When my folks came to take me home that first day, we became a family, I was placed in a house on wheels. I had never been in such a thing that moved and turned this way and that way. Oh boy did I howl and cry until mom assured me it was okay. My favorite toy and a bone were in a kennel to help with the journey. Little did I know that I would go on many adventures in what I learned was a car. My puppy years were spent in a Mazda Tribute. Man, we drove the wheels off that thing touring all around the state of Colorado. While visiting Moab, the transmission went kaput and created an adventure of the frustrating kind.
After that, Dad got a Nissan Pathfinder. Wow – it was big! I was grown up and able to jump right into the truck. We moved from Colorado to Texas to Arizona in that vehicle and continue to explore in it to this day.
My mom has been driving the same car long before me. Her Acura is a nice human car, but it isn’t dog-friendly. I can’t see out the windows, and I slide around with nothing really to steady me. Mom has only taken me on short distances in it – like to the park – because it isn’t really safe for me.
To my surprise, mom got a new vehicle just for me! Yes, she searched high and low for a crossover that would be dog-friendly. Some of the salesperson thought she was a bit crazy, but those who love my kind got it. My mom found out most crossovers do not have a dog-friendly back where the back seats fold down to connect with the front seats. The gap between the two can be dangerous for small and mid-size dogs like me. She was pretty disappointed in some models she really liked.
For instance, the Cadillac X4 had a huge gap and for the size vehicle, didn’t have any get up and go. Both the Cadillac X5 and X4 get poor gas mileage, too. Mom sure likes the lines of the Cadillac. As she has pointed them out, they are sharp looking cars. Just know if you buy one, you’ll pay out the nose for maintenance and gas. Inside is pretty sharp and it has lots of technology.
The Lexus 4 series is a sweet-looking ride, but it comes with a hefty price tag. To stay within budget, mom would have had to get a 2015 with high miles, not to mention inheriting someone else’s dirt. And once again, maintenance would be outrageous. If money is no object, though, this might be your vehicle, but it still has the gap in the back for dogs.
Even the Toyota Rav4 that promotes being an adventure automobile didn’t have what mom was looking for, especially within budget. The inside was extremely disappointing for the price tag, and it had a limpy engine. Mom likes power when she needs it! Honda’s get good marks, but they look so plain. Mom had a Honda long ago and found it “okay.” Since she knows she will have this car for a long time, she wanted something that would excite her.
She was going to test drive an Acura since she is a fan, but the salespeople at Acura of Peoria were total snobs and flat-out rude! Acura has gone stick less, and mom didn’t like pushing a button to change gears. Some will like it but she thinks it was a mistake. That being said, the inside did not disappoint. Acura does a great job with amenities for the driver. The RDX felt fat, though, and it didn’t have the sleek, sporty look as in years past.
Mom looked at the Buick but found the smallest one in the line too small and the mid-size too big. Inside was nice but not for the price. Mom skipped Nissan because she rented a Rogue recently and they haven’t changed the inside. It’s just plain and not user friendly as well as lacking power.
Mom loves the Subaru commercials with the dogs. Me, too! They are the best. She has read good things about the Subaru, but it doesn’t fit her. As she explains it, it is too mountainy looking. If we lived in Colorado again, I think she would lean toward it, but we live in a city. She wanted sporty, midsize yet powerful and fun to drive. Just when move thought such a ride didn’t exist, she found the Mazda CX5. Originally, this was also rated low on zest, but in 2019, they added the Turbo Boost. That was just the ticket for mom!
The Mazda CX5 Wins!
When I smelled the new wheels, I was excited and jumped right in. I have so much space and I can see out every window! My kennel fits under the cargo cover, which is attached to the auto open & close back hatch. The back seats connect to the front when folded down, so I won’t fall or slip. The seats go up and down easily either by hand or with a lever in the back hatch.
Mom chose the Grand Touring Reserve model because it has that Turbo Boost. She loves the power when she needs it but not at the expense of fuel efficiency. She’s been getting 25 miles per gallon! Right on. As our temperatures cool down, mom will enjoy the heated seats and heated steering wheel. Get this, the seats can cool off during the heat of the summer!
Mom was upset that the CX5 didn’t come with a CD player, but most new cars do not include them anymore. She loaded up a USB card (whatever that is) and plugged it into the CX5 and bam! She has tons of music available. She can also listen to music from her phone or via XM radio. Mazda did a super job with the entertainment package.
Mazda CX5 gets the highest consumer marks for safety, fuel efficiency, drive, and maintenance. Mom read reviews about the complicated technology package, and she would agree. Although everything is available through voice command, it is cumbersome. Setting up some features takes multiple steps instead of one button.
The inside is clean and high-tech looking, but it lacks in finishes touches and storage. Acura beat them hands down on that, but mom had to go with the overall best for our needs, and it was the Mazda CX5 with turbo. Everyone at the Mazda Cardinale dealership were friendly and helpful. No one pressured mom, and they gave her a good deal.
I haven’t met these guys, but I wanted to tell them thanks for taking great care of mom and making her purchase a positive experience: Lynn, Jason, and Jeremy. If you are looking for a new car that is dog-friendly but fun to drive, take a close look at the Mazda CX5. Maybe you can join the family, too.