Flash Drive: 2013 Mazda CX-5

2013 Mazda CX-5By Bruce Caldwell

Model Tested: 2013 Mazda CX-5 Sport

Engine: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, 155 hp, 150 lb/ft

Transmission: 6-speed manual, Front Wheel Drive (AWD is optional)

EPA Ratings: 26-mpg city/35-mpg highway

Base Price: $20,695

As Tested: $21,490


  • Excellent 6-speed manual transmission and clutch
  • 6-speed extracts the most out of modest hp engine
  • Excellent fuel economy (we averaged 31.4 mpg)
  • Great Hill Launch Assist for starting on steep grades
  • Good compromise between fun and frugality


  • Cowboy hat wearing headroom
  • NBA player front legroom
  • Seat height pump
  • Thick, contoured steering wheel
  • Supportive seat bolsters
  • Tight back seat knee room with front seat all back
  • Very good shoe space under seats


  • Big cargo capacity
  • Flat floor
  • Low lift-over height
  • Small door bins
  • Big, deep glovebox, but no lock

WOW Factors:

  • First Mazda with full Skyactiv technology that optimizes overall performance and economy
  • Athletic, fun to drive
  • Strong value proposition


  • No rear cup holders or center armrest
  • More horsepower to match great transmission would be nice

Bottom Line:

The all-new Mazda CX-5 Sport is a great addition to the 5-passenger, compact SUV field. It stands out from the crowd with its blend of sportiness and economy. It has a roomy, multi-purpose interior within its compact shell.