2013  Mazda CX-5
Power: 155 hp, 150 lb-ft.
Engines: SKYACTIV-G 2.0L
2.0L Atkinson Cycle 4-cylinder, AC Synchronous Motor
Fuel Consumption: 25 city/31 highway

Forget, for a moment, the "zoom-zoom" tag-line that immediately comes to mind with every mention of the Mazda brand. The new 2013 CX-5 has some zip for an SUV, but its the rest of this package that makes it an intriguing ride.

Fitting into the compact crossover segment, the CX-5 brings some notable features to the road. First and foremost, you'll notice the all-new "signature wing" front grille and SKYACTIV-Body. In other words, fresh Mazda styling. It's sleek, for sure, but with a tough enough stance to suggest the potential for rugged use—after all, the CX-5 has a towing capacity of 2000 pounds.

You'll also notice great gas mileage. Take it on the highway and you'll expect to get about 30mpg (among the best in class for a non-hybrid SUV). A single full tank will whip you ably around the mid-Atlantic, for example, with enough left to kick around the city.

Highway performance is about comfort rather than speed. You've got enough pep in the SKYACTIVE-G 2.0-liter, 155-horsepower engine for easy passing and relaxed cruising, just don't expect any sort of sports car performance. You'll want to be entertained, and the CX-5 obliges with a nine-speaker Bose system prepared to integrate your Ipod seamlessly. A center-mounted touch screen makes employing your device simple and safe, one of the core components of the vehicle.

Safety features in the CX-5 are most apparent on city roads. Although it serves well on freeway tarmac, avenues and tight streets are where it obviously belongs. The available Blind Spot Monitoring system is a confidence booster, noninvasively detecting when free space is unavailable. In short, the system becomes an extension of natural driving habits, lighting up the side view mirrors and transferring information to the driver rather than engaging passengers. This also helps make parking is also a breeze (who doesn't like that statement?).

With the CX-5, "Zoom-Zoom" gets re-imagined. Think space rather than pace. And, think about what you'd want out of the perfect city car.

Bottom Line

The Mazda CX-5 is a compact crossover SUV with road trip potential and a city-ready attitude.