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2013 Mazda CX-5 Review

Carlike handling and responsive engine power help the used 2013 Mazda CX-5 do well in our rankings. Its below-average reliability score, however, keeps it from moving higher.  

Pros & Cons

  • Very good fuel economy ratings
  • Athletic handling
  • Sharp steering
  • Slightly underpowered engine

Rankings & Research

The 2013 Mazda CX-5's #1 ranking is based on its score within the 2013 Affordable Compact SUVs category. Currently the Mazda CX-5 has a score of 8.7 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 31 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 9.4
Performance: 8.2
Interior: 7.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.4
Safety: 8.7
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Mazda CX-5 Overview

Is the 2013 Mazda CX-5 a Good Used SUV?

A used 2013 Mazda CX-5 is a good choice for a compact SUV. It has cushy seats and room for adults in both rows. It also has above-average fuel-economy ratings and one of the class’s lowest costs of ownership.

Used 2013 Mazda CX-5 Performance and Interior

The 2013 Mazda CX-5’s Skyactiv four-cylinder engine makes 155 horsepower and gets good fuel efficiency without sacrificing power. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a six-speed automatic is available. Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is available. The CX-5 has accurate steering and composed handling, so it drives more like a sedan than a compact SUV. Fuel economy ranges from 25 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway in the AWD CX-5 with an automatic transmission up to 26/34 mpg city/highway for the FWD CX-5 with a manual transmission.

Read more about CX-5 performance »

The CX-5 seats five occupants across two rows. The cloth seats are plush, and there’s plenty of head- and legroom up front. Two adults can also sit comfortably in the rear seats. Leather-trimmed seats and sport seats are available. The CX-5 has complete sets of LATCH child-seat connectors on the outboard second-row seats, plus an additional tether anchor for the middle seat.

A four-speaker stereo system, a USB, and auxiliary inputs are standard. Bluetooth, a Bose stereo, HD Radio, a navigation system, and satellite radio are available in some models. The CX-5’s infotainment system is easy to use, and the navigation system is updated using your home computer – an unusual feature.

Read more about CX-5 interior »

Used 2013 Mazda CX-5 Prices

The price of a used 2013 Mazda CX-5 ranges from about $11,500 for the base Sport trim with front-wheel drive to around $15,600 for the all-wheel-drive Grand Touring trim. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

We Did the Research for You: 31 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 31 Mazda CX-5 reviews and included information on safety, reliability, fuel economy, and more to give you a comprehensive overview of the 2013 CX-5.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking vehicles for a decade, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. To ensure our impartiality, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from carmakers or dealers, and an outside team handles our site’s advertising.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Mazda CX-5?

The 2013 Mazda CX-5 has a reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power, which is below average for the auto industry as a whole.

See CX-5 reliability scores »

How Safe Is the CX-5?

The 2013 Mazda CX-5 has an overall National Highway Traffic Safety Administration score of four out of five. It received five stars in the side crash and four stars in the frontal and rollover crash tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the CX-5 a Top Safety Pick. It earned ratings of Good, the highest offered, in the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and rear crash tests. It received a Marginal rating, the second lowest, in the driver’s side small overlap front crash test.

There are no standard active safety features, but blind spot monitoring, a rearview camera, and rear park assist are available.

See CX-5 safety scores »

Is the 2013 CX-5 the Best Model Year to Buy?

The Mazda CX-5 was all-new for 2013 and redesigned for 2017. You might want to consider a 2014 CX-5. The Touring and Grand Touring models received a more power four-cylinder engine, and new available active safety features – like collision warning – became available. The 2015 model revealed just one notable change – it made keyless entry and ignition standard in upper trims.

Compare the 2013, 2014, and 2015 CX-5 »

Which Used Mazda CX-5 Is Right for Me?

The Mazda CX-5 comes in three trim levels: Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring. The base Sport trim has dual power outside mirrors with integrated turn signals, push-button start, 17-inch alloy wheels, and a four-speaker audio system. The Mazda CX-5 Touring trim adds halogen fog lights, a six-way power driver’s seat, a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, and HD Radio. The Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring trim includes a power moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver’s seat, leather seats, heated front seats, a nine-speaker audio system, and satellite radio. You’ll find the Touring trim has the right mixture of technology and comfort features, at a good price. Some additional comfort features – like power lumbar support and heated mirrors – may be tempting, but you likely won’t want to pay extra money for them.

With the Mazda CX-5’s below-average reliability, you may want to consider a certified pre-owned model. For each certified pre-owned vehicle, Mazda extends the original limited powertrain warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles and provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited vehicle warranty. To qualify as CPO, each Mazda must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Mazda warranty page carefully. The model's original sale date determines whether or not it is eligible for the CPO program.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Mazda certified pre-owned program »

2013 Mazda CX-5 and Other SUVs to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Mazda CX-5 or 2013 Toyota RAV4?

The 2013 Toyota RAV4 is a practical SUV that earns a near-perfect reliability score. The Mazda’s crisp handling and steering, however, offer a much better driving experience. Inside, the CX-5 sports better materials and a more pleasant passenger space.

Which Is Better: 2013 Mazda CX-5 or 2013 Subaru Forester?

When deciding between the 2013 Mazda CX-5 and the 2013 Subaru Forester, look inside. The Mazda’s cabin materials are of good quality and the design is attractive. The Subaru has lower-quality materials and a more mundane look. Before buying either, keep in mind that both have below-average reliability scores.

Which Is Better: 2013 Mazda CX-5 or 2013 Kia Sportage?

The 2013 Kia Sportage trails the CX-5 in two key areas: performance and interior. The Kia has a firm suspension that delivers a bumpy ride over rough pavement, and the cabin contains an abundance of hard plastics. The Mazda, by comparison, delivers a comfortable ride and has a cabin filled with soft-touch materials. You’ll also get 10 cubic feet of additional storage space in the Mazda.

Compare the CX-5, RAV4, and Forester »

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