I haven't driven our 2013 Mazda CX-5 for more than a month. When I finally got behind the wheel the other day, I was pleasantly surprised. Even after driving more expensive cars, the CX-5 still comes across as well-built and of a higher quality than other small SUVs, such as the Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester.

Both the CR-V and Forester are compelling in their own ways, but when it comes to interior, I like the Mazda. A few years ago, that would not have been the case.

I'm also really liking the CX-5's automatic wipers. Essentially, you leave them in the Auto setting and they come on and adjust speed automatically based on how hard it's raining.

Rain-sensing wipers cost extra for sure, but some higher priced, nicer SUVs don't even offer the feature as an option.

Our time with the 2013 Mazda CX-5 is almost up, and I totally understand why I see so many on the road. Essentially, it's a small SUV that has the spirit of Miata handling, has useful interior space and costs about $35 to fill up. On occasion, we're getting better than 21 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving. Our CX-5 has the smaller engine. If I were personally buying this car, however, I'd get the newly available 2.5-liter engine.

I also think the Mazda CX-5 looks sharper than the RAV4 and CR-V. If you're shopping for a small SUV, do not skip the CX-5. It deserves a test drive at the very least.

author photo

Brian Moody heads up the AutoTrader.com editorial team. An automotive writer and presenter for more than 12 years, he's contributed to such media outlets as CNBC, Edmunds.com, Fox Business, Speed TV and The Today Show.

Related Articles & Car Reviews

Find Cars for sale near you:

Research by Vehicle Type

  • Convertible
  • Coupe
  • Hatchback
  • Hybrid
  • Luxury
  • Sedan
  • SUV
  • Truck
  • Van/Minivan
  • Wagon

For Sale on Autotrader.com

Loading Ajax Content Loading Ajax Content