I looked forward with great anticipation to driving the 2013 Mazda CX-5 crossover. For one thing, I think Mazda makes some awesome vehicles (see Miata, RX-7/8, Mazdaspeed3) and for another, I heard nothing but good things about this new model, which has Mazda’s SkyActiv technology.
What’s SkyActiv? It’s a comprehensive manner of tying together performance and economy, where Mazda works to eke the best response from its engine and transmission in a body that’s optimized for a good economical return. That’s the simple explanation.
It was easy to pick out the liquid silver metallic CX-5 when I arrived at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, heading to Indianapolis for the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals NHRA race, biggest of the year. Even in the dark, the CX-5 looks classy and svelte.
Everything about the base Mazda CX-5 Sport works, from its 2-liter engine of 155 horsepower (at 6000 rpm) to its six-speed manual transmission with precise throws. The fully independent suspension feels solid, the all-wheel disc brakes are formidable and the steering is very precise, if a bit light.
After a good night’s sleep we set off, enjoying the trip. Visibility is good on the Mazda CX-5, which is why we were able to see the big black “thing” that flung itself right at us and smashed the windshield as we drove at a steady 70 mph. Darn!
The damage was bad – some glass came inside the cabin because the “thing” hit right at the header. It didn’t damage the vehicle beyond that so we continued through to Indianapolis and had to trade it for another vehicle once we arrived.
Still, I’m able to report that I find acceleration good, like using the cruise control (the only reason I’m still legal to drive), like the comfy black cloth seats and the simple audio system with CD. I like the 12-volt at the base of the center stack, the central storage with another 12-volt and a USB outlet with cord, along with a slide-out tray. There are cupholders in all four doors and at the center tunnel; all system resets are on the trip computer. I even like the price: $21,490.
Mileage for the 2013 Mazda CX-5 is rated at 26/35 from the 14.8-gallon tank – I’m sure that’s more than achievable. The 2013 Mazda CX-5 is a cute Ute with plenty to recommend it – I only wish our visit together had been longer.
Editors Choice Features for the 2013 Mazda CX-5 Sport:
USB outlet with cord
2-liter engine of 155 horsepower
Cup holders in all four doors
Written by: Anne Proffit HerHighway Contributor and Editor Christina Selter