2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring Review | Edmunds
92 Comments


[MUSIC PLAYING] WILL KAUFMAN: I’m here
with the 2018 Mazda CX-5. It’s one of the best compact
crossovers you can buy, and Mazda didn’t even have to
pay me very much to say that. The Mazda Cx-5 was completely
redesigned in 2017, making it quieter and more
comfortable in the cabin. For 2018, there are
some minor changes. The most notable–
blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic
alert are now standard on all trim levels,
and the two and a half liter, four cylinder engine gets
cylinder deactivation, which makes it more
fuel-efficient on the freeway. But the highlights,
here– this really is the most engaging
compact crossover to drive, and I think it has the
nicest interior in the class. This is also actually a really
good looking little crossover, and you get a few niceties
around the outside. LED headlights are standard
on all trim levels, and if you opt for the
touring or grand touring you get 19 inch alloys, 17
inches on the base model. The first thing you notice
when you get into the CX-5 is just how nice
everything in here feels. There’s nice materials
and soft touch points, even the plastics
have been textured. This piano black stuff, it
really shows fingerprints. But at the same time, it’s
a much more upscale look than what you get in
some of the competitors. For 2018, even in
the base trim, you get a leather-wrapped
steering wheel and a leather-wrapped
shift knob, both of which feel really nice. This is the grand
touring trim, which means it feels a
little more luxurious. These are leather seats,
they’re really comfortable. I actually like them a lot. I have no complaints
about these seats. Seat heating and the
heated steering wheel both are really effective. The base trim gets a single
zone climate control. In touring and grand
touring you have dual zone. The system works well and you
have some pretty obviously labeled buttons that make
it easy to control manually. Even the base trim gets some
good, active safety features. You get blind spot monitoring,
rear cross traffic alert, and automatic emergency braking. Driver aids are available
as part of a package. So you can get adaptive cruise
control and lane keeping assist on any trim level. They do come standard on the
touring and grand touring. This particular car also comes
with the Bose stereo system. That’s an optional upgrade
on the touring and standard on the grand touring. It’s a really good
stereo system. This might also be one of
my favorites in this class. This vehicle also has
thoughtful small item storage. You get a pretty generous bin
right up here for small items you want easy access to. You have two generously sized
cup holders with anti-tip, and you get a good
sized center console box and pretty large
door pockets that are able to hold water bottles. Mazda’s infotainment system has
some strengths and weaknesses. When you’re at a stop, you
can use this seven inch screen as a touch screen,
but when you’re moving you can only use this knob. I like this knob-based system. The interface has been
optimized pretty nicely to take advantage of it. It’s easy to find what
you’re looking for. There’s good clicky
response here, and one of the nice
things about this is it it lets you look away from
the screen when you have to. You don’t sort of have
to focus on the screen and try and poke a button
while you’re bouncing around in a moving car. You can move the knob over
the function that you want, and if you’ve got to look
away, when you come back to it, it’s right where you’ve left it. One of the things this
system doesn’t have is Android Auto
or Apple CarPlay. It’s sort of a shame
not to see them here. You do have two USBs
up front in this center console box that will let you
access files on your phone and use it as sort of an iPod. One weird thing
about these USB ports is they don’t put out
very much voltage. So you can’t really charge
your phone from them. If you want to
charge your phone up, you’re going to have
to go to the back seat. The touring and grand touring
trims, in the back seat, you actually get two
2.1 AMP usb outletS, but it’s not super useful
for you in the front seat. On this higher trim
level, you also get heated outboard
backseats, which is nice. This backseat is maybe
a little bit smaller than what you’ll find
in some competitors. I’m sitting behind my driving
position, and you can see, I do have knee room,
but it’s not a ton. There’s a sizable toe box
under the front seats. So this is pretty comfortable. I could spend a lot
of time back here. There’s a ton of headroom. Even if you’re
pretty tall, you’re not going to run out
of headroom back here. For buyers who are worried
about fitting car seats in, there’s room back here,
but the latch points, while they’re clearly
marked, they’re sort of buried in the
seat cushions here. So you’re going to have
to dig around a little bit to get to them. The CX-5 has 30.9
cubic feet of space behind the second
row and a maximum of 59.6 cubic feet
of storage space with those seats folded down. That’s not as much as you
get in some competitors, but it’s a really usable space. There’s not much lift over
here and the load floor is nice and low. Also standard on every trim are
40-20-40 split folding seats with releases in the
trunk, and on the touring and grand touring you
get a power liftgate. When the CX-5 was
first introduced, it really set a new
dynamic standard for this class of vehicle. You know, mostly small SUVS
were just entirely utilitarian. They were boxes on wheels. That was the whole point. They weren’t all that
amazing to drive. Mazda’s approach to the
CX-5 and all of their cars is to make them
engaging on the road. That was really something
a little different in the mainstream
compact SUV market. All trim levels of the
CX-5 get a 2.5 liter, naturally-aspirated
four-cylinder engine that makes 187
horsepower and is paired with a six-speed
automatic gearbox. Now, 187 horsepower–
it’s not bad. It’s not amazing. On our test track, the
CX-5 managed a 0 to 60 run of 8.7 seconds. It’s quicker than
the base engines of a number of competitors,
but a lot of competitors also offer more powerful
upgraded engines. That also means that the
towing capacity for this car is only 2000 pounds. Compact SUVs aren’t really
a go-to towing vehicle, but considering the class best
is 3,500 pounds, if you’re actually planning on towing
something, even if it’s small, CX-5 might not be
the right vehicle. This particular model
has all wheel drive. Front wheel drive is standard. The all wheel drive model gets
26 miles per gallon combined, and if you stick with
front wheel drive, that bumps up to 28
miles per gallon. Unless you’re dealing with
bad weather, you know, you’re really worried
about road conditions, the all wheel drive
isn’t necessary here. This steering is–
it’s a little heavier than some of the
competition, just to let you know there’s
some sportiness here. It’s not uncomfortably heavy. You can get around in a
parking lot just fine, you’re never cranking on
the wheel or anything. But what’s great
about this steering is that it feels very natural. So you feel pretty connected
to what the car is doing through the steering wheel. The CX-5 is a little stiffer
than some of its competition. Suspension is tuned to
be a little more sporty. What you get with the CX-5 is
a more controlled body motio. So as you go through turns,
you can feel the chassis sort of load up and it helps you to
know how much grip you have, it makes you feel more
confident about putting the CX-5 through turns, and
it actually just makes it a lot more fun to drive. The six-speed automatic
is a pretty good companion on the road. When it’s in normal
mode, it’s obviously going to try and upshift
as much as it can for better fuel
economy, but it’ll downshift when you need power
and you can always put it in sport, which is going
to make it more aggressive about staying in a gear. Overall, it’s a
good transmission and it’s well-matched to
this engine and this car. There is a manual
mode, but there’s a little delay on response. It’s not exactly the
sportiest thing in the world. Another thing I like
a lot about the CX-5 is that, for its class, this
is a pretty quiet vehicle and that sort of
adds to the upscale feel that you get from
these great materials and the good design. Our fully loaded,
top-of-the-line model also has a heads up display
that I really like. It displays a lot
of information. There’s obviously a
speedometer up there, it shows you your adaptive
cruise control settings. It shows you the lane keeping. It also has a blind
spot monitoring display to let you know if there’s
a car on one side of you or the other. The very base trim of the
CX-5 starts at $25,000. And for that, it’s
front wheel drive. It’s the same motor
and transmission, but you’ll have leatherette
seats instead of leather, and you won’t get access
to this heads-up display and a few other options. But you can’t get the stereo. It’ll still be
really comfortable, it’ll still feel upscale. This model with everything
and all wheel drive comes in at just under $34,000. For that price, you can
get an upgraded engine from some alternative
vehicles, but none of them are going to feel as good as the
CX-5 if you’re on a windy road. None of them are going to just
be as nice to spend time in. I wish it had Android
and Apple CarPlay, I wish there was an
upgraded engine option. I wish my phone
would actually charge from these front USB ports. But, in a lot of ways, the CX-5
punches above its weight class in terms of handling,
this steering feel, the quality of the interior. Overall, Mazda’s made a
really great compact SUV. If you’d like to find out
more about the Mazda CX-5, make sure to check out
edmunds.com for our full rating and review. If you liked this
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92 thoughts on “2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring Review | Edmunds

  1. Does not seem so compact to me…But I guess in USA, even its not close to a school bus in size, it must be compact

  2. Pretty good review, but it's not "low voltage" that limits charging in the front USB ports. Also, the base model includes "a stereo", but not the Bose upgrade.

  3. The 2019 Toyota Rav 4 XSE is going to run circles around the CX-5 in sales. It’s going to be a much better deal and all around SUV…. and I own a CX-5 GT

  4. This review shows how biased these reviews sometimes are… I LOVE the Mazda CX-5, i own one myself but that navigation system / Entertainment Screen in the middle is utter garbage and at least 6 years behind the competition. I cant believe they still havent updated it. If youre looking for a CX-5 go for it but watch some other reviews too

  5. You guys have really upped your game, great review. Edmunds is fast becoming the best car hub on YouTube.

  6. edmunds just like motor trend and friends gets paid by car makers . Don't trust car review industry these guys are sell outs.
    But I do subscribe to Consumer Reports.

  7. Mazda fanboy bias review. Its now way too slow. The updates of all the sound deadening materials have made this to heavy for the 2.5L NA engine. Then there is that awful infotainment system. Others have caught up and surpassed this.

  8. I have the Grand touring in Machine Grey but I agree with most down below. This vehicle needs a minimum of 225 to 250 horsepower. It is a whole second slower than the 2016. Especially for those who got the Grand touring.. you should get at least 250 horse power or have it at least be an option you can pay for. The infotainment does not have car play or Android auto in the US Market… But there are foreign markets outside the US that Mazda has given car play to already which is irritating.

    Also the wheel size for the Grand touring should be 20 inches with a wider tire. It comes in at 19. I believe Mazda will make these changes by 2019 or 2020 but I will probably be crossshopping an Acura RDX, Dodge Durango RT, Mazda CX-9, and a Toyota Forerunner TRD Pro in 2020.

    Besides all those quirks… The car is great, fun snappy drive, and safe. Also one of the best styled crossovers on the US Market. They are selling like hotcakes.

  9. Bought one, excellent. Perfect SUV. Steal for the price. I owned a 2008 RAV, got so fed up with all the plastics and bumpy ride and "weird shifting" from the day I bought it new. So glad I finally out of that RAV! Was reliable, I will give Toyota that. I researched for 5 months, this car was a perfect fit for us. Do not be fooled,h it the gas and it sprints. I test drove the RAV, boring!

  10. Believe or not !!! I test drove a 2017 CX-5 thinking that I might trade my 2013 Ford Escape 1.6 Turbo, after driving the Mazda, I noticed the engine made more noise and it had a firmer ride. Only difference, it was a little quicker…I still have my Escape and am very satisfied with it. Peppy, agile, and can get 35 mpg hwy.

  11. no one cares about" fun to drive" when they are baying this kind of car, all they care about is can I put two car seats and a teenager in the back without eating the steering wheel. another auto review fail.

  12. It definitely looks like an entry level luxury vehicle and not just a regular vehicle. Thanks for talking about the power of the charging ports. That is important now a days, as I often need to charge my phone while running Waze and such. The accessibility of the LATCH system is another I was glad to see mentioned. Accessibility definitely varies with cars, and that can make getting a car seat in and out more time consuming. Keep it up!

  13. For the charging problem – buy a 2.1v car charger off Amazon and plug into the port under the AC controls. I bought a dual fast charger and it pulls enough to fast charge both my phones at once. It is cruddy that the usbs alone don't do this though.

  14. One of the top picks in the segment and we're seeing a ton of positive feedback from customers. Long may it continue!

  15. LOL, WTF that's pure BULL that claim you cannot charge in the front USB port, WTF is he talking about! Bulll or a outright lie!

  16. Mazda already announced that they will be updating Mazda Connect to support Android Auto and Apple CarPlay later this year with the 2018 Mazda6 being the first in the lineup to come with it straight from the factory. If I'm not mistaken you will have to pay your dealer for it though because a tech will have to actually do some finicking to ensure that everything is copacetic.

  17. Thanks for showing this car, can't wait to see you're takeaways from it. And please do take it OFF ROAD!!!

  18. Mazda needs to fucking put the 2.5 turbo in this car. they are so dumb for not putting the 2.5turbo yet.

  19. The seats and the engine are the main weakness for this suv. I find seats on the GT very hard even the mazda3 GT seats are softer and more comfortable, as for the engine it needs the turbo asap.

  20. Bought a loaded GT w/ premium package. Couldn’t be happier. Interior is tops and the machine grey metallic paint is awesome. Best riding / handling CUV. You don’t buy in this segment if you are looking for a hot rod. The engine is good as is the tranny. The stereo is very nice.

  21. @Edmunds no you do not have to go to the back seat to charge the phone there is another socket for a charge in the armrest unit. It does put out enough for fast charge.

  22. For the front USB port, you meant it doesn't provide larger amount of amp for faster charging time, right?

  23. I'm loving the CX5! don't like the tablet but low end models of all makes do it. Interior and exterior color are excellent! I want to review one some day.

  24. Its not the voltage that needed to charge your phone, its the output amp that is needed to charge your phone faster or slower. All USB ports have standard 5Volt rating on them but different amps level. In this case Mazda has its USB at a lower amps

  25. Although it already has adequate power, adding more power would potentially attract more buyers. At least give buyers an optional turbo charged engine (200+ HP).

  26. I have a 2007 Mazda 3 and it has been a great car. The CX-5 is intriguing as I look for a new car but man it has some major shortcomings (no apple car play/android auto, front USB ports don't charge the phone, could use more power-closer to 200 hp, pano sunroof would be nice).

  27. I have this vehicle. I like it a lot. The only things that could use improvement IMO are the lack of Android auto and ACP (Which are coming). The MMI boots up slower than I would like and while it's not a turtle it would be nice to have the turbo engine from the Cx9. Very solid vehicle and I'm glad I purchased it. This video is very accurate.

  28. whats with Mazda and holding off on Apple/Android carplay. Plus every Mazda model should have a Signature category Like 6 and CX9
    with that 2.5T engine. Tourring and Grand Touring are almost identical its a waste.

  29. Mazda – We need to be able to charge our phones from the front seat area. Also, no Android/Apple Car Play! Please fix these issues… A couple of years from now, my wife and I are looking to buy a Honda CRV or the Mazda CX-5… Honda’s got the edge right now. **upgrade/fix it**

  30. Best selling point should be safety features – interiors can be customized at any point of time… But no matter how good the interiors are, if the car is lacking advanced safety technology in this era, i would not buy it

  31. If you’re thinking to buy a ‘18 Cx 5, hold off until next year. News just broke that the ‘19 model will have android auto/CarPlay and a 250 hp turbo charged engine.

  32. Just got our 2018 CX5 I am in love! But I am also a 6 time Mazda owner since 2001, I am totally loyal to Mazda. I would never buy any other car brand.

  33. I own this car but 2014 FWD. At 110K lost both the instrument cluster and then the transmission (tranny problem occurred while waiting on replacement instrument cluster). At 174K, tranny replacement is starting to rattle again. Always upshifts and downshifts like crazy, but I get 28+mpg according to the computer. No Mazda zoom is right. I drive almost all easy highway miles (obviously based on my odometer) on flat terrain in central Illinois. Other than the failures, my only feature complaints are the tiny fuel tank and the bluetooth system that argues with the multiple phones I've had. If the instrument cluster and tranny failure hadn't occurred for a combined cost of $5100, I'd definitely buy again. But when the failures add the equivalent of an extra year of payments, well… hmmm.

  34. While it might be nicely balanced, it is slow as molasses. What is the point of being "driver focussed" if the "utility focussed" competitors kicks your butt every time? Fine, there is rumours of a power upgrade, but until then the CRV trumps this car.

  35. Drove this car for 2 weeks and loved it! Want to trade my Subaru in for one if they update the Apple CarPlay (it was horrendous in this model unfortunately). Also I hear 2019 will turbo it!

  36. Why is it that I can't find any reviews on the 2018 cx5 rear tail gate lights. I have a 2018 model for about 2 months now, and just found out, being waved down at night by anotherr driver at a stoplighthat the my tail lights are not working. After inspection the red light portion on the tail gate does not light up when lights are turned on. I thought u saw where the previous year models has this light active. Safety issue in my point if view, but I'm just a consumer, nobody important.

  37. Probably a wise bet in the segment . Honda CRV (2017-2019 ) has a terrible problem with oil contamination ( Gas in oil ) . Recalls are ongoing …BUT the recall is a band-aid solution only ( making the engine run very hot, or hotter quicker) . I urge Anyone shopping in this category to search "Honda CRV Gas in Oil contamination" . Honda has been less than forthright in addressing this issue . The recall for the CRV will help , BUT is in no way a fix !! The fix has to do with the Piston design, injector selection, rings and gaps. You basically need a new designed engine to avoid the problem . Oil contamination traditionally will reduce engine life SUBSTANTIALLY . Honda should have been honest with their clients

  38. Hi Will, Can you come up with a video to compare RAV4/CX-5/CRV/Rogue based on their resale value with 4 years on road of 120k KM done. ?

  39. I thought computer USB standard was 5V dc on 2 wires. So its not "really" usb on automotive buss? Maybe they are trying to prevent you from burning down you new ma ju da with a junk telephone. More reading for me – if i'm really bored.

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