2018 Mazda CX-5 Buyer’s Guide with specs, safety, and equipment

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Crossovers are all the rage these days, and spunky Mazda devotes half of its six-vehicle portfolio to the segment. The compact CX-5 slots right in the middle of its crossover lineup, size-wise, and outsells all other Mazda vehicles by a country mile, with sales continuing to climb so far in .

The CX-5 was the first car to feature ’s KODO design language, which has given its vehicles a more premium appearance and made the CX-5 longer-looking and more taut. Now in its second generation, Mazda offers the CX-5 in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trims, with the option of front- or all-wheel drive configurations.

This Autoblog buyer’s is aimed at helping you to make an educated decision about whether to buy the 2018 Mazda CX-5. We’ll summarize and reliability ratings, engine and horsepower, fuel economy ratings and pricing. We’ll also touch on what Autoblog’s professional reviewer thinks of the crossover.

2018 Mazda CX-5

Is the 2018 Mazda CX-5 safe?

Based on its crash tests, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the 2018 CX-5 a four-star overall rating. It awards five stars for frontal- and side-crash protection, and four of five stars for rollover crashes.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety further vouches for the 2018 Mazda CX-5, giving the crossover its coveted Top Safety Pick + award — at the time of this writing, the only compact crossover to get this rating, thanks to available adaptive headlights. It also has good ratings for all of its crash-test metrics and headlights, a superior rating for front-crash avoidance, with optional , and an acceptable rating for the ease of use of the child-seat LATCH anchors.

We encourage you to visit the NHTSA and IIHS websites to review ratings on the specific vehicle you’re researching.

2018 Mazda CX-5

Is the 2018 Mazda CX-5 reliable?

J.D. Power gives the 2018 Mazda CX-5 an overall score of 75 out of 100, considered average. On its 10-point scale, it rates the vehicle an 8 on overall quality, which is in the average range, and 9 — considered among the best — for overall performance. It rates an 8 for overall depreciation.

As is customary, we note that Autoblog has raised concerns about the way J.D. Power weights serious and less-serious reliability issues. You can read more about that here.

According to NHTSA, there has been one recall involving 682 models of the 2018 CX-5 because the side curtain airbags may not properly deploy following a side-impact or rollover crash. Mazda said it would notify affected owners and replace the curtain airbags free of charge.

2018 Mazda CX-5

How much interior and cargo room does the 2018 Mazda CX-5 offer?

Head room in the front seats is 39.7 inches and 39 inches in the rear. Legroom figures are 41 inches and 39.6 inches, respectively.

You get 30.9 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats upright, and 59.6 cubic feet with the second-row seats folded flat.

For comparison’s sake, the 2018 Honda CR-V, another popular compact crossover, offers at least 37.8 inches of head room in front and 38.3 inches in back. Legroom in all trim levels is 41.3 inches and 40.4 inches of legroom, respectively, while is 30.9 cubic feet with all seats upright and 59.6 cubic feet with the second row folded.

What are the 2018 Mazda CX-5’s engine specs and horsepower?

Mazda equips all CX-5 models with a 2.5-liter inline-four cylinder that produces 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. A version powered by a 2.2-liter turbocharged diesel engine has been promised for years but has yet to hit the U.S. market. We also believe a 2.5-liter tubocharged gas engine is on the way, although this hasn’t been confirmed by Mazda at the time of this writing.

2018 Mazda CX-5

How fuel efficient is the 2018 Mazda CX-5?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rates the front-wheel drive CX-5 and its 2.5-liter engine at 25 miles per gallon in the city, 31 mpg on the highway and 28 mpg combined.

How much does the 2018 Mazda CX-5 cost?

The 2018 Mazda CX-5 starts at $25,125 for the Sport equipped with front-wheel drive, including the destination fee, while all-wheel drive versions of the Grand Touring edition start at $31,940.

Use Autoblog’s Smart Car Buying program powered by TrueCar to search out competitive local pricing and savings on the 2018 Mazda CX-5.

What does Autoblog think of the 2018 Mazda CX-5?

Autoblog last reviewed the 2017 CX-5, when the current generation first debuted, so it’s largely the same vehicle as the 2018 version.

Though he found the engine output disappointing, reviewer James Riswick praised the car’s “sexier styling, a more premium cabin,” quieter interior and the meticulous attention the car’s designers and engineers paid to small details. He called it “a crossover that thoroughly trounces the majority of its competition.”

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