Over the course of a year, there has been no other vehicle parked in our garage that I've complimented as much as my CX-5, nicknamed Blue. The variety of positive remarks was never extraordinary, but the number of times I repeated them was. Every time someone asked, "So, how do you like the CX-5?" I replied, "I like it a lot," and began listing its many attributes.

I'd begin with design. The CX-5 with its Kodo style looks fresh and original. Compared to the busy mixes of lines and shapes on the Ford Escape or Toyota RAV4, the CX-5 is astutely simple, athletic, and attractive. For more flair, I added Mazda's optional roof rails ($250), crossbars ($125), Yakima snowboard carriers ($137), trailer hitch ($318) and wiring harness ($11), Yakima bike carrier ($205), all-weather mats ($95), and cargo cover ($200). The racks gave the CX-5 a rugged look, though they did boost wind noise inside.

I'd then describe how the compact physique belied a roomy cabin steeped in simplicity and capacious enough to shuttle five passengers comfortably. Sub-6-foot-5 back-seat riders enjoyed generous elbow- and kneeroom, a contrast to what my previous 2011 Nissan Juke SL long-termer offered. The dash layout, climate control switchgear, and TomTom navigation/multimedia screen required no drastic learning curve and looked great.

Blue covered all the right bases. And for that, it'll be a top CUV recommendation of mine for years to come. Mazda: Bring on the ...

As a Grand Touring model, Blue came packed with amenities. It had automatic door locks, leather, Bluetooth phone and streaming audio connectivity, tilt/telescoping wheel, HD radio, heated front seats, 5.8-inch display with rearview camera, dual-zone climate control, moonroof, blind-spot monitoring system. Making Blue all the sweeter was its Grand Touring Tech Package ($1325) with bi-xenon adaptive headlamps, navigation, and security


Our Car
Service Life 14 mo/28,831 mi
Base Price $27,840
Price as Tested $29,265
Options Grand Touring Tech Package ($1325: navigation, HID headlights, keyless entry, auto-dimming rearview mirror); rear bumper guard ($100)
Average fuel economy 26.4 mpg
EPA City/Hwy/Comb Fuel Econ 26/32/22 mpg
CO2 emissions 0.73 lb/mi
Problem Areas None
Maintenance Cost $456.21 (4-oil change, inspections; 3-tire rotations; 1-cabin-air filter)
Normal-Wear Cost $861 (tires)
3-Year Residual Value* $14,187
Recalls None
* Automotive Lease Guide

2013 Mazda CX-5 (Grand Touring)
POWERTRAIN/CHASSIS
DRIVETRAIN LAYOUT Front engine, FWD
ENGINE TYPE I-4, aluminum block/head
VALVETRAIN DOHC, 4 valves/cyl
DISPLACEMENT 121.9 cu in/1998 cc
COMPRESSION RATIO 13.0:1
POWER (SAE NET) 155 hp @ 6000 rpm
TORQUE (SAE NET) 150 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
REDLINE 6500 rpm
WEIGHT TO POWER 21.3 lb/hp
TRANSMISSION 6-speed automatic
AXLE/FINAL-DRIVE RATIO 4.62:1/2.77:1
SUSPENSION, FRONT; REAR Struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar; multilink, coil springs, anti-roll bar
STEERING RATIO 15.5:1
TURNS LOCK-TO-LOCK 2.7
BRAKES, F;R 11.7-in vented disc; 11.9-in disc, ABS
WHEELS 7.0 x 19-in, cast aluminum
TIRES 225/55R19 99V M+S Toyo A23
DIMENSIONS
WHEELBASE 106.3 in
TRACK, F/R 62.4/62.5 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 178.7 x 72.4 x 65.7 in
GROUND CLEARANCE 8.5 in
APPRCH/DEPART ANGLE 18.6/24.4 deg
TURNING CIRCLE 36.7 ft
CURB WEIGHT 3304 lb
WEIGHT DIST, F/R 57/43%
TOWING CAPACITY 2000 lb
SEATING CAPACITY 5
HEADROOM, F/R 39.0/39.0 in
LEGROOM, F/R 41.0/39.3 in
SHOULDER ROOM, F/R 57.5/55.5 in
CARGO VOL BEHIND F/R 64.8/34.1 cu ft
TEST DATA
ACCELERATION TO MPH
0-30 3.1 sec
0-40 4.9
0-50 6.9
0-60 9.3
0-70 12.4
0-80 16.4
0-90 22.7
PASSING, 45-65 MPH 5
QUARTER MILE 17.1 sec @ 81.2 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 118 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.80 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 28.4 sec @ 0.54 g (avg)
TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 2000 rpm
CONSUMER INFO
BASE PRICE $27,840
PRICE AS TESTED $29,265
STABILITY/TRACTION CONTROL Yes/yes
AIRBAGS Dual front, front side, f/r curtain
BASIC WARRANTY 3 yrs/36,000 mi
POWERTRAIN WARRANTY 5 yrs/60,000 mi
ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE 3 yrs/36,000 mi
FUEL CAPACITY 14.8 gal
EPA CITY/HWY ECON 26/32 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 130/105 kW-hrs/100 mi
CO2 EMISSIONS 0.68 lb/mi
RECOMMENDED FUEL Unleaded regular
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