Mazda redesigned its CX-5 crossover SUV just last year. Notable improvements include a more comfortable ride quality, a nicer cabin, and new safety and technology features. Factoring in the traditionally taut steering and suspension, we think the 2018 Mazda CX-5 is one of the best small SUVs available.
A quiet cabin and refined interior don't detract from this SUV's reputation as a driver's vehicle either. About the only thing that diminishes its appeal is a lack of an engine upgrade. Although performance is on par with the base engines on competing models, there's nothing more powerful available. Rival compact crossovers such as the Chevrolet Equinox and the Kia Sportage offer strong turbocharged engines if you're after something with more oomph, and competitors such as the Honda CR-V have a bit more interior room and better fuel economy.
But overall we like the 2018 Mazda CX-5 for its excellent balance of sportiness, comfort and practicality. The exterior design is sleek and modern, and while not overly generous inside, the interior offers a competitive amount of room for people and cargo. The upscale interior materials, along with a host of standard tech and convenience features, convey the sense of a vehicle that should cost quite a bit more than it does. It's a top pick for a small crossover in 2018.