Mazda has a reputation for making some of the most driver-focused vehicles in mainstream price segments. Until recently, that was the characteristic Mazda relied on to set itself apart, particularly with the CX-5 compact crossover, which competes against some of Canada's most popular vehicles.
In 2017, Mazda redesigned the CX-5 into a second generation with a more upscale look and feel. It builds on that effort for 2019 with a new Signature trim level that adds more luxury equipment. Also new is a 2.5L turbocharged engine that's standard in the Signature and optional in the GT model.
The new engine's 250 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque make this the most powerful vehicle in the segment. That is, as long as you don't mind paying for premium gasoline: on regular fuel, this engine makes a more modest 227 hp.
The CX-5's GX, GS and GT trims are carried over from 2018. All share a 2.5L non-turbo engine with 187 hp and 186 lb-ft. GS and GT models with this motor add cylinder deactivation for a nominal fuel saving.
GX and GS trims start out as front-drive models that can be optioned with AWD. GT and Signature trims come standard with AWD. A six-speed automatic transmission is the only one available.
As we alluded to above, the Mazda CX-5 faces a lot of competition. The Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 are among Canada's best-selling vehicles, and the Ford Escape is another household name among small utilities.
Standard features in GX trim include heated side mirrors with power adjustments, LED headlights with automatic on/off, LED daytime running lights, rain-sensing wipers, a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, four-speaker stereo, air conditioning, electric parking brake, push-button start, power windows and door locks with keyless entry, cloth upholstery, heated front seats with manual adjustments, trip computer, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and city speed automatic braking.
GS models add automatic headlight levelling, a front wiper de-icer, six-speaker stereo, auto-dimming rearview mirror, power tailgate, leatherette seating, power driver's seat, a heated leather-trimmed steering wheel, radar cruise control with stop-and-go, forward collision warning with automatic braking, lane departure warning with lane keep assist and automatic high beams.
A GS Comfort package brings a sunroof, automatic dual-zone climate control and passive keyless entry.
GT trim's standard bits include power-folding side mirrors, LED fog lights, front and rear signature lighting and taillights, a 10-speaker stereo, navigation, satellite radio, dual-zone climate control, passive keyless entry, garage door opener, leather upholstery, 10-way electric driver's seat and six-way electric front passenger seat, adaptive headlights and traffic sign recognition.
Signature models get a frameless rearview mirror, LED interior lighting, Nappa leather upholstery, wood trim on the dash and doors and a 7.0-inch digital gauge cluster display.
Mazda's fuel consumption estimates are 9.3/7.6 L/100 km (city/highway) for the non-turbo engine with cylinder deactivation and front-wheel drive while AWD ratings are 9.8/7.9; consumption is nominally higher in the GX, which lacks the cylinder deactivation system. The new turbo engine's estimates are 10.8/8.7 L/100 km.