Who says SUV can’t be fun to drive?
Mazda is one of the few mainstream brands that reward drivers with performance and driving engagement. The CX-5 100th anniversary edition is essentially the same CX-5 Signature but with some cosmetic upgrades such as red leather interior, special badges and new wheel designs. The core elements of the compact SUV are unchanged, such as the 2.5L turbo Skyactiv-G engine that produces up to 250hp and 320lb ft. of torque, mated to a 6 speed automatic and i-Active AWD.
The tires that came with my test car were 19” Pirelli Pzero Winter and they match the dynamics of the CX-5 very well. The ride is fairly quiet, solidly planted and surprisingly supple. The suspension is on the firmer side compared to the more luxurious offerings such as the Infiniti QX50 but the benefit of a firmer suspension is better agility. The CX-5 is more fun and engaging to drive and corners quicker. The acceleration is quick and the AWD helps put down the power efficiently; there is not much jarring or spinning from idle. This is a fun SUV.
Interior design and space
The seats are wrapped in beautiful red Nappa leather with the headrests embossed with the Mazda 100th anniversary logo, making them feel and look special. What might be less accommodating is the width of the seats; they’re narrower than the competition and the back is quite firm as well. The anniversary edition also comes with red carpets and matching floor mats. Another special feature of the anniversary edition is the white front and rear door panels as well as the white center armrest. You do end up paying about $1500 extra for these special features on the anniversary edition compared to the Signature model, but I think the red Nappa leather alone is worth the upgrade. One important note about the anniversary edition is that it is only offered in Snowflake White Pearl exterior color.
There is a whole suite of safety features that includes Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring (ABSM), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Smart City Brake Support Front (SCBS-F) and rear-view camera (wide angle). For the Signature trim and the anniversary edition, new safety technology has been added, including Smart City Break Support Rear (SCBS-R) and Driver Attention Alert (DAA).
Other features include 10-speaker Bose sound system, Android Auto and Apple Carplay as well as heads-up display. The only real complaint I have is the lack of panoramic sunroof.
Check out the gallery below to see if this anniversary edition CX-5 is your thing!