Does the 2019 Mazda CX-5 Perform as Expected?



Mazda is not a new name to crossover lovers, neither is the CX-5 series. In the crossover segment, while most carmakers would settle for a model that is just good enough to strike the balance between an SUV and a sedan, Mazda does not settle. Mazda has constantly reinvented this genre by adding and modifying features here and there to make this series more perfect than ever. The result is a powerful and classy series of crossovers that stands out in its own right. Naturally, when the 2019 version of the CX-5 was launched, we were excited to try it out, and had sky-high expectations from this new turbocharged model. First impression: this small crossover is as easy on the eyes as ever. As a longstanding fan of the series, we however hoped that this generation would see more colour variety than the usual white and red.
Moving on to the interiors, they have included some new features for a spruced-up look. The front as well as the rear seats are now heated, and the entire seating is in a classy dark brown shade of leather. One of the best new features of this model is the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity along with a 10-speaker Bose audio system. While it may take a little while for new users to get used to the touch/click/spin wheel mounted on the console, it sort of grew on us with time. The cabin is flat-out beautiful, with a big, legible primary gauge display; and the Signature’s rich materials and brushed-metal accents. With these features in such abundance, one thing is rest assured-that your carpool karaoke game will be top notch in this all new CX-5. The few hiccups that we faced were the small screen, overtly simplistic navigation maps and the slow speed of the infotainment system as a whole. This is one department in which we feel Mazda could put more effort in the future.
The most publicised change is the turbocharged 2.5-liter engine which we were the most excited to experience. Adding (at least) forty horsepower over the naturally aspirated base engine, a whopping 310 lb-ft of torque is available barely off a tickover at 2,000 rpm.  Should the 227 hp not be adequate, spring for 93 octanes unleaded and the full potential of 250 hp will make itself known. This extra power is good for driving in traffic, even if you are not running on premium fuel. Coming to the transmission, Mazda keeps it old school with a six-speed automatic while most of the competition has moved on to eight or more forward cogs. As we had expected, this did not turn out to be a big problem. If anything, it made the driving experience more pleasant than the ones in the eight- or nine-speed boxes that constantly hunt for the ideal gear.
One thing that’s great about this crossover is its noiseless cabin. The inside is well oblivious to the wind and tire noise. Even the sound of the engine isn’t very evident unless it is under heavy duress.
The technology in this car is much like the car itself- simple, elegant and easy to understand. The advanced driver-assistance tech on board is quite well-executed. Traffic sign recognition will indicate a stop sign on the head-up display whenever you’re approaching one. For less than vigilant drivers or the newbies, it’s surely a welcome notification. Also effective is the radar-guided braking alert, which sends off an audible alarm and a visual message on the infotainment screen when you come too close to an object.
The feeling of driving this Mazda is the same as always: fun, powerful, safe and comfortable. The electrically assisted steering is superb, as is the handling balance. Riders comfort remains as great as in the previous versions.
Overall, it is this structured effort to stay true to its basics is what retains our love for the new generation of the Mazda CX-5 Signature, and we can’t wait to hit the city with it!

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