Tuesday, July 2, 2019

2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD: The Brand’s Near-Luxury, Compact Crossover

Highlight: A diesel model is now available in the CX-5.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $39,325 (Base model $25,395)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; hill launch assist; traction control system; stability control; a rearview camera with a rear cross traffic alert system; a tire pressure monitoring system; and a smart city brake support system

Standard Equipment On Sport (Base Model): 17-inch wheels; front wheel drive; a 7-inch infotainment screen; rear roof spoiler; manual front seats; cloth seats; a leather wrapped steering wheel; a push button start system; remote keyless entry system; steering wheel mounted controls; a manual operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; rear seat recline; and an electronic parking brake

Standard Equipment (Signature Model): includes Grand Touring features too; 2.5-liter Skyactiv turbo runs off unleaded and premium gasoline; 227-hp and 250-hp engine; all-wheel drive; 19-inch wheels; automatic leveling head lights; rain sensing windshield wipers; a dual zone automatic climate control system with pollen filter; a heated steering wheel; a keyless entry system; a power rear liftgate; a rear privacy glass; power front seats; leather seats; a rear center armrest; ventilated front seats; heated front seats; heated rear seats; a 10-speaker Bose audio system with satellite radio; a navigation system; a 360-degree camera; front and rear parking sensors; lane departure warning; lane keep assist system; automatic folding mirrors; dual exterior heated mirrors; a black cloth headliner; and a radar activated cruise control system

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: cargo mat; illuminated doorsill trim plates; Soul red paint; a rear bumper guard; and a retractable cargo cover
Other Trims:

Grand Touring Reserve

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 4-speaker AM/FM/HD radio

Apple CarPlay/Android: Available

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity: Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder/187-hp (horsepower)

Recommended Fuel: Regular

Standard Fuel Mileage: 25-city/31-hwy

What’s New: Like with the brand's three-row CX-9, a new uplevel Signature trim joins the midsize CX-5 along with an all-new Skyactiv 2.5T engine.

Why: The second generation premium-like midsize crossover, with its prominent luxury-like grille, received its last major makeover in 2017. Depending upon the trim, the CX-5 is available in a front wheel drive or all-wheel drive configuration.

A new upscale Signature trim, 19-inch wheels and a diesel engine joins the line up, pushing the vehicle closer to being in the league of being in the near luxury league like Acura, Buick or an Infiniti.

This year’s new Signature trim, which specifically includes an ambient airplane-like lighting, premium leather, a Black color headliner, an automatic dimming frameless rearview mirror, a bright Silver finish on the door switch panel, wood interior trim accents, a 360-degree camera, front and rear parking sponsors pushes the stylish crossover to another level.

The CX-5 we reviewed was outfitted with Mazda’s signature Skyactiv 2.5T engine, which runs off of both unleaded and premium fuel. Depending upon the fuel type, the cozy, but more performance-oriented CX-5 horsepower can range from 227- to 250-horsepower.

In addition to its upscale design, the CX-5 offers many of the safety driving aids consumers have come to expect. Those features range from a radar activated cruise control system to an electronic blind spot system to a 360-degree camera.
But: The all-wheel drive configuration is only available on the midlevel and higher level trims. And the diesel engine is only available on the more expensive Signature trim.

Moreover, the touchscreen infotainment screen which houses the navigation, audio and cameras, is too tiny, when compared to its competitors.

And, like with all Mazda’s, it simply requires too many steps to operate the audio system via its rotary dial system. Mazda’s engineering team needs to consider adding knobs and buttons and designing a more simplified, user friendly system.

Also, if Mazda wants to place this vehicle in a different class, it’s time to offer a panoramic sunroof.

Lastly, the rear seat legroom is quite limited and the heated steering is only designed to warm specific areas of the steering wheel. We spent time behind the wheel, while the weather still influx.

Verdict: Mazda is doing everything to possible to place the vehicle in the same class as an Audi, with its new upscale Signature trim. The upscale package offers such features as bending lights, ventilated seats, a complicated i-Drive BMW-like rotary system to a premium sounding audio system. Mazda is doing all of the right things to separate itself from its mainstream competitors in its push to be classified as a near luxury brand.

Competition: Chevy Equinox; Ford Escape; GMC Terrain; Honda CR-V; Nissan Rogue; Subaru Forester; Toyota RAV4; and VW Tiguan

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