December 2, 2012

10 Segments in 10 Days: CUV

CUV: Mazda CX-5

Base Price: $20,695
As Driven: $30,415
Engine: 2.0L 4 cylinder, 155hp
Transmission: 6 Speed Shiftable Automatic
MPG Rating: 25 city/31 hwy

                This isn’t my least favorite segment, but it’s a close second.  My main objection to the CUV is that this category can feel numb, have paralytic styling, handling that leaves a lot to be desired and so-so fuel economy with underwhelming power. Mazda has tried to correct all of these issues in one car.  A mountain of a task, but one they’ve summited well. 

                The CX-5 comes with SkyActiv Technology.  This is Mazda’s engine program that increases the compression ratios, upgrades the fuel injection, uses a specifically designed transmission, and some Hogwart’s tricks to be more efficient and increase horsepower.  The 2.0L four cylinder engine produces 155 horsepower and achieves 25 mpg in the city and 31 on the highway. 

                The CX-5 accelerates nicely.  That being said, if you mat the accelerator, then it feels laggy and not fast.  Ordinary, everyday driving in this car is smooth and likeable.  If you have to do any aggressive driving, it handles well, but the power won’t be able to keep up.

                I don’t want to own a CUV, but I can see the appeal of all-wheel drive, seating for five, and cargo capacity.  It is a great new family vehicle.  It handles well enough that “roll overs” aren’t a concern and has enough room for a double stroller.  This is cheaper than most minivans, which could make it a welcome option to a lot of guys who thought they were destined for a box of hate on wheels.

                Thank you to Tumminia Mazda ( for letting me borrow the award winning CX-5.

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