2013 Mazda CX-5 at the 2011 L.A. Auto Show

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  • Competes with: Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Kia Sportage
  • Looks like: No smile makes us happy
  • Drivetrain: 155-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder, six-speed manual or automatic transmission, front- or all-wheel drive
  • Hits dealerships: Early 2012

If there’s one trend about the L.A. Auto Show this year, it’s the small crossover making a big push to the forefront of the industry. Ford’s new Escape and Honda’s new CR-V have to share the stage with Mazda’s CX-5. And Mazda thinks the CX-5 is the hit it needs.

More 2011 L.A. Auto Show Coverage

The aggressive styling and upscale interior Mazda is known for fall behind the technology under the hood. The CX-5 looks to be the most efficient compact crossover on the market.

It will be hard to judge how the CX-5 will perform in terms of Zoom-Zoom-iness, but the 155-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine gets direct injection to achieve 26/32 mpg city/highway for front-wheel-drive models with a six-speed automatic transmission. Opt for a six-speed manual transmission, and the highway number ticks up to 33 mpg.

The all-wheel-drive model's 25/30 mpg ratings top the class, including the newest versions of the CR-V and Escape. However, the CX-5 makes less horsepower, so we wonder if Mazda is sacrificing too much performance for the mileage gains.

The CX-5 is sized similarly to the CR-V in terms of overall length, passenger volume and cargo volume, and that says a lot in terms of where Mazda is taking aim.

Inside, the CX-5 is similar in theme and design to the current lineup leaning toward the cockpit of a sports car. There is a 5.8-inch touch-screen in the center of the dash along with Bluetooth connectivity and USB connectors, but Mazda hasn’t detailed if it is standard equipment or not. A Bose upgraded stereo and navigation systems will be available options.

The CX-5 is an impressive entry into the segment with style and practicality at the forefront. That seems to be the way to car shoppers’ hearts these days.

Clicking on any image below will launch a larger photo gallery; you can browse through them by hitting the right and left arrow keys.

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Comments 

WTF

Can you confirm that the US gets the manual transmission?

That is a big 10-4 with the same set-up as the Miata, so says Mazda.

Anonymous Coward

I bet the new CR-V will match it in mileage, while making more power.

WTF

Excellent. Now they need to bring back the V6/manual combo on the Mazda6.

Sorry guys, we added more pics above and there's now a photo gallery live too on the KT homepage.

As for CR-V I can tell you it indeed has more power but on mileage the CX-5 will win most "likely" win out. We can say more in a few hours.

JM

You guys need to keep in mind that Mazda also makes sure they keep their vehicles light. that's part of the SKYACTIV initiative.

Adam

I am confused as to where this leaves the CX-7. Will it be phased out?

Kevin

Is it just me or does this look a lot like Porsche Cayenne. Of course, minus the face.

WTF

Well it's not really a secret as fueleconomy.gov has the rating for the 2012 CR-V and its 31/23 for the FWD.

Tony

It looks like BMW inside and out.
It will do something to CX7 for sure

Adam,
The CX-7 is more Ford Edge sized so they could redesign it too.

Tony,
I totally thought BMW too.

Carol B

Does anyone know if the CX-5 will have an option for both AWD and manual transmission together? And for the higher trim lines?

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