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Entry price: $24,350

Price as tested: $39,115

Likes: Looks, pricing, safety, Mazda engineering, turbo.

Dislikes: Infotainment learning curve, 7-inch screen too small, USB port locations.

This week, we’re driving the 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature, a smaller five-passenger SUV with midsize, roomy features. Signature models are delivered with standard all-wheel-drive (AWD) and lots of amenities. Overall, CX-5 delivers just about everything a prospective owner desires, from parents with active families to college students who want reliable, sporty transportation.         

The front-drive CX-5s start with the entry level Sport at just $24,350. Next up the CX-5 ladder is the Touring at $26,615, followed by the Grand Touring at $30,045. Next come the more expensive CX-5s, both fitted with standard AWD ala the Grand Touring Reserve at $34,870 and top line Signature at $36,890.

Regardless of model choice, all feature Mazda’s great looking CX-5 motif and mechanical wizardry the company calls Skyactiv engineering. Standard on every ’19 CX-5 is forward collision warning with “city speed” automatic emergency braking, a most notable no-extra-cost addition. If you want AWD on Sport and Touring models, add $1,400 and you’ll be ready for some off-road adventures and/or more secure driving on problematic, snow covered roadways.  

Mazda CX-5 debuted in 2013 to rave reviews and surpassed over 1 million sold worldwide in 2017. Along the way, Mazda tweaked its engine and suspension advancements including driving innovations that include Mazda “G-Vectoring,” its nomenclature for enhanced body, ride and handling control. Although complex, G-Vectoring impacts vehicle speed, throttle position and rate of steering wheel rotation. Included is slight braking upon cornering entry, weight distribution stabilization, and improved throttle response coming off the corner. (Check with your dealer for more info).  

Now in its second generation introduced two years ago, CX-5 features a prominent new grille, LED head and tail lights and improved fascia that lead to an overall impressive aerodynamic design. The interior has been upgraded, too, and is so roomy you’ll think it’s a midsize more so than its official EPA listing of a small SUV.  

Mazda engineers continue to develop more efficiency from smaller cubic inch engines, transmission gearing and AWD underpinnings that result in excellent performance and better fuel mileage. For 2019, they prove what is possible in power development from its small Skyactiv 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. The front-drive and AWD CX-5 Sport and Touring models utilize the 2.5 with normally aspirated fuel injection to develop 187 horses and 186 lb. ft. of torque. Fuel mileage for the front drive models are 24 city and 31 highway while AWD models deliver 24 city and 30 highway.

However, when you move up to the more powerful Grand Touring Reserve and Signature versions, the little 2.5-liter gets way stronger thanks to the addition of a turbocharger that really adds some welcome pep. 

Greg Zyla writes weekly for More Content Now and GateHouse Media. Contact him at greg@gregzyla.com or at 303 Roosevelt St., Sayre, PA 18840.


Auto bits

New rearview mirrors
to include cameras

New rearview mirrors are coming. Prepare to be amazed.

Instead of the reflective mirrors that have been around forever, General Motors and other brands are switching to a rear-view device that features cameras that produce a much better image. 

Launched about three years ago, the new rearview mirrors are becoming more common on mainstream brands including Chevy. There’s a lot to like.

The GM system uses a camera mounted on the back of the vehicle next to the backup camera. It not only points back but also to the sides. That image is then projected onto the same location as your legacy rearview mirror. 

Because rain, snow and road dirt will make that image a bit fuzzy, GM equips every vehicle with the rearview camera with a washer that sprays the lens every time you use the rear window washer. In sedans without a rear window washer, GM adds the camera washer and a dedicated button.

For safety reasons, the new rearview mirrors also operate as regular reflective rearview mirrors. So the camera mirror works both ways by flipping a dimmer tab that toggles between reflective and projected images. It works instantly and when the mirror is in its reflective mode, you will not notice any difference between it and any other vehicle you have driven in the past.

— John Goreham/BestRide.com


Did you know

On July 29, 1909, Buick Motor Co. acquired Cadillac Automobile Co., on behalf of General Motors, for $4.5 million.