2016mazdacx5475With a tweak to the exterior here and an upgrade to the interior there the Mazda CX-5 comes into 2016 with a rearview camera and Bluetooth standard on all models except the manual transmission.

Most compact crossovers are practical with good cargo room, fuel efficiency, and excellent line of sight but are they fun to drive? The answer for most is no. The exception is the 2016 Mazda CX-5. With tight steering and a sporty personality, the Mazda CX-5 makes driving a kid-mover fun.

The 2016 Mazda CX-5 is a five-passenger compact crossover SUV available in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trim levels. All trim levels offer a choice of front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD). This review will focus on the Grand Touring AWD model.

2016mazdacx5seatsThe Grand Touring includes 19-inch wheels, automatic headlights, automatic windshield wipers, heated mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio, heated front seats and leather upholstery. This is in addition to full power accessories, air-conditioning, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity. Plus a 7-inch touchscreen interface, a multifunction controller knob, HD radio, Pandora Internet radio, automatic crash notification, SMS text message reading, audio system voice controls, foglights, keyless ignition and entry, blind spot and rear cross-traffic warning systems, a six-way power driver seat, a height-adjustable passenger seat, a 40/20/40-split folding rear seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a six-speaker sound system.

Optional the Grand Touring is the Technology package. It features a navigation system, the Smart City Brake Support System (see Safety section for more details), adaptive LED headlights, LED running lights, LED foglights, LED taillights and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Also optional is the i-ActiveSense package that includes adaptive cruise control, Smart Brake Support, land departure warning and automatic high beam headlight control. Both of these options were included on my test model.

With a spiffy 2.5 liter four banger that delivers 184 horses and 185 lb-ft of torque, the CX-5 will zip through traffic with the greatest of ease. The engine also brings it with mileage getting 24/city, 30/highway, and 26/combine mpg.

2016mazdacx5dashIn government crash testing, the CX-5 received a four-star ratingfor overall crash protection, with four stars for frontal-impact protection and five stars for total side-impact crash protection.

Simple yet elegant materials make up the interior trim. A large 7 inch screen makes up the infotainment system and has an easy to use control knob interface. With comfortable seating fore and aft, long trips will be a pleasure.
Cargo capacity is 34.1 cubic feet with the seats up and 64.8 feet with them down. The backseats also fold into the floor for an almost level cargo floor.

Driving the CX-5 is nothing short of fun. With plenty of power to pass and steering tight enough hug corners, the Mazda CX-5 is a sports car hiding in a crossover body.

When looking for a compact crossover with some character and a fun ride give the 2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring a test drive.