MSRP
$24,350
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2019 Mazda CX-5 Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.5

The 2019 Mazda CX-5 has outstanding handling, tight steering, and a refined automatic transmission. It comes with two solid engine options, including a newly available turbocharged engine, and it delivers one of the most enjoyable rides in the class. Though the CX-5 boasts athletic handling, it also delivers a smooth ride and good fuel economy.

  • "We always enter a Mazda vehicle expecting a superior driving experience, and the CX-5 does not disappoint." -- Autotrader (2018)
  • "We've always considered the Mazda CX-5 to be one of the most spirited and enjoyable-driving compact-crossover SUVs money can buy." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • "Actually, much of the driving experience can't be matched by a competitor. The previous CX-5 was arguably the driver's choice in the segment and version 2.0 sends the ball further downfield." -- Autoblog (2017)

Acceleration and Power

The base CX-5 is powered by a 187-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that has a good amount of power for most driving situations. A turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine is newly available for 2019. This engine is more powerful and helps the CX-5 accelerate a lot quicker. It produces 227 horsepower with regular gasoline and 250 horsepower with premium gas. A 168-horsepower 2.2-liter turbo diesel engine is also new for 2019. The standard six-speed automatic transmission pairs nicely with all engines. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

You can expect to get 25 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway with the base four-cylinder engine. Expect 23 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway with the available turbo-four, and 27/30 mpg city/highway with the optional turbo diesel.

  • "The naturally aspirated 187-horsepower engine is adequately energetic, able to reach freeway speeds without drama; putting it in Sport mode sharpens its responses. The new turbocharged unit makes the 2019 CX-5 even more attractive." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The moderate engine output feels balanced with the crossover's intended use. It's not a rocket ship off the line, but the CX-5 is sprightly and eager to romp. The traditional 6-speed automatic transmission keeps the engine in the power band without droning (as we sometimes complain about with continuously variable automatic transmissions), and the CX-5 cruises comfortably at freeway speeds." -- Autotrader (2018)
  • "The powertrain comes off well. It provides a decent full-throttle jump off the line, while impressively quick kickdowns from the automatic transmission contribute to good passing response." -- Consumer Guide (2017)

Handling and Braking

Tackling corners and maneuvering through lanes is a breeze with the CX-5, thanks to its lithe handling and responsive steering. Though its suspension is somewhat firm, this Mazda still delivers a smooth ride over most surfaces. 

  • "Let’s go deeper into Mazda’s vectoring feature, which is standard in every version. It adds to the CX-5’s already excellent cornering abilities by subtly braking an individual wheel here and there. If anyone thought all mainstream compact-crossover SUVs were boring to drive, they haven’t tried the CX-5. It’s nimble and precise, able to change direction with grace." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Since it's sharp and communicative, you can take corners at speeds greater than rivals without squealing tires or feeling as if you're out of control. The car is unfazed by quick left-to-right transitions. This is the best-handling small crossover. No doubt about it." -- Edmunds (2018)
  • The CX-5 has always been one of the best-handling crossovers in its class ... The CX-5's low stance and taut suspension show their stuff when the road twists, and it's a pleasure to drive around town." -- Autotrader (2018)
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