By Larry Lark / Herald Special Sections Writer
It’s hard to do any better than the 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD, compact crossover sports utility vehicle.
Just ask my wise-beyond- her-years younger sister. She is a recent owner, and is happy as a Lark!
CX-5 comes in three trim levels: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring, and you could do well with any of them.
All models come standard with the SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter engine and a six-speed SKYACTIV-DRIVE automatic transmission. The combo delivers 187 horsepower and 185 lb.-ft. of torque. Along with all-wheel drive, the CX-5 benefits from G-vectoring control and four-wheel disc brakes.
My tester came with the Machine Gray Metallic paint job, which was nice – but not nearly as nice as the new Soul Red Metallic that reminds of the ol' candy-apple-red days. It’s hard to take your eyes off it – really.
The driver sits high in the CX-5, with a commanding view of the road. And it somehow manages to keep the feel of a sedan, with minimal road noise, easy handling and minimal jostling when trekking down I-5 or city streets.
The CX-5 seats five adults and is capable of transporting four golfers and all their gear. The 40/20/40 split fold-down second seat increases the cargo space to extra-large proportions – although the passenger count drops to two.
Gas mileage is better than one would guess, rating at 26 miles per gallon by the EPA in a combination of city/highway driving.
My Grand Touring tester included all the bells and whistles as standard, which only left heated rear seats and steering wheel, driver-seat memory for two people, active-driving display in the windshield, and a six-way power front passenger seat as optional equipment ($1,830).
The goody bag included parchment leather seats, 19-inch alloy wheels, push- button start, dual-zone climate control, premium Bose sound with 10 speakers, Bluetooth with auxiliary jack and four USB inputs, navigation system, rear-view camera, moonroof and radar cruise control, to name a few.
Safety features are plentiful as well, featuring smart brake support that mitigates or prevents rear-end collisions, traction and stability control, and anti-lock brakes with brake assist.
Not only that, Mazda adds a load of other safety features that will help protect the family. Highlights include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, hill-start assist, and an anti-theft engine immobilizer.
Other items that were duly noted included rear privacy glass, high-beam control and the power open/close rear lift-gate that operates with the push of a fob (or button).
Maybe my sister should be writing these reviews. She obviously has the wisdom to identify value and sophistication when she sees it. And will be rewarded for years as a result.
Base Price: $30,695
Price As Driven: $34,085
Base price includes destination charge. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. Prices may vary at local dealerships.