2020 Mazda CX5 Review

2020 Mazda CX5 - The 2020 Mazda CX-5 mid-size crossover is fun and functional

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2020 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD

Price: $37,055

Pros-Sporty look. Refined. Roomy. Fast. Athletic handling. Supple ride. All-wheel drive. Safety features.   

Cons-Ride a bit firm for its class. Outdated infotainment system. So-so fuel economy.   

Bottom Line-Mazda's top-seller for good reasons.

The refined 2020 Mazda CX-5 mid-size crossover is for those who like to drive but don't want to sacrifice utility.

Mazda's
vehicles show that "driving enjoyment" is its middle name and the CX-5
shows you need buy a Mazda MX-5 Miata sports car to get it.

The
CX-5 is Mazda's top-selling vehicle in America. It's a mid-size
crossover (or "SUV", if you will) hatchback with more sporty flair than
some rivals.

Improvements for 2020 include refinements, more
safety features and quieter operation, especially less road noise,
although the engine is noisy during hard acceleration.

I tested
the top-line, equipment-loaded $37,055 CX-5 with all-wheel drive. It's
the most expensive CX-5. The base front-drive CX-5 is priced at $25,090.
It's got better fuel economy than the Signature but has less equipment
and a 187-horsepower engine that provides just so-so highway
performance.

The CX-5 Signature is no fuel miser, but isn't a gas
hog, either, for this type vehicle. Its turbocharged 2.7-liter engine
provides 227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque while delivering an
estimated 22 miles per gallon in the city and 27 on highways. It's got
strong acceleration in the city and on highways and only calls for
87-octane gasoline.

The responsive six-speed automatic
transmission can be manually shifted, and a driver can switch from
regular to "sport" mode via a console shift if a little faster
acceleration is needed, although that drive mode lowers fuel economy a
bit.

The responsive electric power-assisted steering has a firm
feel, and the ride is supple, although some may feel it's a little too
firm.

Handling is athletic, thanks to an all-independent
suspension, dynamic stability and traction controls, front/rear
stabilizer bars, G-vectoring control and the clever all-wheel-drive
system.The brake pedal has a reassuring feel.  

The Signature is
loaded with convenience and safety equipment. However, my test test
vehicle's striking "Soul Red Crystal Metallic" paint cost an extra $595.
The Signature also has special aluminum alloy wheels, heated power
mirrors with turn signals that fold against the windows to prevent
parking lot damage, a power moonroof, "Signature" badging and nifty twin
exhaust outlets.
 
As with many crossovers, it takes a little
extra effort to enter the CX-5, but once aboard occupants sit high in
the Signature's upscale interior. It has such features as supportive
power Nappa leather heated and ventilated front seats, detailed
stitching throughout, soft-touch surfaces and genuine layered wood trim.
The console takes up a lot of space, but there's good room for four
tall adults, although the center of the rear seat is too hard for a
third occupant back there; it's best left to the fold-down armrest,
which has twin cupholders and controls for the heated rear seats.

The
power hatch works efficiently, and the cargo floor is low and wide. The
cargo area is moderately large, and 60/40 split rear setbacks easily
fold forward to greatly increase the cargo area. The MX-5 cabin has a
good number of storage areas, including pockets in all doors.
 
Interior
features also include a push-button start, which is somewhat buried
behind the heated tilt/telescopic steering wheel, which has audio and
cruise controls, automatic door locks and a decent sound system.

The
large gauges can be quickly read, and a heads-up windshield display
even provides traffic sign recognition. The rather outdated infotainment
system is challenging to work, but there are a good number of manual
switches on the dashboard for those who don't want to bother with the
console dial to get vehicle information.

Safety features include
radar cruise control with stop-and-go, a 360-degree view monitor with
front and rear parking sensors, advanced dual front air bags, front/rear
side curtains and smart brake support.

The CX-5 Signature won't deliver the "zoom-zoom" of a Mazda sports car, but you can tell it's from the same outfit.





Dan Jedlicka

Dan Jedlicka's Website

Dan Jedlicka joined the Chicago Sun-Times in February 1968 as a business news reporter and was named auto editor later that year. He has reviewed more than 4,000 new vehicles for the Sun-Times--far more than any newspaper auto writer in the country. Jedlicka also reviewed vehicles for Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Autos Internet site from January, 1996, to June, 2008.

Jedlicka remained auto editor at the Sun-Times until October, 2008, and continued writing for the newspaper's AutoTimes section, which he started in 1992, until February, 2009. While continuing his auto writings at the Sun-Times, he served as assistant financial editor of that newspaper from 1970 to 1973, when he began his automotive column.

He has appeared on numerous radio and television shows, including NBC's "Today," ABC's "20/20" and "The CBS Evening News." He was a host, consultant and writer for Fox-TV Channel 32's 1991 New Car Preview show and that Chicago-based station's 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995 Chicago Auto Show Previews.

Jedlicka's auto articles have been printed in national magazines, including Esquire and Harper's. His auto columns have been reprinted in U.S. government publications and economic textbooks and he is profiled in the "World's Greatest Auto Show" history book about the Chicago Auto Show. In late 1975, Jedlicka was host and technical advisor for three one-hour television specials, "Auto Test 76," which aired nationally on PBS and were the first nationally televised auto road test shows.

In 1995, Jedlicka was the recipient of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois Inc.'s Consumer Education Award, given annually to a person who has gained distinction in the field of consumer education. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Media category and inducted into the Legends of Motorsports Guild at the Carquest World of wheels custom car show in Chicago in January, 2006.

Jedlicka was a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year jury, composed of a select number of auto journalists from throughout the country, from 1995 until 2009. From 2010 to 2012, he was a member of Consumer Digest magazine's auto experts panel that gave Best Buy new vehicle recommendations.

He is a 1987 graduate of the Bob Bondurant Race Drivers School and later of the BMW "M" and Skip Barber Advanced Driving schools. He was a member of the U.S. team that participated in the 1987 1,000-mile Mille Miglia race/rally in Italy and has been a race winner at the Chicago area's Santa Fe Speedway.

Jedlicka has owned 25 classic cars, including 1950s and 1960s Ferraris and 1950s and 1960s Porsches, a 1965 Corvette, a 1967 Maserati and a 1957 Studebaker supercharged Golden Hawk. Jedlicka resides with his wife, Suzanne, in the Frank Lloyd Wright historic district of Oak Park. They have two children, James and Michele.

For more reviews from Dan, visit Facebook.