It was a pleasure testing out the all-new 2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD. We had this vehicle a little over a week ago on a weekend getaway and what a memorable experience.
We are no strangers to the Mazda family, previously we had three other Mazda’s starting with the top of the line CX-9 Grand Touring, MX-5 Miata Club and the Mazda6 Grand Touring, and with each new Mazda we drive, we always find ourselves getting excited to see what’s new and different with each model.
This time around we were all set and ready to go on a nice little road trip from Dallas to San Antonio for a christening and family time! To be honest, after a rough week we were totally looking forward to hitting I-35 South in the CX-5.
As we packed the car and got started on our way we first noticed how much space and storage we had. Now the Mazda CX-5 is a compact crossover but we are a small family of three on a weekend getaway so it was perfect for us.
For those with a larger family and older children, you might want to take a look at our review on the CX-9.
Whether traveling the local streets of DFW or on the open road the CX-5 felt sophisticated and well-built, quietly soaking up bumps and rough pavement while providing a vibrant, athletic, yet comfortable ride.
Our vehicle came equipped with i-ACTIV AWD which helps predict when all-wheel drive might be needed. This system is very fluid and seamlessly integrated and therefore might be engaged without you ever knowing and that’s how Mazda designed it to work.
Fortunately, we had awesome driving conditions however, it is good to know that you have advanced technology like i-ACTIV AWD monitoring everything from outside temperature to braking patterns keeping you safe on the road.
The 2018 Mazda CX-5 felt wide-awake, engaging and fun to drive; even for my wife and 5 year old, it made our 4 + hour drive seem like a lot less because the vehicle was so comfortable. Honestly, I could have easily driven another 4 hours with no problem at all.
The CX-5 had great fuel efficiency; we were able to squeeze about 24 miles per gallon around town and 30 miles per gallon on the highway. I believe we only filled up once on the road and that got us to our destination and part of the way back.
At one point during our weekend we had some additional family members riding with us and the Mazda CX-5 easily accommodated two adults in the front and two in the back with a car seat.
The legroom was very good for a compact crossover SUV and the indented roofline provided great headroom.
A few other things that I noticed about the 2018 Mazda CX-5, was that the cabin was very quiet on the freeway, the Bose 10-speaker audio sound system was awesome and could easily drown out any road noise but my point is, even without a superior sound system, Mazda crafted a superbly quiet cabin on and off the highway.
Another cool feature is the Active Driving Display with traffic sign recognition. It reminds me of being in the cockpit of an interactive video game. I love seeing relevant information at a glance without having to shift my focus away from the road.
The Advanced Blind-Spot Monitoring was spot on along with the 7″ full-color touchscreen display, however, I think that the touchscreen would be even cooler if it retracted into the dash.
There were only two real issues that I had with the CX-5, first, was the Mazda Navigation System. It just did not seem that accurate because there were several times when we were clearly going in the right direction, it kept telling us to exit the highway or to go another way.
The second issue was that we could not take advantage of the Bluetooth audio capabilities because for some reason we could not sync our iPod to the MAZDA CONNECT Infotainment system via Bluetooth and therefore had to use the USB cord to listen to the iPod.
The 2018 Mazda CX-5 comes in three trim levels, Sport, Touring and Grand Touring, front wheel drive is standard, AWD is optional. We had the pleasure of driving the Grand Touring in AWD priced slightly north of 29k with the i-ACTIV AWD package.
Overall, the Mazda CX-5 is a fantastic vehicle that has a lot to offer, including great performance, reliable safety and a wide range of convenience features.
Fun to drive / engaging / crisp steering
Good leg room/headroom
Great fuel economy
What’s not so great:
No Apple Car Play
The navigation system was a bit off (could have been user error)
Other notable features:
• Smart City Brake Support
• Dual-zone automatic climate control with pollen filter
• Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert
• Power Rear Liftgate with programmable height adjustment
• Power sliding glass moonroof with one-touch-open feature and interior sunshade
Disclosure: The 2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD was provided to me for testing purposes and editorial consideration. All opinions are 100% my own.
For more information about 2018 Mazda CX-5 click HERE!