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2019 Mazda CX-5 Overview
The CX-5 is Mazda’s best-selling vehicle, despite being introduced in 2012. The sharp-looking second generation debuted for 2017. For 2019, Mazda expands the lineup further with two new trims that feature more power under the hood, including he CX-5 Signature model, which features a luxury interior with real leather and wood, chassis enhancements for better handling, and a turbocharged engine under the hood. The other trim is the Grand Touring Reserve, which takes the previous year’s Grand Touring package and adds the newly available turbo engine.
The base engine for the CX-5 is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder with 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque driving through a 6-speed automatic transmission. It features cylinder deactivation to improve fuel economy, and returns a respectable 25 mpg city, 31 highway, and 28 combined in front-wheel drive (FWD) or 24, 30, and 26 with all-wheel drive (AWD). The new Grand Touring Reserve and Signature models get the SKYACTIV-2.5T engine also found in the larger CX-9 SUV and the Mazda6 sedan. It’s a turbocharged direct-injection unit good for a much more potent 250 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque when running on premium gas, although it will run on lower octane fuel. You can expect returns of 22, 27, 24 for fuel economy. The Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring trims are available in FWD or AWD. The new Grand Touring Reserve and Signature trims come only with AWD.
Mazda made refinements to the CX-5’s suspension for 2019 in the interest of a smoother ride. All trims feature “G-Vectoring Control Plus,” which varies engine torque to control the vertical load on each axle for optimal handling and adds a touch of the brake on the outside front wheel in a corner.
Lower trims include Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring. The Sport trim comes with cloth upholstery along with a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and active safety features like blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. An available options bundle adds rain-sensing windshield wipers. The Touring model adds synthetic leather seats, heated front seats, keyless ignition, rear USB ports, and vents for the rear seats. A Bose stereo, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a moonroof, and a power liftgate are available in a Touring Preferred Package.
To get genuine leather, buyers have to opt for the Grand Touring package, which also adds a memory feature for the driver’s seat, power adjust for the passenger’s seat, and an available options package that includes head-up display (HUD) as well as heating for the steering wheel and the rear seats. It gets even better with the new CX-5 Signature, which gets a 360-degree-view camera, a frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror, LED interior lighting, Caturra Brown Nappa leather seats, layered wood trim, and heated and ventilated front seats.
Reviewers have praised the CX-5 for good visibility and impressive features for the price. With the second-row seats upright, the CX-5 offers 31 cubic feet of space, and with the seats folded this expands to 59.6 cubic feet.
While the 2019 CX-5 has yet to be tested, the 2018 model gets top “Good” scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), enough for a Top Safety Pick+ classification. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) earned a 5-star overall score. Standard safety equipment includes cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. Higher trims get full-speed automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, automatic high-beam headlights, and lane-keep assist.
The CX-5 is already Mazda’s most popular model, so for 2019 the company expands its appeal even further with a more luxurious and fun-to-drive model in the CX-5 Signature. The Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 are eternally popular choices in this segment, while the Ford Escape and Volkswagen Tiguan are other tempting alternatives. The CX-5 is arguably the best looking of the bunch, and it should be one of the first compact crossovers to consider.
Since 2012, Andrew Newton has been writing about cars both old and new. Andrew has been an associate editor at Sport Car Digest as well as a contributor to sites like BoldRide and JamesEdition. He was also the Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA before becoming the Auction Editor at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. He currently splits his time behind the wheel between his NA Miata, 1994 Corvette, and Triumph TR6.
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