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ROAD TEST: 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature Edition delivers more features, power, capability


Mazda’s engineers have made subtle changes to everything from the throttle to steering, suspension and brakes on the 2019 CX-5. - Mazda
Mazda’s engineers have made subtle changes to everything from the throttle to steering, suspension and brakes on the 2019 CX-5. - Mazda

Mazda has added Signature as the top rung of its trim ladder. First introduced on the CX-9, then the Mazda6, it now can be found on the 2019 CX-5. The result is a $41,000 CX-5.

Many might flinch at the mere mention of a compact Mazda crossover at that price. But, two important factors have to be taken into consideration:

  1. Equally-equipped competitors from Ford, Honda and Toyota are within $1,000 of that number and,
  2. That price is all-inclusive. The only option available on the $40,950 test vehicle was a special “soul red, crystal metallic paint” at $450.

There are plenty of touches that not only justify that price, they might cause a few folks considering a luxury brand to look at this Mazda — after all, it’s about $10,000 less than those others and has more features and equipment.

The CX-5 was redone for 2017 and it continues to stand out in a field of lookalikes. The stylish front clip and artful wheel-well openings give it a unique appearance. The interior of the CX-5, especially in the new Signature trim, will stand up to comparison with vehicles costing much more. In addition to the stylish simplicity of the redesigned gauge cluster and layout of the HVAC and infotainment systems, the Signature trim brings supple dark brown Nappa leather, and real (Abachi) wood trim. The result is a very upscale and refined appearance.

 The interior of the CX-5, especially in the new Signature trim, will stand up to comparison with vehicles costing much more. - Mazda
The interior of the CX-5, especially in the new Signature trim, will stand up to comparison with vehicles costing much more. - Mazda

The Signature version of the CX-5 is fully equipped. In addition to the Nappa leather and Abachi wood trim, the standard equipment list includes: 19-inch alloy wheels, rear-view camera, 17-cm colour touchscreen, Mazda Connect with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, four USB ports, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, wiper deicer, power liftgate with programmable height, auto-levelling LED headlights, power sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry, power windows and locks, heads-up display, 10-speaker Bose audio system, and auto dimming rear-view mirror.

Safety is a primary consideration in the purchase of any family-oriented vehicle. The marketing team made sure to cover all the bases. Standard equipment includes: Smart City Brake Support, advanced blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, wide-angle rear-view camera, dynamic stability control, traction control, hill-launch assist, and height adjustable front seat belts.

Every Mazda is endowed with exceptional driving dynamics. The engineers have made subtle changes to everything from the throttle to steering, suspension and brakes. We’ve explained many of the more significant upgrades in previous reviews — suffice it to say, electronics are hard at work behind the scenes to ensure there is more feel and direct results when you turn the wheel, step on the gas or enjoy a little time on a twisty road.

The 2019 CX-5 Signature edition gets the turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine introduced in the CX-9 and later offered on the Mazda6.

While sharing its displacement with the 187-horsepower engines found in the GX, GS and GT trim levels, this one is turbocharged, and produces 227 horsepower on regular fuel. Opt for premium fuel, and output increases to 250 horsepower. Torque remains the same at 310 lb.-ft. regardless of octane level.

Unless you are interested in sustained high-speed operation, save your money, stick with the 87 octane, and enjoy the brawny torque, and its ability to launch the vehicle from rest, climb steep grades or pass with ease. The turbo four cuts a full two seconds off the 0-100 km/h time compared to the normally-aspirated engine used in other trim levels.

All trim levels use a six-speed automatic transmission. The manual offered previously, has been dropped due to lack of demand. The CX-5 Signature model comes with Mazda’s effective all-wheel-drive system.

The 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature edition is more than additional bling. The upgrades in features, power and capability are substantial.

The specs

  • Model: 2019 Mazda CX-5
  • Signature
  • Engine: turbocharged, 2.5-litre, four-cylinder, 227 horsepower (regular fuel), 250 horsepower (93 octane fuel), 310 lb.-ft. of torque,
  • Transmission: six speed automatic
  • NRCan rating (litres/100km city/highway): 10.8/ 8.7
  • Length: 4,550 mmWheelbase: 2,698 mmWeight: 1,734 kgPrice: $40,950 base, $43,295 as tested, including freight
  • Competition: Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sportage, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4
  • Options on test vehicle: Soul red, crystal metallic paint, $450

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