Vehicle Spotlight: The 2017 Mazda CX-5

The Best of Both Worlds

Do you ever wonder what might happen if a well-appointed, sensibly-priced CUV had a lusty roll in the hay with a snappy Japanese sports car? Well, wonder no more and meet the lovechild: the all-new 2017 Mazda CX-5.

Because it pairs the useful qualifications of a compact crossover with the sport-minded steering and handling of a much more road-ready ride, the CX-5 truly offers the best of both worlds. And it comes wrapped up in an affordable, fuel-minded package. “Fun to drive” usually loses out to “sensible decision” when it comes to smaller SUVs. However, Mazda aims to shatter that dichotomy, offering both simultaneously—the confluence of fun and practicality becoming the brand’s calling card.

The CX-5 wildly outclasses competitors like the CR-V and RAV4 in steering and drivability, no question. It owes this to Mazda’s G-Vectoring control. G-Vectoring is a science that—in the very simplest of definitions—front loads the moving weight of the vehicle, causing a slight deceleration that allows the vehicle to lean into curves more smoothly. Mazda’s overarching philosophy preaches about the unification of car and driver as one. And that is embodied nowhere more acutely than the handling of newer models like the CX-5. This quality helps it gain ground in ho-hum categories like cargo room or rear seat angles.

A 2.5L inline 4-cylinder powers the CX-5 (the lone engine choice for now, though a diesel option is in the works), making 187 horsepower and getting 27 mpg. It has a six-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive is available. It possesses a well appointed interior, on par with luxury crossovers, with high-quality materials and a 7” infotainment screen. But unlike those luxury class competitors, the 2017 Mazda CX-5 can be had for less than $25,000 and is nicely equipped for around $32,000.

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