2013 Mazda CX-5 Road Test Review
Mazda CX-5 resembles a CUV but
drives like a sporty machine
By Bob Plunkett
For this kick-butt joy ride we collar a newly minted 2013 Mazda CX-5 Sport crossover utility vehicle, that "Zoom-Zoom" brand from Japan, and send it soaring over Ark. 60, a corkscrew stretch of asphalt coursing over rumpled furrows of the Ouachita Mountains in western Arkansas.
This back-country two-laner provides steep mountain grades and isolated valley straightaways with loads of dips and rolls and oh-so-fun strings of esses and sweepers -- plus a dearth of traffic or patrols to challenge our pace.
It's the ideal venue to show off the taut suspension tuning and sporty handling characteristics of a new-from-scratch compact-class CUV for Mazda.
Designers from Mazda -- a company steeped in the production of sporty cars like the MX-5 Miata roadster and RX-7 hatchback -- cast this wagon on a new rigid unibody platform with front-wheel-drive orientation, then stocked it with lively independent suspension elements and crisp steering to fashion a ride quality that's smooth and comfortable for passengers yet also responsive.
Roll over pavement bumps and the independent suspension -- MacPherson struts in front and a multi-link arrangement in back with a stabilizer bar at both ends tuned to check excessive lateral roll of the body -- blips tires (base version 17-inch 225/65R17 Yokohama all-season tires or top-trim 19-inch 225/55R19 Toyo A23 all-season tires) in exacting up-down motions and makes a firm ride quality. Full review.