A compact SUV full of comfort and fun.

2019 Mazda CX-5 Review | CarMax

The 2019 Mazda CX-5 is a compact crossover SUV that stands out in such a crowded segment with its mix of versatility, eye-catching style, and quiet, comfortable ride. The latest model in the second generation (introduced in 2017), the 2019 Mazda CX-5 is the car for all seasons. Need a daily driver that is endlessly fun to get into and drive every single morning? Check. Want something that can do all of the above with style and a premium upmarket interior? The 2019 Mazda CX-5 can check that box too. And for all those reasons and more, this is a car that should absolutely be at the top of your shopping list.

In this review of the 2019 Mazda CX-5, we will go over:

Key Specs & Features

  • On 2019 models, the base engine is a 2.5L four-cylinder, good for 187 horsepower and 186 lb.-ft. of torque.
  • Standard on the 2019 Grand Touring Reserve and Signature trims is a 2.5L turbocharged four-cylinder engine, providing 227 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque.
  • Optional on 2019 Signature trim CX-5s is a 2.2L turbocharged diesel engine, capable of 168 horsepower and 290 lb.-ft. of torque.
  • All of the above engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.
  • Front-wheel drive is standard on the 2019 base trims, with all-wheel drive available as standard on the Grand Touring Reserve and Signature trims.
  • Equipped with the base 2.5L four-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive, and the base Sport trim, the 2019 Mazda CX-5 is capable of an EPA-estimated 28 mpg combined and 31 mpg on the highway.1


5 Reasons to Buy

1. Enjoyable Driving Experience

The 2019 Mazda CX-5 is the SUV that drives like a smaller, more conventional car. And that's great news for those looking to make the daily commute as fun and stress-free as possible. The ultra-nimble steering and suspension make tight city driving and parking an absolute breeze. And once you get out onto the open road, you can really unwind and enjoy what the CX-5 has to offer. SUV size and convenience married to the driving pleasure of a smaller car? The 2019 Mazda CX-5 is proof that you can have both in one.

2. Eye-Catching Style

Mazda has always had a reputation for striking body styles, especially on its sports cars, like the MX-5. And despite being a compact SUV rather than a small sports car, the CX-5 follows a design philosophy akin to the latter. With a front very similar to the Mazda6 sedan, the CX-5 has genuine curb appeal and is the sort of car you'll find yourself turning around to look back at even after you've just stepped out of the driver seat. With its smooth road manners and fun handling, the 2019 Mazda CX-5 brings the panache and style of a much smaller, sportier car in a compact SUV package.

3. Upscale Interior

2019 Mazda CX-5 Review: Tech Dash | CarMax

The 2019 Mazda CX-5 manages to bring an air of luxury to its interior. With a range of features and beautiful details, the CX-5 is the place to be. Even the base CX-5 has a premium feel to its interior, with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth® compatibility, and USB ports as standard.

At the top end, the 2019 Mazda CX-5 includes two new trim levels that really pile on the luxury. The Grand Touring Reserve includes heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel and side mirrors, and leather upholstery throughout. Right at the top of the range, the Signature trim adds premium leather upholstery, wood trim accents, and ambient lighting to the interior. For journeys long or short, the 2019 Mazda CX-5 will make you and your passengers feel like VIPs every time you step inside.

4. Comfortable Ride

2019 Mazda CX-5 Review: Front Seats | CarMax

The 2019 Mazda CX-5 doesn't just provide a fun driving experience, it gives you comfort and a smooth ride as well. The cabin is nice and quiet, and the standard six-speed automatic gearbox is very agreeable. Additionally, the automatic dual-zone climate control (standard on the Touring trim and higher), heated front and rear seats (standard on the Grand Touring Reserve trim and higher) and ventilated front seats (standard on the Grand Touring trim and higher) keep everyone in the cabin at just the right temperature and comfort level. The 2019 Mazda CX-5 is the compact SUV so pleasant to sit in, you may not want to get out again!

2019 Mazda CX-5 Review: Backseats | CarMax

5. Great Variety of Engines

2019 Mazda CX-5 Review: Engine | CarMax

The 2019 Mazda CX-5 is available with three different engines, each one serving a unique purpose. The base 2.5L four-cylinder engine is a competent all-rounder, with an EPA-estimated 28 mpg combined on the 2019 model.1 Meanwhile, if it's a bit more power you want, try the 2.5L turbocharged four-cylinder engine—standard on the Grand Touring Reserve and Signature trims. 227 horsepower gives a gain of 40 horsepower over the standard 2.5L engine, and the 310 lb.-ft. of torque is a boost over that standard's 124 lb.-ft. Alternatively, if you would like a powertrain that couples fuel economy with the power of a turbocharged engine, there's the 2.2L turbocharged diesel engine available as an option on the Signature trim. Rated at 290 lb.-ft. of torque, it also manages an EPA-estimated 28 mpg combined, with a strong 27 mpg in the city (2019 models).1 For whatever balance of power and practicality you require, there's an engine for you in the 2019 Mazda CX-5 lineup.

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What You Need to Know

2019 Mazda CX-5 Trim Levels & Configurations

The 2019 Mazda CX-5 comes available in five different trim levels: Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve, and Signature.

  • Sport: The base trim includes 17-inch alloy wheels, a seven-inch touchscreen, 40/20/40-split-folding and -reclining rear seats, a four-speaker sound system, and two USB ports for charging. The optional Sport i-Activsense package includes automatic headlights, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control.
  • Touring: The i-Activsense package is standard on the Touring trim, which also features automatic dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto® compatibility, and two additional USB ports. An optional Touring Package adds features like a sunroof, power liftgate, and 10-speaker Bose® sound system.
  • Grand Touring: Includes all of the above features plus 19-inch wheels, leather seats, satellite radio, adaptive headlights and LED fog lights, and power-adjustable front seats. An optional GT Premium package includes power-folding mirrors, ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats and mirrors.
  • Grand Touring Reserve: As above, but including the 2.5L turbocharged four-cylinder engine and all-wheel drive as standard.
  • Signature: Includes all the above features as well as ambient cab lighting, front and rear parking sensors, a surround-view camera, and premium leather upholstery.

2019 Mazda CX-5 Color Choices

The 2019 Mazda CX-5 is available in the following colors:

  • Deep Crystal Blue Mica
  • Eternal Blue Mica
  • Jet Black Mica
  • Machine Gray Metallic
  • Snowflake White Pearl Mica
  • Sonic Silver Metallic
  • Soul Red Crystal Metallic

Similar Vehicles

Mazda CX-9

If you want to combine the best parts of the Mazda CX-5 in a larger midsize SUV package with three-row seating, meet the CX-5's big brother—the CX-9. The 2019 model features four trim levels— Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, and Signature—a 2.5L four-cylinder engine across all trims outputting 227 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque, and front-wheel drive as standard on all trims; all-wheel drive is optional.

Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, the 2019 CX-9 with the 2.5L engine is good for an EPA-estimated 28 mpg on the highway in front-wheel-drive form and 26 mpg with four-wheel drive.1 It shares numerous similarities with its smaller sibling, including a premium upmarket interior, an effortlessly comfortable ride, and a fun driving experience. It comes standard with 60/40-split-folding second-row seats and 50/50-split-folding third-row seats, as well as 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic tri-zone climate control, the Mazda Connect infotainment system (with a seven-inch touchscreen), and two USB ports. Additionally, driver-conveniences features like blind-spot monitoring and automatic emergency braking at low speed are also standard. For a fun driving experience along with a comfortable ride for all of your passengers, the CX-9 deserves a look.

Toyota RAV4

In the small SUV segment, the Toyota RAV4 is one of the most versatile out there, thanks to a range of features and trim levels. And for 2019, a brand-new generation was launched, bringing with it upgraded engines—one of those being a new 2.5L four-cylinder engine outputting 203 horsepower and capable of an EPA-estimated 30 mpg combined, including 35 mpg on the highway with the standard front-wheel drive (2019 models).1 The base 2019 RAV4 includes LED headlights, a rearview camera, 60/40-split-folding rear seats, and a suite of driver-convenience tech, including forward collision warning, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high-beam headlights. When looking for a compact crossover SUV, the RAV4 should always be high up on your list.

Honda CR-V

Now into its fifth generation, first introduced in 2017, the Honda CR-V is another great contender if you're looking for a used SUV. The 2019 model is relatively unchanged from 2018 so you'll see similar features between the two model years. Four trim levels are included in the 2018–2019 lineup: LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring—as well as two available engines. Front-wheel drive is standard across the 2019 range, with all-wheel drive as an optional extra. In addition, the 2019 Honda CR-V manages an EPA-estimated 28 mpg combined when equipped with the base 2.4L engine and front-wheel drive.1 Meanwhile, standard features such as LED running lights, a rearview camera, automatic climate control, and cruise control make life a little easier.

The Bottom Line

The 2019 Mazda CX-5 is the compact, crossover SUV that can drive like a sporty compact car, offer the comfortable ride of a larger SUV, and provide the premium interior of a luxury sedan—all in one striking package.

Looking to learn more about the Mazda CX-5 and similar vehicles? Check out these related articles.

1Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates when vehicles sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov for details.
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