over (again). The supply had increased substantially in mid-late June from 3 vehicles to 15. All of the So Cal AWD Touring models were either white, gray, black or silver. I found 4 in northern CA that were the Sky Blue I had initially wanted.

After several days of phone and email negotiations, I had a deposit on a Sky Blue AWD Touring with the Bose and Tech packages.
Of course, the car was in Sacramento, and I lived in the LA area. No problem, I took the family on a little road trip. An hour and a half after entering the dealership, I was on the road with my new CX-5, in the color I wanted originally, no less! (Is there anything more terrifying than driving a new car off of the lot in an unfamiliar city?)

So some early impressions:

The Nav system:
For all those who have bashed it, I find it works very well. I am not familiar with Sacramento at all. We used the system extensively to get around. I did not attempt the voice command, and once we figured out how to input an address, we were off and running. It does seem a bit clunky to put in the city, street, number in that order, but once you get used to it (a couple of tries), putting in the address took us right there. Disclaimer: I've never had a nav in the car, so I don't know any better. But as a rank amateur, first timer, I got everywhere just fine. The "go to recent destination" got us back to our hotel just fine as well.

The Bose system seems pretty good. It recognized and played my old Nano just fine. The AM HD radio makes the "personalities" seem like different people! The sound quality is amazing for AM radio.
FM is leaps and bounds better as well. I did not notice any significant difference with the Centerpoint turned on.

The system recognized and worked well immediately with my wife's iPhone. I can not seem to set up my ancient Motorola flip phone on the Bluetooth. It's just as well, I am not a phone person.

Comfortable, spacious. The cockpit seems cavernous. Disclaimer: I am coming from a 2006 Ford Focus wagon, not exactly a spacious or luxurious vehicle. Buttons, switches, controls all seem laid out in a typical manner, no surprises.

Fit and finish is excellent. Doors seem solid, seats are comfortable, plenty of adjustment available. I'm 6'2", and I have plenty of leg-and headroom. No squeaks, buzzes, or rattles.

These HID lights are cool! Very bright, it's a kick to watch them "look" left and right as you turn. Can't wait to drive some mountain roads at night...

The big one- Driving:
I am sorry to say that even thought I put 560 miles on it over 4 days, all of it was on grid-square city streets and huge freeway stretches. The gas pedal seems particularly stiff, and took some getting used to. Now that I've had it a while, I find I am getting more accustomed to it. I used the manual mode a few times (over the Grapevine), and it functioned well, this will take some getting used to. I will be driving the Kern River canyon next weekend, and am really looking forward to giving it a workout there. More to follow.
The car is quiet, smooth, and solid feeling.

Fuel Economy:
I watched that little gauge go from 13mpg to 99.9 mpg, ad was wondering what the fuel economy would really be like. I am ecstatic to say that on the 363 miles from Sacto to LA (all freeway, even with me deliberately varying the speed from 65-75, per the manual), I got a shade over 31mpg (363 miles on 11.7 gallons). Very happy here.

I do have a few complaints however:

The speedometer. Did they take this thing of an RX-8? 160mph? It's not so much the top speed indicated, as it crams the useable space (0-80) into half of the dial. This effectively makes all of the useable space 1/2 of what is should be. The numbers indicated are 0-20-40-60-80-100-120-140-160. Most speed limits here in CA are 25-35-45-55-65-70, making the indications of speed always off of the larger actual number. It took a bit of thought and comparison to the GPS to figure out where on the dial I should be. This (IMHO) is a poor design, and should be addressed in future iterations. Feel free to disagree.

Minor quibbles with the Nav/Sound touchscreen. This thing is a fingerprint magnet! Keep in mind I've never used one before, so I don't know how this compares, but 5 days in and the thing is covered with fingerprints. I plan on putting a protective film on it as soon as I can get my hands on one.

The "Piano Black" trim molding is also a dust/fingerprint magnet. I plan on keeping a microfiber cloth in the glove box to periodically wipe it down.

The Mazda "seagull" logo on the steering wheel is a polished, highly reflective silver trim piece. At 11:30 AM traveling south on Interstate 5, it reflected the sun off of it into my eyes like a laser. I have already roughed it up a little and blackened it with a Sharpie.

If you wear polarized sunglasses, you will have trouble reading the clock in the center. No big deal, I have a watch :)

Over all, I am very impressed and very happy with my first Mazda. I can't wait to try it out in the mountains, I have a feeling I'll like it even more.

06-26-2012, 01:24 AM
Good point on the speedo, its pretty lame.

06-26-2012, 07:40 AM
I agree on the speedo. The one in my Mazda5 is immensely more usable... so I'm not sure why Mazda wouldn't make them all that nice. The 5 is night and day better/easier to read even though it still goes to 140.

I bought a screen protector but haven't put it on yet. I will do that soon, and report how it works.

06-26-2012, 08:19 AM
Is the U.S Speedo in MPH or KPH?

06-26-2012, 09:07 AM
Is the U.S Speedo in MPH or KPH?

MPH--Our signs are in miles (w/ just a few exceptions). Kph would take an adjustment for our US brains, like using a different currency.

06-26-2012, 10:55 AM
Congrats on new CX, great drive report too.

I like the speedo the way it is, well executed by Mazda. My other 2 sport sedans are the same with 80 mph straight up, just the way I prefer it, so it's easy to switch from car to car.