Mazda’s 2019 CX-5 is a family friendly crossover with attractive styling and attention to detail where it counts. It’s not as big as some other family haulers, but Mazda makes terrific use of the space it offers. Mazda also delivers a fantastic turbocharged engine in the higher trim levels.
The new CX-5 is a bit of a rarity in that it’s a really nice-looking crossover. With a svelte shape and simple, flowing lines, the CX-5 looks good from all directions – coming, going and from the side.
The CX-5 Sport trim starts at $25,750, the Touring starts at $28,015, the Grand Touring starts at $31,445, the Grand Touring Reserve starts at $34,870 and the top-end Signature starts at $36,890.
The Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring trims get a 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine that develops 187 horsepower and 186 lb.-ft. of torque. The Grand Touring Reserve and Grand Touring Signature get a 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that cranks out 250 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque on 93 octane fuel (227 hp on regular unleaded). The inline 4-cylinder is front drive with AWD as a $1,400 option, while the turbo-4 comes with standard AWD. The transmission is a 6-speed automatic.
My test car for the week was the Grand Touring Signature with the turbocharged engine and AWD, and I had a great time tooling around the hills of the Felicianas. The test car was in the “Snowflake White Pearl” color, which is a $200 upgrade. It’s a gorgeous color though and really makes this CX-5 shine.
The turbo-4 had plenty of power for passing on country two-lanes, downshifting with confidence while it zipped around slower cars and trucks.
The cabin of the CX-5 is nice with comfortable and well-bolstered seats. The simple dash layout makes a lot of sense with the navigation screen sitting high atop the center stack. The head’s up display is crisp and clear. Soft touch materials are in all the right places. A 12v outlet is in a storage tray at the bottom of the center stack, but for a USB you’ll have to look in the console. I’m not sure why Mazda put it in there because it’s a bit tricky to get it plugged in. For LSU tailgaters who need power in the cargo area, there’s an additional 12v back in the rear deck.
The cabin is roomy with more than 39 inches of headroom in front and exactly 39 inches in Row 2. If you’re a 6-footer like me, that’s plenty of room. Legroom in Row 2 is 39.6 inches, which is also good. Cargo space is about average behind the third row at 30.9 cubic feet, 59.6 cubic feet with Row 2 folded down. The second-row seats are split 40/20/40, with all three sections having releases in the rear deck.
Controlling systems in the CX-5 is simple, logical and intuitive. There’s a volume knob that controls the 10-speaker Bose audio system and a rotary dial for selecting channels on the SiriusXM Satellite Radio. Most other car functions can be adjusted with the rotary dial. It’s smart to combine governance of the vehicle in intuitive ways, and Mazda gets it right. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported.
Safety is a big concern for drivers and the 2019 CX-5 gets top safety scores in crash tests. It’s a “Top Safety Pick Plus” from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and gets five out of five stars from the government. Trims above Sport get standard full-speed automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and active lane control. Sport trims get automatic emergency braking, with full speed automatic emergency braking an option.
Font drive CX-5 models are EPA-rated at 25 miles per gallon in city driving and 31 mpg on the highway. Subtract one mpg for AWD. AWD turbocharged models get 22 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.
With style and substance – and good safety scores – the 2019 Mazda CX-5 should be on your test drive list if you’re in the market for a mid-sized crossover.
2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD
Engine: 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder
Horsepower/Torque: 227 or 250/310 lb.-ft.
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Price: $36,890 ($39,330 w/options & freight)
EPA Mileage Estimates: 22 mpg city/27 mpg highway/24 mpg combined
Estimated Highway Range: 413 miles