2013 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD review: Hot

However, the seating, as felt from the driver’s seat, is sporty, well bolstered and supportive. Our tester was a “Grand Touring” model, which in Mazdaspeak means top of the line and fully loaded. The interior has a rich look, with piano black (the current look of richness) with bright accents. Seats are classy in black with red accent stitching. The only flaw was a cheap plastic surround for the shift lever, out of character with the rest of the interior.

The 2013 Mazda CX-5 expands cargo capacity by folding down rear seats.

The 2013 Mazda CX-5 expands cargo capacity by folding down rear seats via a handle on each rear bulkhead. (click to enlarge)

The rear seats are particularly roomy, with generous leg room accented by a lot of toe space under the front seats, effectively giving more room to stretch one’s legs.

The seatbacks fold for extra cargo volume, as one would expect in this class, but as is also typical with the class, the seatbacks don’t fold completely flat, and sliding in large object won’t be as easy as if they did. The rear seat seatbelts, however, stay nicely out of the way when the seatbacks go down.

2013 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD

2013 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD (click to enlarge)

Pricing for the 2013 Mazda CX-5 starts at $20,995 for the base-trim Sport but accelerates to $28,295 for the tested Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD. It’s well equipped for that price, however, with 19-inch alloy wheels, rain-sensing wipers, heated power mirrors and more as standard equipment. Our test CX-5 Grand Touring added a Tech Package, which includes a navigation system by TomTom, bright, self-leveling adaptive (steering) HID headlamps, keyless entry and pushbutton start and auto-dimming rearview mirror that, with $795 destination fee, brings the bottom line price to $30,415.

That’s over $30 grand for a compact crossover. On the other hand, it’s a compact crossover with all-wheel drive, advanced mechanical bit and with technology that only 15 minutes ago was available just on high end luxury cars. And so yes, it’s the 2013 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring, it’s a compact crossover, and that’s hot.