CX-5 owner giving my real opinion

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Rʌvɘŋ

Banned
Hello everyone,,

I own a 2016 Mazda CX-5 Touring, the midrange trim with the NA 2.5L in FWD.
I'm doing that write up because holy crap do people talk up the CX-5 on this subreddit. I just read a comment calling it a lifted MX-5.
We got this car because our Cobalt endured too many Northeast winters and was rusting away. My wife was insisting she wanted "a mom-mobile", despite the fact we don't have any kids and aren't planning to for a year or 2. We bought it lightly used in June 2017. We worked the price down a little because it had a scratch and a piece of trim by the passenger rear window is loose.

My favorite thing about it is the ability to lay the rear seats flat enough that an air mattress will fit for car camping. With the seat hammock covers it also contains our medium-large dog in the back seat.

The 2.5l engine is just very blah. I didn't test drive any of the other CUVs like the Rav4, Rogue, or CR-V, but my wife did. I'm assuming from reviewers that they must be VERY boring to drive, with as much praise bthey give the CX-5. The transmission is the bright spot, I'm glad to not have a droning CVT.
It is enough for her on a daily basis. I find myself fully flooring it when getting on the highway and it is so boring my wife doesn't even realize it. I could see why people would want the 2.5 with a turbo, it doesn't rev very high in the first place and it needs more low end torque.
It is "zippy", but not as zippy or as nimble feeling as my mom's 2005 Honda CR-V. If I was the one driving it every day I'd honestly pick the 13 year old Honda when it comes to driving feel, although I think that may be because of electric vs hydraulic steering, not sure what the CR-V has.

We went with the FWD because we now live in the Phoenix suburbs and never see snow, rarely rain. In the middle of the summer when accelerating hard or going up a hill the AC will temporarily cut out. Very noticeable when it is 115F. Two dealers have said it is expected behavior and doesn't have a fix, they claim it is to help with MPGs, but we'd rather have the AC. The AC is also pitiful in the summer in the back seats.
The infotainment system is ok, I'm not a huge fan of the dial systems by the shifter, I'd rather do the dash just because of years of habit. We were able to get GPS enabled for $40 from an EBay micro-USB rather than essentially pay for the $400 GPS DLC as it were. It is a much better layout than my base Mustang's dash. It doesn't show what way you'll go by where your wheels are pointed on the backup camera. It does have lots of good plugs for your phones and devices, but not a great spot to mount the phone because it has the tablet dash in the natural spot.

End of the day neither my wife or I are sold on all of the Mazda hype, although we do understand and agree it is probably better than the competition in the same price range. She wants an Alfa Romeo Stelvio or more likely a Wrangler(I've had one as a rental and hated it's driving experience/engine as well) as her next vehicle.
 
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Ottawa, Ontario
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17 Mazda 6 GT
It's funny you mention the Mazda "hype", although I'm not sure where that actually comes from.
I haven't seen much hype, outside of this forum maybe.
My son recently bought a 2017 low mileage BMW X1. I finally had a chance to drive it this week.
Now, there's probably more hype surrounding the BMW name plate (like Audi and Mercedes) than Mazdas, but I have to tell you, I was sorely unimpressed.
My 6 is a fully loaded GT with tech and premium, and it is nicer than this X1.
The X1 has a HUD, but all it displays is the speed. No sign recognition, speed limit, blind spot warnings, etc. Almost pointless.
The ergonomics are shall we say, different. Nothing feels natural, not even the signal stalk.
I guess it's the German way, but I found a lot of the controls confusing and unnecessarily complicated and gimmicky. My Mazda was better equipped, better laid out, more comfortable, rode better and had better response.
I've never driven a turbo equipped vehicle before, but if this BMW is indicative of how it responds, then I'll stick with a NA engine equipped car.
Enjoy your Mazda. It seems the grass is not always greener on the other side.
 
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2019 CX-5 Signature
In the middle of the summer when accelerating hard or going up a hill the AC will temporarily cut out. Very noticeable when it is 115F. Two dealers have said it is expected behavior and doesn't have a fix, they claim it is to help with MPGs, but we'd rather have the AC.

Well, your dealer is correct. What year vehicle did you have that didn't cut the A/C when flooring the petal?
 
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2014 mazda cx-5 touring FWD
I find my 2014 touring rather peppy considering what it is.I run a decent grade of 89 octane and "blow the carbon out" regularly.It helps to put your foot into it and run in manual up to redline occasionally and give it a good workout thru the gears both upshift and downshift.Drive it like granny and it will respond like like you are granny.
Regarding the AC cutout at full throttle, I understand that is to enable max power available when a situation requires it for safety reasons.Maybe like getting the hell out of the way of a semi or train for instance or passing a vehicle in tight situations.
 

Bird-Dog

2017 CX-5 Touring 2020 CX-5 GTR
We have a saying on my cigar forum that would transpose to cars as...

Drive what you like; like what you drive

IOW, you do your thing and I'll do mine. It's okay to have differing tastes and opinions. But mine are just as "real" as yours, even when we disagree (which apparently we do). Being enthusiastic about Mazdas is not simply hype.
 
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Southwest Ohio
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'19 CX-5 diesel
You should definitely get rid of that Mazda and find something that stirs your soul.

Curious, why did you choose to enlighten everyone of your general opinion of your cx5 5 in the "engine & transmission" section?
 
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2019 CX-5 GTR
...
Curious, why did you choose to enlighten everyone of your general opinion of your cx5 5 in the "engine & transmission" section?
@HyFlyer most likely because of this line in the post: "The 2.5l engine is just very blah. ".

I think the OP posts exists as an alternative view point, so perhaps the next person googling "2016 CX-5 performance" will land on the post and be forewarned.

I also never heard or seen any "hype" .. heck Mazda prior to this vehicle ownership rarely (if ever) even showed up in any online advertisements for the wife or I. We landed on the CX-5 because she got a chance to drive a co-workers vehicle, then we test drove them at the local dealer (pre-covid) and the 2019 GTR was a great fit for our needs. Yeah not an apples to walnuts comparison to a 2016 NA engine -- so I have no idea why I'm still typing.

If the vehicle (CX-5) bothers you, you lose sleep over the lack luster performance.. a Alfa Romeo Stelvio will definitely be a different experience -- you will want the

QUADRIFOGLIO AWD and it starts at 80k and the "Active Driver Assist" package is only a $2200 upgrade.. wow I just configured a near 95K example!

 
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sm1ke

Work In Progress..
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:
Canada
:
'18 CX-9 Signature
This probably fits better in the CX-5 General forum, so I moved it.
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
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Canada
:
'18 CX-9 Signature
I'm not sure about Mazda "hype", but the brand does have a reputation for making cars that are fun to drive. Maybe that's what you mean?

Anyway, if you're looking for something more fun than the 1st gen CX-5 in a similar price bracket, I think your options would be the 2nd gen CX-5 GT Reserve or Signature, the Acura RDX, or the RAV4 Prime (if you can find one). Or if you can stretch the budget, there's the Stelvio, Q5, X3, etc.
 

Freedom55

2020 AWD GS Montreal Canada
Every vehicle has its pros and cons. Here's my list of the past 24 years. I've had a 1997 Outback, 1999 Lexus RX300, 2004 1/2 Passat 1.8T 4Motion wagon, 2008 Impreza, 2010 Rondo V6, 2012 RAV4 Sport V6, 2014 Murano, 2017 1/2 Murano. My main concerns with my 3 weeks old CX-5 is lack of storage space and noisy engine under hard acceleration but I knew that before buying it! The Lexus had the smoothest engine but that's not a fair comparison. The RAV4 was the quickest but was loud. I'm not sold on a particular brand, I buy what I think meets my needs the most with a few regrets...that's why I changed every 2-3 years!
 

Bird-Dog

2017 CX-5 Touring 2020 CX-5 GTR
Sorry, this says it all. You'll see almost everybody here has cross shopped other vehicles before making their decision
And the funny thing is, whereas most here talk about comparisons to run-of-the-mill Toyotas, Subarus, Hondas, and maybe Hyundais/Kias or even Acuras, this time around we cross-shopped BMW, Audi, Infiniti, VW, and (ever so slightly) Lexus. I am a tried and true BMW fan from way back, but the Mazda came so close for so much less it won out. Had money been no object I'd have pushed for a 6-cylinder X3 or X5. But up against lower trim 4-cylinder Bimmers the CX-5 gives up very little, particularly in GTR or Signature livery.
 
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2014 Mazda3 S GT auto, 2008 MX5 6-speed
You are really asking for lots of dealership visits if you are thinking of any Alfa Romeo.
According to Consumer Reports, they are consistently at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to reliability.

And the X1, well, way overpriced and inferior to the CX-5.
 
I find the NA 2.5L in my 2020 CX-5 (FWD) to have plenty adequate acceleration and passing power. It's actually quicker off the line and in suburban traffic than my Audi A4 Quattro 3.0L 30-valve V-6 w/6-speed manual stick shift. Of course at 75mph highway cruising speeds and punching it with a downshift, the Audi will run off and leave it effortlessly. But there's a BIG difference in fuel economy too. The Audi is a gas guzzler at stupid-crazy highway speeds, but then it was engineered to be an Autobahn cruising machine too. The CX-5 was engineered to be a nice midrange all around grocery getter with decent seating for 4 adults or two adults up front and three kids in the back seat, and for that it does a well-rounded great job without the gas tank sucking your pocketbook dry. It's also very quiet and comfortable on highway cross county trips too, and it looks cosmopolitan enough to blend in with the other traffic and not grab the attention of the highway patrol when you're cruising 85-90 in a 75 zone out on the interstate (smirk!). I think it's a very well balanced, capable and pleasurable to drive transportation machine. It's definitely not a sports car.... and wasn't intended to be one. If you want a fire-breathing, highway dominating sports car of an SUV, look elsewhere... it wasn't meant to be that.
 
:
CX5 GT-R
Hello everyone,,

I own a 2016 Mazda CX-5 Touring, the midrange trim with the NA 2.5L in FWD.
I'm doing that write up because holy crap do people talk up the CX-5 on this subreddit. I just read a comment calling it a lifted MX-5.
We got this car because our Cobalt endured too many Northeast winters and was rusting away. My wife was insisting she wanted "a mom-mobile", despite the fact we don't have any kids and aren't planning to for a year or 2. We bought it lightly used in June 2017. We worked the price down a little because it had a scratch and a piece of trim by the passenger rear window is loose.

My favorite thing about it is the ability to lay the rear seats flat enough that an air mattress will fit for car camping. With the seat hammock covers it also contains our medium-large dog in the back seat.

The 2.5l engine is just very blah. I didn't test drive any of the other CUVs like the Rav4, Rogue, or CR-V, but my wife did. I'm assuming from reviewers that they must be VERY boring to drive, with as much praise bthey give the CX-5. The transmission is the bright spot, I'm glad to not have a droning CVT.
It is enough for her on a daily basis. I find myself fully flooring it when getting on the highway and it is so boring my wife doesn't even realize it. I could see why people would want the 2.5 with a turbo, it doesn't rev very high in the first place and it needs more low end torque.
It is "zippy", but not as zippy or as nimble feeling as my mom's 2005 Honda CR-V. If I was the one driving it every day I'd honestly pick the 13 year old Honda when it comes to driving feel, although I think that may be because of electric vs hydraulic steering, not sure what the CR-V has.

We went with the FWD because we now live in the Phoenix suburbs and never see snow, rarely rain. In the middle of the summer when accelerating hard or going up a hill the AC will temporarily cut out. Very noticeable when it is 115F. Two dealers have said it is expected behavior and doesn't have a fix, they claim it is to help with MPGs, but we'd rather have the AC. The AC is also pitiful in the summer in the back seats.
The infotainment system is ok, I'm not a huge fan of the dial systems by the shifter, I'd rather do the dash just because of years of habit. We were able to get GPS enabled for $40 from an EBay micro-USB rather than essentially pay for the $400 GPS DLC as it were. It is a much better layout than my base Mustang's dash. It doesn't show what way you'll go by where your wheels are pointed on the backup camera. It does have lots of good plugs for your phones and devices, but not a great spot to mount the phone because it has the tablet dash in the natural spot.

End of the day neither my wife or I are sold on all of the Mazda hype, although we do understand and agree it is probably better than the competition in the same price range. She wants an Alfa Romeo Stelvio or more likely a Wrangler(I've had one as a rental and hated it's driving experience/engine as well) as her next vehicle.
I had a 2015 awd 2.5 and agree with most of your sentiment. I now have a 2019 turbo and it's legit kindof fun. 0-60 in 5.8 per car and driver, and it's not the cheap tin can my 2015 was. They literally made all the changes I've wanted and talked about over my years here, and stuffed it into the GTR and Sig trims. Very pleased.
 
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2016.5 CX-5 GT AWD titanium/black 2016 Miata Club ST MT white
I own a 2016 Mazda CX-5 Touring, the midrange trim with the NA 2.5L in FWD.
I'm doing that write up because holy crap do people talk up the CX-5 on this subreddit.

I just read a comment calling it a lifted MX-5.

Someone called the CX a lifted MX? Seriously? I own both and believe me, that's not an accurate depiction. Not even close.
 
Last edited:

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
:
Canada
:
'18 CX-9 Signature
Someone called the CX a lifted MX? Seriously? I own both and believe me, that's not an accurate depiction. Not even close.

Lol, I guess some of us are a little more "enthusiastic" about the CX-5 and it's capabilities than others :)
 
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