Small crossovers are among the automotive world’s current sales champions. The Mazda CX-5 is one of the most appealing choices in the segment, offering stylish exterior design, strong fuel economy and engaging driving dynamics.
Every few years, manufacturers give each of their models a complete overhaul. This is done to make sure these vehicles remain fresh and appealing in the eyes of consumers. Every time one of these overhauls occurs, the vehicle is said to enter a new generation.
The CX-5’s first generation extended from its introduction in 2013 to the 2016 model. This Mazda crossover is currently in its second generation, which began with the 2017 model.
If you’re shopping for a used CX-5, you’ll need to answer one critical question: Should you purchase a model from the first generation or one from the second? Below, we’ve listed five key benefits second-generation models offer over older versions of this popular crossover SUV.
1. Second-Generation CX-5 Crossovers Offer a More Upscale Exterior Design
For car shoppers, appearances matter. It’s one of the reasons why crossover sales are booming while minivan sales have been steadily declining. Shoppers like being behind the wheel of a vehicle that looks stylish, and many crossovers fit the bill.
The Mazda CX-5 has always been an attractive-looking vehicle, but second-generation models bring in exterior revisions that give this crossover a more modern, upscale look. We’re fans of its stylish grille and sleek silhouette, and its refined lines ensure you won’t get tired of its looks.
2. Second-Generation CX-5 Crossovers Provide a More Stylish Interior
Drivers and passengers spend lots of time interacting with a vehicle’s cabin. An attractive exterior design is nice, but to truly impress, a vehicle has to provide a chic interior.
Relative to older models, second-generation CX-5 crossovers represent a big step up in terms of cabin design. Taking a cue from their exterior design, these models provide a premium, elegant cabin. This stylish aesthetic is supported by the high-quality materials used throughout the interior.
3. Second-Generation Models Treat Passengers to a Quieter Cabin
The first-generation CX-5 has taken some criticism for having a cabin that’s noisy in certain circumstances. This is noticeable when traveling at speed on the freeway. There’s also a fair amount of impact noise when driving over bumps.
With its second generation, the CX-5 ushers in changes that aim to make the cabin less cacophonous. The doors get extra seals and added sound-absorption materials. Also, the vehicle’s underbody paneling now covers a broader area of the chassis, and it’s made of a felt-like material that’s designed to diminish noise. The current generation comes with a thicker windshield that does a better job of preventing road noise from intruding on the cabin. Finally, within the cargo area, carpeted surfaces replace hard plastic in an effort to reduce noise reverberation throughout the interior.
All these efforts to make the cabin more tranquil have been successful. We spent time in a 2018 CX-5 Grand Touring and were impressed with its serene interior.
4. Second-Generation CX-5 Crossovers Are Available With a Power Liftgate
For some car shoppers, it can be a deal-breaker if a model doesn’t offer certain key amenities. Many shoppers seek out crossovers with power liftgates. This feature makes it easy to access the cargo area when loading and unloading groceries.
The first-generation CX-5 wasn’t available with a power liftgate. The second generation adds this feature to the lineup as an optional feature.
5. Second-Generation CX-5 Crossovers Are Available With Reclining Rear Seats
If you frequently travel with passengers in the second row, you’ve probably given some thought to the comfort of your vehicle’s rear seats. Reclining rear seats can make it easier for second-row passengers to find a comfortable position on longer journeys.
Reclining rear seats weren’t offered with the first-generation CX-5, but this feature is optional on second-generation models. With 2017 and newer models, the CX-5’s back seats provide two stages of recline adjustability.
Tweaking a Successful Formula
While the second-generation CX-5 isn’t a radical departure from the outgoing model, it offers thoughtful changes that will appeal to many shoppers.
If features such as a reclining rear seat and a power liftgate are important to you, it’s worth choosing a second-generation model over an older version of this top-selling crossover.