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2019 Mazda CX-5 wows with both performance and design Featured

Posted On Saturday, 06 July 2019 22:12 Written by
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The impressive ride quality of the 2019 Mazda CX-5 sets it apart from its competition The impressive ride quality of the 2019 Mazda CX-5 sets it apart from its competition Photo by Matt Myftiu/


Some vehicles look great, but suffer when it comes to performance.

Others drive great, but their design looks like the back side of a dog.

The best vehicles do both things just right.

One of that rare group is the redesigned 2019 Mazda CX-5, a vehicle which I recently spent some time in. Read on for a full rundown of how it compares to the sea of SUVs on the market.


The 2019 CX-5’s front end design, with its hood extending over the grille, is perhaps the sharpest looking in the business. Overall, the updated CX-5 offers a sleek and stylish external design with stunning sidelines.

Spacewise, trunk capacity is plentiful, and seats are roomy up front. Leg room in the rear is a bit tight compared to others in the segment, but five passengers will still fit comfortably. My test vehicle also featured an extra bright red (Mazda’s signature look) paint, dubbed Soul Red Crystal Metallic.

The seats, trimmed with Nappa leather, are quite plush and comfy even on long rides. All controls and technology are well-placed for driver access, and the overall interior design has a look and feel that is among the best you will find in any non-luxury vehicle, including some nice wood touches.

The 2019 CX-5 also comes with 19-inch alloy wheels, all-season tires, dual-zone climate with rear vents, folding rear seats to increase storage capacity, heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel and ventilated front seats. 


Most SUVs can't claim to offer a ride that is genuinely fun … maybe smooth and comfortable, but not fun. This is where the CX-5 definitively stands out.

A truly enjoyable driving experience is what most separates Mazda’s SUV lineup from the competition. To accomplish this, the 2019 Mazda CX-5 comes with some powerful options under the hood.

My test vehicle, a Signature trim line offering, featured a turbo 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Its output is 227 horsepower (250 hp if you use premium fuel) and 310 lb.-ft. of torque.

On the lower end, the base non-turbo engine comes in at 187 hp and 186 lb.-ft.

Front-wheel drive comes standard, but you can upgrade to AWD. The CX-5 features independent front and rear suspension, front and rear stabilizer bars, and G-Vectoring Control Plus. During my time in the vehicle, the CX-5 performed magnificently for me, both in its standard drive mode, and especially in Sport mode.

Whether I was on curvy snaking roads in the Irish Hills of Michigan, including a stint on dirt, or going to the grocery store in the neighborhood, the CX-5 proved much more responsive and punchy than its competitors. It was also quite agile for its size. The CX-5 proves that if you love driving, you can buy an SUV and not be disappointed.


Both tech and safety are areas where Mazda continues to shine.
For starters, government safety ratings are near perfect on the 2019 CX-5, good news for prospective buyers with a keen eye on safety.

The CX-5 features a full array of airbags, radar cruise control, keyless entry, push-button start, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, Bluetooth, traffic sign recognition, anti-theft engine immobilizer, tire pressure monitoring system, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, traction control system and hill launch assist.

Other safety options include: blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning system, lane keep assist, front and rear parking sensors and an excellent 360-degree view monitor.

A stout 10-speaker Bose audio system is offered, and you get 3 free months of satellite radio before you must subscribe.

Up front there is a 7-inch display with rear camera, and the controller dial in the center console functions well, though overall use of the system is not quite as user-friendly as some competitors’ infotainment offerings.
One standout was the Navigation system, which worked very well and understands voice commands without issue.

The official fuel mileage numbers are 22 city/27 highway/24 combined, and I averaged over 25 mpg during my time in the vehicle.

These are middle-of-the-pack numbers in the segment, losing out to Honda’s CR-V and Toyota’s RAV4, but being slightly better than Ford Escape and Chevy Equinox. To be fair though, none of the competitors drives as impressively as the CX-5, which accounts for some of the difference in the numbers.

Depending how much tech and luxury touches you want to add, there is a wide range in price on the 2019 CX-5. My test vehicle was at the top level, and came in at $39,450. But if you’re willing to pass on the frills, a base CX-5 starts at roughly $24K.

You also get a 5-year, 60K powertrain warranty, and a 3-year, 36K bumper-to-bumper warranty. 


It’s not an exaggeration to say that the 2019 Mazda CX-5 offers one of the best driving experiences you will ever get in any crossover or SUV. Add in a sharp design and excellent tech offerings as the cherry on top, and this is an excellent overall package.

====== can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page
Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2019 Mazda CX-5 
  • Price as tested: $39,450 (starts around $24K) 
  • Best feature: Beautiful design, responsive drive, strong tech options 
  • Rating: 4.5 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Crossover buyers looking for a complete package  
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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