Earlier this year, I received a letter in the mail from Pinkerton Academy–my high school– inquiring about my attendance to the class of 2004’s 15-year reunion. I was skeptical at first, however, I remembered the upset feeling I had five years prior when I had to miss out on the ten-year reunion because of a work trip. With a little hesitation, I booked my trip back to my hometown of New Hampshire and reached out to my friends at Mazda for a little assistance with getting around. They were nice enough to set me up with their new 2019 Mazda CX-5 to review. I think I was more excited to get behind their new compact crossover than I was to see old high school chums.

2019 Mazda CX-5 Review

Mazda CX-5 Interior – Loads of Space and Modern Features

The CX-5 is a crossover with a lot of room. You can easily get comfortable whether you’re the driver, riding shotgun, or a passenger in the backseat. Its cargo volume is worth mentioning, too, as far as space goes. When the 2nd and 3rd row are folded you get 71.2 cubic feet (48 standard carry-on bags), while the 3rd row folded by itself will give you 38.2 cubic feet (27 standard carry-on bags).

Slipping into this 2019 model is easy when you have the comfort of Caturra Brown Nappa leather seats. Mazda carefully selected premium materials to surround passengers in the CX-5, as well as provide intuitively placed controls. I personally enjoyed using the multi-function Commander knob and shortcut buttons to control what was on the 7-inch, full-color touchscreen display. It helped me maintain my focus on the road while still being able to control the music and navigation via Apple CarPlay; also available on Android Auto. Another notable feature is Mazda’s 360° View Monitor, providing much-needed assistance when maneuvering into parking spots.

CX-5 Interior 2019 Mazda CX-5 Interior

CX-5 Design

Beauty is in the simplicity. That’s Mazda’s moto, or their KODO—Soul of Motion design philosophy, which conveys a sense of strength, energy, and motion. This philosophy embodies traditional Japanese aesthetics with the idea that less is more. The second-generation CX-5 ushers in the next iteration of KODO design ethos that Mazda is working to implement throughout its portfolio.

The new 2019 Mazda CX-5 has a look that screams, “DRIVE ME!” Small details can have the greatest effect. This kind of thinking motivated Mazda engineers with G-Vectoring Control Plus to create Skyactiv-Vehicle Dynamics. This technology is standard on the CX-5, providing a smoother, less tired drive than ever before. The effect is subtle, but the benefits are crystal clear.

2019 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring Quarter Rear

Safety & Technology

The 2019 Mazda CX-5 uses a suite of safety features to help protect drivers on the road. The ingenious technologies help alert you of potential hazards and collisions that may occur. Here are a list of available i-ACTIVESENSE safety features included:

  • Blind Spot Monitoring System w/ Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW) – detects white and yellow
    line markings on the road. If the system determines that the driver is unintentionally deviating from their lane, the driver will be warned with visual and audio cues
  • Lane-Keep Assist System (LKAS): promotes safer driving
    by providing appropriate steering assistance. Lane-Trace keeps the vehicle centered in the lane and Lane Departure Avoidance, which only comes into play if the vehicle begins to leave its lane
  • Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go function – automatically adjusts and maintains a safe following distance from the car in front, if the vehicle starts closing in on the vehicle ahead such as if the vehicle ahead brakes suddenly,
    a warning sound and a warning indication in the display are activated simultaneously to alert you.
  • Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) w/ pedestrian detection – automatically applies the brakes in emergency stops below 19 mph, helps the driver avoid frontal collisions while driving at the slow speeds common in urban areas or congested traffic

Of course, that’s not all. In addition to the Mazda Connect system supporting the infotainment technologies, the CX-5 also includes a BOSE premium 10-speaker audio system, Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio, Mazda’s navigation system, SiriusXM 3 Year Traffic and Link Subscription, and a reconfigurable 7.0-inch TFT gauge display.

CX-5 review

All in all, the 2019 Mazda CX-5 was a wonderful car to get me around New Hampshire during my trip home for my reunion. It’s one of those cars that surpasses being a just a utility vehicle and into something more fun to drive. I’m looking forward to getting more time behind the wheel of the CX-5 in the future.