If you thought of all the vehicles out there that needed an update, the Mazda CX-5 wouldn’t be among those that come to mind.
Anyone who’s driven this model knows it handles as well as you can expect for an SUV, and it’s also been among the most reliable crossovers in recent years. Meanwhile, CX-5’s sales gains (+22% in 2018) suggest consumers have gotten the memo as well.
Nonetheless, Mazda looked at its top-selling model and saw room for improvement in 2019. SUV shoppers will find a new engine, a top-trim model, and performance upgrades added to the range when it hits dealerships. Here’s everything new in the CX-5 that starts at $25,345 for the upcoming model year.
1. A turbo engine with 310 lb-ft of torque
With a Mazda, it’s never about brute strength. Even with the MX-5 Miata getting a power boost for 2019, the focus for that model remains on the drive experience and control behind the wheel.
That same focus applies to the CX-5 crossover, which will also get more power for the 2019 model year. In this case, Mazda is bringing in the turbocharged Skyactiv-G engine previously found in the CX-9. At low revs, it can produce 310 pound-feet of torque and 250 horsepower. (Using low-grade gasoline, horsepower numbers will be lower.)
This powertrain won’t involve a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that’s been the bane of many a turbo setup. The six-speed automatic that has proven itself time and again for the automaker will mate to the 2.5 here.
Top trims, beginning with the Grand Touring Reserve ($35,865), will feature the 2.5 turbo engine. All-wheel drive comes standard.
2. The 2019 CX-5 Signature
Transaction prices have continued rising (especially among pickup trucks and SUVs), and Mazda will push the envelope with the CX-5 Signature for the upcoming model year. This top-trim edition ($37,885) features the turbo engine and all-wheel drive while taking the interior to the next level.
Caturra Brown Nappa leather seats, real wood trim, ambient interior lighting, and satin chrome accents are a few of the highlights. Meanwhile, Signature models also bring in a 360-degree-view monitor and sensors for the front and rear so you can park it without any dings.
3. Tech and drive experience upgrades
For 2019, CX-5 will get up to speed with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. Other tech upgrades include ventilated front seats, power-folding exterior mirrors, and a reconfigurable 7-inch gauge display for the driver. A SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link subscription will also be available.
Along with the more powerful engine, engineers tweaked the G-Vectoring Control Plus for better stability. This system makes changes to the engine’s power delivery and alters weight balance in order for a smoother drive experience. Steering response also got an update.
Passengers are more likely to notice the suspension upgrades across the CX-5 line for 2019. Mazda said its team retuned the system to dampen the impact of bumps and allow for smoother cornering.
4. Fuel economy, safety ratings, other model pricing
While delivering on performance, Mazda has always maintained respectable fuel economy. The standard 2.5-liter models will continue on with a combined 28 mpg (26 mpg with all-wheel drive) for 2019. Turbo models get 24 mpg combined.
On the safety front, the CX-5 was one of the few SUVs to get the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award for 2018. Advanced forward-collision tech is necessary for that level of safety.
Finally, the middle-range Touring ($27,60) and Grand Touring ($31,040) continue for 2019. Mazda is already advertising and delivering the new CX-5.