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Should you buy a used Mazda CX-5?

This year, Mazda unveiled a new generation of their much beloved mid-size crossover, the CX-5. The vehicle is a large step in the right direction for Mazda and rounds out their SUV lineup with a set of three recently introduced or redesigned models.

From the exterior to the powertrain, very little was carried over from the first generation CX-5 to the 2017 model. However, if you can’t afford to get behind the wheel of a new CX-5, the good news is that the 2016 model holds up relatively well against modern models.

What makes it better than the new crossovers on the market? The 2016 Mazda CX-5 isn’t better than most new model SUVs. But, it’s still a good crossover and there are many new models I would rather not have in my driveway than the used CX-5. I drove around the 2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring FWD for a week and found it to do many of the functions I would require of it as a daily driver with aplomb.

Throughout its generational run, Mazda kept up with a lot of the aesthetics and technology that can quickly make a vehicle appear aged. For 2016, the crossover got an upgraded cabin and design features, drawing it in line with the Mazda6 that had been recently redesigned in the time when the 2016 CX-5 was new.

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Under the hood, the CX-5 Grand Touring I test drove had a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The power plant achieves a respectable 184 horsepower and gets great fuel economy (26 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway). The model isn’t a rapid accelerator off the line but it has no problems merging with traffic at speed.

Where Mazda wins over many other used SUVs is in its driving dynamics and pricing. Buyers will get a sporty crossover that makes scooting around town only as boring as you want it to be.

When it was new, the CX-5 earned good predicted reliability ratings from J.D. Power and Associates and it has been subject to four recalls, which all happened in early- to mid-2016, Be sure to check that any outstanding recalls have been addressed prior to buying a used vehicle.

The car was also designated as a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The 2017 Mazda CX-5 starts at $24,045. A 2017 CX-5 Grand Touring will run you upwards of $29,000. A search of CarGurus.com reveals that you can likely find a 2016 CX-5 for around $22,000 (not including any negotiated price lowering) if you’re willing to travel outside your ZIP code to get a new-to-you vehicle. Many are going for thousands less than their listed value.

If you don’t need the latest technology but still want the soft touch materials in the cabin and sporty driving dynamics Mazda is usually known for, buying a used Mazda CX-5 may be the right move for you. It’s a great family car that holds up against the test of time.

About Eileen Falkenberg-Hull

Eileen is the writer of the nationally syndicated column Automotive Minute in The Business Journals, which explores the automotive industry focusing on news, reviews, and interviews. She loves finding out about the business strategy, design, and drivability of vehicles. Eileen is a contributor to U.S. News & World Report Best Cars.

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