I’m here with the Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 2018, Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 2018 is one of the best compact crossovers you can buy, and Mazda didn’t even have to pay me very much to say that. The Mazda CX-5 Grand Trim Touring 2018 was completely redesigned in 2017, making it quieter and more comfortable in the cabin.
For 2018, there are some minor changes. The most notable– blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are now standard on all trim levels, and the two and a half liter, four cylinder engine gets cylinder deactivation, which makes it more fuel-efficient on the freeway. But the highlights, here– this really is the most engaging compact crossover to drive, and I think it has the nicest interior in the class. This is also actually a really good looking little crossover, and you get a few niceties around the outside. LED headlights are standard on all trim levels, and if you opt for the touring or grand touring you get 19 inch alloys, 17 inches on the base model.
The first thing you notice when you get into the 2018 Mazda CX-5 Grand Trim Touring is just how nice everything in here feels. There’s nice materials and soft touch points, even the plastics have been textured. This piano black stuff, it really shows fingerprints. But at the same time, it’s a much more upscale look than what you get in some of the competitors. For 2018, even in the base trim, you get a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a leather-wrapped shift knob, both of which feel really nice.
This is the grand touring trim, which means it feels a little more luxurious. These are leather seats, they’re really comfortable. I actually like them a lot. I have no complaints about these seats. Seat heating and the heated steering wheel both are really effective. The base trim gets a single zone climate control. In touring and grand touring you have dual zone.
The system works well and you have some pretty obviously labeled buttons that make it easy to control manually. Even the base trim gets some good, active safety features. You get blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and automatic emergency braking.
Driver aids are available as part of a package. So you can get adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist on any trim level. They do come standard on the touring and grand touring. This particular car also comes with the Bose stereo system. That’s an optional upgrade on the touring and standard on the grand touring. It’s a really good stereo system. This might also be one of my favorites in this class.
This vehicle also has thoughtful small item storage. You get a pretty generous bin right up here for small items you want easy access to. You have two generously sized cup holders with anti-tip, and you get a good sized center console box and pretty large door pockets that are able to hold water bottles. Mazda’s infotainment system has some strengths and weaknesses. When you’re at a stop, you can use this seven inch screen as a touch screen, but when you’re moving you can only use this knob. I like this knob-based system.
The interface has been optimized pretty nicely to take advantage of it. It’s easy to find what you’re looking for. There’s good clicky response here, and one of the nice things about this is it it lets you look away from the screen when you have to. You don’t sort of have to focus on the screen and try and poke a button while you’re bouncing around in a moving car. You can move the knob over the function that you want, and if you’ve got to look away, when you come back to it, it’s right where you’ve left it.
One of the things this system doesn’t have is Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. It’s sort of a shame not to see them here. You do have two USBs up front in this center console box that will let you access files on your phone and use it as sort of an iPod. One weird thing about these USB ports is they don’t put out very much voltage. So you can’t really charge your phone from them. If you want to charge your phone up, you’re going to have to go to the back seat.
The touring and grand touring trims, in the back seat, you actually get two 2.1 AMP usb outletS, but it’s not super useful for you in the front seat. On this higher trim level, you also get heated outboard backseats, which is nice. This backseat is maybe a little bit smaller than what you’ll find in some competitors. I’m sitting behind my driving position, and you can see, I do have knee room, but it’s not a ton. There’s a sizable toe box under the front seats. So this is pretty comfortable. I could spend a lot of time back here. There’s a ton of headroom. Even if you’re pretty tall, you’re not going to run out of headroom back here.
For buyers who are worried about fitting car seats in, there’s room back here, but the latch points, while they’re clearly marked, they’re sort of buried in the seat cushions here. So you’re going to have to dig around a little bit to get to them. The CX-5 has 30.9 cubic feet of space behind the second row and a maximum of 59.6 cubic feet of storage space with those seats folded down. That’s not as much as you get in some competitors, but it’s a really usable space. There’s not much lift over here and the load floor is nice and low. Also standard on every trim are 40-20-40 split folding seats with releases in the trunk, and on the touring and grand touring you get a power liftgate.
When the CX-5 was first introduced, it really set a new dynamic standard for this class of vehicle. You know, mostly small SUVS were just entirely utilitarian. They were boxes on wheels. That was the whole point. They weren’t all that amazing to drive. Mazda’s approach to the CX-5 and all of their cars is to make them engaging on the road. That was really something a little different in the mainstream compact SUV market. All trim levels of the CX-5 get a 2.5 liter, naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine that makes 187 horsepower and is paired with a six-speed automatic gearbox. Now, 187 horsepower– it’s not bad. It’s not amazing.
On our test track, the Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 2018 managed a 0 to 60 run of 8.7 seconds. It’s quicker than the base engines of a number of competitors, but a lot of competitors also offer more powerful upgraded engines. That also means that the towing capacity for this car is only 2000 pounds. Compact SUVs aren’t really a go-to towing vehicle, but considering the class best is 3,500 pounds, if you’re actually planning on towing something, even if it’s small, CX-5 might not be the right vehicle.
This particular model has all wheel drive. Front wheel drive is standard. The all wheel drive model gets 26 miles per gallon combined, and if you stick with front wheel drive, that bumps up to 28 miles per gallon. Unless you’re dealing with bad weather, you know, you’re really worried about road conditions, the all wheel drive isn’t necessary here. This steering is– it’s a little heavier than some of the competition, just to let you know there’s some sportiness here. It’s not uncomfortably heavy. You can get around in a parking lot just fine, you’re never cranking on the wheel or anything.
But what’s great about this steering is that it feels very natural. So you feel pretty connected to what the car is doing through the steering wheel. The CX-5 is a little stiffer than some of its competition. Suspension is tuned to be a little more sporty. What you get with the CX-5 is a more controlled body motio. So as you go through turns, you can feel the chassis sort of load up and it helps you to know how much grip you have, it makes you feel more confident about putting the CX-5 through turns, and it actually just makes it a lot more fun to drive.
The six-speed automatic is a pretty good companion on the road. When it’s in normal mode, it’s obviously going to try and upshift as much as it can for better fuel economy, but it’ll downshift when you need power and you can always put it in sport, which is going to make it more aggressive about staying in a gear. Overall, it’s a good transmission and it’s well-matched to this engine and this car. There is a manual mode, but there’s a little delay on response. It’s not exactly the sportiest thing in the world. Another thing I like a lot about the CX-5 is that, for its class, this is a pretty quiet vehicle and that sort of adds to the upscale feel that you get from these great materials and the good design.
Our fully loaded, top-of-the-line model also has a heads up display that I really like. It displays a lot of information. There’s obviously a speedometer up there, it shows you your adaptive cruise control settings. It shows you the lane keeping. It also has a blind spot monitoring display to let you know if there’s a car on one side of you or the other.
The very base trim of the Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 2018 starts at $25,000. And for that, it’s front wheel drive. It’s the same motor and transmission, but you’ll have leatherette seats instead of leather, and you won’t get access to this heads-up display and a few other options. But you can’t get the stereo. It’ll still be really comfortable, it’ll still feel upscale.
This model with everything and all wheel drive comes in at just under $34,000. For that price, you can get an upgraded engine from some alternative vehicles, but none of them are going to feel as good as the Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 2018 if you’re on a windy road. None of them are going to just be as nice to spend time in. I wish it had Android and Apple CarPlay, I wish there was an upgraded engine option. I wish my phone would actually charge from these front USB ports. But, in a lot of ways, the CX-5 punches above its weight class in terms of handling, this steering feel, the quality of the interior.
Overall, Mazda’s made a really great compact SUV. If you’d like to find out more about the Mazda CX-5 Grand Trim Touring 2018, make sure to check out 24hreviews.com for our full rating and review.