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2019 Mazda CX-5 Review

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The Mazda CX-5 is a compact crossover SUV with seating for five. CX is Mazda’s term for its crossover lineup in which the CX-5 is a happy medium between the smaller CX-3 and the three-row CX-9. The CX-5 does not let down its family-friendly reputation — it has earned top marks in categories from safety to quality and dependability.

2019 Mazda CX-5 pricing and trims

The CX-5 base manufacturer’s recommended price (MSRP) is $24,350. If you want the most decked-out model, the price increases by more than $12,000. Yet, there are three trims in between, giving you a total of five trim options, which is more options than the CX-3 and the CX-9 offer.

Each trim up adds to or improves upon the features that came before it. It’s worth noting that you could add all-wheel drive to any of the trims, but AWD is standard on the top two.

Trim Sport Touring Grand Touring Grand Touring Reserve Signature
MSRP $24,350 $26,615 $30,045 $34,870 $36,890
Standard Features Blind Spot Monitoring, 7″ Touch Screen, Keyless Entry/Ignition, Bluetooth, Rear View Camera with Cross Traffic Alert Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Adaptive Cruise Control, Smart Brake Support, Lane Departure Warning/Assist, High Beam Control Power Moonroof, Premium Audio, Navigation, LED Lights, Leather-Trimmed Seats, Heated Side Mirrors All Wheel Drive, Ventilated and Heated Seats, Heated Steering Wheel, Power Folding Side Mirrors, Active Driving Display Genuine Wood and Napa Leather Trimmed Interior, LED Accent Lighting, 360 Camera, Parking Sensors

The MSRP is not necessarily the price you should pay for the vehicle, depending on where and when you look for a car. Shop around to check prices and check out an industry guide — Kelley Blue Book or NADAguides, for example — to find a fair market price for your area.

What’s next? Once you have a car in mind, think about the car loan. Car dealers may raise customer APRs, so it’s important to apply for a car loan outside of a dealership. Potential lenders could include Mazda financing, your bank, credit union or online lender. You could also fill out an online form at LendingTree and receive up to five potential auto loan offers from lenders. It doesn’t hurt your credit to apply to multiple lenders any more than it does to apply to one if you do all your applications within 14 days — and some credit scoring methods may even allow you up to 45 days.

2019 Mazda CX-5 safety

The 2019 CX-5 earned a five-star crash test safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and is a Top Safety Pick+, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Mazda corrals many of its active safety features in the i-Activsense package. The higher the trim, the more safety features you may get.

The Sport trim, the base CX-5, may include the following active safety features in that package:

  • Smart City Brake Support. The car can automatically apply the brakes at speeds between 2 and 18 MPH if it senses an imminent collision.
  • Blind Spot Monitoring. With the turn signal on, the car can alert the driver of another vehicle in the driver’s blind spot.
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert. When in reverse, the car can alert the driver of oncoming passing traffic.
  • Hill Launch Assist. The car can assist the driver in accelerating from a stop while on a slope.

The Touring trim model can include the above plus these advanced active safety features:

  • Advanced Smart City Brake Support with Pedestrian Detection. If the car senses that a frontal crash is imminent with another vehicle or person, it will alert the driver and apply the brakes if the driver does not. In such a situation, the car can also reduce engine output to reduce its speed.
  • Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keep Assist. The car can warn the driver of unintentional lane departure and make small adjustments to help the car stay in the lane.
  • Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop and Go. The car can adjust and maintain a safe following distance from a vehicle in front of it while cruise control is on.
  • High Beam Control. With high-beam headlights on, the car will switch between high and low beams according to its surroundings.

The Grand Touring Reserve trim model can include the above plus:

  • Active Driving Display with Traffic Sign Recognition. The car recognizes and displays traffic signs, including speed limit, stop and yield signs.

The Signature trim adds:

  • 360° View Monitor. The car can give a bird’s-eye view of itself and its surroundings.
  • Front and Rear Parking Sensors. The car can alert the driver when objects are becoming too close when traveling at low speeds.

2019 Mazda model comparison

The CX-5 sits pretty between the CX-3 and CX-9 because it brings the best of worlds: it’s a five-seater like the CX-3 but offers a bit more breathing room and cargo room, as well as more trim options, five compared with three. The CX-9 caps Mazda’s crossover line as its largest vehicle, thanks to third-row passenger seating.

CX-3 CX-5 CX-9
MSRP $20,390 $24,350 $32,280
Expert Scores 4.2 4.4 4
Standard Features 7″ Touch Screen, Rearview Camera, Smart City Brake Support, Blind Spot Monitoring 7″ Touch Screen, Bluetooth, Blind Spot Monitoring, HD Radio, Smart City Brake 7″ Touch Screen, 3rd Row Seats, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Active Safety Features
Fuel Economy 31 MPG 28 MPG 24 MPG
Body Type Sub-Compact Wagon Crossover Compact SUV Crossover SUV Crossover

2019 Mazda CX-5 competitor comparison

If you aren’t wedded to the Mazda brand, here are comparable models from competing automakers you could consider and what they offer compared with the CX-5.

Mazda CX-5 Honda CR-V Chevrolet Equinox Volkswagen Tiguan Toyota Rav4
Base MSRP $24,350 $24,350 $23,800 $24,295 $25,500
Expert Scores 4.4 4.4 4.1 4 N/A
Standard Technology Blind Spot Monitoring, 7″ Touch Screen, Keyless Entry/Ignition Bluetooth, 5″ Screen, Rearview Camera Teen Driver System, 7″ Touch Screen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Available 3rd Row Seating, 6.5″ Touch Screen Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, Apple CarPlay, Automatic High Beams
Fuel Economy 28 MPG 28 MPG 28 MPG 25 MPG 30 MPG

*Chart data is for base 2019 models. Expert score averages Kelley Blue Book (KBB) and Edmunds expert ratings. Standard technology refers to features included in the lowest trim level for each model at no extra cost (not an exhaustive list). Fuel economy is combined city / highway mileage as defined by the EPA.

The bottom line

You might like the CX-5 if you’re looking for an SUV nimble enough for the city but with enough cargo and passenger room for weekend trips. You might not like the CX-5 if you need something that could handle really rough terrain or hold more cargo and more people.

MSRPs in the article are accurate as of the date of publishing.


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