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    William Maley

    2019 Buick Envision Adds More Gears, Lowers Price

      The changes make for a better crossover


    Buick has pulled back the curtain on the refreshed 2019 Envision crossover. It may seem crazy for a brand to refresh their model only a couple years after its debut. But we need to remember that Buick has been selling the Envision in China since 2014, so it is about the time when a refresh takes place.

    The big news is with the transmission. A nine-speed automatic becomes standard on turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder. It's a nice pairing, especially since Buick has upped the torque figure from 260 to 295 pound-feet. Horsepower remains at 252. Sadly, the base 2.5L four-cylinder sticks with a six-speed automatic. 

    There are some minor changes for the Envision's exterior with a new winged front grille, HID headlights becoming standard on all trims, larger taillights, and new designs for the alloy wheels. 

    Pricing for the 2019 Envision is about $2,000 less on all trims compared to the 2018 model. This means the 2019 Envision begins at $32,990 (doesn't include destination).

    Source: Buick
    Press Release is on Page 2


    Customer-Driven Updates Define 2019 Buick Envision

    • New design, performance and tech features starting at $32,990

    DETROIT — Refined design cues, responsive performance enhancements and intelligent technology expand on the Envision’s growing popularity.

    The 2019 Envision features a newly sculpted front and rear, signature grille and new wheel choices. With a focus on quality and safety, the design and engineering teams also welcomed input from current Envision owners to enhance the vehicle.

    “Some of the 2019 Envision’s most notable changes are the results of listening to our customers,” said Elizabeth Pilibosian, Envision chief engineer. “Beneath the updated exterior are a number of changes guided by a goal of offering the most refined and pleasant driving experience possible.”

    Envision highlights

    • New nine-speed automatic transmission for 2.0L turbo models. Buick now offers this innovative transmission on five models across the lineup.
    • 2.0L turbo engine offers increased vehicle performance of 252 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. The engine and transmission updates produce 0-60 mph acceleration just under a half-second quicker than the 2018 model.
    • Engine stop/start deactivation switch — a Buick first in North America.
    • Single rate brake booster for improved overall brake performance that requires less effort.
    • Flexibility to switch between Adaptive Cruise Control and conventional Cruise Control.
    • Enhanced visibility on Rear Vision Camera.
    • Improved hands-free microphone for better call quality and better voice recognition.
    • The seat heating system warms up more quickly.
    • Next-generation wireless charging with wattage capability for fast and efficient charging, including iPhone8/iPhoneX compatibility.
    • Lighting upgrades across all trims: HID headlights standard on 2.5L models, bi-functional LED headlamps on 2.0L turbo models and LED wing signature lights on every model.
    • In-vehicle air ionizer that helps eliminate odors, reduce bacteria and provide better air quality.

    Focus on the customer

    Initial owner feedback and solid sales growth indicate the Buick Envision is delivering the luxury and features desired by compact SUV customers. Refinements across the 2019 Envision are aimed at providing the best that the vehicle offers, plus the flexibility and options customers desire most at a price point true to Buick’s attainable luxury promise. Pricing starts at $32,990 (excludes tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment). All trim levels have been adjusted toward the heart of the premium compact SUV market, further positioning the Envision to capture the interest of loyal Buick owners looking to move up to the next-sized compact SUV and conquest buyers who are considering Buick for the first time.

    “The Envision brings a tremendous growth opportunity for the Buick brand,” said Sam Russell, Buick marketing director. “The new pricing strategy not only puts the Envision in the heart of the industry’s largest segment, but also better positions it in relation to Encore, our top-selling nameplate.”

    Nearly 60 percent of all Encore buyers come from outside General Motors. These new-to-Buick customers are increasingly return buyers, with nearly half of them likely to trade in their vehicle to buy another Buick SUV. In addition to attracting new customers to the Buick brand, the 2019 Envision is designed with these existing Encore customers’ evolving needs and preferences in mind.

    Thoughtfully refined, inside and out

    The Envision’s exterior has a sculpted front fascia, new grille and headlamps that align with the new face of Buick. Crisp horizontal lines on the front create a more premium look and feel, while redesigned taillamps, reflectors and side markers give the back end a wider and more athletic stance. New optional 19-inch wheels provide an expressive and distinct profile.

    Premium lighting technology is featured on every 2019 Envision. HID headlamps with LED Buick signature lighting come standard, with the enhanced performance of bi-functional LED headlamps standard on the top two trims.

    Under the hood, the Envision offers a balance of performance and efficiency with a nine-speed transmission on 2.0L turbo models that allows for an increase in torque from 260 lb-ft to 295 lb-ft and an improvement in acceleration.

    A 2.5L inline four-cylinder engine mated with a six-speed automatic remains the standard powertrain for the 2019 Envision and goes unchanged from previous model years. It is offered in front- or all-wheel-drive configurations.

    Driven by customer feedback, the 2019 Envision is equipped with a non-latching stop/start deactivation switch on the instrument panel that allows the driver to choose whether to use the auto-stop function. The calibration of the Envision’s stop/start technology has also been refined for an even more seamless experience.

    The 2019 Envision offers a Buick-first Tire Fill Alert that lets a driver know when a tire has reached its recommended pressure level.

    Other standard features include Buick’s signature QuietTuning; 10 airbags1, including side curtain and knee airbags; Rear Park Assist; and newly added Rear Seat Reminder2. Available features include Surround Vision, Safety Alert Seat and Forward Automatic Braking, among others3.

    Every Envision comes equipped with an 8-inch diagonal infotainment system with Apple CarPlay4 and Android Auto5 compatibility, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot6 (an unlimited data plan for $20 per month7 is available through AT&T after trial period), a limited trial of OnStar8 and connectivity access at no additional cost. Along with other benefits such as the myBuick app9, the connectivity access features Smart Driver, an opt-in service designed to help Buick owners become better drivers.

    The 2019 Envision goes on sale in the spring of 2018 and will be available in five trim levels starting at Envision ($32,990), Preferred ($34,495), Essence ($36,795), Premium ($41,695) and Premium II ($44,595). Prices exclude tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment.



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    :metal: Very Sharp looking, Great refresh and awesome to have done it so soon. Yea I know the model has been on sale since 2014 in China, but this really rocks. :metal: 

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    This perked me up a bit when I saw the news.  The Envision has naturally been on my radar as I'm an Encore owner, but moving to the current iteration didn't seem to be a huge jump in tech for what is a huge jump in price.  I wondered why the 9-speed wasn't there from the start when the Terrain has it.   The 9-speed plus the healthy increase in torque make this much more compelling.

    We both went to the Pittsburgh auto show this year.  The Regal is flat out eliminated from the running as he hated the interior. The Envision makes the cut, and surprisingly, so does the Terrain.  I'm not a huge fan of the looks of the Terrain, but I might get on board with certain trim levels. He did really like the Lacrosse and you can get killer deals on them lately as long as you don't lease.

    The surprising thing... he loves the Durango R/T.   I thought I knew the guy....

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    2 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    This perked me up a bit when I saw the news.  The Envision has naturally been on my radar as I'm an Encore owner, but moving to the current iteration didn't seem to be a huge jump in tech for what is a huge jump in price.  I wondered why the 9-speed wasn't there from the start when the Terrain has it.   The 9-speed plus the healthy increase in torque make this much more compelling.

    We both went to the Pittsburgh auto show this year.  The Regal is flat out eliminated from the running as he hated the interior. The Envision makes the cut, and surprisingly, so does the Terrain.  I'm not a huge fan of the looks of the Terrain, but I might get on board with certain trim levels. He did really like the Lacrosse and you can get killer deals on them lately as long as you don't lease.

    The surprising thing... he loves the Durango R/T.   I thought I knew the guy....

    They had to lower the price on the Envision because they need to put the XT4 in at $34,990, just watch.  

    I also went to the auto show, I found the interior on the regular Terrain and Terrain Denali to be the same and the Denali was $44k.  The Avenir Lacrosse and Enclave also seemed like nothing special on the inside.  Regal I wasn’t a fan of, it felt cheap inside.  Probably a LaCrosse has big discounts that if you stay away from the top trim you can get a good deal.  

    I didn’t sit in any Dodges, sat in the Pacifica, 300, Ram, Compass, Renegade, and Grand Cherokee and I just find nothing appealing about anything at FCA.

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    4 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    They had to lower the price on the Envision because they need to put the XT4 in at $34,990, just watch.  

     

    At the auto show this weekend, I saw 3 trim levels of the Envision, IIRC the stickers ranged from $39k to $49k... 

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    7 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    They had to lower the price on the Envision because they need to put the XT4 in at $34,990, just watch.  

    I also went to the auto show, I found the interior on the regular Terrain and Terrain Denali to be the same and the Denali was $44k.  The Avenir Lacrosse and Enclave also seemed like nothing special on the inside.  Regal I wasn’t a fan of, it felt cheap inside.  Probably a LaCrosse has big discounts that if you stay away from the top trim you can get a good deal.  

    I didn’t sit in any Dodges, sat in the Pacifica, 300, Ram, Compass, Renegade, and Grand Cherokee and I just find nothing appealing about anything at FCA.

    The Envision is the 3rd best selling Buick after Encore and Enclave. Lowering the price will probably make it #2.  That said... the packaging on the Envision is still all wrong.  You can't get AWD unless you get the 2.0T which also means you can't get a base trim.  Here in Pittsburgh that means no one buys the 2.5.

    11 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    I didn’t sit in any Dodges, sat in the Pacifica, 300, Ram, Compass, Renegade, and Grand Cherokee and I just find nothing appealing about anything at FCA.

    Well of course not.... you only find things appealing if they have a 3 pointed star on them.  It could be a '96 Sable with fogged headlights and you'd be into it if someone drilled a Benz hood ornament on the front. You'd claim it was the next big thing in automotive tech.

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    2 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    The Envision is the 3rd best selling Buick after Encore and Enclave. Lowering the price will probably make it #2.  That said... the packaging on the Envision is still all wrong.  You can't get AWD unless you get the 2.0T which also means you can't get a base trim.  Here in Pittsburgh that means no one buys the 2.5.

    Well of course not.... you only find things appealing if they have a 3 pointed star on them.  It could be a '96 Sable with fogged headlights and you'd be into it if someone drilled a Benz hood ornament on the front. You'd claim it was the next big thing in automotive tech.

    For the set of entry lux crossover market you probably want the 2.0T anyway.  At that $35-40k price you have turbo Ford Edge, a low trim MKC which is turbo, I think even the Subaru Forester has a turbo 4 at that price, as does Mazda, etc.  I think most Envision buyers would go for the turbo 4 anyway, but you do lose some sales without the low price AWD car.

    I have sat in every Dodge before, they haven't put out a new product in years, so it isn't like there is anything new to see.  I thought the new Nissan Rogue was pretty good for the small crossover segment, compared to a Rav4 or Chevy counterpart.  The new Accord is just as nice as any Acura, although that being said Acuras are like the worst luxury car there is. I think the GLB will turn the entry-lux SUV market upside down, none of these Lincoln, Buick, Acura, Volvo, Jaguar, etc interiors are on par with Mercedes, and they give you a 2.0T standard.  Actually, the GLB should be your next car, it checks all the boxes.

    Edited by smk4565

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    5 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    I think the GLB will turn the entry-lux SUV market upside down, none of these Lincoln, Buick, Acura, Volvo, Jaguar, etc interiors are on par with Mercedes, and they give you a 2.0T standard. 

    I agree that not all auto's have nice interiors for the cash they ask for them, Lexus is a perfect example of a plastic hell inside for their CUV's. Yet I doubt the GLB will be the best as we have a ton of spy shots and nothing to really say it is going to be better than everyone else. Just your kool aid drinking statements.

    I bing'd 2018 GLB to see what would come up and I got this:

    2018-GLB-Dash.jpg

    Nice for a German Ricer version as this does not say luxury to me.

    Bing'd 2019 GLB and you get this especially from a bunch of german auto sites:

    2019-GLB-Interior.jpg

    Better, but this is just a BUSY MESS. An attempt to make luxury but then throw in the kitchen sink for buttons everywhere, MB terrible paddle system to the cheap looking circle vents no different than Fords Circle vents on a Mustang.

    Only cool thing is the dual big LCD screens in the dash.

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    The GLA and GLB will have metal buttons, even the Cadillac XT4 has plastic, so if Cadillac made the thing you touch all the time from cheap plastic, what is the rest of the car made of?  And the GLB is more of an X1, Q3, XC40 sort of competitor, but if it looks like a mini G-wagen I think they will steal a lot of sales off Terrain and Jeep too.

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    The GLB won't have what I want in a vehicle. The only Benzes that do are the GLS (I'll take an Escalade or Navi instead) or possibly the GLE.

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    53 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    GLA curently HAS plastic buttons ALL OVER the interior...

    Right, which is why they are fixing it.  And floating NAV will be gone so all the people that copied their floating Nav will have to go back.

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    25 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    The GLB won't have what I want in a vehicle. The only Benzes that do are the GLS (I'll take an Escalade or Navi instead) or possibly the GLE.

    GLB would be larger than an Encore, roomier, more luxurious, more powerful, better looking even without seeing it.

    Car and driver tested the Navigator this month and said how it is much better than the Escalade, and that Cadillac would not provide and Escalade for a comparison.  But then they mentioned how the GLS rides and handles and brakes better than the Navigator, and the GLS/GLE are the oldest models in the Mercedes line.  I'm pretty confident that the new GLS will mop the floor with the Navigator, the current GLS won Car and Driver best large SUV for 2018, Navigator did not.

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    I'm not looking for a direct replacement for the Encore. If I was, I'd get another Encore as we've been very happy with it and it has served us well over the 72,000 miles we've owned it. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend one to anyone looking for a city crossover that is still a comfortable road trip car. It just no longer fits our needs.

    I don't give a rats ass what Car and Driver says about the GLS or Navigator. I've driven both and the Navigator is my choice by a country mile. I like the exterior of the Escalade equal to the Navi, but the Navigator blows it away on the interior...it isn't even a fair fight. Navigator also has a more comfortable ride.

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    52 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    Right, which is why they are fixing it.  And floating NAV will be gone so all the people that copied their floating Nav will have to go back.

    Why did it need to be fixed in the first place?
    What happened to 'the best or nothing'?
    Only OEMs using the 'tacked on' screens did so to cut costs. Aaanndd it looks exactly like that.

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    55 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    Right, which is why they are fixing it.  And floating NAV will be gone so all the people that copied their floating Nav will have to go back.

    So mb will move in the direction of Lincoln, Caddy, and Buick then...

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    4 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    So mb will move in the direction of Lincoln, Caddy, and Buick then...

    Well, the E-class and S-class always had an integrated screen, I hate "floating NAV screens.  But the Lexus RX has it, BMW I think was actually first, but Audi does it, Mazda, Kia, the list goes on, just like everyone wants a 4-door coupe (a Mercedes idea) and everyone wants silver color aluminum speaker covers, another Mercedes idea.

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    Silver speaker cover is a mercedes idea'?? EVERYTHING had silver speaker covers at one point.
    Random spin of the Google wheel : 1960 Bonneville ~

    1960-Bonneville-speaker.jpg

     

    4-door coupe : as usual, Cadillac was there first ~

    1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham.jpg

     

    floating screen : 1955 Ford Thunderbird ~

    7419477f66a222_low_res_1955-ford-customline.jpg

    Edited by balthazar
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    13 hours ago, dfelt said:

    Bing'd 2019 GLB and you get this especially from a bunch of german auto sites:

    2019-GLB-Interior.jpg

    There's no way that's a GLB. I assume  "B" means it's small and look how wide that center console area is. That's gotta be GLEish sized with how wide it is. then again, what is comparable size-wise to a "GLB"? 

    After looking it up, it's supposed to be like a baby G Wagen..? :scratchchin:

    10 hours ago, balthazar said:

    Silver speaker cover is a mercedes idea'?? EVERYTHING had silver speaker covers at one point.

    Is there anything Mercedes HASN'T DONE FIRST(in his eyes)? :palm:

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    3 minutes ago, ccap41 said:

    There's no way that's a GLB. I assume  "B" means it's small and look how wide that center console area is. That's gotta be GLEish sized with how wide it is. then again, what is comparable size-wise to a "GLB"? 

    After looking it up, it's supposed to be like a baby G Wagen..? :scratchchin:

    That pic is of the current E-class interior, looks like.  The GLB or whatever it will be called hasn't been unveiled yet, so any pictures purporting to be it are suspect at this point...

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    9 minutes ago, Cubical-aka-Moltar said:

    That pic is of the current E-class interior, looks like.  The GLB or whatever it will be called hasn't been unveiled yet, so any pictures purporting to be it are suspect at this point...

    That's what I gathered as well.  Thanks ya!

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    4 hours ago, ccap41 said:

    There's no way that's a GLB. I assume  "B" means it's small and look how wide that center console area is. That's gotta be GLEish sized with how wide it is. then again, what is comparable size-wise to a "GLB"? 

    After looking it up, it's supposed to be like a baby G Wagen..? :scratchchin:

    Is there anything Mercedes HASN'T DONE FIRST(in his eyes)? :palm:

    G-Class is to Jeep Wrangler as GLB is to Jeep Renegade

    As for the metal speaker..... there is of course my personal favorite, the first generation Toronado.

    0806_04_z-1966-1967_oldsmobile_toronado-built_in_speaker.jpg

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    The way I understand the naming scheme for MB CUVs/SUVs is that the GLB is the 'B' as it is the GL to the B-class, like the GLA is the GL to the A-class, GLC is the GL to the C-class, GLE is the GL to the E-class, GLS is the GL to the S-class...

    And the 'GL' prefix is shorthand for CUV.... (from the German Geländewagen, "cross country vehicle", i.e. the name of the G-wagen aka G-class). 

    Simple and clear, right ?   ;)

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    Makes me almost consider the new Envision over the Cadillac XT5. . . . . . . . almost.

    Are they upgrading the interior on the new Envision, or is it just the powertrain?

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      Inside the CX-5, the premium story continues. There is a distinct lack of cheap plastic even in places where they could probably get away with it. The dash and door panels are made of soft-touch material and there is a tasteful amount of chrome trim. Though the seats look black in pictures, they are actually a very dark brown that Mazda calls Caturra Brown Nappa leather. This leather is a feature of the Signature trim level and they are both heated and ventilated.  Rear passengers get heated outboard seats as well, controlled from inside the fold-down center armrest. Also, a feature of the Signature trim is the real wood dash inlay and ambient cabin lighting. The seats in the CX-5 are very comfortable with just the right combination of support and cushion. They would be most welcome companions on a long road trip. The rear seats are fairly flat and do not offer a lot of legroom.  There is no adjustment fore and aft.  Wind and tire noise has been kept to a minimum.
      There are 4 USB ports, two in the up front armrest and two in the rear armrest. Only one of them allows a connection to the infotainment system.  Oddly, the USB ports don’t seem to put out much juice as my phones were very slow to charge from them.
      The infotainment system is another area similar to BMW.  The unit is controlled by a large dial in the center console or touch screen controls. I found the touch aspect to be laggy and a long reach, so I found myself using the dial. Using the dial to navigate is simple enough, but the menus and layout of the screen could probably use a re-think.  Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both here, for some reason only Apple CarPlay can be activated by touch. Operating either system is frustrating with the dial however, this is especially true for Android Auto which I found frustrating to use without touch screen functionality. At least, unlike BMW, Mazda doesn’t charge you an extra subscription fee to use them. Sound from the Bose speakers was clear, but not especially great.
      There was a time when people mostly bought crossovers for the utility of hauling lots of bulky stuff home from the store, however, these days are different. Now, crossovers are a fashion statement.  Still, the CX-5 has 59.6 cubic feet of space with the rear seats folded and 30.9 cubic feet with the seats up.  That is at the high end of mid-pack in the segment with the Honda CR-V being the leader, while the Toyota RAV-4, Chevy Equinox, and Ford Escape all have less. 
      Do you need a safe space? This may be it.
      The Mazda CX-5 Signature comes with a whole host of safety equipment and the center of it all is the heads-up display that keeps the driver informed.  Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane-Keep Assist, and Radar Cruise Control, all have status lights in the heads-up display.  I found the blind spot monitoring system to be especially helpful when I was backing out onto a busy street with limited visibility.  Radar Cruise control is one of my favorite systems of all and I feel it should be standard equipment on all cars. The CX-5 can even read speed limit and stop signs as you approach, changing and updating the local regulations in the heads up display.
      The Signature also comes with active headlights that turn when you turn to help see around corners. They helped me spot a deer on the side of the road I normally would not have seen.
      The Verdict
      The CX-5 Signature is the top of the CX-5 line, so naturally, the price is reflected in that. With an MSRP of $36,890 before any options, the CX-5 may seem pricey, but it comes with everything you could possibly want.  However, when you compare it to other small crossovers with similar equipment it actually ends up comparing favorably to others in its class. I priced out Jeep Cherokee Overland with the 2.0T and technology group and the MSRP is $41,685. A GMC Terrain Denali with all the same option boxes checked? $41,430.  A Honda CR-V can’t even be equipped like the CX-5 because there is no up-level engine option, yet it still rings up to $38,147.
      Overall, Mazda has produced a handsome, sporty, fun to drive crossover with enough utility to remain competitive. They’ve loaded it with safety equipment and kept the price in check. It is definitely worth a look.
       

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature
      Mazda is on a mission lately to make their products feel more premium. They have been tuning their vehicles to be quieter and more refined in order to give them an air that they are above their class. This second generation of the Mazda CX-5 debuted for the 2017 model year with a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder producing 187 horsepower and 186 lb.-ft of torque.  For 2019, Mazda added the 2.5-liter turbocharged engine from the CX-9. On regular gas, the engine produces 227 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft of torque, but if you fill it up with 93 octane, the horsepower figure bumps up to 250.  Available only on the Grand Touring and Signature trims, the 2.5-T makes the CX-5 the compact crossover with the most available torque.  Mazda sent a CX-5 Signature for me to try for a week to see what I thought.
      There’s no replacement for displacement… maybe
      The biggest CX-5 news for 2019 is the engine options. There is the 2.5-T mentioned above and a 2.2-liter turbo diesel. Both are exciting entries into a relatively conservative segment.  The 2.5-T is the second-largest displacement engine available in the segment, behind the 3.2 liter V6 in the Jeep Cherokee.  This 4-cylinder puts out quite a bit more torque than the bigger V6, though the Jeep produces more horsepower (271 @ 6,500 rpm). Even among 4-cylinders, this is the largest displacement you can get, but none of those others offering 2.5 liters also offers a turbocharger. This engine is rated by the EPA to get 22 city / 27 highway.  I got about 24 mpg in mostly city driving. Zero to 60 is a claimed 6.2 seconds.
      Under normal driving, the engine is quiet and composed, with torque coming on quickly when called for. When the pedal is mashed at speed, the CX-5 leaps forward with minimal turbo lag and gives off a strong growl from under the hood. The only time you can really feel any lag in the turbo is if you are starting from a dead stop. Overall, you never feel without power at the tip of your toes and the sounds, and lack of sounds, from the engine room is quiet and refined.
      One area the CX-5 falls behind on is in the transmission department. Although the transmission offers smooth shift and is willing to downshift when called upon, a 6-speed automatic almost feels anachronistic in a time when all of its direct competition is sporting 8 or 9 speeds. I never thought there would come a day when 6-forward gears aren’t enough, but here we are. Adding 2 or 3 more gears to the CX-5 would further liven up the already sporty crossover and help keep the turbocharged engine firmly in the good places of its torque band.
      Ride: Al dente – Firm but tender
      If there is a brand that Mazda is looking to emulate here by being premium without the premium badge, it would likely be BMW.  The ride is firm, but not so harsh as to spill your latte. Steering is on the heavy side with precise control and great on-center feel.  Body roll is minimal. Pushing the CX-5 into corners is fun and the standard G-Vectoring Control Plus makes sure you stay planted where you intended to be.  The i-ACTIV all-wheel-drive mostly runs in front-wheel-drive mode until microscopic amounts of wheel slip are detected and then some torque is instantly transferred to the rear wheels.  Mazda programs the AWD system to always have at least a little bit of torque going to the rear in order for the transfer of torque to happen faster. 
      It’s what’s inside that matter most
      Inside the CX-5, the premium story continues. There is a distinct lack of cheap plastic even in places where they could probably get away with it. The dash and door panels are made of soft-touch material and there is a tasteful amount of chrome trim. Though the seats look black in pictures, they are actually a very dark brown that Mazda calls Caturra Brown Nappa leather. This leather is a feature of the Signature trim level and they are both heated and ventilated.  Rear passengers get heated outboard seats as well, controlled from inside the fold-down center armrest. Also, a feature of the Signature trim is the real wood dash inlay and ambient cabin lighting. The seats in the CX-5 are very comfortable with just the right combination of support and cushion. They would be most welcome companions on a long road trip. The rear seats are fairly flat and do not offer a lot of legroom.  There is no adjustment fore and aft.  Wind and tire noise has been kept to a minimum.
      There are 4 USB ports, two in the up front armrest and two in the rear armrest. Only one of them allows a connection to the infotainment system.  Oddly, the USB ports don’t seem to put out much juice as my phones were very slow to charge from them.
      The infotainment system is another area similar to BMW.  The unit is controlled by a large dial in the center console or touch screen controls. I found the touch aspect to be laggy and a long reach, so I found myself using the dial. Using the dial to navigate is simple enough, but the menus and layout of the screen could probably use a re-think.  Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both here, for some reason only Apple CarPlay can be activated by touch. Operating either system is frustrating with the dial however, this is especially true for Android Auto which I found frustrating to use without touch screen functionality. At least, unlike BMW, Mazda doesn’t charge you an extra subscription fee to use them. Sound from the Bose speakers was clear, but not especially great.
      There was a time when people mostly bought crossovers for the utility of hauling lots of bulky stuff home from the store, however, these days are different. Now, crossovers are a fashion statement.  Still, the CX-5 has 59.6 cubic feet of space with the rear seats folded and 30.9 cubic feet with the seats up.  That is at the high end of mid-pack in the segment with the Honda CR-V being the leader, while the Toyota RAV-4, Chevy Equinox, and Ford Escape all have less. 
      Do you need a safe space? This may be it.
      The Mazda CX-5 Signature comes with a whole host of safety equipment and the center of it all is the heads-up display that keeps the driver informed.  Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane-Keep Assist, and Radar Cruise Control, all have status lights in the heads-up display.  I found the blind spot monitoring system to be especially helpful when I was backing out onto a busy street with limited visibility.  Radar Cruise control is one of my favorite systems of all and I feel it should be standard equipment on all cars. The CX-5 can even read speed limit and stop signs as you approach, changing and updating the local regulations in the heads up display.
      The Signature also comes with active headlights that turn when you turn to help see around corners. They helped me spot a deer on the side of the road I normally would not have seen.
      The Verdict
      The CX-5 Signature is the top of the CX-5 line, so naturally, the price is reflected in that. With an MSRP of $36,890 before any options, the CX-5 may seem pricey, but it comes with everything you could possibly want.  However, when you compare it to other small crossovers with similar equipment it actually ends up comparing favorably to others in its class. I priced out Jeep Cherokee Overland with the 2.0T and technology group and the MSRP is $41,685. A GMC Terrain Denali with all the same option boxes checked? $41,430.  A Honda CR-V can’t even be equipped like the CX-5 because there is no up-level engine option, yet it still rings up to $38,147.
      Overall, Mazda has produced a handsome, sporty, fun to drive crossover with enough utility to remain competitive. They’ve loaded it with safety equipment and kept the price in check. It is definitely worth a look.
       
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Fiat's future is uncertain in North America as the brand struggles to find sales.  Already, the Fiat 500 has been dropped from the lineup in North America, and that was one of the better sellers.  The Fiat 500X is more of a crossover hatchback. It shares its platform with the fantastically more popular Jeep Renegade.  Still, even in spite of its sales troubles, Fiat is releasing a refresh of the 500X Sport for 2020.
      The new 500x Sport gets new front and rear fascia designs, a black roof option, dark finished headliner and pillars, new sport seating, an updated version of uConnect with a 7-inch display including navigation, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. A new exterior color "Rovente Red" is being added. 
      The 500X Sport is powered by a 1.3-liter turbocharged MultiAir III engine. The engine produces 177 horsepower and an impressive 210 lb.-ft of torque while also delivering 30 mpg highway.  Fiat points out that this is the only car in the class to have AWD standard and also get 30 mpg highway.
      The 2020 Fiat 500X Sport starts at $26,895 before destination charges and will be available in the first quarter of 2020. 

      View full article
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