The 2017 Mazda CX-5 has been fully redesigned. Though its dimensions haven't changed, it's smoother and quieter to drive. Other improvements include sharper styling, a more upscale cabin and some new features. Its engine and automatic transmission are largely carried over, though last year's manual transmission is no longer available.
The Mazda CX-5, introduced for the 2013 model year, gave the world of small crossover SUVs a new dynamic benchmark. Not because it was the fastest of its kind, but because its routine handling and steering exhibited nuance. It was simply a crisper and more satisfying crossover to drive than rivals such as the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4. And it didn't come at the expense of utility because the first-generation CX-5 had competitive amounts of room and cargo space. For the redesigned 2017 CX-5, Mazda has kept all of this intact while also giving this small crossover a more refined and upscale feel.
This year's CX-5 is more comfortable and quiet to drive on the highway. Mazda has also upgraded the cabin materials, and the result is downright beautiful. Additional convenience features have been added, especially for the range-topping Grand Touring trim, which has proven especially popular among CX-5 trim levels. Notably, forward collision warning with automatic low-speed emergency braking is now standard on all CX-5s. Before, it was optional.
Overall, we're impressed with the 2017 Mazda CX-5. It's a more grown-up compact crossover than its predecessor, yet it doesn't cede any ground in its hallmark driver-centric nature. If you're looking for a small, affordable crossover that feels as if it should cost considerably more, the 2017 Mazda CX-5 is a good first stop.