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2019 Mazda CX-5 Vs. The World - How I Used The Web And Test Drives To Help Me Decide Which New Car Would Replace My Cadillac SRX


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Editor's Note; Buying a new vehicle should be considered a major event in your life, both monetarily and emotionaly, so treat it as such...don't make the purchase without serious research, don't be rushed at the dealer...most people spend a year buying a couch, so why should you short-change the time you spend learning, shopping and test driving a potential next car. If you spend too much, every month you will have aggravation, if you buy a less-than-perfect-vehicle to fit your needs and desires, every day you will have aggravation...so prevent aggravation potential and invest the time to do it right. Can you imagine that Rhoda made the Mazda CX-5 her choice, not another Cadillac? If I was Cadillac I would be very worried about the future of my brand.

By Rhoda F
Louisville KY

April 2019 - I am a 72 year old woman and my husband had been after me to get a new vehicle.  I dug in my heels and refused.  I loved my 2006 Cadillac SRX which I bought in 2005, it was comfortable and it felt like home.

I loved it.

I didn’t want to get a new car - it had only 118,000 miles on it, it was dealer serviced and other than a tiny oil leak was in perfect condition...no way I was going to give my baby up no matter what my husband argued.

And then ....we went to Hilton Head for a 3 week avoidance of winter-back-home-vacation using our timeshare [the timeshare points go much further during the off season than during the high season].I decided to leave my husband and dog in Hilton Head, rent a car and drive to Florida to visit my aunts, aged 89 and 86.  The trip is about half the distance from Hilton Head than it is from my home in Louisville KY.

So I rented a Nissan Rogue and was it an eye opener.  It was a fairly equipped vehicle. 

My 2006 SRX didn’t even have a backup camera.

That did it.  I felt I should have a newer vehicle with all the safety features. 

Since I own vehicles for a long time I thought I might keep my next new car for the rest of my driving life.  Thus I wanted a car with everything on and in it.  And I wanted it fuchsia. 

Why not, I thought.

To help with my purchase decision I had been keeping a running list of the characteristics of any new car that I would eventually buy.  I developed a spread sheet listing all my desireable characteristics. 

Next I needed to narrow down what vehicles to consider, I wanted an SUV but a small one.

I turned to all the online services, including The Auto Channel, to find the vehicles, one of which would fit the bill and could potentially be my last vehicle.

I found 11 vehicles and extended my spreadsheet to include these 11 vehicles I chose to look at; Mazda CX5, Honda CRV, Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4, Cadillac XT5, Nissan Rogue, Kia, Hyundai, Ford Escape, Volvo, Chevy.

My husband suggested going to a car show to look at the different vehicles.  I nixed that idea as I would just see the vehicles but wouldn’t get a chance to get the in-depth information I required.  I thought I’d get the most information at the dealerships, so off to 11 dealerships I went with my spreadsheet in hand.

The range of knowledge of salespeople at the different dealerships was amazing.  Some folks knew some of the information, some knew very little and one, only one, knew a lot.  I filled out the spread sheet during each dealer visit. 

At the end of the process I went home and looked at my spreadsheet and eliminated many of the potential for-purchase vehicles. 

Next, back to the web where I read professional reviews of the remaining vehicles. I was able to whittle down my consideration list to 3 vehicles. 

I arranged to test-drive all three in the same day. 

I did and it became clear very quickly which would be my vehicle. 

I fell in love with it during the first moments of the test-drive. 

I bought it and I love it.

I love it still...and I had it painted fuchsia! 

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It’s a 2019 Mazda CX5 with every upgrade possible.

The characteristics I looked for in the small SUV class were:

  • Maximum height of the drivers seat from the ground - I like to sit up high
  • The length of the vehicle - it had to fit into my garage
  • Width of the vehicle
  • Length of the cargo area
  • Width of the cargo area
  • Is there a spare tire - we travel all over the country, often on non interstate roads and cell service is spotty or non-existent so a spare is a must
  • Do the side view mirrors indicate when you have your turn signal on - I think this is an important safety feature and was surprised the new Cadillac XT5 does not have this feature
  • Is there automatic parallel parking
  • Is there a lane departure warning system
  • Is there automatic braking
  • Are there chromatic side view mirrors - that is mirrors that dim when hit with bright lights as do most rearview mirrors
  • Is the speed control adaptive - does it automatically slow down if too close to the vehicle in front of you
  • How strong are the headlights and how far do they light up the road ahead
  • Can you read the NAV screen while wearing polarized sunglasses
  • Does the NAV have updated traffic information
  • Is there a backup camera
  • Does the engine shut off when stopped at a traffic light - I did not want this feature
  • Are there blind spot monitors
  • Are there auto daytime running lights
  • Is it all-wheel drive
  • Is there a cross traffic monitor
  • Is there a 360 degree view
  • What is the 0 - 60 time
  • What type of transmission does it have
  • What is the horsepower
  • Is there a pedestrian detection warning
  • Are the head airbags front and rear
  • Are there curtain airbags front and rear
  • Does it have Onstar or an equivalent system to automatically call for help in an emergency
  • Is there bluetooth
  • Is there a CD player
  • Is there satellite radio
  • Are there automatic headlights
  • Is there a dotted strip on the front windshield between the visors to block the sun
  • Is the steering wheel power adjustable
  • Are there double visors for the driver and passenger - no vehicle had this but my husbands Mercedes has it and it’s wonderful
  • Is the steering wheel adjustable
  • Is the driver seat a power seat with memory
  • Are the front seats heated
  • Are the front seats cooled
  • Is the steering wheel heated
  • Is there a power lift-gate
  • Is there a moon roof - I don’t open it but I love the extra light
  • Does the clock automatically reset with the timezones and daylight savings time
  • How large is the gas tank
  • Does it use regular gas, Flex Fuel, E-15
  • Is a hybrid, plug-in available
  • Can I get it in a custom color - no dealer offered this
  • What is the warranty - the Mazda offered an extended warranty when closing on the vehicle for 10 years/100,000 bumper to bumper.  To me, this clearly showed how much the manufacturer believed in the vehicle
  • What is the base sticker price
  • What is the loaded sticker price
  • How long would it take to get the EXACT vehicle I wanted
And then found out my Mazda CX5 has two features I love and didn’t even know I wanted:
  • A heads up display - lots of information can appear on the windshield so you don’t even have to take your eyes off the road
  • Brakes lights on the rear windshield flash 4 times when I hit the brake 

I adore my new car! It’s beyond love. It is such a pleasure to drive. It’s worthwhile to take your time and find the correct fit. It’s such a major purchase and you will spend a lot of time in your car. Don’t rush. Take as long as you need. Compile the list of characteristics that are important for your driving life. Visit the dealerships and ask all your questions. Read write ups about the vehicles by professionals, especially the Autochannel.com

And if you be lucky enough to find a great review, like I found in the May edition of Popular Mechanics which calls my Mazda CX5 the “CROSSOVER OF THE YEAR”. They started their review “How many times we do have to tell you? Drive a Mazda CX5. Seriously. Please. We know you’re considering that other thing, but just humor us and drive the CX5.” I was thrilled to see the most enthusiastic review of anything I’ve ever seen. I know my car isn’t the car for everyone but it is so clearly the car for me and my research and the time I took was well worth it. I hope you find your perfect fit.

SEE ALSO:Mazda CX-5 Reviews From The Auto Channel