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2019 Mazda CX-5 Review: Best Compact SUV Gets Turbo, CarPlay

Mazda withdraws from the competition with midlife refresh of the CX-5 compact SUV for 2019. This is the only compact sports crossover you can buy for less than $ 40,000 fully equipped with all-wheel drive, turbo engine, room for four adults, and a quiet, exclusive interior. In 2019, the third year of the current generation of Mazda's bestseller, it finally integrates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto after two years of promise.

At the same time, Mazda offers a complete safety package – just without a catchy name, as Honda and Toyota have – standard except on the entry model (where optional): adaptive cruise control, lane failure warning, blind spot detection, emergency response warning and braking. A charged Signature Edition CX-5 of $ 38K still comes in five majors less than a stripped Audi Q5 or BMW X3. All this from Japan's second-largest automaker.

For Mazda, the CX-5 company: One of the two Mazda sold in the US this year will be a CX-5, almost 150,000 of them at all and Mazda can sneak over 300,000 total sale on 31 December. Each car manufacturer is talking about class-over features, which means better leather than you would expect, or plastic trim that does not look plastic-y. Mazda is also on the go. It is a first-class car selling for $ 25,345 (front-drive CX-5 Sport, including shipping) for $ 37,885 (loaded CX-5 signature on the entire wheel). The average selling price of a new car this year is around $ 36,000, and few offer Mazda driving dynamics. This from a company where chief development engineer in the US used to be a journalist. Really. (And a racer and car nut too.)

I tested an early production 2019 CX-5 in the snow, slush and some icy spots of Whistler, BC. Equipped with Toyo winter tires, it was certainly the foot both on the roads and at a special snow handling facility Mazda set up. On the dry patches, the 2.5 liter turbo engine was faster and less buzzy than non-turbo four. Both get only a six-step automatic, but it also means that the transfer is less likely to hunt for the right download transfer when trying to pass on a two-way highway, which is guaranteed at a 9 or 10-speed. You will see 0-60 times at 6.5 to 7.0 seconds, or one second faster than non-turbo CX-5, without much loss of fuel economy: 22 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, 24 mpg combined against 24 / 30/26 mpg for non-turbo AWD, 25/31/28 for propulsion.

The CX-5 transmits in speed from snow slalom to sweeping swing. The decayed cone was not our

Bill and Khiem's ​​Excellent Adventure

Together with my driving partner, Khiem Dinh of MotoIQ and then by Faraday Future engineering team, we drove a lot of snow on terrain, but not the car . It's practically impossible to spin the car in the snow – we tried – and it's possible to cut down slings and make emergency stops or steering (simulating a jaywalking pedestrian that pops up in your way) at reasonable speeds. If you purchase AWD Mazda for $ 1,400 additional fee, you will automatically receive the rear wheels and torque vectors, part of the Mazda Predictive i-ACTIV AWD feature. To predict and react to slippery conditions, the car uses rudimentary artificial intelligence – are wipers on? Headlights on? Is the car on an increase? What is the outdoor temperature? What feedback is the electrical board to receive? – together with the steering angle sensor. It seems.

The CX-5 uses second-generation G-Vectoring Control (GVC), a Mazda-only feature that stabilizes the car that comes in and out of turns. As development engineer Dave Coleman explains, drivers of all skill levels tend to steer over to a turn, back off and then return, mainly saw-sagging through a turn. GVC reduces engine torque (power), weight shift forward, front wheels grip a little more, and driver gives a more accurate turn. Now with GVC Plus, the output of a turn is even smoother as the car effectively springs the outside of the front wheel brake and helps the car to swing for straightening. Since you can not turn G-Vectoring Control on and off, except in test cars, which also plots the driver's smoothness around a test course, you do not know what a nice feature it is. Surprisingly, no other car manufacturer has yet licensed Mazda's software or tried to work around its patents. Shame.

Cruising along, listening to the premium 10-tal Bose sound system, the cockpit at the top Signature trim level is a battle for the world's best compact SUVs, with Caturra brown seat leather (Caturra is a Brazilian coffee bean) and framed dashboard with matte finish. Many car manufacturers claim to have the so-called class of features. ("Okay, blindfolds off, panelists.) Did you know you should ride a Ford Five Hundred, not a Rolls-Royce Phantom?") Mazda is the car manufacturer who works best with seating and dash materials, additional silencing insulation, lower friction shock absorbers this year, and a tweak to cargo carpet to reduce road noise.

The second row is comfortable and spacious, with two USB adapters on the backside of all but the input line. The ferry boat is reasonably sized but no match for the top regular compact SUV, 2019 Toyota RAV4, 31 versus 38 cubic feet.

The only downside to the CX-5 is an aging infotainment system, a small volume button that's a bit slippery (a rubber coating would help), the lack of now-standard Qi wireless charging, and the lack of back parasols offered on the Mazda CX-9 and more premium SUVs. You may also be annoyed to discover that upgrading the 2017 or 2018 CX-5 to Apple CarPlay / Android Auto will set you back $ 500, but at least one automaker offers a retrofit. ExtremeTech editor, Jamie Lendino, bought the wire for $ 190 and disassembled / reassembled the center console instead of paying two hours for retail work.

The signature trim line (only) has the Caturra Brown leather. Very class-over.

2019 Mazda CX-5 Trim Walk

In 2019, Mazda added two trimmer, or grades, to the height. Each model has automatic LED headlights and an LED number plate light, Blind spot detection, G-Vectoring Plus, and a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine with 187 hp and 186-pound foot with torque.

Sport, $ 26,754 (including $ 995 freight and all-wheel drive, front drive is $ 1400 less). It's missing Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but has two USB connectors in front. We recommend this trim line only when the driver assists in the $ 625 i-ActivSense package: Lane Keep Assist, Full Range Adaptive Cruise Control and Advanced Smart City Brake Support with pedestrian detection, as well as remote control, auto on / off headlights, and auto intermittent rain detection wipers. The sport runs on 17-inch wheels with 65 series that are less likely to get dinged by the winter potholes.

Touring, $ 29,010. This is the sweet spot for price conscious CX-5 buyers. All safety / driver's features are standard. The optional preferred equipment package ($ 1,375 for 2019 with Bose sound, slider mount and power lift) is no longer navigated, so you use the Apple CarPlay or Android Auto Navigation that came with your phone.

Grand Touring, $ 32,440. Top trim for the first two years of the second generation CX-5, it includes steerable headlights, leather seats, a 7-inch multi-information display built-in in the center of the dashboard, and (new for 2019) three years of traffic-and- Travel information about the satellite radio receiver (even if you do not subscribe to the radio section). The wheels are 19 inches with 55 series tires. The only option is the same preferred equipment package. It no longer provides a head-up display ("active driving display") or heated rear seats.

Grand Touring Reserve, $ 35,865. New for 2019, it switches to the SkyActive-G 2.5T Dynamic Pressure Turbo engine, it's just AWD, including automatic folding mirrors, windshield wipers and HUD with traffic sign recognition. The front seats are heated and ventilated, the steering wheel is heated, as it is the outboard rear seats. But if you've gone so far, an extra two-grand dude gets the whole enchilada:

Signature, $ 37,885. The extra 6 percent give you surround-view cameras, front and rear parking zones (all useful), additional additional cockpit lighting and Caturra-Brown Nappa leather seats.

Mazda Commander Infotainment emulates the BMW iDrive with three function buttons and a control wheel. Volume button is too small and too slippery.

Should you buy?

2019 The Mazda CX-5 stands apart in the crowded field of compact SUVs, those less than 190 cm long and with two rows of seats. It is the most serious mid-price sports sedan (which happens with an SUV). It's cool enough for people with goatees, fun enough for new dads and mothers who still want a show car, and for medium-sized buyers, the CX-5 is the perfect antidote for male menopause. Basically: Buy this car.

Touring is the best choice among the three CX-5s with the normally aspirated (non-turbo engine) because you do not have to pay for navigation when you already have a phone. Grand Touring gives a little more luxury. At the high end, join the Signature because of the outstanding cockpit leather and the tree, and the additional driver helps: surround cameras, front-rear sonar.

Amongst the competition is the 2019 Toyota RAV4 the best allround and the hybrid edition is only $ 800 extra. Honda CR-V is almost as sporty as Mazda, but try the infotainment system before you buy. 2019 Subaru Forester (different from the 2018 model) has proven snow landscapes. Nissan Rogue is solid and has ProPilot Assist semi-autonomous driving. Others to consider: Kia Sportage and HyuTucsoncscon (cousins), VW Tiguan, Chevrolet Equinox (offering a 42-mpg diesel version) and GMC Terrain (cousins), Ford Escape and Jeep Cherokee. Also consider 2019 Acura RDX, the cheapest premium compact SUV.

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