2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD Review

4.4
Pros

- Ample Space
- Good Fuel Economy
- Sporty

Cons

- Engine Lacks at Times
- Sometimes Confusing Button Configurations

2016 Mazda CX-5

When you think of small crossover SUVs, the first thing that doesn’t come to mind is sporty and fun to drive. Most families buy an SUV for its cargo carrying ability, five door utility, all-weather capability and family friendly seating configurations. The Mazda CX-5 breaks the mold and delivers driving dynamics that could make this small SUV a game-changer for Mazda.

This past weekend we test drove the top of the lineup, 2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD. ($29,470)

What’s New for 2016

The 2016 Mazda CX-5 receives a refresh with minor exterior styling tweaks, improved interior materials, revised suspension tuning, added sound insulation and an updated infotainment interface. New optional features include LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert and lane departure warning.

Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity is now standard.

CX-5 Grand Touring AWD Options

The 2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD ($29,470) is the top of the lineup and this tester came with the optional GT I-ActiveSense Package for an additional $1,500.  That includes adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and automatic high beam headlight control. The Grand Touring Tech package ($1,505) features a navigation system, LED headlights, LED running lights, LED foglights, LED combination taillights and an auto-dimming rearview mirror and Smart City Brake Support.

Total MSRP with options and destination $34,140.

2016 Mazda CX-5 interior

The CX-5 cabin has a simplicity to it that is highly attractive. It comes with a modern design that includes lots of soft touch materials that are high in quality. The Grand Touring model comes with more luxury items like leather sport seats, heated front seats and power everything!

It’s easy to find just the right driving position with its 8-way power driver’s seat and tilt/telescoping steering wheel.

The gauges are easy to read and the new 7-inch color touch screen infotainment system is much improved, although we did struggle figuring out how to change the radio station.

In the back, families will like the spacious seating and extra legroom in the CX-5. The rear seat can accommodate three kids and it features an innovative folding mechanism.  On the Grand Touring, that lowers the seat bottom before folding the seatback on top.   

This provides a near-flat load floor. With the seats up, there is 34.1 cubic feet of cargo space.

With the seats folded flat, there’s 64.8 cubic feet of cargo carrying ability.

Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs

The CX-5 Grand Touring comes equipped with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. It comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with sport mode.

The CX-5 AWD models get an EPA estimated 24/30 city/highway 26 combined fuel mileage

2016 Mazda CX-5

Driving Dynamics

We test drove the new CX-5 up into the mountains of Colorado where the altitude and steep hills are a good proving ground for the small crossover. We pushed the 2.5-liter hard up I-70 and felt it was a bit underpowered. However, for most families who will use it on the flat, the CX-5 has plenty of power for that and most other driving situations.

In the city, the SUV handled like a much smaller vehicle and has a sporty character.   For the commute, the driving dynamics are better than any other small crossover.

In tight mountain curves, the CX-5 has superior cornering ability for a vehicle in this class. The steering, brakes and suspension are all tuned for sport over comfort. The CX-5 is sporty and rates high on the fun to drive meter!

On the highway, the Mazda has a smooth comfortable ride and compares well with others in this segment. The six-speed automatic shifts quickly and smoothly and the Sport Mode allows the driver to experience those times, when more spirited driving is wanted.

2016 Mazda CX5 rear

Conclusion

What sets the 2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring apart from the crowded small crossover field is its driving dynamics. The CX-5 offers a fun-to-drive personality with its precise steering and sporty handling.

The CX-5 features all the things families are looking for: comfort, utility, cargo carrying ability and good fuel mileage.

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What do you think of the 2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD?  Tell us here.

2016 Mazda CX-5 Photo Gallery

About The Author

Denis Flierl has over twenty five years combined auto industry and automotive journalism experience that he brings to Automoblog readers. Over the thirteen years that he owned an automotive business, he worked directly with every major car brand in the auto industry and became familiar with all makes and models of cars. His passion for cars led him to spend the last twelve years in automotive journalism where he brings all that experience to his readers as he writes about the auto industry and the latest test cars he drives.

3 Comments on "2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD Review"

  1. Kelley Shields

    I just got one of these! For ALL the same reasons Denis stated, this CX-5 is hard to top by any of the competitors. Probably the most fun-driving car I’ve personally owned. I love the streamlined logical functionality of the dashboard. The new Bose speakers are top-notch. Nav is fantastic and the high mpg is just icing! The 2016 redesigned front-end is aggressive and bossy… I LOVE IT! Mazda has a real winner with this 2016 CX-5.

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