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2015 Mazda CX-5 Review

The 2015 Mazda CX-5 ranks in the middle of the compact SUV class, providing exceptional handling and one of the highest safety scores in the class. However, its confusing infotainment system and stiff seats keep it from ranking higher.

Pros & Cons

  • Agile handling
  • Strong available engine
  • Good fuel economy
  • Outstanding safety ratings
  • Complicated infotainment system
  • Sluggish base engine

Rankings & Awards

The 2015 Mazda CX-5's #5 ranking is based on its score within the 2015 Affordable Compact SUVs category. It was a finalist for our 2015 Best Compact SUV for the Money award. Currently the Mazda CX-5 has a score of 8.2 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 44 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 7.3
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.1
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Mazda CX-5 Overview

Is the 2015 Mazda CX-5 a Good Used SUV?

The 2015 Mazda CX-5 is a good compact SUV. It boasts some of the best driving dynamics in the class, with its crisp and carlike handling. Additionally, the CX-5’s ride quality isn’t compromised by its agility, so you can enjoy a commute that is both fun and comfortable. Still, this Mazda has some drawbacks. The front seats aren’t very well-cushioned, and despite being a fuel-efficient SUV, the CX-5’s sluggish base engine can put a damper on joy rides. A stronger engine is available, but only in higher trims. Finally, this Mazda has a limited standard features list and a complicated infotainment system. 

Why You Can Trust Us

Our used car rankings and reviews are based on our analysis of professional automotive reviews, as well as data like crash test scores, reliability ratings, and ownership expenses. We researched 44 Mazda CX-5 reviews to help you decide if it’s the right used car for you.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, our staff never takes expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2015 Mazda CX-5?

Our site has almost 700 listings for the 2015 Mazda CX-5, with an average list price of $17,500. Prices range from $13,500 to $21,400, and they vary depending on the vehicle’s trim, mileage, location, condition, and features.

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How Much Does the 2015 Mazda CX-5 Cost to Own?

The 2015 Mazda CX-5’s five-year estimated costs for gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs come to about $21,290, which is about average for the class.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Mazda CX-5?

The 2019 Mazda CX-5 has a base price of $24,350. That’s significantly higher than the average price of a used 2015 CX-5, but you’ll get a much better vehicle if you can stretch your budget. For starters, the 2019 CX-5 has a stronger engine and better handling than the 2015 model. It also comes with many more standard features, such as Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, push-button start, HD Radio, a 7-inch infotainment system, and voice commands. Finally, the 2019 model has more safety features than the 2015, including standard blind spot monitoring, low-speed automatic braking, and a rearview camera.

Read about the new Mazda CX-5 »

There are no new compact SUVs that are comparably priced to a used 2015 CX-5. In fact, even a new subcompact SUV will cost you least $18,000. Stick with the 2015 CX-5.

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Which Model Year of the Mazda CX-5 Is Best?

The Mazda CX-5 debuted for 2013, and it was totally redesigned for 2017. There are few differences between the 2013 to 2015 models, aside from a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine becoming optional for 2014.

The 2016 CX-5 is a better starting point for most shoppers. It received a substantial upgrade, featuring interior and exterior styling updates and an improved infotainment system compared to what you’ll find in previous models. It also gained several technology features, including standard Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, as well as a few available safety features.

However, if you can spare a little more money, get the 2017 CX-5. This redesigned model has several performance upgrades compared to the previous models, including an improved suspension and a stronger base engine.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 CX-5 »

How Reliable Is the 2015 Mazda CX-5?

The 2015 CX-5 earns a reliability rating of three out of five from J.D. Power. That’s slightly below average for the class, but it’s about average for the industry.

Read more about CX-5 reliability »

2015 Mazda CX-5 Recalls

As of this writing, the 2015 Mazda CX-5 has four reported recalls. The latest is for a rear liftgate that may fall unexpectedly. Other recalls deal with potential automatic steering loss, a faulty fuel filler pipe, and a potential problem with the automatic braking system. Make sure that these issues are addressed before purchasing a 2015 CX-5.

See more information on Mazda CX-5 safety recalls »

Which Used Mazda CX-5 Model Is Right for Me?

The 2015 CX-5 has three trims: Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring. The base Mazda CX-5 comes with a small list of basic features, including a USB port and a four-speaker stereo. That won’t allow you to do much more than charge a device or listen to the radio. It also comes with a manual transmission.

We recommend the midrange Mazda CX-5 Touring trim for most shoppers because it has the best combination of value and features. It comes with a stronger engine, an automatic transmission, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, a 5.8-inch touch screen, Bluetooth phone and audio integration, a six-speaker stereo, HD Radio, advanced keyless entry, a rearview camera, and blind spot monitoring.

The Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring adds leather sport seats, heated front seats, heated side mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a moonroof, and a Bose stereo.

See 2015 Mazda CX-5 trims and specs »

What Does Mazda's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Mazda offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 80,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Mazda extends the original limited powertrain warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles and provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty after the expiration of the original three-year/36,000-mile warranty. Every CPO Mazda must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits may include towing, a 90-day complimentary SiriusXM satellite radio trial subscription, extended coverage, and 24-hour roadside assistance, so read the Mazda warranty page carefully.

According to our research, Mazda’s CPO program is about average for an affordable auto manufacturer. Honda, Hyundai, and Kia all have better programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the CX-5?

The Mazda CX-5 has the highest composite safety scores among compact SUVs. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the CX-5 a 2015 Top Safety Pick+, which is the institute’s highest honor. The SUV earned the best possible score of Good in every IIHS crash test conducted.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the CX-5 an overall rating of five out of five stars, with five stars in the frontal and side crash tests, and four stars in the rollover test.

There are no standard driver assistance features in the CX-5, but available technologies include a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and low-speed automatic emergency braking. 

See CX-5 safety scores »

2015 Mazda CX-5 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2015 Mazda CX-5 or 2015 Ford Escape?

The 2015 Ford Escape is one of the few competitors that can rival the CX-5’s impressive handling. It has a stronger base engine than the CX-5, as well as two available turbocharged four-cylinder engines that deliver plenty of power and good gas mileage. Like the CX-5, the Escape also has nimble handling and a comfortable ride. Unfortunately, both compact SUVs also have frustrating infotainment systems. However, the Escape has the edge with a superior reliability rating and a longer list of standard and available features than the CX-5. Choose the Ford. 

Which Is Better: 2015 Mazda CX-5 or 2015 Honda CR-V?

The 2015 Mazda CX-5 and 2015 Honda CR-V are both good vehicles. Each earns the same reliability rating, but both suffer from underpowered base engines. The CR-V is the more practical SUV of the two. It has class-leading cargo space, excellent fuel economy, and several more standard and available features than the CX-5. However, those who enjoy a more dynamic driving experience will likely find the CX-5 more to their liking than the CR-V.

Compare the CX-5, Escape, and CR-V »

2015 Mazda CX-5 Performance

How Does the 2015 Mazda CX-5 Drive?

The 2015 Mazda CX-5 has two engine options. The base engine is a 155-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder that can feel sluggish on inclines and when pulling away from a stop. Upper trims come with a 184-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that is better suited for highway driving.

The base model CX-5 comes with front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission. All-wheel drive and a snappy six-speed automatic transmission are available. The CX-5 provides exceptionally sporty handling and cornering ability, while also maintaining a comfortable ride.

Does the 2015 Mazda CX-5 Get Good Gas Mileage?

The CX-5 earns good fuel economy for the class: 26 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway with the base engine and automatic transmission. The stronger 2.5-liter engine gets 25/31 mpg city/highway.

Read more about CX-5 performance »

2015 Mazda CX-5 Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 Mazda CX-5 Seat?

The 2015 Mazda CX-5 seats five in two rows. For a driver-focused vehicle, the front seats aren’t ideal. While they provide decent support and make it easy to get into a decent position, they’re too stiff and narrow for lengthy travel. However, back-seat passengers will appreciate the abundance of head- and legroom.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2015 Mazda CX-5?

The CX-5 has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors in its back row, and the middle seat can borrow lower anchors from either outboard seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this LATCH system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use.

2015 Mazda CX-5 Features

The base model CX-5 Sport has a short features list that includes a USB port and a four-speaker stereo. Available features include a Bose audio system, satellite radio, navigation, a moonroof, a six-speaker sound system, HD Radio, Bluetooth, and a touch-screen infotainment system. The infotainment system's interface is complicated, and the system could use some nicer graphics.  

See 2015 Mazda CX-5 specs »

Read more about CX-5 interior »

2015 Mazda CX-5 Dimensions

Mazda CX-5 Cargo Space

The 2015 Mazda CX-5 has 34.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 64.8 cubic feet with them folded. These cargo capacities are about average for the compact SUV class.

2015 CX-5 Length and Weight

The 2015 CX-5 measures nearly 14.9 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,194 to 3,532 pounds.

Where Was the 2015 Mazda CX-5 Built?

Mazda assembled the 2015 CX-5 in Japan.

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