SEATTLE — The CX-5 continues to be an important vehicle for Mazda and the 2019 model shows no signs of that changing. It’s easily one of the best compact crossover SUVs around as it offers great styling, excellent comfort and class-leading interior design.
The big news for 2019 are the new Signature and Grand Touring Reserve models with the available 2.5-liter, turbocharged engine. It has an output of 227 horsepower with 310 lb-ft of torque. While the exhaust notes it exhibits aren’t very adrenaline-pumping, they are decent. It has a modest growl when opened up and provides a brisk acceleration. It’s mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission that does a very adept job of slamming through the gears. Towing capacity is rated up to 2,000 pounds.
Mazda’s latest version of its i-ACTIV all-wheel drive system that predicts when the front wheels spin and will then send power to the rear wheels. This means that for most daily driving, you’re essentially driving a front-wheel-drive vehicle with the associated understeer that comes with that. The advantage is a bit of fuel economy as you’re not powering all four wheels, all the time.
EPA provides a rating of 22 miles per gallon in the city and up to 27 on the highway. During our week with this vehicle, we a combined average of 26 — pretty good for having a curb weight of 3,825 pounds.
While the exterior design hasn’t changed in the past few years, the interior design and build quality are better than ever. Not only does it have the most upscale-looking interior, with the use of high-quality materials, the on-board tech is very solid as well. Additionally, Mazda has included Apple iPlay and Android Auto, standard.
The infotainment system powers Bose speakers which deliver a good overall audio experience, however, is still lacking in contrast from some of its competitors. You’ll find the control knob, mounted on the center console makes for an intuitive mechanism for controlling what you seen on the screen. Additionally, it is a touch screen.
All four seating positions provide a good deal of comfort, however, the rear can be a bit tight for taller adults. The CX-5’s shorter wheelbase than certain competitors comes into play here. While it’s not entirely uncomfortable, larger adults may have a hard time in the passenger seats on longer road trips. Our Signature edition features nappa leather seats
Made to be driven:
Where the CX-5 really shines is the way it drives. The boost in power over previous model years, is much-welcomed and gives the driver a good sense of confidence when passing slower traffic or towing a trailer over mountain passes.
It is easily our favorite handling compact SUV available. Mazda’s latest tweaks to the suspension leave it with a slightly firmer ride quality, however, still has enough give over bumps. Mazda also tweaked the steering so there’s less understeer than previous models. You’ll find that it remains very flat-feeling around hard corners, yet gives enough extended driver comfort for long excursions.
It’s easy to see why the CX-5 is Mazda’s best-selling vehicle. While it may not have the largest cargo capacity in its class, you’ll find the power, ride quality and features are simply hard to beat. Drive the competition and then drive a CX-5. If you love a great driving experience, you’ll likely snag one.
For more details, visit: www.mazda.com