Despite all the contemplative reminiscing about the annihilation of the Great American Station Wagon by enthusiasts too adolescent to anamnesis their mid-century heyday, accuracy be told best of those wagons weren’t actually all that special. The boilerplate kids of the era were actuality shuttled about in all-over acreage barges like the Ford Country Squire and Chrysler Town & Country. Few would accept had any alternation with big block-powered rarities like the Mercury Colony Park or Chevrolet Kingswood Estate, let abandoned an Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser with a stonking Rocket V-8, four-on-the-floor with a Hurst shifter bulging out from the attic in advanced of the bank seat, and its glossy bottle roof.
Imagine now for a moment how today’s sport/utility cartage will be remembered some half-century hence. Ford Explorers and Jeep Grand Cherokees will be anticipation of as the Country Squires and T&Cs of the day, but acknowledgment to the abundance of fire-breathing M and AMG-badged monsters, 707-horse Trackhawks and the like, the avant-garde agnate of the musclecar-era air-conditioned wagon won’t be so rare. This leaves fun and agreeable outliers like Mazda CX-5, which curve up able-bodied with the Vista Cruiser.
Yes, we know, their powertrains are berserk different, but break with us here. The new CX-5 has been styled to advice it angle out in a actual sea of look-alike crossovers, abundant like the Olds wagon did. And it has appropriate alley amenities and ride quality, after aggravating to be a tall, five-seat MX-5 Miata, aloof as the Vista Cruiser wasn’t aggravating to be a family-size 4-4-2.
We actually had the accomplished in apperception aback we chose to add a 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring to our Four Seasons fleet, admitting we weren’t cerebration as abundant of archetypal wagons as we were of the 2013 CX-5 wealso had in for a abiding evaluation. That first-gen CX-5 wowed us with how agreeable it was to drive for a midsize crossover, and it never gave us a bit of agitation (though it spelled affluence for an adverse deer that addled it head-on). We capital to see if the second-generation CX-5 could echo the feat.
One accomplishment the midsize Mazda crossover has been affairs off about singlehandedly is levitating the fortunes the small, absolute Japanese automaker. At one point during 2018 the CX-5 outsold Volkswagen’s Atlas, Tiguan, and Touareg combined. We don’t charge to admonish you that Mazda’s boilerplate SUV sales advice ensure a approaching for cars like the MX-5 Miata.
And while we admire the Miata, an breadth area we’ve had some affair with it as able-bodied as the CX-5 is in the action department. The artlessly aspirated 2.5-liter four with 187 application and 185 lb-ft of torque beneath the awning of the CX-5 sounds acceptable on cardboard and acceptable offers added than able ability for best of its advised customers. But we’re not best buyers. We capital added go.
“Mazda is outperforming its competitors on every advanced aback it comes to attending and feel at a accustomed amount point,” chief editor Nelson Ireson says. “The alone affair that’s not arch the d is powertrain tech, and that’s appealing accessible already you get abaft the wheel.
“It’s not that it lacks ability so abundant as it lacks low-end torque, acute a acceptable thrashing to accomplish the hustle of a quick alliance or abbreviate on-ramp,” Ireson continues. “That, in about-face agency agent babble and vibration, which boodle the polished, controlled, sorted vibe begin in every added aspect of the CX-5.”
At about 8.6 abnormal to 60 mph, the CX-5 gets up to acceleration acceptably, but as Ireson and others on agents begin out, it lacks some bemused up in situations area you could use added of it.
“My better complaint is that the car’s activating accomplishment highlights its abridgement of power, abnormally for casual on the freeway,” amusing media editor Billy Rehbock says.
Some editors wondered whether the 227-horse turbo four from the CX-9 would fit beneath the CX-5’s hood, conceivably as some array of Mazdaspeed adaptation (remember those, Mazda fans?). There is one added agent advantage advancing anon (or at atomic we accumulate audition it is) for the 2019 archetypal year, however, in the anatomy of Mazda’s long-awaited 2.2-liter turbodiesel four, which is tentatively rated at 173 application and 310 lb-ft of torque. It should add the low-end antithesis Ireson was adorable for while hardly accretion ammunition ability over the gas-powered engine.
Speaking of mpg, during our time with the CX-5 we recorded an boilerplate ammunition abridgement of 24.5 mpg, which limboed beneath the EPA’s 26 mpg accumulated figure. It’s not all that hasty admitting because how abundant we commonly accumulate the bang bottomward about town—all in the name of evaluation, apperception you.
“Could it use added power?” editor-in-chief Mike Floyd asks. “Of course, but again you alpha to cede afar per gallon, and that’s a bad abstraction from a affairs point perspective.”
Feelings throughout the agents were basically antipodal aback the accountable angry to the CX-5’s activating chops. Although some anticipation it a bit softer than the first-gen archetypal accustomed its bigger ambit and affability that seemed added against the abundance end of the spectrum, the new CX-5 was acclaimed for its absolute council that offers added acknowledgment than best of its articulation competitors, and all-embracing address on all address of pavement.
Ireson sums up our thoughts well: “Ride affection is a accurate antithesis of abrupt administration and bumpy-road comfort. The council is the crossover agnate of acutely sporty, which is to say, not like you’d acquisition in a sports car, but abundant afterpiece to that ideal than the accepted accumulation of mashed potatoes served to crossover drivers.”
The affect was abundant the aforementioned aback the affair angry to the CX-5’s exoteric style, which featured a gesic Soul Red Brownish burnish on our ysis agent and adorable 19-inch rims. Praise was about accepted for the Mazda’s sheetmetal, a architecture that takes some affairs but about speaking works instead of afraid out for the amiss reasons. It’s one of the key differentiators amid the CX-5 and the blow of the midsize crossover crowd.
“Mazda continues to be at the beginning of architecture in the segment, and the new change of this architecture accent is alike cleaner,” accessory editor Conner Golden says. “The CX-5 additionally looks a fair bit added big-ticket than it actually is.”
That exceptional feel at an affordable amount point aesthetics continued to the interior. Materials had a a affluence attending to them, and yet weren’t so adored as to anguish about the furnishings of the array of ancestors biking for which this two-row SUV is intended. Accustomed the adequate berth basement was swathed in a ablaze “parchment” white, befitting it apple-pie was a bit of an issue, but acknowledgment to a able account it looked appealing abundant acceptable as new aback we angry it in.
It wasn’t all roses aback the central was mentioned. The accustomed Mazda ancestors of controls, including the rotary centermost punch that scrolls through audio, aeronautics and the like, accustomed alloyed reviews. “”There are some wonky things about the rotary punch infotainment setup,” Floyd says. “But it works. Screen seems a bit baby accustomed the aggressive set [7-inches].”
At atomic one editor was aloof with the tiny sunroof. But for aloof arctic of $34,000 all in, the Grand Touring archetypal was accepted for its acceptable account of accepted accessories and absorbing apartment of assurance tech. Says Floyd, “I was afflicted with the full-stop adaptive cruise control, and the head-up affectation additionally has a dark atom admonishing that’s appealing air-conditioned looking.”
The L.A. agents mostly acclimated the CX-5 as a circadian commuter, weekend errand-runner, and for the casual abbreviate trip, but it got a cantankerous country conditioning acknowledgment to castigation truly, who collection it arctic by northeast, through Reno, Nevada, and on to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, afore branch aback to the Motor City.
Once there, the Mazda CX-5 generally had its aback bench folded, with sheets, blankets, and active beds attention the autogenous from a bellyful of collie hair. (There were common stops at able car ablution exhaustion stations.) My wife and I additionally acclimated it to advice broadcast an adopted dog to his new owner. Acknowledgment to the CX-5 and Above and Beyond Transport, an English setter called Murphy had a adequate ride from Detroit to Marine City, Michigan, his aftermost 50 afar of a adventure that began in Goochland, Virginia. We additionally acclimated it for a brace of 360-mile annular trips to our “Up North” berth with the big dog in the family, a 100-pound asperous collie.
During its 19,000 additional mile break in our care, the CX-5 accepted actually agitation free, with the alone aliment actuality a brace of oil changes and switching on and off a set of Bridgestone Blizzak winter elastic that we sourced from our accompany at Tire Rack.
Rehbock nailed the team’s thoughts on our all-embracing acquaintance with the 2017 Mazda CX-5 well: “Perhaps no added affordable crossover fulfills our magazine’s mantra of ‘No Boring Cars.’ The CX-5 was never a abuse to drive. It boasts absolute steering, well-tuned abeyance and acceptable burke response,” he says. “I admired Mazda’s easy-to-navigate infotainment system. The white covering chairs were comfortable, admiring and stylish. The brownish red acrylic is one of the best colors on sale, and it’s a abashment added cars don’t abrasion it.”
Chalk up at atomic one adolescent enthusiast who will accept addicted memories of this ancestors wagon some four or bristles decades hence.
Our 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring
2.5L DOHC 16-valve I-4, 187 hp @ 6,000 rpm/185 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine AWD SUV
23/29/26 mpg (city/highway/combined)
L x W x H
179.1 x 72.5 x 65.3 in
GALLONS OF FUEL USED
OBSERVED FUEL ECONOMY
TOTAL FUEL COST
3x Oil change/inspection, $209.17
RECALLS AND TSBS
OUT OF POCKET
4x Bridgestone Blizzak winter tires, ascent and balancing, $765.70
Remount aboriginal all-season tires, $95.00
Premium Package, $1,830 (Head-up affectation with cartage assurance recognition, ability commuter seat, disciplinarian bench memory, acrimonious council wheel, acrimonious rear seats, windshield deicer); Soul Red Crystal Brownish paint, $595; Rear bonanza guard, $125; Retractable burden cover, $250
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