2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD Review

Mazda CX-5

You can stop wiping your eyes. You’re seeing this correctly. This is our 2016 Mazda CX-5 review and hopefully not the last vehicle Mazda entrusts to our name. I admit that I wasn’t initially all that excited when we were informed our first press vehicle was going to be a crossover but I kept an open mind and arranged delivery.

Prior to my time with the Mazda CX-5 I had looked at the brand as just another automaker of well-priced economy vehicles with a brilliant marketing team and a Zoom Zoom slogan. Despite the MX-5 Miata‘s unwavering success on the race track, Mazda’s dedication to sports cars in North America died with the RX-7 in the mid 90’s. That was my story and I was sticking to it.

So how enjoyable could a crossover really be?  It turns out, pretty damn enjoyable. Watch our full feature video review below and then keep going to see the specs of our test car and some final thoughts.

Our video review of the 2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring


Trim: CX-5 Grand Touring AWD
Trans: 6-Speed Auto
Engine: 184-hp 2.5L DOHC 16-valve inline 4-cylinder
Drive: All-Wheel Drive

Exterior: Soul Red Metallic
Interior: Parchment Leather

2015 Mazda CX-5 interior

MSRP: $29,470
Destination Fee: $880

Packages & Options


  • Navigation
  • Smart City Brake Support
  • LED headlamps with auto leveling
  • Pivoting Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS)
  • LED Foglights
  • LED Signature Daytime Running Lights
  • LED Signature rear combination lights
  • Auto dimming mirror with Homelink®


  • Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Close Proximity Warning
  • Smart Brake Support with Collision Warning
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Distance Recognition Support System
  • High Beam Control

Individual Options:

  • Soul Red Paint $300
  • Parking Sensors, Rear $475

Total MSRP: $34,130

Mazda CX-5

Final Thoughts

We generally judge a vehicle on how well it hauls people, how well it hauls stuff, and how well it hauls ass.  Well, the CX-5 hauled five 18×8.5″ Volk wheels, it comfortably hauled my family of 5 on a 9 hour round-trip to the beach. And the 184 horsepower 2.5 liter engine hauls to 60 MPH from a standstill in 7.8 seconds — that’s the quickest of all 4 cylinder SUVs in it’s class. Zoom zoom!

The 2016 CX-5 Grand Touring AWD is without question, the best driving crossover available. It proves that utility can be done sporty, which is refreshing in the current a sea of SUVs.

It may be on the smaller side in the segment, but that’s also what makes it more nimble and enjoyable behind the wheels than its competitors. It’s great to look at, gets fantastic fuel economy, it’s comfortable, safe and loaded with tech. We say the 2016 Mazda CX-5 in Grand Touring AWD trim is a winner.

RFD Score

I struggled to list things I didn’t like about the 2016 CX-5. Might we suggest the addition of some paddle shifters which have become ubiquitous on any vehicle with sporting pretensions.

Or if you want something even more compact, the CX-3 is coming this fall and if you need to go bigger, take a look at the CX-9.  Keep an eye out here on RFD for more full feature reviews coming soon!


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