5. Mazda CX-5 – Lively Performer
Green Score: 44
Fuel economy rating (EPA city/highway combined): 29 mpg
Base price range: $22,375-$30,050
Another compact crossover
with a sporty flair, the CX-5 hits the mark in nearly every respect. It’s handsomely styled with an interesting amalgam of curves and creases running the length of the vehicle, and treats occupants to a nicely designed and sufficiently roomy Interior. Its highest green score is for the base version with the sufficiently lively 2.0-liter 155 horsepower four-cylinder engine and either the standard six-speed manual transmission or optional six-speed automatic. Meanwhile, the Touring and Grand Touring models come close with a modestly quicker 2.5-liter 184-horsepower four-cylinder engine and a standard automatic transmission. The CX-5 is tuned to deliver nimble and capable handling and a reasonably smooth ride over all but the most pockmarked road surfaces. Gadget lovers will appreciate that the vehicle offers the latest connectivity and infotainment features, along with a few high-tech safety systems. The latter include a blind spot warning system and a low-speed auto braking system (otherwise found in Volvo
models) that can help prevent collisions in stop-and-go traffic.