2021 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD: Oh, what a relief it is!

30 Dec 2020 | 249 views | No Comment
By Don Hammonds Want to see a car company that's "doing it right"? Take a look at Mazda. Mazda has always been a company that knows precisely what they are.  No gimmicks.  No chasing after what every other car maker is building. Just a company with remarkable clarity about its identity and how they want to express us. And what is amazing --at least to me--is that they do it quietly and a sense of assurance. They don't need splashy this and showy that.  They just do what they do best. Provide products that are a joy to drive, unique looking unto themselves, and always--always--with strong performance in mind. A case in point is the Mazda 2021 CX-5. I really cannot think of a single thing that the CX-5 doesn't offer to somebody in the market for a compact SUV.  Style? Certainly more than just about any of its competitors. Performance?  Oh, yeah. But truth to tell, you will want to order a turbocharged engine option to enjoy it all to fullest effect. Value?  Just take a look at the list of standard safety features. Top of the heap. A terrific interior?  You will find luxurious accommodations that are likely to surprise you. Sure, the infotainment system can be annoying--and I sure hope they modify it soon--but overall, the CX-5 would be on my serious list if I was in the market for a compact SUV. Take a look at my rundown after spending a week with the CX-5: 2021 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD   Price: Base price is $37,405; Price as tested is about $39,025 Economy: Generally, Mazda's products have decent gas mileage, but they are not often at the head of their particular market segments when compared with others in their playing field.  That holds true with the CX-5. It takes 4.2 gallons of gasoline to drive 100 miles. Overall mileage is 24 miles per gallon, 22 city and 27 highway. You will spend about $1,000 more in gasoline costs over five years compared to the average new vehicle, or at least that is what the  federal government says.  Your annual cost will be $1,700 a year  over a five year period driving 15,000 miles each year using gasoline costing $2.70 a gallon. Performance: Definitely a strong point. Power for the Signature version is a 227 horsepower, SkyActiv G 2.5 liter turbocharged four cylinder which produces 310 pounds-feet of  torque that makes for all kinds of fun on the road. The CX-5 is an athletically fit set of wheels, and performance is instantaneous when you hit the accelerator pedal.  Absolutely no hesitation whatsoever. The six speed Skyactiv-Drive automatic has a sport mode option and we can tell you that what started as lively acceleration turns into truly sports car-like performance. And the Eco mode setting isn't exactly a laggard, either. Brakes are strong, yet not at all sensitive. They get the job done without unsettling the driver when applying the brakes. Other performance features include the off-road Traction Assist, which works like a charm.  In the midst of a heavy snow storm, the CX-5  performed like a champ, with no signs of hesitancy or slippery tracking through the snow. The car: Rumors are growing that the next generation of the CX-5 is going uptown--that is, that it will be designed to compete with the Mercedes Benz and BMW brands of SUVs that are similarly sized and equipped, at a price that is competitive--and lower--than what the two traditional brands are charged. If that's true, they sure have a good head start. The quality control on our tester, and others that I have driven, is impeccable. Nary a stray paint flaw, thread, or wrinkle anywhere.  The CX-5 is built like a tank, looks like a million dollars and has an interior that is light years ahead of what I've seen from their current competition. Styling and Aesthetics The smooth, curvy profile and subtly elegant looks of the CX-5 holds up beautifully despite the fact that its been around for a while. The aggressive grille could be just at home in an expensive sports car, which, of course, will please style-conscious buyers looking for a  spot utility vehicle that is pleasing to the eye. Inside, well...you will be checking the badges to make sure that you aren't sitting in some luxury car.  Rich, supple, and terribly comfortable and supportive seating await you. The dashboard is surprisingly simple in an elegant way, with all the gauges readable and understandable, and rich-looking.  I especially appreciated the appearance of stop signs, speed limits and other signage on the dash to warn you beforehand, and the shifter is sheer delight to anyone who's performance minded. However, Mazda is still using an audio/entertainment system that is counterintuitive and needlessly cumbersome.  It needs to be replaced--period. It is really the only serious issue I found on the whole car. Another issue is cargo room and space.  The back seat is limited in legroom and feels somewhat cramped, while the cargo area is barely adequate.   Safety Features: Dynamic Stability Control, Traction Control System, front side impact air bags, front and rear side air curtains; Hill Launch Assist; Smart Brake Support; Advanced Smart City Brake Support, Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go; Front and rear Parking Sensor; Driver Attention Alert, and plenty of other items comprise the Mazda safety package.   Technology: Standard equipment is abundant with this top of the line CX-5 Signature AWD model. It includes: 19 inch alloy wheels, all season tires, rain sensing windshield wipers, heated power mirrors with turn lamps; auto fold door mirrors; privacy rear glass, moonroof; Signature trim badge; five passenger seating; driver seat memory; power passenger's seat; heated steering wheel; leather steering wheel with audio and cruise control; tilt/telescopic steering wheel; Android Auto/Apple Car Play; 10.25 inch  color display; multi function commander control; BlueTooth; keyless entry; Mazda Navigation system with traffic sign recognition and tons of other standard features. Styling and Aesthetics The smooth, curvy profile and subtly elegant looks of the CX-5 holds up beautifully despite the fact that its been around for a while. The aggressive grille could be just at home in an expensive sports car, which, of course, will please style-conscious buyers looking for a  spot utility vehicle that is pleasing to the eye. Inside, well...you will be checking the badges to make sure that you aren't sitting in some luxury car.  Rich, supple, and terribly comfortable and supportive seating await you. The dashboard is surprisingly simple in an elegant way, with all the gauges readable and understandable, and rich-looking.  I especially appreciated the appearance of stop signs, speed limits and other signage on the dash to warn you beforehand, and the shifter is sheer delight to anyone who's performance minded. However, Mazda is still using an audio system that is really counterintuitive and needlessly cumbersome.  It needs to be replaced--period. It is really the only serious issue I found on the whole car, and it is one that would likely turn away potential customers. Another issue is cargo room and space.  The back seat is limited in legroom and feels somewhat cramped, while the cargo area is barely adequate.     Warranty: 60 month//60,000 mile powertrain and 36month/ 36,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty 24 hour roadside assistance

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