Mazda is crushing it. One of the world’s smallest independent automakers, Mazda divorced Ford Motor Company several years ago, forcing the organization to focus, and hard, on what matters. As it turns out, what matters to Mazda is driving dynamics, efficiency, and useful safety and infotainment technologies, all wrapped in alluring and modern design.
People are noticing Mazda. In 2015, the company enjoyed its best annual sales in 20 years, and a redesigned CX-9 midsize crossover debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show, representing the final box to be checked in the automaker’s reinvention, one that began in 2013 with the compact crossover pictured here: the Mazda CX-5.
Now the oldest vehicle in Mazda’s lineup, the 2016 CX-5 is freshened up with subtle exterior styling changes, minor interior modifications, equipment changes, drivetrain and suspension tweaks, a new infotainment system, and additional safety technologies. I put the CX-5 to the test as a suburban family shuttle to see how well it is holding up, and how the changes impact driver satisfaction. After a week of kid-hauling and grocery-getting, it is easy to understand this Mazda’s continued popularity.