When I look around at today’s automotive landscape I occasionally pause and reflect back on my younger years and our family cars.
I also remember the annual family summer vacation with the task of completing the trunk loading puzzle. The convenience of SUVs, whether it be the large, 3-row, 7-seaters or the midsize and compact 5-seater crossovers, has changed the world of household vehicles. The award-winning 5-passenger Mazda CX-5 was launched into the growing global crossover SUV market in February 2012 as a new core model for the Mazda brand. On the outside the 2016 CX-5 has a new, bolder grille and a new fog light surround design, available LED headlights for Touring and Grand Touring models, new design 19-inch aluminum wheels, and new Sonic Silver and Titanium Flash colors. On the inside, where we see the biggest change and improvement, is an upgraded center console, instrument panel and armrest design, added electronic parking brake…instead of the hand-pull design, addition of MAZDA CONNECT Infotainment System with larger seven-inch full color touchscreen display and multi-function commander control and standard Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio. There’s been quality upgrades with improved surface textures and overall more tasteful designs. The 2016 CX-5 features improvements to the suspension system, NVH performance and seat performance.
The CX-5 can be equipped, depending on model, with driver-assistance safety features that work very well to help reduce the stress of driving and minimize accidental collisions. All of these semi-autonomous, driver-assistance safety features are very much worth consideration.
EPA test-cycle fuel economy ratings are fairly close between the different models with the best on the manual transmission FWD 2.0L rated at 29 mpg combined, with 26 city mpg and 35 highway mpg. My media-loan CX-5 was equipped with the new i-ACTIVSENSE package, exclusive to the Grand Touring model, and priced at $1,500.
The Grand Touring Technology Package ($1,155) includes Smart City Brake Support, LED headlights with auto leveling, Pivoting Adaptive Front-lighting System, LED foglights, LED Signature Daytime Running Lights, LED Combination Taillights and auto dimming mirror with Homelink.
Coming back to my younger years, take note that those cars didn’t have much in the way of safety features. Mom then needed wheels since the grocery store and supermarket were no longer within walking distance. It’s no wonder 60 percent of new vehicle sales each month are in the light truck segment. I drove the first 2013 CX-5, as well as the improved 2014 model with the new 184 HP 2.5-L engine and reported on the refreshed 2016 CX-5 in Spring last year. The touchscreen display is along the same horizontal sight line as the instrument display for easy viewing without needing to move you head.
The electronic parking brake that we see on so many vehicles today really opens up the space for more customer friendly features. The SKYACTIV-DRIVE automatic transmission has a new sport mode that modifies the shift points.


Blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control can be had. The website’s homepage lists the 28 technology and safety features present on vehicles today.
The only manual transmission model is the front-wheel drive Sport trim equipped with the 155HP 2.0-L engine. The FWD 2.5L automatic has the same combined and city rating, but is 2 mpg less at 33 highway mpg. It includes Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Close Proximity Warning, Smart Brake Support with Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning and High Beam Control. You can compare the 2016.5 Mazda CX-5 to all other compact SUVs right here using The Auto Channel's Mazda Research and Buyers Guide (1997-Present Model Years) . We then moved to a house in a slightly more suburban setting and the need for a second car arose. Then there were a number of suitcases, fishing rods and tackle box, baseball bats, balls and gloves, a cooler, pre-purchased groceries, swim gear, some toys, dolls and puzzles for that rainy day, and more.
Mazda also offers forward emergency braking in their Smart City Brake Support and Smart Brake Support. The AWD 2.5L automatic models are EPA test-cycle rated at 26 mpg combined, with 24 city mpg and 30 highway mpg. And now today we have technology that will bring a vehicle to a stop if for some reason you are distracted and fail to brake as needed. Storage space with increased capacity including an open space in front of the shift knob, floor console cup holders and storage for small items and a console box are now added to the CX-5.
It’s very taught, void of shakes and rumbles, and is relatively quiet on the interior.
Smart City Brake Support will slow the CX-5 and bring it to a stop if you don’t react to an impending collision. You might say to yourself I don’t need that or be unwilling to spend the extra money.
It couldn’t be any easier to pop open that big rear liftgate, the rear hatch if you will, and load up for nearly any weekend road trip or vacation. Consider that one collision will probably cost you inconvenience, car repair bills, paying your insurance deductible, and maybe an increase in insurance rates.



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