Mazda CX-5 Review from Southern California

An honest review of the 2016 Mazda CX-5. We test drove this for a week on the roads in Southern California, so we definitely have some good insight into this vehicle!


If you drive enough you will either nearly crash or crash. You can’t control how other people drive, and no one is perfect. People make mistakes. However, the right car can help. It can help you minimize your own weaknesses as a driver, and it can help you be more aware of the cars around you.

During a recent family trip to Southern California the Mazda CX-5 was that kind of car for me. Driving on busy highways while trying to figure out where to go was rather stressful. I don’t think I would have been as stressed if it was just me in the car. However, my whole family was in the car. I have started driving much more cautiously now that I have two boys.

One of my favorite new features on a lot of new cars that worked well on the Mazda CX-5 is the blind spot detector. It beeps when there is a car in your blind spot and you have your turn signal on indicating that you want to go that direction. It helps to keep your eyes on the road. I still check my mirrors and blindspot, but, for me, it means that I don’t have to check me blind spot as long. Sometimes, I second guess myself in my usual car, and I end up checking my blind spot longer than what feels comfortable.

Another Mazda CX-5 feature that helps me to keep my eyes on the road are the cruise control and media controls on the steering wheel. Instead of the classic swerving while leaning forward to change the radio, you can just keep your eyes on the road. There is even a little nob between the front two seats that you can control the front screen’s features.


The cruise control is great in this car. You can adjust the following distance, within a range. I felt like the following distance on a few previous cars have been awkwardly conservative. It is more natural to follow a little closer. In order to adjust the car’s speed the cruise control will cause the CX-5 to break. I let it work right up to the point that we basically just stopped in the road, then the cruise control turned off. So heads up, traffic started moving for me a second later.

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The on board navigation makes it easier to focus on the cars around me and less on other things. Plus, the battery can’t die as you’re driving down the road like your phone battery can. When I am driving in a new city one of the most stressful things about driving is that everything is new. I don’t know which lane to get in, or when the HOV lane starts and ends, and I don’t know the speed limit off hand. There are a lot more question marks that make driving more stressful. It is helpful to have a car that simplifies as many things as possible, so that I can focus on the most important things.




Getting out of a week of crazy Southern California traffic without an accident and missing only one, okay two, exists was a small miracle. I credit a lot of that to driving a high quality, driver friendly car in the Mazda CX-5. We drove from LAX to Santa Barbara to Burbank to the Hollywood sign and back to LAX, so we definitely put in the miles needed for a thorough review. The Mazda CX-5 fit the four of us with car seats and luggage comfortably.

Check out our video review. I apologize for the quality of the video. We usually wait until the end of a trip to make our video, so we can use our full experience for the video. However, that often leaves us a little rushed to make our video, and we can’t be too picky with our takes. Sorry.





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