This great compact SUV still has the drawback of a dated user interface
The old look of the Mazda CX-5 is the only thing that can be criticized. It has taken nearly a year for our long-term Mazda CX-5 to cross the halfway point in its 40,000-mile stay with us. But that gradual mile accumulation is not for the Mazda’s lack of goodness as a compact SUV. While we’re not petty enough to shy away from the CX-5’s handsome styling, excellent driving character, and trouble-free reliability because of its irksome infotainment system.
The small 7-inch infotainment screen responds slowly and operates inconsistently. “It’s irritating to have to navigate into menu structures just to browse radio stations,” wrote print director Eric Tingwall. “A dedicated seek or tuning control is desperately needed. I normally like these control-knob-based systems, but if it’s going to be this clumsy, I’d rather just use the touchscreen.” While Mazda has enlarged that touchscreen to 8.0 inches in higher trim levels as part of its updates to the CX-5 for the 2020 model year, this operating system still feels clunky and dated compared to the brand’s newer setup found in its Mazda 3 and CX-30 models.
With the option of a 250-hp turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-four, the CX-5 continues to impress after more than 20,000 miles. In 2020 that engine will increase by 10 lb-ft of torque to 320 lb-ft, we don’t miss it on our 2019 model. It might not be the quickest in the compact-crossover segment—that would be the new Ford Escape with its optional turbo 2.0-liter four—but the CX-5 turbo’s smooth, responsive power delivery impart to it a little of the MX-5 Miata’s spunky personality.
In sport mode, the CX5 proves its appeal. The CX-5’s six-speed automatic transmission, which shifts gears smartly and efficiently, adjusts well for both lazy and flexible driving. Staffers continue to levy similar praise on the precise and direct steering, the sorted body control that resists disturbances from Michigan’s shoddy roads, and the pleasantly upscale interior of our top-spec Signature model.
The tires of the CX-5 are quite perfect. Unlike many of our other current long-termers, not even a flat tire or a cracked windshield has interrupted the Mazda’s clean streak. About 21,000 miles we went to dealers for final maintenance and inspection. Change the filter and oil, replace the air filter cabin, and rotate the tire for about $ 162.
The vehicle as a utility vehicle with many interesting functions. Road warrior Scott Olman was able to fit a dining room table and six chairs in the back of the Mazda with both of its rear seats folded, which is pretty respectable in any compact ute. The CX-5 Signature standard heated front seats and steering wheel help keep riders comfortable in Michigan’s cold temperatures in winter. There is still plenty of time for more of the white stuff to fall, though, and for us to put many more miles on the CX-5.