The 2019 Mazda CX-5 is already one of the most desirable SUVs in the marketplace today. Boasting a potent combination of style, performance, and segment blurring luxury the CX-5 is certainly a very formidable contender in the SUV wars. But as they always say, there is always room for improvement, and Mazda has managed to make the CX-5 even more desirable for the new model year.
The bulk of the changes Mazda has made are found under the CX-5’s hood. Yes, the 2.5 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine is still present and accounted for, but Mazda engineers managed to create a small boost in torque, which helps increase the figure slightly from 310 lb-ft to 320 lb-ft of torque. While this modest increase may not be noticed by the bulk of buyers, those that are really in tune with what the engine is doing (this author included) will definitely notice the engine’s more assertive character when accelerating from a stop. Horsepower remains unchanged at 250, but this engine still makes its best figures when sipping 93 octane fuel. A similar update was implemented on the bigger CX-9 for 2020, and Mazda claims that the CX-5 benefits from an all new “Engine Harmonics Enhancer” that supposedly “tunes the engine with a much more refined and more powerful sound.” In short, look for this to translate into the 2020 model sounding a tad meaner when compared to its 2019 counterpart, with the audio system possibly piping in some engine sound to further enhance the experience.
When equipped with the turbocharged four banger and the optional all-wheel drive system, the 2020 CX-5 gains a special off-road traction assist feature. Similar in both operation and placement to the system found in the CX-9, Mazda claims that “when the diagonal wheels lose traction, off-road traction assist will stop reducing the engine’s torque, and instead increase braking force on the wheels that are losing traction.” Mazda was also quick to say that the CX-5 will benefit from improved NVH levels, with additional sound deadening and other measures helping to make the cabin quieter, and more isolated from the road at the same time. This should help the CX-5 stand out even more from its competitors in this area, which is rapidly becoming a very key requirement for some family buyers, especially those with young children. Along with the increased levels of silence, all 2020 Mazda CX-5’s will also benefit from increased levels of safety with every CX-5 being equipped with Mazda’s I-Activesense suite of safety features for 2020. This includes standard adaptive cruise control, as well as standard lane keeping assist to help make sure the CX-5 stays calm and composed in its lane when out and about on the daily commute.
As Mazda continues to try and move its products further into a premium playing field, it appears that it has truly begun this effort with the CX-5, with the company revealing that it has changed all the badging and display fonts for 2020 to try and convey a more elegant appearance. Mazda stopped short of including any photos of the 2020 CX-5 in its release, so we will have to wait and see it for ourselves before we are able to issue final judgement on it. The company did however confirm that the march upscale will also cause prices to increase slightly for the new model year. For example, a base Sport model will cost $740 more than last year, with the revised figure coming in at $26,135 after the $1,045 destination fee. Meanwhile, the top of the line Signature model only adds $165 to its new sticker price, with this particular trim now starting at $38,100. Notably, Mazda did not include any indication of whether it will offer the Skyactiv-D diesel engine on U.S. grade models. Mazda has been touting this engine for some time, but it has so far not made an appearance here in the U.S. market. Adding it to the CX-5 would allow the model to compete with some upscale European brands that still embrace the diesel with open arms. But as seen with the recently axed Equinox diesel model, it is a bit of a gamble to offer this engine, and it might ultimately backfire for Mazda in terms of sales.
The 2020 Mazda CX-5 is expected to make the trek to dealerships sometime this fall, with its global unveiling possibly taking place at the 2019 LA Auto Show.