Monthly Archives: January 2017

2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD

Susan Frissell

Our 2016 Mazda CX-5 GT all-wheel-drive in Crystal White Pearl ($200) was the perfect car to transport four less-than-radical, but motivated women to the Million Women’s March in D.C. Never someone who ever protested when she could during the 1960s unrest, I found myself eager to try and make a difference for our country. To say the least, it was enlightening.

The CX-5 CUV handled very well on the open road. It was quiet, smooth and even. We encountered a strange phenomenon though, when returning through Illinois: The Mazda Radar Cruise Control notified the driver that it wasn’t operating. A fellow auto journalist thought perhaps it had to do with a section of the road/area where radar detectors are illegal.

Our CX-5 is the perfect blend of comfort, good looks and high tech. Equipped with several options, our test car was the Grand Touring version with the GT package (LED headlights, Adaptive front lighting, LED daytime running lights, LED foglights, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Control, LED combination taillights, SmartCity Brake Support, Auto Dim Mirror w/Homelink ($1,155).

The additional options included cargo mat ($60), Rear bumper guard (4100), Retractable Cargo Cover ($200), Roof Rack Side Rails ($275), Door Sill Trim Plates ($125) and GT HACTIVESENSE Package with Mazda Radar Cruise Control and Smart Brake support ($1,500).

At $34,385-with the many options-the CX-5 is right about where all other CUV’s are in this price range. Powered by Mazda’s SKYACTIV engine, 2.5-liter, inline 4 cylinder, DOHC, 16 valve, it’s adequate, yet not powerful. We thought at first, it was a little noisy, but after we were on the road for some time, it didn’t seem loud at all.

Partial to Mazda products, the CX-5 is a lot of car for the money. We expect its reliability to be above average. The CX-5’s sporty driving feel gives you the feeling of security as you round corners. We averaged a little 25 mpg. on highway driving of speeds upwards of 70 mph.

New for 2016, the CX-5 receives a refresh, including minor styling tweaks, improved materials inside and a revised suspension tuning. Sound insulation helps noise levels and an updated infotainment interface brings it up to date. Some of the new options for 2016 include LED headlights, adaptive cruise, rear cross-traffic alert and lane departure warning. A lot of high tech for a mid-level CUV.

Bluetooth is now standard across the Mazda line. A 2016.5 midyear udate (after January 2016) includes a standard rearview camera (except on the manual-transmission Sport version), standard heated seats for Touring trim, and a standard nav for both the Touring and Grand Touring versions.

Standard interior features include six-way power driver seat, bucket front seats, height adjustable passenger seat, driver seat power adjustable lumbar support, split-folding rear seatback, one-touch power windows, heated mirrors, external temperature display, trip computer, Tacometer, keyless ignition, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, audio/cruise controls on steering wheel, 4-months satellite radio service.

In-car entertainment includes 4-months satellite radio service, nine speakers, Bose premium brand stereo/speakers, auxiliary audio input/USB with external control, speed sensitive volume control, AM/FM/CD/MP3.

We didn’t have an opportunity to use the power moonroof but liked having it available. We had a hard time figuring out the Navigation system, which befuddled this writer. For some reason, unless we were in that particular state, it didn’t allow us to program in any directions ahead of time. Finally, on the return trip, we managed to get it working. Not sure what that was about.

The intermittent rear wiper worked better than some. It at least covers most of the rear window. We thought it odd, though, that you had to operate the rear liftgate door manually. At least we were unable to locate any button on the fob that would have assisted. Nor could we get it to open by waving our foot underneath the rear end.

Although some of the newest high-tech features don’t get the use they intend by this driver, I especially appreciated the blindspot monitoring in the side mirrors. Particularly helpful when being followed by those drivers who insist on cruising in your blindspot.

BrakeAssist requires some getting used to, but helpful when driving in a lot of traffic. Tire pressure monitoring also helpful, particularly for those who don’t’ keep very good track of tire pressure.

Just a few cons: The stereo system could have better sound. Realistically, though, it’s not a Lexus and is fine for most purposes. We remember the days when BOSE used to be king of the hill in stereo sound/equipment. IN addition, acceleration could be stronger, although expected with a 4-cylinder.


MSRP: $29,870; total vehicle price $34,385; delivery $900.
Engine: 2.5-liter, inline 4, 16 valve, DOHC, 185 ft lbs. torque, 184 hp.
Transmission: 6-speed Shiftable Automatic, All-Wheel-Drive, 4-wheel independent suspension
Wheelbase: 106.3 in.
Length: 179.3 in.
Width: 72.4 in.
Height: 67.3 in.
Trim levels: Sport, Touring, Grand Touring
EPA Fuel Economy: 26/33 mpg.
Fuel Tank Capacity: 15.3 gal.
Tires: P225/55R19 all-season
Wheels: alloy
Curb Weight: 3,589 lbs.
Towing: 2,000 lbs.
Warranty: 3 yr/36,000-mile basic; 3 yr/36,000-mile Roadside assistance; 5 yr/60,000-mile Drivetrain

2016 Mazda CX-5 Interior