2020 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD
Class: Compact Crossover
Miles driven: 340
Fuel used: 15.0 gallons
|CG Report Card
|Room and Comfort
|Power and Performance
|Fit and Finish
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.
|Big & Tall Comfort
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.
Real-world fuel economy: 22.6 mpg
Driving mix: 55% city, 45% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 22/27/24 (city/highway/combined)
Fuel type: Regular gas
Base price: $37,055 (not including $1045 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: Machine Gray Metallic paint ($300)
Price as tested: $38,400
The great: Turbocharged engine provides sprightly acceleration; one of the best-handling compact SUVs around
The good: Classy interior trimmings; comfortable ride
The not so good: A bit pricey in top-line Signature trim; not as much cargo space as some class competitors; some testers dislike infotainment control interface
The Signature model of the Mazda CX-5 was new for 2019, and it helped to maintain the compact crossover sport-utility as a Consumer Guide “Best Buy” in the class. The things that Mazda has done to it for 2020 are good enough to keep that streak going for a third year.
Slip behind the wheel of the CX-5’s top model, which starts at $38,100 with delivery, and you’ll find 10 additional lb-ft of torque in the turbocharged engine, a new off-road traction assist, and a slightly larger infotainment touchscreen. Those additions are heaped upon the fine road manners, comfortable ride, and upscale cabin environment that CG already admired in the 5-passenger trucklet.
Signature signs in with a 2.5-liter turbo 4-cylinder engine—also new in ’19—a 6-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive. (The Grand Touring Reserve that sells for $2020 less has this same drivetrain.) Horsepower ratings of 227 (on regular fuel) or 250 (with premium) at 5000 rpm are unchanged. However, there’s 3.2 percent more twist for livelier getaways, 320 lb-ft of torque that peaks at 2500 rpm, which is 500 revs higher than before. A selectable “Sport” driving mode sharpens throttle response. CG testers collectively averaged a modest 22.6 mpg in a roughly even mix of city/highway driving, though one driver did get close to 25 mpg. EPA fuel-economy estimates are 22 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on the highway, and 24 combined.
CX-5s feature Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control Plus that adjusts power delivery to wheels during cornering to better manage weight shifts and improve the driver’s sense of control through turns. However, the Signature and Grand Touring Reserve now come with an off-road traction-assist feature designed to optimize torque distribution and traction control when not on pavement.
Standard equipment in the two highest-level CX-5s includes an infotainment system with a stand-up display screen that has grown an inch to eight inches. There’s nothing wrong with that, but what shows up on that screen is subject to orders issued through the Commander Control dial in the console. That’s one feature of the vehicle that CG doesn’t like as much for its attention-diverting nature and complication of seemingly simple tasks like inputting radio-station presets. At least the dual-zone automatic climate control is operated separately and more conveniently.
Other items built into the CX-5 Signature are 19-inch alloy wheels, moonroof, power liftgate, windshield-wiper deicers, frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink remote, 10-speaker audio system, navigation, satellite radio, head-up instrument display, and adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality. A well-appointed cabin welcomes passengers on to comfortable and supportive Caturra Brown Nappa-leather seats that are heated front and rear and ventilated in front. There’s a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel; genuine wood trim; and LED lighting for the glove box, cargo area, vanity mirrors, and lamps in the overhead console. Safety-related technologies extend to forward collision warning and mitigation (with pedestrian detection), lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and traffic-sign recognition.
Doors open very wide to ease entry and exit. For the vehicle’s size, passenger room is better than cargo space, which lags behind that of some class competitors. Levers in the side walls remotely release the backs of the 40/20/40 rear seats. When retracted, the seats rest nearly flat, albeit at a slight height above the cargo floor. Personal-item storage in the cabin is varied and serves occupants of both rows. The pull-down rear-center armrest not only houses a pair of cup holders but also a shallow covered storage space and the switches for the rear seat heaters.
On balance, CX-5s do a lot of things the right way for acceptable prices. That’s the definition of a Best Buy.
Click below for enlarged images
2020 Mazda CX-5 Signature Gallery
2020 Mazda CX-5 Signature