2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD - Is it good enough?

Yeah I know this is a review of last year's model but as of this moment Mazda hasn't released a 2020 CX-5 on its public website so it is the most current. I expect the 2020s should be available soon.

Mazda's CX line (CX-3, CX-30 [a 2020 model], CX-5, and CX-9) are crossover vehicles. Crossovers are not SUVs and not minivans; they are kind of a mix. You can call them whatever you want. Although I'm not sure what the alpha-numeric names mean they at least make sense - 3 is the smallest and 9 the largest.

The Signature model is the top of the line CX-5. Mechanically all CX-5s are the same. They all use Mazda's "SKYACTIV"  2.5-liter DOHC, 4-cylinder engine. It features cylinder deactivation (meaning under specific conditions it will operate on fewer than four cylinders), produces 186 and 186 lb-ft of torque. The only transmission is a 6-speed automatic. Front-wheel-drive is the base drive system with i-ACTIVE all-wheel-drive(AWD) optional. The test CX-5 has AWD.

I don't see the need for AWD as much as the general public but if it makes you feel safer who am I to argue?

It's funny to think that any car that weighs around 3,500 lbs. is powered by a 4-cylinder. Years ago fours were wimpy little engines that either powered fuel sippers or foreign cars. They weren't suited to American tastes or roads or so the thought went. Now no one worries that a four is incapable of powering a "big" vehicle or of sustained highway speeds. 

I drove the CX-5 three times from my home to Dublin, CA a round trip of 50 miles. It performed flawlessly (I expected nothing less). The power was more than enough (at times the engine felt like it was turbocharged but it isn't) and the fuel economy was just about spot on the EPA figure of 27 mpg on the highway. Around town, probably because of the rather short trips I usually take, it was a little below the stated 22 mpg. 

Every vehicle I drive has its own take on how the controls should be laid out. I've learned to like heads up displays and the CX-5's were great. Funny that I couldn't get a picture of it - was it real or a ghost?

I found the volume control for the sound system hard to find without taking my eyes off the road. It's small and to the right side of the center console. That was the only little bother I found.

The information screen isn't huge but it is easy to read. It sits atop the dash in the dead center. Now seeing what is happening is not a major concern. I like that you do not have to look down to see the screen. Just a quick glance to the side and you can see it with your peripheral vision, you're eyes don't leave the road.

From my perspective the CX-5 is almost the perfect size. There's just my wife and I so I don't need seating for a small army. Five can be seated comfortably and it's easy to fit a baby seat for when our youngest grand-daughter is visiting. Getting in and out was a breeze even for this old guy.

Being the top of the line CX-5 the test car had all the amenities I would need. And all the current safety features. I did find the Blind Spot Monitoring system's alert a bit loud (a simple "beep" instead of "BEEP' would suffice) and maybe overly sensitive - even after clearing a vehicle by a fair distance it warned me when I put on my blinker to pull back into the lane. I guess better safe than sorry.

I think that these vehicles, whether you call them SUVs or crossovers, all kind of blend together. They all are two box designs - a front box for the engine transmission, and a rear, larger box for passengers and cargo. Brand loyalty, or brand identity, probably plays as big a part in choice of purchase as price. Mazda makes fine vehicles but unfortunately the Mazda name may not be near the top of the list for many prospective purchasers. 

I won't say you should buy this make or that but I do think that Mazda should be on your list if you're considering a new vehicle. And to answer the question in the title, yes the Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD is definitely good enough.

Base prices for a 2019 CX-5 run from $25,750 to $36,890. The test CX-5 hit $38,950 with destination and handling fees. Check out a CX-5 at your local Mazda dealer or at https://www.mazdausa.com/


Popular Posts