Used Car Review

2013 Mazda CX-5: Used Car Review

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author photo by Ron Sessions October 2015

The 2013 Mazda CX-5 is an all-new entry and replaces the compact Tribute in the automaker's crossover SUV lineup. The CX-5 seats five passengers in two rows of seats and has 34.1 cu ft. of cargo space, up to 65.4 cu ft. with the 60/40-split rear seat folded flat.

Using car-based components, the CX-5 is more of a taller-riding and roomier Mazda3 hatchback than a truck-like beast of burden. Compared to compact crossovers, such as the Chevrolet Equinox, Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, the CX-5 excels at driving dynamics, offering precise steering and good handling unexpected in the segment. Lightweight construction and Mazda's SKYACTIV engine technology help the small crossover achieve impressive Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel economy ratings, but power from the only available 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine is modest. Both front- and 4-wheel drive are offered. The maximum trailer tow rating is 2,000 pounds.

The Mazda CX-5 is a great compact crossover SUV for small families and drivers who need roominess and versatility without sacrificing the ride, handling or fuel economy of a car.

What We Like

Great EPA fuel economy ratings; car-like ride and handling; roomy second row; interior layout, fit and finish

What We Don't

No power front passenger's seat; 2.0-liter 4-cylinder lacks zip for merging and passing; poor rearward visibility; awkward cup holder location

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The sole powerplant choice for the 2013 CX-5 is a 155-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. Its modest power output is matched with an equally modest 150 lb-ft torque rating. It features direct injection and SKYACTIV technology for improved fuel economy. Equipped with front-wheel drive, the 2.0-liter has an impressive EPA rating of 26 miles per gallon in the city and 35 mpg on the highway with the 6-speed manual transmission and 26 mpg city/32 mpg hwy with the 6-speed automatic. A 4-wheel-drive version with the 6-speed automatic is EPA-rated at 25 mpg city/31 mpg hwy. It uses regular unleaded fuel.

Standard Features & Options

The 2013 Mazda CX-5 is available in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trims.

The CX-5 Sport offers standard air conditioning, a 6-speed manual transmission, cloth seats, rear spoiler, a 4-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio, USB and AUX input jacks, cruise control, push-button start, remote keyless entry, a trip computer, an outside-temperature gauge, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel with remote audio controls, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, 17-inch alloy wheels, variable intermittent wipers, a rear wiper and power windows, mirrors and door locks. Standard safety features include dual front- and side-impact airbags, overhead airbags, 4-wheel disc anti-lock brakes with brake assist and stability and traction control. CX-5 Sport options include a reverse sensing system, auto-dimming rearview mirror, a garage door transmitter, a compass, 6-speed automatic transmission and fog lamps.

The CX-5 Touring adds Bluetooth phone connectivity, rear privacy glass, a backup camera, the 6-speed automatic transmission, fog lamps, auto-off headlamps, a 6-speaker audio system with HD radio and a 5.8-in color display, upgraded cloth seats, a power driver's seat with adjustable lumbar, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, rear center armrest and a blind spot monitoring system. Touring models can also be optioned with a TomTom navigation system, a power moonroof, a 9-speaker stereo, rain-sensing wipers and auto headlamps.

The CX-5 Grand Touring gains SiriusXM radio, a Bose 9-speaker premium audio system, a power moonroof, dual-zone auto climate control, leather seats, heated front seats, heated side mirrors, auto headlamps, rain-sensing wipers and 19-in alloy wheels. CX-5 Grand Touring options include navigation, advanced keyless entry, bi-xenon headlamps and a security system.


The CX-5 is Mazda's best-selling crossover SUV, but it isn't as well-known as competing entries from Toyota, Honda, Ford and Subaru and, therefore, can be a relative used-car bargain. Four-wheel drive is nice to have but unnecessary in most cases, as front-drive CX-5s with decent snow tires can tackle the vast majority of winter-weather driving situations.

For a good idea of the 2013 CX-5's price range, check out You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see which models are for sale in your area.


As of the publication of this article, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued no safety recalls for the 2013 CX-5.

Recall repairs are required by law, even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed and, if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

NHTSA gave the 2013 CX-5 a 4-star overall rating, with five stars in side impacts and four stars in frontal impacts.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2013 CX-5 as a Top Safety Pick. It gave the 2013 CX-5 Good ratings for side- and moderate-overlap front impacts, as well as head-restraint and seat performance, but just a Marginal score for small overlap front impacts.

Mazda sold the 2013 CX-5 with a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, a 5-year/unlimited-mileage corrosion-perforation warranty and 3 years/36,000 miles of roadside-assistance coverage.

Mazda's certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles can't be more than 6 years old or have more than 80,000 miles on the odometer. Every CPO Mazda CX-5 receives a 150-point inspection. Each also receives an additional 1-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty on top of the remainder of the existing 3-year/36,000-mile coverage and an extension of the vehicle's original 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty to 7 years and 100,000 miles. Also included is an AutoCheck vehicle history report and 24-hour roadside assistance.

Other Cars to Consider

2013 Chevrolet Equinox -- Chevy's Equinox seats five, but its rear seat slides fore and aft to allow owners to custom-tailor passenger and cargo space according to the task at hand. The Chevy's base 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine offers a competitive 22 mpg city/32 mpg hwy EPA rating, and an optional 301-hp 3.6-liter V6 packs highway zip. Equinox can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

2013 Dodge Journey -- The Journey packs a lot of interior space and can carry up to seven passengers as long as the rearmost pair is junior size. The Journey excels in offering hidden storage compartments, with one under the front passenger seat cushion and two under the rear floor.

Autotrader's Advice

Many competing automakers claim their crossover SUVs offer a car-like driving experience, but Mazda's CX-5 truly does. Among CX-5 trim levels, there are no bad choices, but we'd advise a Touring model, as it comes standard with a power driver's seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, a backup camera, Bluetooth and an up-level audio system with a 5.8-in display, plus navigation and a power moonroof are options. As good as the CX-5's manual transmission is, for resale value purposes, we'd stick with a 6-speed automatic. The only available engine for 2013 is a 2.0-liter with good EPA ratings but only 155 horsepower, so if you want more zip, check out the 2014 CX-5 with the optional 2.5-liter engine. Regardless, look for a low-mileage example that's been loved and maintained, and be sure to check out Mazda CPO vehicles. Although the 2013 CX-5 had no safety recalls as of this writing, check with the dealer to ascertain that any possible subsequent safety recalls have been addressed on the vehicle you're thinking of buying.

Find a Mazda CX-5 for sale

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2013 Mazda CX-5: Used Car Review - Autotrader