Mazda CX-5 — New levels of sophistication

By David Finkelstein

Since Mazda Motors launched its original model CX-5 compact sport utility vehicle back in 2012 (as a 2013 model), it has made steady refinements each year since. Its goal was to deliver customers even greater value and sophistication. Now for the 2016 model year, Mazda is bringing new levels of depth and maturity to a variety of areas of this popular vehicle.

This includes refinements in the area of the vehicles outer design, improvements with the functionality of the interior cabin, enhancements with its overall ride comfort and reduction of outside unwanted noises plus raising the bar when it comes to the products crash worthiness.

When the CX-5 was initially launched, it was their the first production model to adopt Mazda’s KODO design direction. As interrupter in Japanese, KODO translates to “soul of motion design language.” Features unique to this philosophy include its front-end presence coupled with a forward-leaning stance as well as the rearward placement of the vehicles A-pillar body supports.

With the KODO design them, exterior's are designed to be incorporated with a sharper sense of vitality and dynamism. Some of the new upgrades and refinements for 2016 include a more upscale, desirable and powerful appearance starting with the CX-5's front grille assembly. It was re-worked to demonstrate a design that's bolder and tauter with its overall imprint. This SUV's headlamps have also been updated and have somewhat of a jewel presence including newly developed fog lamp housings.

Front and rear LED lighting is now offered as an option with the Technology Package. The "heavily" refreshed CX-5 is now offered with newly designed and highly machined 19-inch aluminum wheels. They tend to adopt and display a complex look of a three-dimensional engineering feat.

The lineup of eight body colors include the newly developed Sonic Silver Metallic and Titanium Flash Mica. Of course, industry wide, changes with wheel and body color's is frequently considered, as new models go threw it's metamorphosis product life cycle. Its easy for the manufactures to make these minor changes yet keep the product somewhat fresh. This also helps in keeping costs more under control.

One of the many changes we generally can't see on the surface is the welcomed changes under the heading of quality improvements. According to Mazda's management team, they've raised the bar with quality modifications as owners always welcome this aspect of the ownership experience. CX-5’s interior design features a welcomed level of functionality and uniform look that sophisticated customers seek.

It has a driver-oriented space that offers up confidence while cursing down the road. Controls, switches and operating componentry is recognizable at a glance. In addition, the new interior design conveys a sense of taste and high quality. The refreshed CX-5 adopts a variety of advanced technologies including, MAZDA CONNECT. Its their next-generation car connectivity system. Also offered is Mazda's electronic parking brake plus its in-car storage space was increased in the door pockets and floor console assembly.

The interior features three variants of metallic-finish trim, of which is often found on more expensive vehicles. Fabric or leather seating surfaces are offered to choose from as well. CX-5 was the first in the Mazda product lineup to adopt SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY for its engine, transmission, body and chassis. SKYACTIV-DRIVE is a suite of automotive breakthroughs from Mazda advanced engineering that addresses just about every mechanical aspect of their vehicles.

The objective is to basically re-engineer components so they'll allow the vehicle to get the opium fuel mileage without adding perplexing, expensive and complex hybrid mechanicals for instance. The powertrain lineup for the refreshed '16 CX-5 includes either a 2.0-liter engine (rated at 155-horsepower) or a 2.5-liter motor (with 184-horsepower) that has the SKYACTIV-G direct injection gasoline engine. Two transmissions are also offered-a six-speed automatic or a six-speed manual gear box. A new/advanced AWD system is also available.

The redesigned front and rear seat structure provides a feeling of comfortable snugness and a good overall fit. The vehicle's rear seats have also be reworked for added comfort for the occupants. Mazda defines safety based on its Proactive Safety philosophy. Numerous and available safety technologies result in customers enjoying their drive with peace of mind.

In part, this is due to factory options such as Radar Cruise Control, Smart Brake Support, Blind Spot Monitoring, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. CX-5 is sold in three trim lines; Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. Fuel economy numbers range from 26-mpg/city to 35-mpg/highway, depending on engine, transmission and options.

The base vehicle has an MSRP of $21,795 with manual transmission and FWD. The top of the line model Grand Touring version with AWD and automatic has an MSRP of $29,470. With this value before us, its no wonder that CX-5 has been one of Mazda's best selling nameplates for a number of years in a row now.