For years, many of Mazda's trucks and SUVs have been nothing more than re-hashes of Ford designs. Remember the Navajo and Tribute? Those were no more than a rebadged Explorers and Escape. But now, Mazda has an SUV all its own, the 2013 CX-5.
Though it was widely rumored that the U.S. model of the 2013 CX-5 would debut with the SkyActiv-D diesel under the hood, we only get the (very good) SkyActiv-G instead. The 2.0-liter direct-injection I-4 produces a healthy 155 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque in the CX-5. Staying true to its "zoom-zoom" motto, Mazda will offer both a six-speed automatic and a six-speed manual transmission on the 2013 CX-5. The automaker is also offering the choice of front and all-wheel drive on the CX-5 although sadly (but not surprisingly), all-wheel drive is only available with the automatic transmission.
Mazda has said the five-seater cute-ute won't only be more fun to drive than its competitors, but also more practical. For example, according to Mazda, front-drive manual CX-5s will achieve 26/33 mpg city/highway, while front-drive automatic CX-5s will get 26/32 mpg city/highway. Mazda has also engineered the CX-5's interior with one-touch collapsing 40/20/40-split rear seats, which it says is an industry first.
While Mazda is currently mum on pricing, we expect the North American-market CX-5 to sticker between $20,000 and $25,000.