2017 Mazda CX-5 Review – Long Term Update 2


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As the honeymoon phase starts to taper off, I’m starting to see a few shortcomings of my 2017 Mazda CX-5. I mentioned in the arrival that our Real MPG testing resulted in an 18.4/29.9/22.3 mpg city/highway/combined rating, which is below the gas mileage both Mazda and the EPA claims (23/29/26 for AWD 2017 models like ours or 24/30/26 for AWD 2018 models). We retested it and came back with slightly better numbers—19.7/31.2/23.6 mpg. That’s pretty close to the EPA claim for highway and combined mileage but still low for city driving. From my experience, our Real MPG numbers are more accurate than the EPA’s. I struggle to get over 28 mpg on the freeway, but I have not seen anything less than 20 mpg in the city. I’m averaging around 23–24 mpg combined, which is right on with Real MPG numbers. A full tank gives me a little over 300 miles of range, but because of how my commute works out, I usually have to fill up well before that, which requires me to make a gas stop two or three times a week. I really wish it had a bigger tank.

The less than ideal mileage can be attributed to the sportier drivetrain calibration. The throttle is responsive, and I can easily coax a downshift or two with my right foot. This makes it feel peppy in the city even without Sport mode. It even monitors cornering g’s and will hold lower gears if you take a turn or are on a freeway on-ramp at spirited speeds. That’s fun, but it can get annoying when the engine hovers near redline long after you’ve started cruising. I always end up manually shifting up to “reset” the transmission back to normal. That willingness to keep revs up eats through gas. I hate to say it, but an Eco mode could help here. Or I could be a little gentler on the throttle.

Another gripe I have is Mazda’s overzealous blind-spot monitoring system. When you use your turn signal, it will alert you if there is a car that is two or three car lengths behind you—so far that the car will be in your side and rearview mirror, no longer in your blind spot. It’s useful for people who never look over their shoulders when switching lanes but redundant for those who do. I get paranoid when I hear the warning beep and double-check even though I know there isn’t a car in my blind spot.

I’m still pretty impressed with the car as a whole and appreciate how quiet it is at highway speeds—a must for my frequent road trips. More updates to come.

Read more about our long-term 2017 Mazda CX-5:

2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD
BASE PRICE $31,635
PRICE AS TESTED $33,960
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE 2.5L/187-hp/185-lb-ft DOHC 16-valve I-4
TRANSMISSION 6-speed automatic
CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3,653 lb (57/43%)
WHEELBASE 106.2 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 179.1 x 72.5 x 65.3 in
0-60 MPH 8.3 sec
QUARTER MILE 16.3 sec @ 84.0 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 124 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.81 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 28.0 sec @ 0.59 g (avg)
REAL MPG, CITY/HWY/COMB 19.7/31.2/23.6 mpg
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 23/29/26 mpg
ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 147/116 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.76 lb/mile