Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins
A dazzling crossover vehicle in the center of winter is always ideal for transporting a batch of kids to the multitude of activities and sporting events they partake in. Volleyball season is in full effect and I am always tasked to escort the girls and their teammates to practices and matches. They loved our vehicle’s Soul Red Crystal Metallic hue but enjoyed the second row legroom even more. Starting at $24,350, the 2019 CX-5 can be had in five trims including Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve and the top-of-the-line Signature which could run you $39,325.
My Mazda weekly test loaner was enhanced with defining exterior design features and was pretty fun to drive as well. The SKYACTIV-G 2.5T Dynamic Pressure Turbo 4-cylinder engine will give you 227-horsepower if fueled with 87 octane regular unleaded or 250-horsepower if you feed the Japanese sports utility 93 octane premium unleaded fuel. Torque is set at 310 lb-ft at 2,000 rpm. Paired with AWD, the SKYACTIV-Drive 6-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift and Sport Mode achieves roughly 22 city and 27 highway mpg.
The CX-5 features clean 19” alloy rims, rear tailgate spoiler, power sunroof, rain-sensing windshield wipers, LED fog and headlights, power liftgate and windshield wiper de-icer tech that worked rather quickly I discovered during a cold morning start. Other weatherproof attributes are the heated front and rear seats and the heated steering wheel. Genuine layered wood trim and sporty Caturra Brown Nappa leather seats add intrigue to the crossover but the 8-way power driver’s seat wouldn’t lower as much as I needed, so my head felt too close to the black cloth headliner.
With a snow blitz hitting the Maryland scene recently my AWD Mazda CX-5 Signature edition with G-Vectoring Control Plus and chunky all-season 225/55R19 Toyo A36 tires was primed for the action and maintained its traction pretty well on the wet and slippery grounds. But of course I would have preferred Michelins and the superior tread and compound technology that comes along with this particular rubber.
Your senses continue to be alerted emotionally from other interior attributes such as the ambient cabin lighting and the unique-stitched leather-wrapped, multifunction and sporty steering wheel. My ride was additionally blessed with the 10-speaker Bose audio sound system with Centerpoint 2 and AudioPilot 2. Along with the MAZDA CONNECT infotainment system, every drive felt like immersive, acoustic experiences. A multifunction Commander control lets you operate all the system functions on the fixed 7” color display with clarity. However, the screen does need to be enlarged. Currently it feels like the portable Garmin navigation you receive when renting a Hertz vehicle. I also kept forgetting the volume button is located on the right center console opposed to the traditional center stack.
A bevy of safety technologies will keep you appeased as well, especially when the kids are riding along. My ride was bolstered by the likes of Lane Keep Assist, Lane Departure Warning System, Smart Brake Support, 360 View Monitor, Advanced Smart City Brake Support, Hill Launch Assist and much more.
The 2019 Mazda CX-5 is stylistically fresh, entertaining and a joy to drive. Many will be satisfied with its pleasantries.