2020 Mazda CX-5 review: Pint-sized and premium

What issues most in a utility automobile? Do you treatment only about interior versatility and passenger convenience, or do you lust just after issues like evocative design, deluxe supplies and stirring effectiveness? If all those latter things are at the leading of your searching record, the 2020 Mazda CX-5 is in all probability the very best compact SUV for you. Rival choices in this phase could verify some of all those packing containers, but additional usually than not they continue to have additional in typical with a toaster oven than some thing that actually rouses a driver’s spirit.


  • Sleek-shifting transmission
  • Potent acceleration
  • Top quality design
  • Upscale interior

Don’t Like

  • Dreadful infotainment procedure
  • Obese A-pillars
  • Tight backseat
  • Buzzy motor

A serious stunner

The Mazda CX-5 is far from the latest compact crossover close to, but it absolutely sure is rather. Like the much larger, 3-row Mazda CX-nine, this utility automobile is swaddled in classy styling together with a broad, smiling grille, clean flanks and a perky rear. It truly is conveniently a single of the very best-hunting styles in its bustling automobile phase, which incorporates rivals like the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V and Ford Escape.

Reinforcing its upscale overall look, my tester rolls on comely 19-inch rims that function a darkish-gray end. They fill the body’s wheel openings very properly and never degrade more than-the-highway refinement. Sadly, decrease portions this CX-5 are trimmed in black plastic cladding, which appears to be totally out of place on this kind of a tastefully styled device.

Pleasing to a broad range of prospects, the CX-5 is presented in five trim degrees. There’s Sport, Touring and Grand Touring, as very well as Grand Touring Reserve and Signature. For extra attractiveness, all-wheel generate is presented across the range, but it is typical on the two leading styles.

Luxury-automobile appointments

Mazda builds some of the nicest mainstream interiors in the enterprise. Throughout its item range, this Japanese brand’s cabins are usually far prettier than what you get in competing autos.

My highfalutin CX-5’s interior coddles passengers with in the vicinity of-luxurious trimmings. The seats are enrobed in luscious Nappa leather, which is clean to the contact. There’s serious wooden trim on the door panels and dashboard. Contrast stitching livens issues up, and exactly where there is plastic, considerably of it is soft and attractively grained.

Justifying the further cost, Signature styles like my tester also function a at ease, 8-way-electric power adjustable driver’s seat. Each front chairs are heated and ventilated, a luxurious contact. Clicking the butt-heaters on immediately takes the wintertime chill away, while the weather conditions was as well cold for me to appraise the air flow function. A typical head-up display screen keeps the captain very well educated and traffic-indication recognition makes certain you normally know what the pace-restrict is, while it is not always one hundred% precise.

2020 Mazda CX-5 Signature

The CX-5’s cabin is wonderfully designed with a straightforward in general structure.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Inspite of its amazing appointments, the CX-5 isn’t the most sensible automobile in its course. When it arrives to hauling passengers, the back seat is disappointingly restricted on legroom. With the driver’s bucket adjusted to my liking, there’s virtually no house to spare for rear passengers’ knees — at minimum there’s loads of headroom back there. The outboard seats are heated, as well, and you get a pair of USB ports in the middle armrest.

As for luggage house, the CX-5 presents 30.nine cubic ft guiding the rear seat. Fold that 40:20:40-split backrest flat, which you can easily do by pulling a pair compact levers in the cargo keep, and that determine grows to 59.six cubic ft. Although adequate, the CX-5 is appreciably significantly less capacious than the CR-V, which delivers 39.two cubes of storage house guiding its 2nd-row seat and 75.8 with the backrest folded. Even Ford’s Escape has additional cargo place.

Circuits and this kind of

There’s loads of compound guiding the CX-5’s rather deal with. Mazda’s i-Activsense suite of basic safety features is typical across the range. This incorporates state-of-the-art driver aids like lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise handle with cease-and-go capability, blind-place checking, and rear cross-traffic alert, to name a few. All this things would seem to do the job very well. None of it exhibited any blatantly lousy behavior all through my screening.

In addition to all that things, thrust-button start, rain-sensing windshield wipers and keyless entry are integrated in all versions of the CX-5. These were luxurious-automobile facilities just a few a long time back and here they are, typical fare in a mass-marketplace crossover.

2020 Mazda CX-5 Signature

These icons search form of gross.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Placing my Signature-trim tester apart from additional workaday CX-5s, it has heated and electric power-folding aspect-check out mirrors, always a helpful function. There’s also a windshield wiper de-icer, a godsend in wintry weather conditions.

An 8-inch coloration contact-enabled display screen is perched higher on this vehicle’s dashboard, residence to the clumsy Mazda Join infotainment procedure. With amateurish graphics and a puzzling consumer interface, it is a single of my minimum preferred multimedia preparations offered now. Icons on the homescreen search like they were designed by an intern at a toy maker. The graphics are shiny and shiny, showing up at minimum a decade out of date. But dig a minimal further and it is not only the search of this procedure which is unattractive, the usability is ugly at times as very well. For occasion, modifying radio presets is a multistep training in irritation. The relaxation of the CX-5 is so rather and very well-assumed-out, it is a head-scratcher why its infotainment tech is so guiding the curve. Luckily for us, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are integrated so there’s virtually no need to use what the automaker delivers from the manufacturing unit.

Zoom-zoom dynamics?

Matching its innovative appears to be, the CX-5 presents a largely refined driving encounter. For 2020, engineers worked to make improvements to its noise, vibration and harshness features. For the most portion, they succeeded.

Underway, this Mazda’s interior continues to be tranquil and the journey is astonishingly supple, with minimal highway harshness currently being felt inside of, even while it rolls on generously sized 19-inch wheels. Lessen-trim versions of the CX-5 are likely even smoother thanks to their smaller sized seventeen-inch rims. Nonetheless, there’s no tininess or coarseness to the way my CX-5 tester soaks up bumps. Merely place, this crossover carries alone like a much larger, additional high priced automobile.

2020 Mazda CX-5 Signature

People 19-inch rollers fill out the wheel openings very properly.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Similarly, the steering is properly weighted, with a crispness to it you never usually get in commonly priced utility autos. Although not very telepathic, this Mazda’s tiller is continue to fulfilling to use. Snake the CX-5 by way of some of your preferred corners and it proves to be a ready dance spouse. It won’t intellect currently being pushed, while the suspension is compliant sufficient to offer a little bit of body roll when hustling, some thing that keeps you from finding as well outrageous. An additional thing that reins in any delinquent driving are husky A-pillars. Each frontal roof supports are gargantuan, significantly cutting down outward visibility at indirect angles.

Supporting make improvements to managing, Mazda incorporates some thing called G-Vectoring Manage. What it does is minutely minimize motor output when the steering wheel is turned. This supposedly prevents the vehicle’s fat from shifting rearward, meaning there’s additional force on the front tires for improved really feel and handle. I by no means recognized this executing nearly anything all through my time guiding the CX-5’s wheel, but which is the point. It truly is intended to be seamless, and it is, helping offer gentle and precise managing.

A large ol’ slab of torque

Two engines are offered in the Mazda CX-5. The up-level giving powering my tester is a two.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder which is typical devices in Grand Touring Reserve and Signature styles. Fill the tank with ninety three-octane fuel and this motor benefits you with 250 horsepower and a stout 320 pound-ft of torque, ten additional than very last yr. Don’t fret while, it will fortunately operate on common-grade gas, while output is a bit reduced to 227 hp and 310 lb-ft.

That turbocharged motor can make this crossover loads swift, imbuing it with sufficient torque throughout the operating range, so there’s no need to bury the accelerator just to get transferring. Supporting produce this respectable effectiveness is a ready transmission. On paper, the CX-5’s gearbox is guiding the times, owning only six forward speeds. These times, transmissions in some other autos have 8, nine or even ten ratios, which can make this Mazda appear to be positively ancient. Fortuitously, there’s almost nothing mistaken with this gearbox’s effectiveness. Shifts are silky clean both up and down, additionally it is keen to drop ratios as needed, earning it really feel loads responsive.

2020 Mazda CX-5 Signature

If you like torque you’ll appreciate this motor.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

If there’s a downside to the CX-5’s drivetrain it is, oddly sufficient, refinement. It truly is tough to argue with this engine’s effectiveness, but it is also louder and coarser than I might like. This powerplant is not worried to enable you know it is operating, and it emits some unwarranted vibration. No, it is not too much, but the relaxation of the CX-5 is so very well assumed out and refined that this buzzing would seem especially recognizable.

Lessen-trim CX-5s are also driven by a two.5-liter 4-pot, albeit a single that does not reward from compelled induction. It delivers a continue to-respectable 187 hp and 186 lb-ft. It truly is tough to argue with the turbocharged engine’s effectiveness, but this base device must be additional than adequate for the majority of CX-5 motorists.

No make a difference the motor, just a single transmission is presented in this crossover, a responsive six-pace automatic. With the turbo-4 under its hood and typical all-wheel generate, my tester stickers at 22 miles for every gallon city and 27 mpg on the freeway. Merged, Uncle Sam states it must regular 24 mpg. People intake scores are almost in lockstep with a Chevrolet Equinox, a single equipped with a two.-liter turbocharged motor and all-wheel generate. A similarly equipped Escape is a little bit additional inexpensive than either of all those rivals, averaging a claimed 26 mpg in mixed driving.

2020 Mazda CX-5 Signature

The Signature-trim product ain’t affordable, but it absolutely sure is awesome. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

A minimal gem

Is the 2020 Mazda CX-5 perfect? No, but it is continue to a pretty compact crossover. In Signature trim, it feels a phase earlier mentioned exactly where it truly competes.

The product I’m screening here checks out for $39,080, together with $one,one hundred in location fees. Just 3 modest choices inflate the base selling price to that level. Equipment Grey paint provides $three hundred to the bottom line, a bumper-preserving guard charge an supplemental $one hundred twenty five and roof-rack aspect rails are $400.

40 large is a nutritious chunk of improve to drop on a compact crossover, but thanks to its agreeable dynamics and in the vicinity of-luxurious interior, this CX-5 won’t really feel overpriced. Even while it is not the most sensible giving in its course, with its restricted backseat and fairly restricted of cargo house, this Mazda is continue to an great choice, a reliable choice to additional common rivals.