The 2019 CX-5 looks great inside and out, it’s a pleasure to drive and ride in and it will haul kids and groceries. It’s affordable, efficient and good looking. Honestly, what else is there?
The aesthetic of the CX-5 is a tidy and stylish one. It’s not pretending to look like an offroader or trying to be overly cute. Its style is compact and clean without being adorned with chintzy nonsense. 19×7 inch alloys fill out wheel wells. A wide open mouth for a grille and slits for headlights give this car a sporty look and set it apart from other things on the road.
The backend follows the same tidy and clean theme. Everything is sculpted and contoured to maintain the smooth lines. Genuine exhaust tips, not just bodywork that looks like exhaust, poke out at both bottom corners.
Rather than a cluttered and unnecessarily complicated dash/console set up, Mazda engineers elected to pursue a clean and simple dash design. The sleek symmetrical theme is soothing. The interface for the stereo and navigation system has a reasonable learning curve and quickly becomes second nature. Apple Carplay and Android Auto ensure seamless connectivity between devices, the car and its occupants.
The CX-5 Signature seats are wrapped in deep brown Nappa leather. Their design, like that of the dash, is restrained but well-executed. Front seats are heated and ventilated with power adjustment. All-weather mats go a long way toward preserving the carpets.
Rear seat passengers are treated to heated seats and can keep the batteries in their devices topped up using the charger in the fold-out armrest. The interior of this ride is a classy and comfortable space to spend a commute.
Mazda’s 250 horsepower, 2.5-liter turbocharged engine is sublime. seriously, it makes this car pleasure to operate. When lifting after acceleration there’s a little sigh from the turbo blow-off valve. This scoots the slick little crossover to 60 in just over six seconds. Unfortunately, this engine is available in the Grand Touring Reserve and Signature models only. The other trim levels have to make do with a naturally aspirated version.
Per the Mazda standard, this car handles well. It’s fun to drive and inspires confidence to attack corners that other, more wobbly crossovers don’t. The clever proximity key locks the door for drivers as they walk away from the car.
The CX-5 is a standout in a crowded market. And with five trim levels to choose from, there’s likely a CX-5 for almost any budget. The Sport model starts at $24,350, and the Signature trim, as tested here, will set buyers back $36,890. It sounds like marketing talk, but quality is what sets this car apart from other, similarly priced vehicles in its class. There’s a cohesive style that pervades each facet of the car from the inside out. This, combined with a satisfying driving experience, a decent price point and resonable fuel economy to create what must be the best bang for your five-seater crossover buck.
It does beg the question though, “what would happen if they dropped this darling little motor in an MX-5?” Maybe they’ll release a limited run insanity trim level that comes with a year’s supply of free rear tires.