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The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide
MAZDA REVAMPS A FAIRLY NEW CX-5 SUV

By NITISH S. RELE - motoringtampabay@gmail.com
Mazda does not believe in resting on its laurels. Take the 2016 CX-5, for instance. This compact crossover is barely in its third year (if you recall, it replaced the Tribute and CX-7) and has already been overhauled. Seating five in comfort and style, the sporty ride sticks to its reliable power train. Its 2.5-liter inline-4 cylinder engine still develops 184 horsepower @ 5700 rpm and 185 pounds-feet of torque @ 3250 rpm while coupled to a 6-speed auto transmission. And whether you choose the front-wheel or all-wheel drive, it is equipped with the direct-injection Skyactiv, which uses a torque boost via a high compression ratio to increase fuel economy. We averaged 27.5 mpg in combined driving (AWD) to beat 26 mpg EPA estimates (city 24, highway 30). Noticeably lowered for 2016 are noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels.
The new and bolder five-point grille is flanked by black trapezoidal eagle-eyed halogen headlights. Also fresh is the fog lamp surround look as well as LED headlights on some trims. The well-crafted and intelligently-designed cabin conveys a classy and tailored look. Head and legroom is adequate for adults and, best of all, is the 40/20/40 split rear seat, which folds flat via a lever release in the trunk. This opens up 64.8 cubic feet of space in the cargo hold or you can still eke out 34.1 cubic feet with occupied seats.
The CX-5 is available in base Sport ($21,795), Touring ($25,215) and Grand Touring. Changes for 2016 include a new electronic brake, upgraded center console, dash and armrest design, and a larger 7-inch screen (up from previous 5.8) for navigation, audio controls. Standard amenities include power windows and door locks, push-button start, Bluebooth phone capabilities, trip computer and a tilt/telescopic steering column. Our top-level Grand Touring arrived with dual-zone auto climate control, leather seats, power sun roof, push-button start, heated front seats, metallic-finish trim, eight-way driver seat and a Bose sound system.
Standard safety features include dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, dynamic stability and traction controls, four-wheel antilock brakes, hill launch assist, blind spot monitoring system, rear-cross traffic alert, front/rear crumple zones and stabilizer bars, rearview camera, three-point safety belts for all, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights.
In just two years, the CX-5 has carved a slot in the competitive compact crossover segment. The 2016 facelift makes the ride, which delivers generous cargo/passenger room, sportiness and worthy fuel mileage, even more appealing. 

MAZDA CX-5 GRAND TOURING (AWD)
Tires: 225/55/R19
Suspension: MacPherson strut front, multilink rear
Steering: power rack and pinion
Wheelbase: 106.3 inches
Length: 179.3 inches
Weight: 3,589 pounds
Fuel capacity: 15.3 gallons
Base price: $29,470
Web site: www.mazdausa.com

CALLING ALL MAZDA DEALERS IN THE WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA AREA: if you would like to be listed here as one of the test-drive dealerships, e-mail us at motoringtampabay@gmail.com