Mazda CX-5 Mazda CX-5, a compact SUV first produced in 2012 for the 2013 model year, has been praised by the automotive press for its excellent handling and performance. "It's the best-driving compact SUV out there," Brauer said. "It handles well. But when I drove it, I had 'head toss,' (because) if you stiffen the suspension to prevent the car from rolling, the car stays stiff. So the ride is not quite as it should be for the target audience: women and parents." He added that the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Ford Escape, both competitors, have nicer interiors than the Mazda CX-5.