5 things that define the Mazda CX-5

The Look. Competitors try to create drama or “presence” with big, excessively adorned grilles, oddly shaped light clusters and molded-in pseudo aero devices. By necessity, the CX-5 follows some of the current styling trends, but it looks serious as opposed to cartoonish. No single piece of adornment looks like it was stuck on in a misguided effort to raise someone’s pulse rate. As two-box compact crossovers go, the CX-5 looks clean, classy and handsome.
The Interior. When the CX-5 was re-skinned for 2017, Mazda took the opportunity to dig below the surface metal and address one of its bigger shortcomings. Engineers introduced thicker seals, better air-channel blockers, denser sound insulation and more acoustic-layered glass. Today, the CX-5 is one of the quietest and more vibration-free compact crossovers going — and that may not be the best part.
The interior presents in the same fashion as the exterior: clean, handsome and sophisticated above the class, with a fabulous finish and materials that say Acura or Lexus more than Honda or Toyota. Nearly 20 years after BMW introduced the first iDrive dial-and-click control interface, the best of these mechanisms still go in the “doesn’t completely suck” column rather than the “really effective” column. The CX-5’s interface doesn’t completely suck when you master it. The line-topping CX-5 Signature comes standard with stuff that not long ago was reserved for luxury sedans approaching the $100K threshold, including LED lighting, real wood inlays, ventilated front seats and heated steering wheel and rear seats.
It all contributes to a general upgrade in refinement, and that gets us to what might be the CX-5’s single most important trait.