By Nitish S. Rele,

Barely in its fourth year and the CX-5 has been revamped twice. Seating five in comfort and style, the sporty ride sticks to its reliable power train: 2.5-liter inline-4 cylinder engine putting out 187 horsepower (up by 3) @ 6000 rpm and 185 pounds-feet of torque @ 3250 rpm while coupled to a 6-speed auto transmission. Whether you choose the front-wheel or all-wheel drive, the compact crossover is equipped with the direct-injection Skyactiv, which uses a torque boost via a high compression ratio to increase fuel economy. And the G-Vectoring Control (uses engine timing for more accurate steering inputs) is standard across all trims for 2017.

An all-new Soul Red Crystal color enhances the attractive appearance of the CX-5, which sports a sharper five-point grille flanked by trapezoidal eagle-eyed LED headlights. The well-crafted and intelligently-designed cabin conveys a classy and tailored look. The fresh 4.6-inch TFT instrument cluster of analog speedometer, tachometer and driver information center is pleasing to the eye. The 7-inch screen for navigation, phone and audio is easy to use via a commander control knob on the center console. Our top-level Grand Touring arrived with standard dual a/c control, leather seats, power sun roof, push-button start, heated front seats, metallic-finish trim, eight-way driver’s seat and a Bose sound system. Head and legroom is adequate for adults and, best of all, is the 40/20/40 split rear seat, which folds flat via a lever release in the trunk. This opens up 59.7 cubic feet of space in the cargo hold or you can still eke out 30.9 cubic feet with occupied seats.

Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, dynamic stability and traction controls, four-wheel antilock brakes, hill launch assist, blind spot monitor, lane-keep assist and departure warning, rear-cross traffic alert, front/rear crumple zones and stabilizer bars, rearview camera, three-point safety belts for all, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights are standard.

In only three years, the CX-5 has carved a slot in the competitive compact crossover segment. The 2017 facelift makes the ride, which delivers plentiful cargo/passenger room, sportiness and commendable fuel mileage, even more likable.

Tires: 225/55/R19
Suspension: MacPherson strut front, multilink rear
Steering: power rack and pinion
Wheelbase: 106.2 inches
Length: 179.1 inches
Weight: 3,527 pounds
Fuel capacity: 14.8 gallons
City: 24 mpg
Highway: 31 mpg
Base price: $29,395
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