Sleek, fun, and affordable — three ways to describe the new 2017 Mazda CX-5.
There comes a time in a person’s life when they must choose between driving a household appliance, or a vehicle with soul. While the latter isn’t for everyone, Mazda is the Michelangelo of fun-to-drive vehicles, and the 2017 CX-5 its latest masterpiece.
We at Life is Poppin’ are suckers for convenience, efficiency, and simplicity. That being said, we love having a good time behind the wheel. Unfortunately, finding a family-centric vehicle that delivers all of the above isn’t easy. Not at all.
In what seemed to be a “When World’s Collide” kind of week for our family, the CX-5 was immediately put to good use. Our girls’ last week of school crammed several after-school events into our busy calendar, while Missi and I’s roles as volunteer U6 soccer coaches took us to seven away-games in just four days. All of this would happen during our seven-day test, on top of our busy work schedules and even a 7-hour road trip at the end of it.
Needless to say, our family threw everything it could at the new CX-5 in order to see what it’s made of. And, the results were…
Mazda’s hot crossover may be a blast to drive, but lacking practicality would hinder its appeal and push consumers away. Thankfully for you, we can attest to its willingness to please.
The CX-5’s new interior is designed to offer more convenience to busy families. For starters, kiddos and grownups alike will find up to four USB charging ports in the Grand Touring model. The redesigned backseat offers two reclining settings, and when folded flat it creates a completely flat cargo floor, unlike the previous model.
Nearly 31 cubic feet of cargo space is available when in normal use, and nearly 60 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. In our experience, that’s more than enough to haul soccer gear, a toddler bike, a large cooler, lawn chairs, etc.
We know it’s a blast to drive and it can carry the entire family, but will your body pay the ultimate price at the end of the day? No.
At the end of our weeklong test of the Mazda CX-5, I had to drive 350 miles north to the great state of Wisconsin. This allowed me to appreciate the refinements made to the 2017 model, beginning with the driver-centric cockpit. Every control is within the reach of the driver and passenger, and the iconic Mazda single center knob makes controlling the infotainment system a breeze while driving.
All seats are extremely well padded and offer enough support for short and long trips alike. Furthermore, the rear center console features climate vents and additional power outlets.
Unfortunately, we noticed the lack of a cell-phone-specific cubby up front. The cupholders are pushed pretty far back, and the small cubby above the shifter won’t hold a phone upright.
Our Soul Crystal Red Metallic tester featured a 2.5-liter, 187-horsepower Skyactiv engine with G-Vectoring technology under the hood, and the impressive I-Active all-wheel drive system we previously tested in the CX-3.
That being said, Mazda didn’t contain the high-tech goodies to the engine bay. The Grand Touring trim includes a 7″ full-color touch screen display, a rearview camera, navigation system, keyless entry, push-button start, and Bluetooth connectivity.
For those looking for a swanky experience, this trim also includes a 10-speaker Bose audio system, a heads-up display, radar cruise control with full stop and go, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, and Nappa leather-wrapped power seats.
Overall, our test vehicle featured everything we could need and want. Had we not driven other Mazda models recently we would’ve probably been blown away by the CX-5’s value. But we have, which we means we’ve come to expect great things from them — and they never seem to disappoint.
The redesigned 2017 Mazda CX-5 is as close as it gets to crossover perfection.
2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD
- Starts at: $24,045
- Price as-tested: $34,380
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