I figured I'd post a review or our Mazda CX-5 as we now have close to 40,000 miles on it and it's about 2 years old. It is a 2018 CX-5, AWD, Touring model, the 2018 is the latest model (after the most recent redesign). We have had a lot of Mazda cars in the family lately...brand new 2014 Mazda 6, 2015 Mazda 3, 2016.5 Mazda CX-5 (last gen version), a CX-3 and the 2018 CX-5. Generally, we like our Mazdas...but despite all the hype and praise the current gen CX-5 gets, it is my least favorite and might just be the reason we try a different brand next time.
-The vehicle isn't awful, but despite all the reviews to us it seems a step back in almost every way compared to out 2016.5
-Styling...I guess a lot of people like the change in styling of the current gen, but to make it sportier they seemed to make the beltline a bit higher and the dashboard a bit higher. Does it look better? to most yes, to me not really..but it does make visibility worse...and with the higher dashboard it makes the interior seem smaller.
-Engine/performance. So the engine got a slight upgrade and got 1-2 more hp over out 2016....but the new model weighs something like 250 lbs more. Bottom line...performance is worse...fuel economy is still good but seems to be the same or maybe slightly worse. While our 2016.5 was a 4 cylinder engine, it was quick 'off the line' and speed built nicely....compared to that the newer 2018 CX-5 feels like we are pulling a trailer around all the time.
-Engine sound/harshness vibration. Once again, Mazda said they added more insulation and improved the engine..but it might be the extra weight that makes me think the new one is worse. Because it weighs more, maybe I'm always a tad bit harder on the gas than I was with the old one to achieve the same acceleration...and that brings out the sound and feel of the engine that isn't all that great.
-AWD system. This may be a positive to some people but not to us/me. I guess a while back Mazda (and many other car makers) would have their AWD vehicles start out in FWD mode and only switch to AWD when it detected slip. Well, the current new gen CX-5 apparently starts out in AWD all the time and only goes to fuel-saving FWD when there is no slip. Sounds like a good thing? Not really. By always starting in AWD, even when not needed, that initial tap of the gas to get going seems more sluggish. The added friction and weight of the AWD parts on all the time doesn't make for the best feel. I'm not schooled in the exact workings of the system, but I have heard from other Mazda owners who have AWD models that it does act that way.
So is the current new gen CX-5 awful? No. But from someone who has bought a lot of new Mazda vehicles lately...I think the changes made to the CX-5 this generation are very disappointing. Its an OK vehicle, but if I could go back a couple years..we might have tried a different model instead of the Mazda...and unless Mazda makes some serious improvements to the current one before we are in the market again....we likely won't be replacing the CX-5 with another Mazda CX-5.