2019 Mazda CX-5 Review By Larry Nutson; Premium Without The Price
2019 Mazda CX-5
Premium without the price
By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
For the last couple years Mazda has been upping its game. The introduction of a new top-line Signature trim first on the CX-9 3-row midsize SUV and then on the Mazda6 sedan set the stage.
Now for 2019 the 5-passenger compact CX-5 crossover SUV also gets the new Signature trim. The 2019 CX-5 features a high-quality interior, especially on the new Signature trim level, adds the turbocharged SKYACTIV-2.5T engine and new G-Vectoring Control Plus vehicle driving enhancement, amongst other features.
On the outside the 2019 CX-5 is pretty much unchanged. The interior cabin is where all the newness happens. I have driven the 2018 Mazda6 sedan with the Signature trim so my expectations for the CX-5 has been set.
I wasn’t disappointed getting settled behind the wheel of my CX-5 Signature media loan test vehicle. The interior is very rich with Caturra Brown Nappa leather, UltraSuede and Japanese Sen wood. A Bose 10-speaker sound system provides concert hall listening.
For 2019 the CX-5 is offered in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trims each powered by a 187 horsepower 2.5-L with the choice of either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. And now there also is the new Grand Touring Reserve and Signature trims that come with a 227 (250) horsepower turbo 2.5-L and in all-wheel drive configuration only.
Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic.
A note here on the turbo engine. The 227 horsepower rating is with regular 87 AKI gasoline. If you are looking for more performance, by using 93 AKI premium fuel you will have 250 horsepower at your disposal. Mazda provides both horsepower ratings so the consumer is informed and can decide for themselves. The reduced engine performance is typical of many manufacturer’s engines that “recommend” premium fuel. Fuel consumption is not affected by the different octane grades.
EPA test-cycle fuel economy ratings for the all-wheel drive turbo are 24 mpg combined with 22 city mpg and 27 highly mpg. I didn’t have the opportunity to take any long, highway drives during my time with the CX-5. Most all of my time behind the wheel was in short, stop and go, city drives in cold winter weather with temperatures in the high-teens and low-20s. My fuel economy was in the range of 16-17 mpg.
Getting back to the inside, the Nappa leather immediately says luxury. Beyond the look and feel, new premium features include power-fold outside mirrors, leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel to go along with the heated and ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto infotainment technologies, SiriusXM three-Year Traffic and Travel Link Subscription, 360° View Monitor with front and rear parking sensors, reconfigurable 7.0-inch TFT gauge display and Active Driving Display with Traffic Sign Recognition are also all new.
A full contingent of advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) features are available included smart city brake support, forward collision warning and mitigation, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert.
Pricing for the 2019 CX-5 starts at $24,350 and goes up to $36,890. More information, specifications and detail on the 2019 Mazda CX-5 can be found at www.mazdausa.com.
The CX-5 Signature with its turbo engine and well calibrated automatic has plenty of performance. Acceleration, highway merging as well as overtaking are all handled very nicely. Engine noise is very well managed and not very perceptible. As is typical of Mazda, the CX-5 has a very compliant suspension the delivers nimble handling and excellent maneuvering at higher speeds. The G-Vectoring Control Plus system provides improved cornering, lane changing and overall ride control by varying engine torque in response to steering inputs for better cornering. Steering is nicely weighted, a bit heavier for that sporty drive, with good feedback.
The Mazda CX-5 is one of the best looking compact crossover out there today. At first blush you would think it cost much, much more. Mazda interiors are also more premium than most others in the segment. And now the Signature trim interior is easily characterized as elegant.
The compact crossover SUV segment offers lots of choices for buyers today. The 2019 Mazda CX-5 stands out from the crowd with its refined looks and premium interior. The new turbo engine gives plenty of boost especially for those who want a more dynamic driving experience or need the power in hilly country or when more fully loaded.
© 2019 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy
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