2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature – Premium style and performance in a compact CUV
A few weeks back we shared with you that, while the Mazda team folks were freezing their tails off at the Chicago Auto Show, we were in Texas, rolling along in high style in their brand-new Signature trim level Mazda CX-5 compact crossover.
Following our week in the CX-5 Signature model, we say that the new CX-5 Signature trim has raised the bar for five-passenger crossover segment with its spirited powertrain, refined premium styling and multiple convenience features. Confirming our assessment, Car and Driver Magazine has judged the 2019 CX-5 to be the bar for its class, naming it the Best Compact Crossover for 2019.
2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD
Our CX-5 Signature AWD test vehicle came in a knock-down stunning Snowflake White Pearl Mica exterior running on high chrome 19-inch alloy wheels mounted with P225/55R19 all-season tires. On opening the door, we found the CX-5 Signature equally stunning inside with its Caturra Brown – Nappa Leather – crisply styled interior accented by real layered wood trim and satin chrome accents. And all that was before we got behind the wheel, settled in, pushed the start button on the new turbocharged powertrain and took the CX-5 Signature for a drive.
But first, the numbers – the 2019 CX-5 Signature AWD MSRP $36,890. As tested with delivery and a couple accessories added – $39,455. Premium money you say? Yes, it is, but – as with all the new Signature trim levels across Mazda vehicles today – premium is what you get.
With their distinctive exterior styling, there is no mistaking the CX-5 as a Mazda CX-series SUV or CUV.
Some of the premium elements of our CX-5 Signature CUV included Auto-Leveling Adaptive LED Headlights, LED Daytime Running Lights, LED Fog Lights, LED Taillights, Power Auto-Folding Heated Side Mirrors, Power Rear Liftgate, Rear Roof Spoiler, Rain-Sensing Windshield Wipers with Deicer, Power Moonroof with Sunshade and Roof Rack Siderails.
On the inside our CX-5 Signature premium features include the Nappa leather-trimmed seats that were both heated and ventilated and included 8-way power for the driver. The fold down 40/20/40 rear seat was heated with a fold down center armrest. Also included was new interior LED lighting, Dual-Zone AC with rear vents, leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, black headliner and all-weather floor mats and a lot more.
New Powertrain Performance
The 2019 CX-5 Signature delivers a seriously more spirited drive – newly powered by their award-winning turbocharged SKYACTIV-G 2.5T engine that is borrowed from the current generation Mazda CX-9 mid-size crossover and the 2018 Mazda6 sedan.
Unusually for a vehicle in this class the SKYACTIV-G 2.5T is sensitive octane level in the fuel tank. Using 87 Octane, the engine produces 227 horsepower at 5,000 rpm. Fill the tank with 93 Octane, the horsepower increases to 250 horsepower at 5,000 rpm. The torque – in either case – is 310 lb.-ft. of torque at a low 2,000 RPM.
While some competitors mate their turbocharged engines to continuously variable automatic transmissions (CVT) – slow to power up on acceleration, CX-5 uses the six-speed SKYACTIV-DRIVE automatic with Manual Shift and Sport mode that features a variable locking torque converter to optimize acceleration of the turbocharged engine.
We were impressed at the aggressive straight-line ‘get up and go’ of our CX-5 Signature with this setup. Not only from dead stop but also when accelerating at speed to make lane changes or avoid potential collision situations.
For the record, our 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature was fuel economy rated at 22/27 mpg city/highway and 24 mpg combined.
Improved Road Performance
The new CX-5 Signature model is equipped with the Mazda i-ACTIVE AWD system integrated with a new G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus) system that optimizes drive experience with the new high performing engine.
Mazda’s i-ACTIVE AWD drive system actively monitors road conditions and individual wheel response to those conditions. In coordination with G-Vectoring Control, it adjusts power to wheels for maximum control and performance.
For the new more powerful turbocharged engine, the new GVC Plus system is designed to add another management element to the vectoring control. As GVC, it still delivers that precise and consistent steering response by adjusting engine output that shifts weight to the front tires whenever the driver turned the wheel. The Plus feature provides input to steering response as the driver exits a corner, feeding a touch of braking to the outside front wheel for better control on the power out.
Mazda also updated the CX-5 with new design 19-inch alloy wheels and P225/55R19 all-season tires, retuned the suspension and recalibrated the steering to match enabling a smoother ride with better cornering.
We confirmed that improved performance with multiple trips – pushing the pedal – on the nearly 11-mile two-lane road from Volenti on Lake Travis to where it meets Anderson Mill Road at the top of the ridge above.
The 2019 CX-5 Signature AWD easily handled the staggered stretches of blind curve twisting road with multiple deep dips and major turn backs – both up and down.
More and Better Technology and Safety
Our CX-5 Signature AWD included a serious load of premium technology and safety features. We particularly like the new Active Driving Display with Traffic Sign Recognition, a 360-degree View Monitor augmented with a 7-inch, a full-color touchscreen with rear camera and reconfigurable 7-inch TFT driver information center display. Another feature of note included the Mazda Connect suite of technology apps and services that offered Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
Other features included the Mazda multi-function Commander knob with shortcut buttons and Siri voice command, Bose 10-speaker Audio System with Centerpoint, HD Radio, SiriusXM radio with Traffic and Travel Link, Bluetooth hands-free phone and streaming audio, Mazda Navigation, USB (front and rear) plus Auxiliary inputs, Remote Keyless Entry and Push Button Start.
CX-5 Tows Too
Today’s compact CUV owners are often ‘adventure-focused’ and look for a vehicle that can tow a small trailer with adventure related gear. Worth considering when shopping for the compact CUV that meets your need is that when properly equipped, a CX5 AWD will tow up to 2,000 pounds – 500 pounds more than most of their competitors.
Mazda CX-5 Lineup
The Mazda CX-5 for 2019 has a nicely equipped model to fit every budget – starting at MSRP $24,350.
The Sport (MSRP $24,350), Touring (MSRP $26,615) and Grand Touring (MSRP $30,045) FWD models can also be ordered with Mazda’s predictive i-Active AWD for $1,400 more. The powertrain for these models is the SKYACTIVE-G 2.5L four-cylinder that produces 187 horsepower with 186lb.-ft. of torque
The top two models come in AWD only and are powered by the new SKYACTIVE-G 2.5T Turbocharged four-cylinder engine Prices for these two are: Grand Touring Reserve (MSRP $34,870) and Signature (MSRP ($36,890).
Learn more the 2019 CX-5 lineup here: https://www.mazdausa.com/vehicles/cx-5.