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2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD Test Drive Review

In a world that is continuously getting saturated with compact crossovers, it’s hard for an automaker to stick out and catch a new car shoppers attention. Well, it seems like Mazda has figured it out. The Japanese automaker is known for including its sports-car knowledge into every model it makes and when it comes to the new 2017 CX-5, Mazda makes no exception.

While models like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and the Nissan Rogue continue to dominate the segment, Mazda is quickly catching up with the CX-5 with a sexy design language, outstanding driving dynamics, and a high-level quality-built interior. It comes highly recommended by the AutoNation Drive team for many reasons, and we’re going to take a look at some of those today in our test drive review of the 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD.

2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring  Exterior:

The outgoing CX-5 was already a pretty sleek looking car but with the 2017 model year, Mazda has gone above and beyond to give it a more modern and grown-up look. It seems that the 2017 Mazda CX-5 opts for a more luxurious look and feel rather than the run of the mill looks that come with its competitors.

The front-end of the 2017 Mazda CX-5 has been completely redesigned with a more aggressive grille that takes place of the more ‘happy face’ look. Further highlighting the front end are the menacing slim headlamps that give this compact crossover a tough stance.

While the dimensions are quite similar to the outgoing model, the 2017 Mazda CX-5 looks both wider and longer thanks to the overall design that accentuates the car’s presence. The new Mazda CX-5 sits on a wheelbase that measures 106.2-inches with an overall length of 179.1-inches. The width comes in at 72.5-inches while the height stands at 65.3-inches.

Our test model, the 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD comes standard with an upgraded shiny mesh-style grille, adaptive LED headlamps, LED fog lights, LED signature taillights, a power liftgate, a rear roof spoiler, and dual exhausts with bright finishes.

2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring  Interior:

Mazda continues to win awards for its interiors and there’s a really good reason why. The brand seems to be obsessed with offering the most quality-built interiors in the segment. No matter which trim level of the Mazda CX-5 you pick, you’ll enjoy a material that is packed with a luxurious design, soft-touch materials throughout the cabin, and a great combination of aluminum/graphite colored trims.

Our top-of-the-line test model came packed with a bunch of trim-level exclusives including automatic driver and passengers seats, heated front and rear leather seats, heated steering, a leather-wrapped steering, leather-wrapped gear selector, keyless-entry with push-button start, and much more.

Tech wise, the 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD still comes standard with the Mazda Connect infotainment system. While you won’t find Apple CarPlay or Android Auto in the new CX-5, you do get navigation, Bluetooth, a great ten-speaker Bose sound system, two USB ports in the front and two in the rear, and a range of driver assist technologies that we’ll get into in the ‘Safety’ section of our review.

Space wise, the 2017 Mazda CX-5 offers 41-inches of legroom for front passengers and 39.6-inches of legroom for rear passengers. Cargo capacity comes in at a strong 30.9 cubic feet with the rear seats in user position and 59.6 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.

Overall, while the interior could definitely use some upgraded tech, it definitely is a step above its competitors in terms of quality and design.

2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring  Performance:

The 2017 Mazda CX-5 comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 187 horsepower with a maximum torque of 185 lb-ft. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that allows the CX-5 to run from 0 to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds with a top speed of 130 mph. Now, while those may not be impressive figures, you have to take into consideration that you’re not really driving a sports car here. However, the CX-5 comes with a Sport Mode and handling dynamics that really are a step above its competition. Most of the CX-5’s competitors go for a more mundane ride quality while the Mazda opts for a more thrilling ride quality.

The 2017 Mazda CX-5 is available with front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive and while we weren’t able to test it in the snow, we know from experience that Mazda’s hold up pretty well in adverse weather conditions.

Fuel economy wise, the 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD averages an EPA-rated 23/39 mpg* (city/highway).

2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring  Safety:

Besides the standard list of safety features, our test model came with a range of extra driver assist technologies. With the fully-loaded CX-5 you get adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, brake support, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, automatic high-beam control, and much more.

2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring  Overall:

Overall, the 2017 Mazda CX-5 does an outstanding job of standing out in a saturated segment of compact crossovers. Its aggressive and luxurious exterior mixed with its high-quality elegant interior are quite refreshing to see at a price point that starts at just $24,045**. Visit your local AutoNation-affiliated Mazda dealer for a test-drive today.

*Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.

**MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

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