Sport-utility vehicles are all about go-anywhere, do anything capability, so what better way to enhance their capability than by installing some accessories that facilitate the active lifestyle they purport to serve? In this installment of our long-term 2013 Mazda CX-5, associate online editor Nate Martinez took the CX-5 to get outfitted with some sporting accessories to increase its appeal to fans of the outdoors.
Our long-termer got outfitted with a cargo cover ($199.95) all-weather floormats ($94.95), roof rails ($249.94), cross-bars ($124.95), a Yakima accessory snowboard and ski carrier ($136.95), a Class 1 trailer hitch ($317.95), a hitch-mounted bike carrier ($204.95) and a trailer electrical harness for $64.95. Dealer labor for installation came to $353.00, for a grand total of $1747.59. Almost $2000 for these bolt-ons may seem stiff, but for those that are devotees of the outdoors, they're indispensable pieces. Although most of these pieces can be purchased and installed by aftermarket vendors, installation by an authorized Mazda dealer adds a one-year, 12,000 warranty on parts and labor.
The accessories had the added benefit of butching up the CX-5's looks, giving it a more purposeful, athletic appearance, at least in the eyes of Martinez. However, the added pieces weren't without their tradeoff, aside from the four-figure pricetag. The roof rack with the attached ski and board carriers increased wind noise noticeably. Yakima offers optional fairings to reduce noise, but as of this writing, fairings specific to the CX-5 were not yet available.
Although the exterior bolt-ons may increase aerodynamic drag incrementally, the CX-5 continues to be one of the most economical models in its class, even if we do occasionally yearn for more power. Consider the 2014 models equipped with the 2.5-liter Skyactiv engine if more power is on your wish list. The engine offers 29 more horsepower and 35 lb-ft more torque than the 2.0-liter, with only a minimal sacrifice in fuel economy.
| Our Cars |
| Service Life || 7 months/13,006 miles |
| Average Fuel Economy || 26.6 mpg |
| CO2 Emissions || 0.72 lb/mile |
| Energy Consumption || 127 kW-hr/100mile |
| Unresolved problems || None |
| Maintenance cost || $95.95 (oil change, inspection) |
| Normal-wear cost || $0 |