If you must have a crossover.
The crossover, a hybrid mix of a front-wheel-drive sedan platform with an SUV-looking body planted on top. Makes for a fine mix of suburban life consisting of soccer moms and those who truly believe their crossover, whatever the make and model, makes them feel more dominant on the road because of its raised ride height. Here's the truth: crossovers are nothing more than jacked-up hatchbacks – and they're selling like hotcakes these days.
Compact, mid-size, full-size, luxury, non-luxury, you name it. Automakers are making a killing, but perhaps the best one out there, the one that actually has a soul, is one of the most affordable and most fun to drive. And, go figure, it comes from Mazda.
The 2016 CX-5, which just received a mid-life refresh, is genuinely a good car, crossover or not. Our tester, a top-trim Grand Touring AWD, came powered by the optional 2.5-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder with 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. The all-wheel drive costs an extra $1,300, and it's offered on all three trims. The base engine is a decent enough 2.0-liter four banger with 155 hp, but it's mated to a six-speed manual as standard fare, and Mazda makes one fine manual. Pricing? Quite reasonable. A base CX-5, with the manual tranny, starts at $23,595. Our car? A bit pricier at $34,200, but it's packed with tons of goodies, all of which are discussed in our latest review. Special thanks to DGDG.com for letting us film the car.