2013 Mazda CX-5 (Sport, Touring, Grand Touring) review, specs, photos, features

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The new 2013 Mazda CX-5 compact crossover

The latest arrival to the Zoom-Zoom family and the first to fully incorporate the full suite of SKYACTIV®[1] technologies, the all-new 2013 Mazda CX-5 is a compact crossover SUV that offers the best highway fuel economy of any SUV sold in North America, at 35 miles per gallon (mpg), and features class-leading overall fuel economy performance versus its direct competitors.

2013 Mazda CX-5 photo2013 Mazda CX-5 photoFind more new 2013 Mazda CX-5 pictures in our 2013 Mazda CX-5 photo gallery (65 photos)

"The 2013 CX-5 is the vehicle compact SUV shoppers have been asking for - that only Mazda can build," said Jim O'Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO).

2013 Mazda CX-5 photo2013 Mazda CX-5 photo

"Poised to join a fast-growing and increasingly competitive segment, the all-new CX-5 offers more than just flash and features. Consumers also receive the performance and driving dynamics that have become synonymous with the Mazda brand. With its SKYACTIV underpinnings and best-in-class fuel economy, CX-5 proves that 'fun' needn't be sacrificed for efficiency and that 'compact' doesn't mean compromise."

2013 Mazda CX-5 photo2013 Mazda CX-5 photo

As the segment newcomer, all eyes are undoubtedly on the 2013 Madza CX-5. Not one to enter the room and simply be a wallflower, CX-5 captures your attention - and keeps it. From its sleek styling and superior handling to unprecedented fuel economy and competitive pricing, who wouldn't want to ask this compact crossover SUV for a dance?

2013 Mazda CX-5 photo2013 Mazda CX-5 photo

Only Mazda can create a vehicle that evokes such a level of passion, performance and poise. And automotive critics agree that the all-new 2013 Madza CX-5 cannot be ignored. The vehicle has already received industry awards for being the best in its segment - 2012 Drivers' Choice Award for "Best Small Utility Vehicle" from MotorWeek and "2012 Crossover of the Year" from Autobytel.com.

2013 Mazda CX-5 photo2013 Mazda CX-5 photo

All new from the ground up, from sketch book to showroom floor, CX-5 began with a philosophy. Jinbai ittai, the oneness between car and driver, is instilled within every Mazda. Regardless of purpose - from the large-on-fun, small-in-size Mazda2 to the three-row, tow-the-kids-and-the-in-laws family hauler CX-9 - all Mazdas have a distinct feeling behind the wheel. But can we make that connection even better, in a more efficient, dynamic car? Enter SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY.

Developed as part of Mazda's "Sustainable Zoom-Zoom" strategy, SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY was developed based on creating overall vehicle efficiency, and perfectly complements the car-and-driver marriage of performance and passion. Not just a new engine. Not just a new transmission. Not just a new body or a new chassis. More than a bigger bolt or a fancy fender flare that others feel qualify as "all new," CX-5 truly answers the questions of more space, more utility, better handling, better safety, increased performance and increased fuel economy. This is why the clean slate that is SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY will be the pillar of Mazda's next-generation of vehicles.

2013 Mazda CX-5 photo2013 Mazda CX-5 photo

Efficiency in Engineering

Developed solely by Mazda, SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY is not a package or trim level but an all-encompassing, deeply imbedded philosophy that obtaining more power, more torque and more miles per gallon does not mean sacrificing fuel economy, design or safety. Its first North American application was in Mazda's best-selling vehicle, the Mazda3, which was refreshed for the 2012 model year with a SKYACTIV engine and transmissions. 2013 Madza CX-5 is the first global vehicle to receive all SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY components.

Under an expansive hood lies the SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter gasoline engine. Developers of the SKYACTIV-G engine were aiming for a lightweight design that produced more from less. At 13:1, SKYACTIV-G features the world's highest compression ratio for a mass-produced car. Coupled with an all-new 4-2-1 exhaust system as well as redesigned pistons and other components, challenges associated with high compression (such as knocking and operation on 87-octane fuel) were resolved. As a result, SKYACTIV-G is 10 percent lighter, delivers more torque, improves fuel economy and lowers emissions when compared to the MZR 2.0-liter gasoline engine.

2013 Madza CX-5 delivers 155 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 150 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. Redline is achieved at 6,500 rpm. With a svelte 3,208-pound body (FWD, SKYACTIV-MT models), CX-5 is one of the lightest vehicles in the segment. With a choice of transmissions in either the SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual or SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic, a 2,000-pound towing capacity and an optional all-new all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, the 2013 CX-5 truly offers a little of everything for everyone.

The SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission (Sport models) brings the crisp, tight shifting and direct, sporty feeling of the MX-5 to the CX-5. To accomplish this, not only was the shift-lever stroke shortened by about 10 percent compared to the current six-speed manual transmission but other technologies were applied as well: a down-type system that uses the forces of gravity to ease upshifts, lock ball-type synchronizer for smooth gear changes, shift load canceller to make the lever action lighter, slide ball bearing and locating 2nd and 3rd gears on a common shaft that drastically reduces the size and weight of the unit. SKYACTIV-MT is lighter by approximately 4.4 pounds, while still achieving a quicker and precise response feel. Only Mazda would go to this level of detail on a manual transmission in an SUV, but only in the details can the depth of SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY's engineering philosophy truly be seen.

2013 Mazda CX-5 photo2013 Mazda CX-5 photo

The SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic transmission combines the best features of today's transmission technologies by integrating the key advantages of a conventional automatic transmission, Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT). At low speeds, SKYACTIV-Drive acts like a conventional torque-converter automatic, with all the benefits of easy and smooth speed control that these conventional systems offer. At higher speeds (more than five to eight mph), the torque converter is locked and the transmission operates with all the benefits of a dual clutch - fast shifts, minimal power-delivery interruption and rev-matched downshifts. Additionally, SKYACTIV-Drive is smaller and lighter, and contributes a fuel efficiency increase of approximately four to seven percent over conventional transmissions.

And because SKYACTIV-Drive is only available in a Mazda, it offers a fully manual mode, with gears selected by pushing forwards on the console-mounted lever to downshift, pulling backwards to upshift - the same way all racecars are operated. The benefits of SKYACTIV-Drive can only be found in a Mazda, and offer a marked improvement in both drivability and fuel economy versus its competitors.

Both SKYACTIV-MT and SKYACTIV-Drive were developed at the same time, and both were clean-sheet-of-paper designs, which enables Mazda to design the two units to be built on a common assembly line - the only manufacturer in the world to build manual and automatic transmissions on a common line. This leads to drastically increased efficiencies in production.

Boasting the best highway fuel economy of any SUV in North America, the 2013 Madza CX-5 offers an EPA estimated 35 mpg on FWD models and 31 mpg on AWD models. Front-wheel-drive (FWD) models equipped with the standard SKYACTIV-MT are EPA rated with an estimated fuel economy of 26 city/35 highway/29 combined mpg. When equipped with the optional SKYACTIV-Drive, CX-5 FWD models receive an mpg rating of 26 city/32 highway/29 combined. SKYACTIV-Drive is standard on AWD models, which return an estimated EPA fuel economy rating of 25 city/31 highway/28 combined mpg. The combined city and highway fuel economy of 29 mpg on FWD models and 28 mpg on AWD also are best-in-class when compared to non-hybrid competitors.

2013 Mazda CX-5 photo2013 Mazda CX-5 photo

Reliable Safety

While safety never comes second, having the peace of mind to never have to worry about it in the first place is just as important. Being a compact SUV that doesn't compromise, CX-5's SKYACTIV-Body and SKYACTIV-Chassis ensure a vehicle structure as reinforced and quiet as it is rigid and absorbs impacts.

Precise and predictable, drivers will feel secure in a vehicle that reacts as they react - steering and braking controls are linear, reacting to small inputs with small actions, large actions to large inputs. It sounds easy, yet so few manufacturers are able to get it right. This is the definition of Zoom-Zoom in its truest form, the oneness between car and driver.

Re-examining the suspension and steering systems, the lightweight construction of the SKYACTIV-Chassis includes a front strut suspension and a multi-link rear format along with an assortment of design changes. While structures and sub-assemblies may seem familiar, every individual component was examined to ensure it provides the greatest efficiency, lightest weight and appropriate levels of driver-involvement.

The SKYACTIV-Body is comprised of 61 percent high-tensile steel, creating a lighter, stronger body with superior handling. As a result, the overall structure is eight percent lighter than previous Mazda models. The all-new CX-5 also has the distinction of being the first vehicle ever to utilize 1,800MPa ultra-high tensile steel in manufacturing. Located in the front and rear bumper beams, they are 20 percent stronger and 10.6 pounds lighter than previous generation bumpers. With the all-new CX-5, from the inside out, Mazda has spared no detail.

Standard safety offerings include six airbags (front, side and full side-curtain), four wheel disk brakes, anti-lock brakes (ABS), daytime running lights (DRL), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), a Traction Control System (TCS) and a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). Also available are a Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) system, Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) with auto-leveling bi-xenon headlamps and a rear view camera with distance guide lines.

Purposeful Styling

A new five-point "signature wing" front grille commands the front fascia. Its black elongated trapezoidal pattern adds masculine depth while eagle-eyed, wraparound headlamps extend out, seemingly flirting a head-turning "hello" to passersby. This is KODO.

KODO, or "Soul of Motion," is a design language inspired by nature, which evokes how both startling beauty and immense power can be captured within a single motion. First unveiled in 2010 on the SHINARI concept car, a long-and-lean, four-door sports coupe, and then on the MINAGI concept SUV, from which the CX-5 is based, KODO exemplifies the direction of Mazda's future sheet metal strokes. An early indication with CX-5 is that all-new production offerings from Mazda will be nothing short of striking.

The 2013 Madza CX-5's sculptured body features taut, compact lines. Shapely front and rear fenders hug the sporty SUV's 17- and 19-inch rubber-and-rim pairings, projecting a wide, low-slung stance. Seventeen-inch aluminum alloy wheels outfitted with 225/65R17 Yokohama all-season tires are standard on Sport and Touring models. Grand Touring models feature 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels wrapped with 225/55R19 Toyo® A23 all-season tires.

2013 Mazda CX-5 photo2013 Mazda CX-5 photo

A sweeping swoosh line bridges the four corners with sleek, artistic expression. Topside, a pronounced crease begins at the A-pillar and darts sharply across the side panels, eventually wrapping itself around stylized tail lamps. The sharply raked A-pillar is matched by the angles of the fastback design of the C-pillar and rear window, topping an aggressive profile, which, at the same time, affords all occupants one of the widest fields of a view in the segment.

All these cuts in the sheet metal, the rounded surfaces and edgy creases, are as much for finesse as they are for function. CX-5's exterior design was developed to create optimal airflow, making the overall shape as smooth as possible. Additionally, all models are equipped with a rear spoiler sporting side fins, which aids in exceptional aerodynamic performance but also complements the aggressive stance of the vehicle.

Not a drag to drive, the Zoom-Zoom DNA of the CX-5 further adds to the benefit of improved fuel economy. With a 0.33 coefficient of drag, CX-5 is one of the most aerodynamic compact crossover SUVs currently on the market.

Redefined Interior

Just as the exterior stirs the soul, the 2013 Madza CX-5's interior sparks the senses. Persuasive and impressive, CX-5's interior grabs you - but you're the one that refuses to let go. The driver-oriented cockpit is intuitive, with a multitude of frequently-used controls within reach. There is nothing you can't do while ensconced in utmost comfort.

Black is the base color throughout the cabin with sculpted, body-embracing seating available in two colors with a choice of two cloth fabric patterns or genuine leather. The black-on-black layout is the traditional go-to color scheme for luxury, sporty and refinement. The sand-on-black layout offers a vibrant, color-contrasting option. Both interior options present the well-tailored fit-and-finish of the cabin with defined luxury and excellent comfort.

With the CX-5, there is no devil left to be found in the details as every surface and crevice is utilized to be efficient as well as stylish. The cabin features an abundance of soft materials on the door trims and upper dash panel. Piano black accents and satin chrome finishes further convey a high-end, well-crafted expression. The instrument cluster receives meter lighting that makes the gauges equally visible in the daylight as they are easy-on-the-eyes in the darkness. The three-spoke steering wheel is appealing as it is functional, featuring a tilt and telescopic column as well as steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls as standard equipment.

Long and luxury-laced, CX-5 sits on a segment-leading 106.3-inch wheelbase, seats five and offers a cabin that is undeniably flexible in order to accommodate the demands of today's active lifestyles of all work and all play. Rear cargo room is not only cavernous but clever. Not the first to offer 40/20/40-split rear seats, CX-5 simply does it better by offering the segment's only fold-flat three-piece independent seats. A single-action topside button releases the left- and right-side seats to fold down while a looped handled frees the middle seat. CX-5 shows that whatever life punts its way, it will catch.

While the driver delights in all the selfish glee of driving one of the most dynamically fun and satisfying compact crossover SUVs on the road, there is no reason passengers can't be allowed to enjoy the ride as well. Amongst the roomiest of cabins for the segment, legroom for the second row is ample at 39.3 inches with an equally generous knee clearance of 2.6 inches. The wide cavity under the front seats also offers abundant rear passenger foot space and can be used as additional cargo room to hide personal effects. Rear headroom is a roomy 39.0 inches.

Up front, both the driver and passenger can enjoy 40.1 inches of headroom (39.0 inches when equipped with a moonroof), 57.5 inches for the broadest of shoulders and 41.0 inches to stretch long limbs. Six- or eight-way power-adjustable seats are standard on all but the Sport model.

Whether battling those curvaceous roads alone or rolling through town with a full house, commanding the sound studio on wheels is easily within reach for either the driver or front passenger. An all-new 5.8-inch in-dash touch screen becomes the center of attention with intuitive phone, audio and navigation functions (when equipped). Streamlined steering wheel controls also enable a more straightforward operation of the infotainment system. Standard push-button start and an optional advanced keyless entry system get the 2013 Madza CX-5 going.

Other available features include Bluetooth® phone and audio connectivity and iPod® audio playback. USB and auxiliary jack connections are standard and located in the center console storage bin. iPod information can be accessed via the infotainment screen (when equipped).

A nine-speaker Bose® Centerpoint® Surround Sound System with AudioPilot® was jointly developed with Mazda to please even the most discerning music enthusiast. The all-new 225-watt sound system uses premium lightweight materials and components yet offers sound clarity and performance similar to larger, bulkier sound systems. CX-5 also is available with HD RadioTM Technology, a subscription-free digital AM and FM broadcast radio service which provides crystal-clear sound, on-screen information and additional programming choices via HD2 and HD3 channels.

In a first-time partnership with MNAO, a TomTom technology-based in-dash navigation system also will be offered and features premium North American maps, advanced lane guidance, intuitive voice recognition and real-time traffic. The navigation module communicates with the Sanyo display head unit in the CX-5 via a USB interface and utilizes an SD card for storing map data. The SD card feature allows consumers to input customized maps or regularly update TomTom mapping content and software via their home computer.

Purchasing Power

Luxury, performance and fuel economy needn't come at a steep cost and should be within reach to all consumers. With that in mind, the CX-5 Sport starts a competitive $20,695[2] MSRP, which is well below the segment's current sales leaders. Paired with the SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission, the entry-level Sport model is equipped with high-level standard amenities such as 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels, daytime running lights (DRL), power side view mirrors, automatic headlight shutoff as well as stylish exterior cues in a body-colored rear spoiler, shark-fin antenna, door handles and outside mirrors with turn lamps.

The comfortably-appointed cabin offers cloth seat upholstery, push-button start, power windows with a driver's side one-touch auto open/close, cruise control, a tilt and telescopic steering column, steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise control functions, air conditioning, a four-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3-compatible radio with Automatic Level Control (ALC) as well as auxiliary and USB connection ports - all standard.

2013 Madza CX-5 Sport models equipped with the optional SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic transmission start at $22,095 MSRP. When equipped with Mazda's all-new active torque-split AWD system (SKYACTIV-Drive models), the starting price is $23,345 MSRP. A Bluetooth Audio Package is available for an additional $400 MSRP and includes Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio connectivity, a 5.8-inch in-dash color information touch screen and HD Radio Technology.

Moving up to the Touring model, the Bluetooth Audio Package for Sport models becomes standard as are fog lamps, privacy glass, upgraded cloth seats, a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat, rearview camera (viewable via the 5.8-inch in-dash color monitor), an upgraded six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3-compatible radio, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, steering-wheel-mounted audio, Bluetooth and cruise control functions, a Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) system as well as a rear-seat armrest with cup holders. SKYACTIV-Drive becomes standard on Touring models, which start at $23,895 MSRP (FWD) and $25,145 MSRP (AWD).

Available options for CX-5 Touring are the Moonroof/Bose and Technology packages. The Moonroof/Bose Package ($1,130 MSRP) adds a moonroof and the 225-watt Bose Surround Sound System. The Technology Package ($1,185 MSRP) adds the TomTom technology-based in-dash navigation module, an auto-dimming mirror with Homelink®, automatic on/off bi-xenon auto-leveling headlights, a pivoting Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), rain-sensing windshield wipers and an anti-theft alarm. Sirius Satellite Radio, which includes a four-month complimentary subscription, is a stand-alone option ($525) for Touring models.

For those with a sweet tooth for even more decadent luxury items is the CX-5 Grand Touring. The 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels of the Sport and Touring models are swapped for 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels. Other premium standard features include automatic headlights, heated outside mirrors, rain-sensing windshield wipers and a moonroof. Standard cabin amenities include leather-trimmed seat upholstery, heated front seats, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat with power lumbar support, dual-zone automatic climate control, a Bose Surround Sound System and Sirius Satellite Radio. Available in either FWD or AWD configurations, the Grand Touring model starts at $27,045 and $28,295 MSRP, respectively.

A Technology Package, similar to the Touring model, also is available on the CX-5 Grand Touring. Priced at $1,325 MSRP, options include the in-dash TomTom navigation system, bi-xenon auto-leveling headlights with a pivoting Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), an auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink, an anti-theft alarm and Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry.

2013 Mazda CX-5 photo2013 Mazda CX-5 photo

A $425 MSRP trailer hitch (with harness and cover) option is available on all CX-5 models for consumers to fully utilize the vehicle's 2,000-pound towing capacity.

The all-new 2013 Mazda CX-5 compact crossover SUV is on sale now.

Find more new 2013 Mazda CX-5 pictures in our 2013 Mazda CX-5 photo gallery (65 photos)

New 2013 Mazda CX-5 specifications, photos and images courtesy of Mazda.

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