JOHN: Most of you who read our column or listen to our radio show know that I am a fan of Crossovers. I own a Ford Edge, a midsize crossover and love it. So when we got the 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring All Wheel Drive (AWD) Crossover, I already had leanings in its favor.
LAURIE: I want to first speak about the design of this terrific compact crossover. The 2017 is a complete re-design over previous models, beginning with the CX-5’s introduction in 2013 to Mazda’s model year lineup. But it’s the Japanese car manufacturer’s “soul in motion” KODO design language which speaks to the prospective owner with the CX-5’s sleeker, slimmer, sportier body and classy chrome accents on the grille frame, headlights, and taillights.
JOHN: The CX-5 is considered a Compact Crossover so it is not as big as my Edge. Oh, and this one showed up in ‘Soul Red Crystal Metallic’, and I love red vehicles, like Santa’s sleigh, and things that remind me of Santa’s sleigh – HO HO HO! The paint job was an extra $595, but it does look gooooood!
LAURIE: Honey, that’s right—but you’re missing the point about the paint being extra. Paint, and driver’s seat memory, power front passenger seat, and heated 2nd row seats, the only other option, at $1,830. Everything else is standard equipment. That means all-season tires, rain-sensing windshield wipers, heated outside power mirrors with turn lamps, advanced keyless entry, a myriad of safety and security features, power moonroof, privacy glass, LED combination taillights, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and on and on…are all included in the MSRP base price of $30,695, rivaling, in our estimation, Hyundai for “bang for your buck.”
JOHN: Lots of cars today are using a 4-cylinder engine for economy and turbo charging it for power. Such is the Skyactiv-G 2.5L 187 HP, 16 valve, DOHC engine. It has power and torque, especially in the ‘Sport’ mode, and in Sport mode there is only the tiniest of hesitation before the four chipmunks yell, “We understand, boss!” and you are zooming down the road. Good use of turbo in a four-cylinder engine for the practical driver – me.
LAURIE: And the car is “surefooted,” if you get my meaning. Ease in handling and maneuverability.
JOHN: I want to go back to quiet and comfort for a moment. This compact crossover was extremely quiet, as Laurie said, and the ride was tremendous for a car this size. It was easy to talk in the car to both the passenger in the front and the passenger in the back. Not raising your voice to be heard, just normal tone of voice, and I really appreciate that in a vehicle when you are with your friends. Plus there was enough cargo room in the back for a weekend camping trip and plenty more if the back seats were down. The back seat was big, roomy, and ‘heated’ too, a nice option for the cold Fall days.
LAURIE: The heated seats in the 2nd row, honey, is on of the very few options.
JOHN: Sweetie, I will let you jump on the price and how you feel about what you get for the money. I do want to say that it only had $1,830 worth of options, which made it fully loaded, and the options were well worth the money.
LAURIE: The GPS was easy to program and I loved the on-the-dashboard color monitor. That’s how it was in the early days of GPS in makes such as Volvo. The reason I like this positioning is because your eyes move to the right on the same plane rather than looking down at an in-dash screen. Your eyes are on the road, even peripherally when you are looking at the screen.
JOHN : Maybe I am old fashioned, but I really believe built “Safety” is such an important component to car manufacturing. It is one of the key aspects that I review, and Mazda takes safety seriously too. Besides all the air bags we have come to take for granted, it also has Blind Spot Monitoring with a light in side mirror housing that definitely catches your attention when it comes on, along with sound. Same is true for Rear Cross Traffic Alert, practically a necessity these days with the holidays approaching and the parking lots full of people thinking about shopping, not driving.
LAURIE: Who should buy the Mazda CX-5? Young families would get plenty of rear storage for groceries and collapsible strollers and can easily fit two children’s car safety seats in the second row. Families with two teens who are really into sports have plenty of room for equipment. Older couples who are retired and want to hit the road and travel more would love this car because it will go distances with ease and comfort. And, of course, dog owners—providing, of course, they use dog harnesses, dog kennels and proper restraints. Dogs need seat belts, too, you know…
JOHN: The Mazda CX-5 has both Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) and Smart Brake Support (SBS). Those are similar in that both help you stop at slow or at higher speeds if your car detects the possibility of an accident ahead. The SCBS according to Mazda works this way, “When driving at low speeds (approximately 4 – 30 km/h) a laser sensor mounted on the windshield senses the car in front. If the system detects a risk of collision, it prepares the brake system to be ready to deliver maximum stopping power when the driver brakes. If the driver does not take evasive action such as braking or steering, the system simultaneously applies the brakes and reduces engine output, with the aim of avoiding the collision or reducing the severity of impact.” With that, I am going to wrap up my part with this – For the money, this really is a great crossover. Looking for a new crossover ride, check out the 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD.
LAURIE: Well said, my darling love.
FLOW Mazda of Fayetteville
1945 Skibo Road Fayetteville, NC 28314
Sales: (844) 338-9902
Service: (844) 338-9458
Parts: (844) 338-9623
900 Central Park Avenue Yonkers, NY 10704
Sales: (914) 377-8100
Service: (914) 377-8100
Parts: (914) 377-8100
John and Laurie are a married couple in their “sensational sixties” who talk about today’s hottest, newest cars—and still manage to go to bed without getting angry at one another at night.
John and Laurie Wiles have a combined driving history of ninety-five years. Laurie is one of only thirty-six journalists who are members of the prestigious New England Automotive Press Association (Tom and Ray Magliozzi, hosts of National Public Radio’s “Car Talk” among them.) Since 1998, Laurie has test-driven and reviewed over eight-hundred new model cars, trucks, and SUVs. John, a lifelong car enthusiast, has owned more than forty vehicles (so far.)
John and Laurie recently got the idea of combining their experience on a weekly car review. Laurie explains. “One day, a gorgeous blue Porsche Cayman pulled in the drive. Johnny slides behind the wheel, cocks an eyebrow, and says, ‘The name’s Bond. James Bond,’ like he’s Sean Connery or something. The next week, a Chevy Camaro rolls in. Johnny gets one glimpse of that muscle car and shouts out, ‘Can you say N-A-S-C-A-R?’ Once I realized he wasn’t speaking in tongues, I realized his voice, together with mine, might be fun. After all, ‘sixty is the new forty.’”
John adds, “Men and women have very different opinions about cars and I think it’s good for people to get an understanding of what a couple think about a car, and what they like and don’t like. Of course, that doesn’t mean they have to agree on everything—you know, like the way it is in a marriage.”
Laurie, whose professional name is Laurie Bogart Morrow, is the author of a dozen books, including The Hardscrabble Chronicles (Penguin Putnam) and The Giant Book of Dog Names (Simon and Schuster).
John is a retired program manager in the National Defense contracting industry and a teacher in the public school system. They live happily in Pinehurst, NC.
Automotive reviews are written for The Pilot, published in Southern Pines, NC, the Yonkers Tribune Webpaper serving the Internet reader of the New York Metropolitan area, and is heard every Thursday morning, from 10-10:30am Eastern, “live” or “on demand” by way of the BlogTalkRadio broadcast “Westchester On the Level”. Listeners are welcome to call the broadcast by dialing 347-205-9201