2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD

Lots of get up and go, dynamic driving dynamics, an upscale cabin, decent fuel economy and a smooth ride—those are the reasons why the 2019 Mazda CX-5 should be on your short list if you’re shopping for a compact crossover or SUV.


The CX-5 is the most popular Mazda. It was introduced for the 2012 model year and was redesigned for 2017. For 2019, a new turbocharged engine is available as well as the addition of Grand Touring Reserve and Signature trims and features such as a 360-degree parking camera, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and ventilated front seats.


The CX-5 is available in five trims: Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve and Signature. Starting prices range from $24,350 to $36,890 which is on the high end for the class. Front-wheel-drive is standard and all-wheel-drive is available on every trim.


Two engines are available. The base one is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. My tester has the new turbocharged SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 227 horses with regular gas and 250 hp with premium gas. Both engines are paired with a smooth six-speed automatic transmission.


The powertrain is up for whatever you ask of it. The CX-5 is very energetic off the line. Accelerating and passing at freeway speeds is a breeze, too. The CX-5 also feels nimble around corners, staying planted with very little body lean. It’s also pleasant to drive in busy city traffic. The ride is firm but not jarring. Visibility is good all the way around. No doubt that the CX-5 is one of the best performers in the class!


Even with its athleticism, fuel efficiency is not sacrificed. EPA ratings for my tester are 22 mpg city and 27 mpg highway with a combined rating of 24. I got 24 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.


The interior is pleasant and attractive. The front seats boast lots of space for passengers. The second row isn’t as roomy as some rivals, but even taller passengers should have enough headroom and adequate legroom. As you’d expect in a compact crossover, the back seat is more comfortable for two adults instead of three.


Standard features include push-button start, rearview camera, manually adjustable front seats, cloth upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel, Mazda CONNECT infotainment system with seven-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, HD Radio, voice commands, two USB ports, and four speakers. Several driver assistance technologies are also standard including blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and low-speed automatic braking.


Options include leatherette upholstery with suede inserts, leather-trimmed seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front and rear seats, ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, and power-adjustable front seats, moonroof, two additional USB ports, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, six-speaker audio system or a 10-speaker Bose premium audio system, navigation, and satellite radio.


Several driver assistance technologies can be added as well including a head-up display, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, full-speed automatic braking, traffic sign recognition, front and rear parking sensors, and a 360-degree parking camera.


The infotainment system has a learning curve but becomes fairly easy to use with practice and once you’ve set it up with your preferences. It has a rotary knob located in the center console, as well as a touch screen and buttons. The touchscreen is disabled when the CX-5 is in motion. Unfortunately, some commands require going through menus and submenus, and the system can be slow to respond to some commands. At least the system finally has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity.


Cargo space in the CX-5 is a little below average for the class. There are 30.9 cubic feet with both rows of seating in place and 59.6 cubes with the second row folded. The rear seats fold 40/20/40 providing flexibility in hauling passengers and cargo. A power liftgate is available.


In NHTSA crash tests, the 2019 CX-5 gets a top overall score of five out of five stars. It’s named a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.


The good:

Fun to drive!

Sporty, engaging performance

Upscale and attractive interior

Roomy passenger space

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available

Upper trims rival what you’d find in luxury brands

Top safety ratings


The not-so-good:

Starting price is a bit more than many competitors

Less cargo space than many rivals

Infotainment system takes practice and can be slow


Pricing info:

My tester starts at $36,890. The cargo mat is $70. Illuminated doorsill trim plates are $400. The Soul Red Crystal paint is $595. The rear bumper guard is $125. The retractable cargo cover is $250. Delivery fee is $995 bringing the grand total to $39,325.


Bottom line:

The 2019 Mazda CX-5 is a great blend of sporty handling, upscale cabin, practicality, and comfort, all in an attractive package. In fact, the upper trims rival what you’d find in luxury brands. Shoppers wanting a compact crossover or SUV should definitely take the CX-5 for a test spin.

2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD