Mazda’s 2017 CX-5 Has More Mass, But A Lot More Class [Review]

Mazda’s 2017 CX-5 is now in its second generation. Has it retained the DNA that made the first one successful?

The 2013 Mazda CX-5 was the first in Mazda’s lineup to feature its full array of SkyActiv technologies. It offered a view of the brand’s future, focusing on optimum fuel economy, while at the same time striving to provide dynamic handling and performance attributes. “SkyActiv Technology” is not a package or trim level. Rather, it’s a comprehensive, deeply-embedded philosophy. At its core is the notion that pursuing power and torque does not necessarily mean sacrificing fuel economy, design or safety. Now, the 2017 CX-5 carries the torch from the previous model.

2017 CX-5
The Mazda CX-5’s exterior has been significantly redesigned for 2017. [Photo: Mazda]


The 2017 CX-5 is all new, with a significantly re-engineered body and chassis. New added features include: G-Vectoring Control, a windshield-projected Active Driving Display, full speed Adaptive Cruise Control, two-stage reclining rear seats, heated driver and front passenger seats, rear A/C vents, and two additional USB ports for a total of four. If those aren’t enough gadgets for you, options include a heated steering wheel, power liftgate, and heated outboard rear seats.

Trim levels to choose from include the base Sport, starting at $24,045, Touring, and Grand Touring.

The 2017 CX-5 Touring may be ordered with the Preferred Equipment Package. That includes a Bose 10-speaker audio system, a power moonroof, power liftgate, navigation, auto-dimming mirrors with Homelink and automatic headlights. Also available for the Touring is the i-ACTIVSENSE Package, with High Beam Control, Lane-Departure Warning, Lane-Keep Assist, Mazda Radar Cruise Control and Smart Brake Support. Unfortunately on the Touring trim, you can have one package or the other, but not both.

The Grand Touring further builds on the Touring’s options. It gets leather seats, 19-inch alloy wheels, an eight-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar support, SiriusXM satellite radio, rain-sensing wipers and heated exterior mirrors. Available is the Premium Package with an Adaptive Front-lighting system, LED lights all around, and a windshield-projected Active Driving Display with Traffic Sign Recognition, a driver’s memory seat linked to the position of the Active Driving Display, a power front passenger seat, heated rear outboard seats, heated steering wheel and windshield wiper de-icer.

Exclusively powering all trim levels is the transversely-mounted SkyActiv 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine. The 2.0-liter engine in the previous generation Sport model has been dropped. With a high 13:1 compression ratio, it makes 187 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 185 lbs.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm. The 2017 CX-5’s sole engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. To get the power to the ground on this Grand Touring is Mazda’s iActive all-wheel drive system. As Mazda’s goal with the SkyActiv engine was efficiency, the CX-5 is PZEV emissions rated in all 50 states.

The CX-5’s suspension consists of MacPherson struts up front with coil springs, twin-tube shock absorbers and stabilizer bar up front. Around the back, you get multi-link suspension with coil springs, twin-tube shock absorbers and stabilizer bar.

My test 2017 CX-5 featured Mazda’s signature Soul Red paint scheme and a black and parchment-toned interior. The base price was set at $30,695, while options and the Delivery and Processing fee bumped the final tally to $34,380.

2017 CX-5
The new CX-5 interior has been updated for the 2017 model. [Photo: Mazda]


Gadget highlights on this CX-5 include: A windshield-projected Active Driving Display with Traffic Sign Recognition, the MazdaConnect infotainment system with a 7-inch, full-color touchscreen display, a standard rearview camera, Adaptive Cruise Control with close proximity warning, and a Bose 10-speaker surround sound system with Centerpoint 2 and AudioPilot 2.

Safety and security features include an engine immobilizer anti-theft system,  Smart City Brake Support, Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist; Smart Brake Support, automatic high beam control, and Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

The basic design form of the 2017 CX-5 is not at all unlike that exhibited by both the former CX-7 and current CX-9 – it remains as the Baby Bear in terms of size in the fictional Bear family. The CX-5 leads off with Mazda’s familiar, but now more aggressive, signature trapezoidal grille flanked by jewel-like headlamps that wrap around into the suggested fenders with pronounced fender wells. A lower air intake below the grille is flanked by inset, integrated fog lamps. The more smoothly sculpted hood slopes into the sharply raked windshield that meets the roof, which arches gently down and rearward. The nose is now more shark-like. The tail of the CX-5 showcases an inward pinched greenhouse, with an integrated roof spoiler lip above the rear sloping backlight. The wraparound tail lamps ride just below the rear hatch glass and chiseled rear fascia that sports an inset diffuser encompassing the dual exhaust outlets. In profile, the CX-5 displays a rear rising beltline and shoulder, along with a carved upper rocker character line.

Despite its similarity in basic form to its larger stablemate, the CX-5 was developed from the ground up, from design sketches to production. It still begins with Mazda’s familiar philosophy Jinba Ittai, which translates as a oneness between vehicle and driver – an inherent trait throughout the entire Mazda line. Complimenting that is the KODO design language, a term inspired by nature and which translates to English as “Soul of Motion”.

Moving to the inside, the interior of the 2017 CX-5 delivers an improved, driver-oriented cockpit. Gauges and switchgear are well placed for user friendliness. The in-dash touch screen enables intuitive phone, audio and navigation functions (when so equipped). Steering wheel controls allow for a straightforward operation of the infotainment system. Push-button start is standard with an optional advanced keyless entry system. USB and auxiliary jack connections are standard, located in the center console storage bin. Bluetooth connectivity is also standard. iPod information may be accessed via the infotainment screen.
As far as safety features are concerned, there are six airbags (front, side and full side-curtain), Dynamic Stability Control, a Traction Control System and a tire pressure monitoring system. Also available is a Blind Spot Monitoring system, Adaptive headlights with auto-leveling bi-xenon lamps and a rear view camera with graphic overlaid distance guidelines.

2017 CX-5
[Photo: Arv Voss]


The 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD steps up to the plate loaded with standard features and equipment and serves well as an ideally-sized crossover. It’s compact and highly maneuverable. It is also reasonably fuel-efficient and is definitely priced right, considering its most impressive content.
The ride quality is comfortable and the handling characteristics lean toward the sporty side of the equation. Acceleration from the 2.5-liter engine on the other hand could favorably benefit from forced induction, but it has a reasonable amount of grunt. Towing capacity is rated at 2,000 pounds.

In the final scheme of things, Mazda’s 2017 CX-5 still merits the Zoom-Zoom mantra, and remains a pleasing and functional member of their stable, providing yet another sensible choice for the consumer seeking a reliable and versatile family transport for those with active lifestyles.

While it’s not designed as a mud-plugging off-roader, check out the video below to see how the 2017 CX-5 performs when TFLcar takes it up Gold Mine Hill. If you like that video, make sure to subscribe to The Fast Lane Car‘s YouTube channel. Check back to for more news, views, and reviews!

Price and Performance: 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD

Base MSRP: $24,045
Price as Tested: $34,380
Engine: 2.5-liter SkyActiv-G DOHC, direct-injected inline-four
Horsepower: 187 hp @ 5,700 RPM
Torque: 185 lbs.-ft. @ 4,000 RPM
Transmission: Six-speed automatic transmission w/ Sport Mode
0-60: 7.8 seconds
Suspension: Front: Independent, MacPherson struts w/ twin-tube shocks and stabilizer bar
Rear: Independent, multi-link w/ twin-tube shocks and stabilizer bar
Brakes: Power-assisted diagonal hydraulic four wheel discs (vented front) w/ ABS, EBD, BA, DSC and TCS
Tires: Toyo A36 P225/55/R19 99V
Fuel capacity: 15.3 gallons
Fuel economy (EPA): 23 MPG City/29 MPG Highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.33


Wheelbase: 106.2 inches
Length:  179.1 inches
Width: 72.5 inches
Height:  66.1 inches (w/ shark fin antenna)
Turning Circle: 38.7 feet
Curb Weight: 3,655 pounds