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  • Drew Dowdell
    Drew Dowdell

    Ask Me Anything: 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature Turbo

      ...What do you want to know about Mazda's compact crossover?...

    In this week for a review is a 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature with the turbocharged 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G engine.  This engine is shared with the Mazda CX-9 and Mazda 6 Turbo and produces 227 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft of torque on regular gasoline, but bumps up to 250 horsepower on 93 octane. All-wheel drive is standard.

    This is the most loaded of the CX-5 trims with only the paint ($300) and rear bumper guard ($125) as additional charges.  That brings the MSRP to $38,360 after destination charges. 

    What do you want to know about this Mazda while I have it for a week?  Let me know in the comments below. 

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    Would you buy it with your own money if you were on the market for such crossover?

    How it accelerates in CX-5 (vs CX-9)?  Turbo lag noticeable?

    Is active safety overly annoying and interfering?

     

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    Is that dash all soft touch or is the section over the gauges and the bulk of the dash hard plastic like it looks with just a soft touch few inch curved section? How is the rest of the interior on this black hole interior?

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    2 hours ago, frogger said:

    Fan of the black headliner/dark everywhere interior tone on the Signature?

     

     

    The seats are actually a very dark brown, but you're right, it is rather dark in there. I don't mind an all black interior.  

    1 hour ago, dfelt said:

    Is that dash all soft touch or is the section over the gauges and the bulk of the dash hard plastic like it looks with just a soft touch few inch curved section? How is the rest of the interior on this black hole interior?

    The dash is a very stiff rubberized product on the top, and softer materials on the face of the dash.  I will say the seats are pretty comfortable and I found a good position really quick.  Plenty of legroom in the driver seat, I can't touch the firewall with my feet when the seat is adjusted for me.  I'll go over the interior a bit more when it's not raining buckets here... probably over the weekend. 

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    2 hours ago, ykX said:

    Would you buy it with your own money if you were on the market for such crossover?

    How it accelerates in CX-5 (vs CX-9)?  Turbo lag noticeable?

    Is active safety overly annoying and interfering?

     

    Yes there is turbo lag, it doesn't have the instant on of a V6, however it still feels really quick.  There aren't many speedy options in this class. The best sellers don't have an uplevel engine.  The only other real choice with this kinda power is the GM triplets with the 2.0T.  They have less torque, but they've got 3 more gears to work with, so they also feel really fast.  Unfortunately, that's probably going away when they get the new 2.0T, so in the very near future, this could end up being the most powerful small crossover you can buy that isn't a luxury brand.

    The active safety is very subtle... maybe even too subtle.  It's neat that it can read the road signs. It updates the speed limit in the heads up display as you pass the sign. It also puts up a stop sign as you approach. 

    Would I buy one with my own money? I'll get back to you on that, but I'd venture probably not based on the interior size.  CR-V and Terrain feel a lot larger inside than this and I would be looking for space in my next vehicle. 

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    I find the high-pitched sound of a Mazda Skyactiv engine offputting when it is in cold idle mode.  Have you noticed the shrill tone on cold start-up, or is it just me?

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    8 minutes ago, ocnblu said:

    I find the high-pitched sound of a Mazda Skyactiv engine offputting when it is in cold idle mode.  Have you noticed the shrill tone on cold start-up, or is it just me?

    I haven't let it get cold enough to notice. 🙂  I'll try and take note in the morning. 

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    53 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    The seats are actually a very dark brown, but you're right, it is rather dark in there. I don't mind an all black interior.  

    I didn't mind but my wife really didn't like that aspect of the signature trim when we were car shopping last month, and our 5 year old agreed :).

     

     

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    I had this out on about 50 miles of highway driving last night, and I will say it feels a lot more nimble than your typical small crossover.

    @ocnblu I don't hear the sound you're talking about at cold start. 

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    On 10/31/2019 at 7:12 PM, ocnblu said:

    I find the high-pitched sound of a Mazda Skyactiv engine offputting when it is in cold idle mode.  Have you noticed the shrill tone on cold start-up, or is it just me?

    are you talking about how it idles high to warm up the CAT for 10-20 seconds?

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    4 hours ago, loki said:

    are you talking about how it idles high to warm up the CAT for 10-20 seconds?

    Yup

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    You know what's strange, I only just figured out that the infotainment system is touchscreen.... that is, it's touch screen for everything except Android Auto.  AA must be controlled with the rotary knob only which is very frustrating.  Apple CarPlay isn't much better because the touch screen is laggy to respond.

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    I feel like the turbo was a good move here, because before the only option was a 184 hp, 180ish lb-ft engine, which isn't a lot for an SUV when with people in it is probably 4,000 lbs.  

    A lot of this segment is 1 engine choice, and maybe 2, but I don't get when when this is probably the largest segment in the industry now.  You'd think car makers would have more choices for powertrain, interior colors, option packs, etc.  Almost every vehicle in this segment should have a base 4, a turbo 4 and a hybrid option.

    There wasn't a question in there, but I guess I'd have to ask if the turbo is worth the extra money over the base motor?  I tend to think the optional engine is always worth the money, unless it is a car where the base engine is like 500 hp, then different story.

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    12 minutes ago, ocnblu said:

    Yup

    is it just frequency of the ~1500rpm idle, or that it happened whenever you(or other) started it?  sometimes, for mine, it could be 2 hours later and it wouldn't need to high idle yet. I was told when i bought it, that i didn't have to let it go through that cycle, but i typically let it do it be cause it'll take me that long to get situated and buckled in,

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    11 hours ago, loki said:

    is it just frequency of the ~1500rpm idle, or that it happened whenever you(or other) started it?  sometimes, for mine, it could be 2 hours later and it wouldn't need to high idle yet. I was told when i bought it, that i didn't have to let it go through that cycle, but i typically let it do it be cause it'll take me that long to get situated and buckled in,

    Just that cold idle engine sound, I don't know, it just sounds different than every other 4 I've heard under the same conditions.  Maybe I have dog ears or something.

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    Well the CX-5 went back to Mazda this morning. I'll have my full review up on Monday, plus possibly my first video review to follow. Next up will be the Hyundai Palisade the week of U.S. Thanksgiving.

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      Engine: 60kW Electric Motors (Front and Rear Axles), 2.0L MIVEC DOHC 16-Valve Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Single Speed Reduction Gearbox (Front & Rear), All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 80 @ 0 (Electric), 117 @ 4,500 (Gas),  190 (Total)
      Torque @ RPM: 101 @ 0 (Front Electric Motor), 144 @ 0 (Rear Electric Motor), 137 @ 4,500 (Gas)
      Fuel Economy: MPGe/Gasoline Combined - 74/25
      Curb Weight: 4,222 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Okazaki, Japan
      Base Price: $41,495
      As Tested Price: $43,600 (Includes $1,095.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      GT Premium Interior Package - $400.00
      Pearl White Paint - $395.00
      Carpeted Floor Mats and Portfolio - $145.00
      Charging Cable Storage Bag - $70.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      I felt very mixed when I reviewed the Mitsubishi Outlander last year, There was a lot to like about the crossover, but the list of negatives pushed me towards recommending it if you could find one at a good price. How would I feel when I drove the Outlander PHEV? Spoiler: About the same.
      (Author's Note: If you're looking for thoughts on the interior, I will direct you to my Mitsubishi Outlander review from last year as the PHEV shares all of the positives and negatives from the standard model.)
      Not much is different from the standard Outlander I drove last year to the PHEV except for the various hybrid badging around the vehicle, and additional fuel filler door on the rear passenger-side fender housing the charging outlets. The hybrid system is comprised of 60kW electric motors mounted on each axle providing 80 horsepower. The motors draw their power from a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery. A 2.0L inline-four acts as the generator for the battery and can power the wheels in certain situations. Total output stands at 190 hp. The driver has three different drive modes for which the Outlander can operate. EV which makes the Outlander PHEV only run electric power; Battery Save which turns on the engine to power the wheels to save charge; and Battery Charge where the generator charges up the battery. Most of my week, I found myself using Battery Save and Charge when driving on the freeway. Around town, it was left in EV or automatic mode. When the Outlander PHEV is running on electric power only, it provides enough grunt to get out of the way of traffic when leaving a green light. But begin to climb in speed and you realize this isn’t a quick car. Despite the instantaneous torque, the Outlander PHEV does take its time getting up to speed. Some of this can be attributed to the curb weight of 4,222 lbs.  Not helping is when the engine comes on to charge/power the wheels. When the engine is put under a load, it sounds very harsh and under a lot of stress. EPA figures for the Outlander PHEV are 74 MPGe (electric and gas combined) and 25 MPG (gas only combined). My average for the week landed around 35 MPGe, which is well under the EPA figure. But I will cut it a fair amount of slack as it arrived during one of the coldest weeks Michigan experienced. For electric-only range, Mitsubishi claims 22 miles. I saw between 16-18 miles which isn’t bad considering the cold temps. On recharging, Mitsubishi says that the Outlander PHEV takes about 13 hours when plugged into 120V/8A outlet, or 8 hours for a 120V/12V outlet. In my testing with 120V charging, it took about 8 hours to fully charge a depleted battery. The Outlander PHEV feels at home on long stretches of road where it shows off one of its strongest attributes, a smooth ride. On some of the roughest roads in Metro Detroit, the Outlander glided over them like it was nothing. On a winding road, the Outlander PHEV feels slightly out of its depth partly due to very num steering. What is surprising is that the PHEV doesn’t have as much body roll as the standard model when put into a corner. I feel conflicted on the 2020 Outlander PHEV as on the surface, it is a pretty competent crossover with the ability to run on electric power only. But the gas engine needs a bit of NVH work and performance could be slightly better. Also, it has several issues that I talked about in the previous Outlander. The final nail is the price; $43,600 for the top-line GT seen here. Yes, it does qualify for a federal tax credit of almost $6,000 that drops the price to under $38,000. But that still a fair amount of money for what is an old crossover.  If you can find one at a decent price, around $35,000 or less, then I would say take a closer look at it. Otherwise, wait to see Ford and Toyota’s entrants into the PHEV crossover market.  
      Disclaimer: Mitsubishi Provided the Outlander PHEV, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Mitsubishi
      Model: Outlander PHEV
      Trim: GT
      Engine: 60kW Electric Motors (Front and Rear Axles), 2.0L MIVEC DOHC 16-Valve Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Single Speed Reduction Gearbox (Front & Rear), All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 80 @ 0 (Electric), 117 @ 4,500 (Gas),  190 (Total)
      Torque @ RPM: 101 @ 0 (Front Electric Motor), 144 @ 0 (Rear Electric Motor), 137 @ 4,500 (Gas)
      Fuel Economy: MPGe/Gasoline Combined - 74/25
      Curb Weight: 4,222 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Okazaki, Japan
      Base Price: $41,495
      As Tested Price: $43,600 (Includes $1,095.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      GT Premium Interior Package - $400.00
      Pearl White Paint - $395.00
      Carpeted Floor Mats and Portfolio - $145.00
      Charging Cable Storage Bag - $70.00
    • By William Maley
      Nearly two years ago, I drove the then all-new Hyundai Kona crossover at a press event. It was a unique looking vehicle that was entering the growing subcompact crossover class. Out of the three Hyundai vehicles I drove, the Kona impressed me most with its performance and value for money. But if there is something I have learned over eight years with reviewing vehicles, is that I can’t take first impressions as final. It has been a long wait, but I finally got my hands on a 2020 Kona Ultimate AWD. Let’s see if my first impression can still hold up.
      The Outer Limits (of Exterior Design)
      You may be forgiven for thinking that the Kona has just arrived in a UFO from Planet Nine due to its shape. But Hyundai knew they needed to make a splash in what is becoming a very competitive class. Designers took some influence from the Jeep Cherokee with a rounded front end and the front lights being separated into daytime lights and headlights. Another design trait is the slit that sits between the grille and hood cutline. Finishing off the look is body cladding running along the lower edge and a bright green paint color only available on the turbo engine models. It may seem like an odd mashup of ideas, but it works surprisingly well.
      A Conventional Interior
      Some will be disappointed that Hyundai didn’t continue the wacky design for the Kona’s interior. But having an interior that is user friendly will always pull ahead of interesting design. That isn’t to say Hyundai hasn’t added some special touches such as vent surrounds and seat stitching matching the exterior color. Hard plastics are used throughout, but they don’t feel hollow or cheap when you run your hand across.
      There is a fair amount of space for those sitting upfront. Comfort is ok for short trips, but I found myself wanting more thigh support on longer trips. In the back, there is a large amount of headroom for most passengers. Legroom is a different story as tall people will find their knees pressed against the front seats. Cargo space is another area where the Kona is lacking. With the rear seats up, the Kona’s cargo area measures 19.2 cubic feet - about 0.1 cubic feet more than the Toyota C-HR. Fold them down and space increases to 45.8. This trails the likes of the Chevrolet Trax, Nissan Kicks, and Honda HR-V.
      The One To Still Be Beaten (Infotainment-wise)
      The Kona Ultimate comes equipped with an eight-inch touchscreen featuring Hyundai’s infotainment system. This system has consistently been one of my favorites as Hyundai nails the basics - simple interface, blazing-fast performance, and having features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. My only complaint is that the design is starting to look dated when compared to other automakers and their updated infotainment. 
      Turbo Power!
      Two powertrains are available in the Kona. SE, SEL, and SEL Plus use the 2.0L four-cylinder offering 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with a six-speed automatic. Limited and Ultimate come with the turbocharged 1.6L four producing 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet. This is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Front or all-wheel drive is available for either engine.
      Zippy is the word to describe the performance of the turbo engine. The Kona easily accelerates away from a stop and has no issue with passing a slower vehicle. The dual-clutch transmission seems to stumble when leaving a stop, but does get itself together at higher speeds. I also found the transmission is slow to react when your floor the throttle, taking a few milliseconds to downshift.
      EPA fuel economy figures for the 1.6T with AWD are 26 City/29 Highway/27 Combined. My average for the week landed around 26.7 mpg, mostly due to cold weather during the week I had the Kona.
      Woah, This Crossover Handles
      If you wanted a subcompact crossover that handled decently, your choices were either the Mazda CX-3 or Toyota C-HR. The Kona enters the ring as the third choice, and possibly the best. On the backroads, the Kona feels quite agile and has almost no body roll. If I was to nitpick, the steering doesn’t have as much feel as you’ll find in the CX-3. But it feels noticeably better than the C-HR. Ride quality is impressive with most bumps being isolated from passengers sitting inside. Not too much wind and road noise come inside.
      Possibly the Best Subcompact Crossover At the Moment
      Hyundai has a very compelling package in the Kona. There is an excellent performance from the turbocharged engine, impressive driving dynamics, easy to use infotainment system, and a long list of standard equipment. There are some drawbacks with the small cargo area and rear legroom topping the list. If you need the space, a Honda HR-V would be my first pick. The dual-clutch transmission still needs a bit more work to iron out the hesitation issues I experienced. 
      That first impression I had still stands and moves the Kona not only being the best in the class at the moment, but also onto a very rarefied list; a vehicle I would considering buying.
      How I Would Configure A Kona: The only reason I see buying the Ultimate is for the adaptive cruise control as most of the other safety equipment such as blind spot monitoring, parking sensors, and forward collision avoidance are available on other models. So if I wanted the Turbo engine, then I would step down to the Limited at $26,100. For those who think that is a tad expensive still should consider the SEL Plus as it comes very well equipped for $23,950. You do sacrifice the turbo engine for the 2.0L four-cylinder which is fine if your planning to drive mostly around town. Add an additional $1,400 for all-wheel drive.
      Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Kona, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Kona
      Trim: Ultimate
      Engine: 1.6L Turbocharged DOHC 16-Valve GDI Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Seven-Speed Dual-Clutch, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 175 @ 5,500
      Torque @ RPM: 195 @ 1,500 - 4,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 26/29/27
      Curb Weight: 3,276 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, South Korea
      Base Price: $29,150
      As Tested Price: $ 30,380 (Includes $1,095.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $135.00

      View full article
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