June 7, 2020


Connecting People

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

What issues most in a utility motor vehicle? Do you care only about inside flexibility and passenger consolation, or do you lust following matters like evocative design and style, deluxe components and stirring performance? If people latter objects are at the prime of your searching listing, the 2020 Mazda CX-five is possibly the most effective little SUV for you. Rival offerings in this segment may perhaps check out some of people containers, but more frequently than not they nonetheless have more in typical with a toaster oven than something that really rouses a driver’s spirit.


  • Sleek-shifting transmission
  • Strong acceleration
  • Top quality design and style
  • Upscale inside

Really don’t Like

  • Awful infotainment system
  • Obese A-pillars
  • Limited backseat
  • Buzzy engine

A real stunner

The Mazda CX-five is significantly from the newest little crossover around, but it confident is really. Like the much larger, a few-row Mazda CX-9, this utility motor vehicle is swaddled in sophisticated styling together with a broad, smiling grille, clear flanks and a perky rear. It is really conveniently a single of the most effective-on the lookout products in its bustling motor vehicle segment, which contains 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 aspect a darkish-grey end. They fill the body’s wheel openings pretty nicely and really don’t degrade about-the-highway refinement. Regrettably, decreased parts this CX-five are trimmed in black plastic cladding, which appears to be absolutely out of area on this kind of a tastefully styled machine.

Attractive to a broad selection of customers, the CX-five is available in five trim amounts. There is certainly Sport, Touring and Grand Touring, as nicely as Grand Touring Reserve and Signature. For included attraction, all-wheel generate is available throughout the selection, but it truly is typical on the two prime products.

Luxury-automobile appointments

Mazda builds some of the nicest mainstream interiors in the business. Throughout its products selection, this Japanese brand’s cabins are frequently significantly prettier than what you get in competing automobiles.

My highfalutin CX-5’s inside coddles passengers with around-luxury trimmings. The seats are enrobed in luscious Nappa leather-based, which is sleek to the touch. There is certainly real wooden trim on the door panels and dashboard. Distinction stitching livens matters up, and where by there is plastic, significantly of it is gentle and attractively grained.

Justifying the extra expense, Signature products like my tester also aspect a at ease, eight-way-electric power adjustable driver’s seat. Each front chairs are heated and ventilated, a luxury touch. Clicking the butt-heaters on rapidly will take the winter season chill away, nevertheless the weather was much too chilly for me to assess the air flow aspect. A typical head-up exhibit retains the captain nicely knowledgeable and website traffic-signal recognition assures you typically know what the pace-restrict is, nevertheless it truly is not generally 100% exact.

The CX-5’s cabin is beautifully produced with a basic general format.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Irrespective of its amazing appointments, the CX-five just isn’t the most practical motor vehicle in its class. When it will come to hauling passengers, the back again seat is disappointingly tight on legroom. With the driver’s bucket modified to my liking, there is certainly pretty much no place to spare for rear passengers’ knees — at the very least there is certainly a great deal of headroom back again there. The outboard seats are heated, much too, and you get a pair of USB ports in the center armrest.

As for baggage place, the CX-five delivers thirty.9 cubic feet powering the rear seat. Fold that 40:20:40-split backrest flat, which you can easily do by pulling a couple little levers in the cargo maintain, and that figure grows to fifty nine.6 cubic feet. Even though satisfactory, the CX-five is appreciably less capacious than the CR-V, which presents 39.two cubes of storage place powering its next-row seat and seventy five.eight with the backrest folded. Even Ford’s Escape has more cargo space.

Circuits and this kind of

There is certainly a great deal of material powering the CX-5’s really encounter. Mazda’s i-Activsense suite of security capabilities is typical throughout the selection. This contains advanced driver aids like lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise regulate with end-and-go ability, blind-location monitoring, and rear cross-website traffic alert, to title a few. All this stuff appears to operate nicely. None of it exhibited any blatantly terrible conduct for the duration of my tests.

In addition to all that stuff, thrust-button get started, rain-sensing windshield wipers and keyless entry are incorporated in all variations of the CX-five. These were being luxury-automobile features just a few years ago and below they are, typical fare in a mass-market place crossover.

2020 Mazda CX-5 Signature

These icons seem kind of gross.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Location my Signature-trim tester aside from more workaday CX-5s, it has heated and electric power-folding aspect-watch mirrors, generally a helpful aspect. There is certainly also a windshield wiper de-icer, a godsend in wintry weather.

An eight-inch shade touch-enabled exhibit is perched higher on this vehicle’s dashboard, home to the clumsy Mazda Connect infotainment system. With amateurish graphics and a complicated user interface, it is a single of my the very least preferred multimedia arrangements obtainable currently. Icons on the homescreen seem like they were being designed by an intern at a toy manufacturer. The graphics are shiny and glossy, showing up at the very least a ten years out of date. But dig a very little deeper and it truly is not only the seem of this system that is unattractive, the usability is unpleasant at times as nicely. For occasion, switching radio presets is a multistep physical exercise in frustration. The relaxation of the CX-five is so really and nicely-thought-out, it truly is a head-scratcher why its infotainment tech is so powering the curve. Fortunately, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are incorporated so there is certainly pretty much no need to have to use what the automaker presents from the factory.

Zoom-zoom dynamics?

Matching its advanced appears to be, the CX-five delivers a primarily refined driving working experience. For 2020, engineers labored to strengthen its noise, vibration and harshness attributes. For the most aspect, they succeeded.

Underway, this Mazda’s inside remains quiet and the trip is incredibly supple, with very little highway harshness remaining felt inside, even nevertheless it rolls on generously sized 19-inch wheels. Lower-trim variations of the CX-five are possible even smoother thanks to their smaller sized seventeen-inch rims. Nevertheless, there is certainly no tininess or coarseness to the way my CX-five tester soaks up bumps. Basically set, this crossover carries by itself like a much larger, more expensive motor vehicle.

2020 Mazda CX-5 Signature

These 19-inch rollers fill out the wheel openings pretty nicely.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Likewise, the steering is nicely weighted, with a crispness to it you really don’t frequently get in popularly priced utility automobiles. Even though not pretty telepathic, this Mazda’s tiller is nonetheless rewarding to use. Snake the CX-five by way of some of your preferred corners and it proves to be a ready dance companion. It won’t intellect remaining pushed, nevertheless the suspension is compliant more than enough to present a little bit of human body roll when hustling, something that retains you from finding much too ridiculous. A further thing that reins in any delinquent driving are husky A-pillars. Each frontal roof supports are gargantuan, considerably lessening outward visibility at oblique angles.

Aiding strengthen handling, Mazda contains something identified as G-Vectoring Control. What it does is minutely decrease engine output when the steering wheel is turned. This supposedly helps prevent the vehicle’s excess weight from shifting rearward, meaning there is certainly more tension on the front tires for better truly feel and regulate. I in no way observed this doing just about anything for the duration of my time powering the CX-5’s wheel, but that is the position. It is really supposed to be seamless, and it is, encouraging present light-weight and specific handling.

A big ol’ slab of torque

Two engines are obtainable in the Mazda CX-five. The up-level giving powering my tester is a two.five-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that is typical products in Grand Touring Reserve and Signature products. Fill the tank with 93-octane gasoline and this engine benefits you with 250 horsepower and a stout 320 pound-feet of torque, 10 more than past calendar year. Really don’t fear nevertheless, it will fortunately operate on frequent-quality gas, nevertheless output is somewhat decreased to 227 hp and 310 lb-ft.

That turbocharged engine will make this crossover a great deal rapid, imbuing it with ample torque all through the functioning selection, so there is certainly no need to have to bury the accelerator just to get relocating. Aiding provide this respectable performance is a ready transmission. On paper, the CX-5’s gearbox is powering the times, acquiring only six ahead speeds. These times, transmissions in some other automobiles have eight, 9 or even 10 ratios, which will make this Mazda appear positively historical. Fortunately, there is certainly absolutely nothing mistaken with this gearbox’s performance. Shifts are silky sleek equally up and down, as well as it truly is eager to drop ratios as required, creating it truly feel a great deal responsive.

2020 Mazda CX-5 Signature

If you like torque you can expect to enjoy this engine.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

If there is certainly a draw back to the CX-5’s drivetrain it truly is, oddly more than enough, refinement. It is really challenging to argue with this engine’s performance, but it truly is also louder and coarser than I would like. This powerplant is not worried to enable you know it truly is functioning, and it emits some unwarranted vibration. No, it truly is not excessive, but the relaxation of the CX-five is so nicely thought out and refined that this buzzing appears specifically visible.

Lower-trim CX-5s are also run by a two.five-liter 4-pot, albeit a single that does not advantage from compelled induction. It provides a nonetheless-respectable 187 hp and 186 lb-ft. It is really challenging to argue with the turbocharged engine’s performance, but this foundation unit really should be more than satisfactory for the the greater part of CX-five drivers.

No issue the engine, just a single transmission is available in this crossover, a responsive six-pace computerized. With the turbo-4 less than its hood and typical all-wheel generate, my tester stickers at 22 miles for every gallon city and 27 mpg on the highway. Merged, Uncle Sam suggests it really should regular 24 mpg. These usage scores are almost in lockstep with a Chevrolet Equinox, a single equipped with a two.-liter turbocharged engine and all-wheel generate. A likewise outfitted Escape is a little bit more cost-effective than either of people rivals, averaging a claimed 26 mpg in combined driving.

2020 Mazda CX-5 Signature

The Signature-trim design ain’t affordable, but it confident is good. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

A very little gem

Is the 2020 Mazda CX-five perfect? No, but it truly is nonetheless a beautiful little crossover. In Signature trim, it feels a segment earlier mentioned where by it actually competes.

The design I’m tests below checks out for $39,080, together with $one,100 in destination costs. Just a few modest possibilities inflate the foundation price to that level. Machine Grey paint adds $300 to the bottom line, a bumper-protecting guard price an extra $125 and roof-rack aspect rails are $400.

40 huge is a nutritious chunk of transform to drop on a little crossover, but thanks to its agreeable dynamics and around-luxury inside, this CX-five won’t truly feel overpriced. Even nevertheless it truly is not the most practical giving in its class, with its tight backseat and rather confined of cargo place, this Mazda is nonetheless an fantastic alternative, a good alternative to more well-liked rivals.