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CAR OF THE MONTH December 2012

2013 Mazda CX-5 Sport

Smart Small Crossover

A three-quarter front view of a 2013 Mazda CX-5 Sport

In short: a compact, value-oriented crossover.

Mazda CX-5 Review

Larger than the Mazda 3 and smaller than the CX-7, the all-new Mazda CX-5 navigates the narrow space between hatchback and SUV with ease, providing the petite size and pep of the former with the comfort, convenience and extra cargo room of the latter with 40/20/40 flat-folding split rear seats. Cabin space distribution is well balanced throughout with decent headroom. You get push-button start as a standard feature along with a 5.8-inch touch screen. Built using ultra-high-tensile steel, this light crossover with chiseled lines delivers a drag coefficient of .33 for a combined EPA rating of 29 mpg and a four-star safety rating from the NHTSA. During our time driving it around Los Angeles, our front-wheel drive Metropolitan Gray test vehicle achieved a combined MPG of 24.9.

An interior view of the 2013 Mazda CX-5 Sport

The 2.0-liter SKYACTIV-G 4-cylinder engine of the 2013 Mazda CX-5 Sport

Music comes to your ears courtesy of a 225-watt Bose Centerpoint surround sound system armed with nine speakers. The compact crossover is also the first in the Mazda lineup to utilize all of the brand's Skyactiv fuel-saving technology, including an efficient 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder that offers decent performance due to a high compression ratio of 12.5:1. The diesel version will boost the CX-5's torque to 310 lb-ft and fuel-efficiency by as much as 20%. Whether you plan to commute in the Mazda CX-5 with Skyactiv Technology, take the kids to school, run errands or take a road trip, you can't do much better than buying one of these budget-minded, all-purpose crossover vehicles. Easy to drive, maneuver and park, you still get the high-seat feel of an SUV, and you can even tow up to 2,000 pounds with it.

A three-quarter rear view of a 2013 Mazda CX-5 Sport

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Warranty/Service: 36-month/36,000-mile "bumper-to-bumper" warranty; 60-month/60,000-mile powertrain warranty; 24-hour roadside assistance

Base Price: $20,995 / As Tested: $22,375

Technical Specifications: Mazda CX-5

Vehicle type: front-engine, front-wheel drive, 5-passenger, 4-door crossover
Engine: 2.0-liter SKYACTIV-G 4-cylinder with direct injection
Horsepower: 155 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque: 150 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission: SKYACTIV-MT 6-speed manual

Curb weight:
3,208 lbs
Wheelbase: 106.3 in
Length/Width/Height: 179.3/72.4/65.7 in
Turning circle: 36.7 ft

Brakes: 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS; electronic brakeforce distribution with brake assist
Suspension: MacPherson strut front; multi-link rear

Traction: dynamic stability control with traction control

0-60 mph: 9.2 seconds
Top Speed: 123 mph

EPA City: 26 mpg
EPA Highway: 35 mpg

Safety: dual front airbags; front side-impact airbags; side-impact air curtains

Likes: overall design concept; value; utility

Dislikes: feels a bit tiny (as in a tin can); mpg


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Photography: AlphaMedia

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