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    Drew Dowdell

    Ask Me Anything: 2020 Hyundai Palisade AWD

      ...my that's a big ship...

    IMG_20191127_140956.jpgIn the C&G garage for the week is the 2020 Hyundai Palisade Limited AWD with a sticker price of $47,605. This is Hyundai's newest SUV, at least until the diminutive Hyundai Venue takes its place at the other end of the size spectrum.  The first impression I got from the Palisade was how big it is.  Even though it is around 7 inches shorter than a Buick Enclave, it looks bigger and beefier. Being a Limited means that it is in top trim with only carpeted floor mats as an additional option.  It's powered by a 3.8 liter naturally aspirated V6 producing 291 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque and equipped with start/stop.  On my quick initial test drive I found the start/stop function to be unobtrusive and quick to restart the vehicle when I was ready to roll.  Another immediate impression was with the sound quality of the Harmon Kardon sound system. I hooked my phone up via USB and Android Auto took over, playing my favorite Pandora station loud and clear. 

    Another feature I like is the video display in the dash when using the turn signal. It helps clear any blind spots one might have in this big SUV. 

    So while you're stuffing your faces with turkey this Thursday, think of questions you have about the 2020 Hyundai Palisade and post them below.

    2020 Hyundai Palisade qqmonroney[9116].jpg



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    Nice try, but it's an ugly take on the signature Cadillac front LED lightpipes. Like you said @Drew Dowdell trying to emulate Escalade. Nice try Hyun...🤢

    So much for being "Assembled in U.S.A." like so many think about many of the foreign cars in this country. 91% Korean parts...Final Assembly Korea.

    Where are the last 6% of parts from China and they didn't want to show it? 😂

    All in support of Korea if one buys it...👎🏻👎🏻

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    Have to say I love the Sierra Burgundy color. 😍

    Over all nice SUV, but I will stick with my Escalade. :P 

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    While i can understand how it would be attractive in the market, I can't like this thing.  Anything Hyundai or Kia still reeks of faux to me up and down.  I would spend a bit more for an Exploder or a Traverse or Enclave or even an Atlas.  Just like I wouldn't get a G70 over even an Alfa or something, unless a huge discount was involved.

    My wife is hinting at not wanting the next vehicle to be so large, or have the third row.  We must be moving out of that phase of life.  I will give credit to the Palisade for not being so ungainly feeling from a size perspective. 

    Edited by regfootball
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    2 hours ago, USA-1 said:

    Nice try, but it's an ugly take on the signature Cadillac front LED lightpipes. Like you said @Drew Dowdell trying to emulate Escalade. Nice try Hyun...🤢

    So much for being "Assembled in U.S.A." like so many think about many of the foreign cars in this country. 91% Korean parts...Final Assembly Korea.

    Where are the last 6% of parts from China and they didn't want to show it? 😂

    All in support of Korea if one buys it...👎🏻👎🏻

    Good thing American companies like GM build all their cars and make all their components right here is the good old USA.

     

    Oh wait.

     

    And “light pipes”? Seriously?

     

    What should make you mad is that this looks better, on the inside and outside, than the Cadillac it competes with, the XT6. The most hilarious part here is that you didn’t mention the one MUCH MORE OBVIOUS thing that Hyundai copied here. The profile is almost 100% Tahoe (it can join the Expedition in that department). 

     

    Oh no! Guess that makes me a Hyundai fanboy now! Oh, the horror!

    Edited by surreal1272
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    Is it better than a Telluride?  Palisade and Telluride seem to be the top 2 full size crossovers on the market right now.   I assume the V6 is enough for 90% of the people that buy this, but always wonder if a turbo V6 would sell, perhaps not to this crowd, maybe on the Genesis version.

    I guess question 2 is should they make a bigger one to go after Ford Expedition and Tahoe?

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    1 hour ago, surreal1272 said:

    Good thing American companies like GM build all their cars and make all their components right here is the good old USA.

     

    Oh wait.

     

    And “light pipes”? Seriously?

     

    What should make you mad is that this looks better, on the inside and outside, than the Cadillac it competes with, the XT6. The most hilarious part here is that you didn’t mention the one MUCH MORE OBVIOUS thing that Hyundai copied here. The profile is almost 100% Tahoe (it can join the Expedition in that department). 

     

    Oh no! Guess that makes me a Hyundai fanboy now! Oh, the horror!

    Where did I ever say GM builds all of their cars and makes all components here? Again, putting words in someone else's mouth. GM builds some makes in other countries because it's one way of getting away from the greedy UAW here.

    GM is an American company so the money goes to a company based here to strengthen our U.S. GDP. Get it? So all of this CUV is Korean made and built which all goes to Korea. How does that benefit us here? It doesn't. That was my point that you missed again...

    Drew D. has even agreed and stated previously that they are targeting Escalade with this CUV, as ridiculous as that seems on their part.

     

    Thanks for noticing my post and taking the time to reply. It means the world to me! 😂

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    4 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    Is it better than a Telluride?  Palisade and Telluride seem to be the top 2 full size crossovers on the market right now.   I assume the V6 is enough for 90% of the people that buy this, but always wonder if a turbo V6 would sell, perhaps not to this crowd, maybe on the Genesis version.

    I guess question 2 is should they make a bigger one to go after Ford Expedition and Tahoe?

    It would have to be a BOF truck chassis SUV to actually be able to go after Tahoe and Expedition which Hyundai doesn't have. The one mid size BOF they had years ago Borrego or whatever retarded Hyundai name it was didn't sell well at all because it was a POS. 

    34 minutes ago, riviera74 said:

    So when does the Genesis version come out?  No automaker can live on cars alone these days.

    Genesis needs to figure out cars before they can go after CUV's. New G90 is as ugly as they come. Horrible front end design and the back end looks pretty bland.

    Clearly a mishmash of 4 different design cues of competitors cars.

    Edited by USA-1
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    23 minutes ago, USA-1 said:

    It would have to be a BOF truck chassis SUV to actually be able to go after Tahoe and Expedition which Hyundai doesn't have. The one mid size BOF they had years ago Borrego or whatever retarded Hyundai name it was didn't sell well at all because it was a POS. 

    Genesis needs to figure out cars before they can go after CUV's. New G90 is as ugly as they come. Horrible front end design and the back end looks pretty bland.

    Clearly a mishmash of 4 different design cues of competitors cars.

    I don't think it has to be body on frame, the Cybertruck isn't and can out-tow and out-haul an F150.    A 4x4 Expedition tows 9,200 lbs when properly equipped and a Tahoe is 8600 lbs.  And both those are like 6,500 lbs in standard set up.  A unibody Mercedes GLS is 7500, so we aren't talking huge differences, probably not something that is a deal breaker for most buyers.  Hyundai could make a BOF chassis, although I highly doubt they would bother, unless they are doing a full size pickup truck.

    Genesis needs SUVs, they don't need to figure out cars, they could make 1-2 cars and throw 5 SUVs on the market, that is what sells.  I was actually thinking earlier, Lincoln will likely be an SUV only company by 2021, Cadillac by 2024 (maybe CT5 stays,  CT4 and CT6 will be dead by then), Lexus will be down to ES and LS, Infiniti the Q50 and Acura a TSLX class sedan.  I could see those 5 luxury brands making a total of 5 sedans by 2024.   And maybe NSX and LC stick around as halo coupes, but the American and Japanese luxury brands are going to run away from cars.  Genesis is wasting time in a dying market that the Germans have already won and pushed everyone else out of.

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    1 hour ago, riviera74 said:

    So when does the Genesis version come out?  No automaker can live on cars alone these days.

    Not till next year at the earliest, possibly 2021

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    3 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    I don't think it has to be body on frame, the Cybertruck isn't and can out-tow and out-haul an F150.    A 4x4 Expedition tows 9,200 lbs when properly equipped and a Tahoe is 8600 lbs.  And both those are like 6,500 lbs in standard set up.  A unibody Mercedes GLS is 7500, so we aren't talking huge differences, probably not something that is a deal breaker for most buyers.  Hyundai could make a BOF chassis, although I highly doubt they would bother, unless they are doing a full size pickup truck.

    Genesis needs SUVs, they don't need to figure out cars, they could make 1-2 cars and throw 5 SUVs on the market, that is what sells.  I was actually thinking earlier, Lincoln will likely be an SUV only company by 2021, Cadillac by 2024 (maybe CT5 stays,  CT4 and CT6 will be dead by then), Lexus will be down to ES and LS, Infiniti the Q50 and Acura a TSLX class sedan.  I could see those 5 luxury brands making a total of 5 sedans by 2024.   And maybe NSX and LC stick around as halo coupes, but the American and Japanese luxury brands are going to run away from cars.  Genesis is wasting time in a dying market that the Germans have already won and pushed everyone else out of.

    Still apples to oranges comparing this Hyundai to a BOF fullsize Tahoe or Expedition. Unibody CUV's don't tow anywhere near what a BOF SUV can which is why most buy them. So maybe a Traverse fullsize FWD/AWD 3.6 V6 CUV would be a better comparison maybe Buick Enclave if the loaded version.

    Cyborgtruck is a very rigid skateboard platform to haul all the battery weight, just like any BEV, totally different platform compared to a standard CUV uni-body sub-frame setup, pretty hard to compare them as well.

    The luxury segment will always need sedans and have buyers, the Livery guys love the larger XTS, CT6, LS, S Class.

    So you think the Germans won't have to follow what the market dictates, but every other manufacturer will? LOL! They've all sold fewer sedans this year and last. MB is going through a huge restructuring, you know that dude.

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    I am not comparing Palisade to a Tahoe, I am saying Hyundai can make something bigger than Palisade with a turbo 6 or V8.  I doubt they care to enter that market though.

    German luxury sedans sell, they still do okay here, better than others, but they sell in Europe and China too.  Lexus GS, Cadillac CTS, Infiniti Q-whatever all rely on USA for the bulk of their sales and they don’t even sell here.

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    Hyundai's don't have the reliability image to even thing about entering a segment that GM reliable fullsize SUV's dominate. Even Ford struggles to compete with the GM SUV's solid offerings. New Exped./Navi caught up, but the loyalty isn't there and EB V6 only in both is a horrible idea need a V8 option. New 2021 fullsize GM triplets will help keep the lead. 

    BMW over MB in my book. Cadillac CTS sold pretty well here (2nd and 3rd Gen.) when comparative sedans were still selling well. Cadillac also has a dedicated factory in China and sell the ATS-L basically a CTS they call an ATS-L (long version) as well as XTS and CT6. They are opening new franchise dealerships in the UAE and Dubai to capture some of that luxury market as well.

    Edited by USA-1

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    3 minutes ago, USA-1 said:

    Hyundai's don't have the reliability image to even thing about entering a segment that GM reliable fullsize SUV's dominate. Even Ford struggles to compete with the GM SUV's solid offerings. New Exped./Navi caught up, but the loyalty isn't there and EB V6 only in both is a horrible idea need a V8 option. New 2021 fullsize GM triplets will help keep the lead. 

    BMW over MB in my book. Cadillac CTS sold pretty well here (2nd and 3rd Gen.) when comparative sedans were still selling well. Cadillac also has a dedicated factory in China and sell the ATS-L basically a CTS they call an ATS-L (long version) as well as XTS and CT6. They are opening new franchise dealerships in the UAE and Dubai to capture some of that luxury market as well.

    Hyundai reliability seems to have been stealing sedan and crossover sales of GM and Ford for years, thus why the Elantra and Sonata are still here and Focus, Cruze and Fusion are not.

    Cadillac’s global volume is about 300k units, Audi, BMW and MB are over 2 million so Cadillac has some work to do in that regard.  Genesis even more so.

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    2 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    Hyundai reliability seems to have been stealing sedan and crossover sales of GM and Ford for years, thus why the Elantra and Sonata are still here and Focus, Cruze and Fusion are not.

    Cadillac’s global volume is about 300k units, Audi, BMW and MB are over 2 million so Cadillac has some work to do in that regard.  Genesis even more so.

    It's not reliability that sell them. It's that they are cheaper with a longer warranty, that's what sells them and John and Jane Q Public who have no clue what they are buying, just that it's cheaper and has a longer warranty...that they'll need.

    I never said Cadillac sells as many sedans as the German sedans, but they also lost a lot of their image in the 80's and 90's with horrible GM top brass making terrible decisions. I'm proud of Cadillac as a storied American brand and where they've taken in the last 15+ yrs.   

    Genesis is a work in progress if it even survives, it's been on a lifeline for a few years now, wasn't making it as a Hyundai Genesis. There's a reason they changed the name dropping Hyundai from it.

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    Genesis needs a SUVs and they’ll be fine.  The Palisade is better than the new Explorer based on reviews so make a luxury version and it will beat Lincoln or Infiniti or the XT6 and Genesis will have sales.

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    11 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    Hyundai reliability seems to have been stealing sedan and crossover sales of GM and Ford for years, thus why the Elantra and Sonata are still here and Focus, Cruze and Fusion are not.

    Sure but outside of trucks and SUV's have GM's been lauded or notable for their reliability over other brands?

     

     

     

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    13 hours ago, smk4565 said:

    I don't think it has to be body on frame, the Cybertruck isn't and can out-tow and out-haul an F150.    A 4x4 Expedition tows 9,200 lbs when properly equipped and a Tahoe is 8600 lbs.  And both those are like 6,500 lbs in standard set up.  A unibody Mercedes GLS is 7500, so we aren't talking huge differences....

    Tesla outpulled a 2WD F-150 with a rolling start. But you forget there is a 250, 350 (& more) above the F-150 that could out tow 2 Teslas daisy-chained together. I know the Ram tows up to 35,000, or going on triple what Tesla claims; Ford is in that neighborhood without a doubt.

    But the Tesla is marketed as a pickup, not an SUV. Silverado 1500 3.0TD is rated at 9300, but the 6.2 is rated for 13,400. 

    Anyone know what engine was in the F-150 tug of war? 

    Edited by balthazar

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    3 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    Tesla outpulled a 2WD F-150 with a rolling start. But you forget there is a 250, 350 (& more) above the F-150 that could out tow 2 Teslas daisy-chained together. I know the Ram tows up to 35,000, or going on triple what Tesla claims; Ford is in that neighborhood without a doubt.

    But the Tesla is marketed as a pickup, not an SUV. A 1500 Silverado is around 11,500, I think (which is under-rated), or quite comparable to Tesla’s claim. I haven’t seen the 1500 3.0TD’s rating yet...

    The tri-motor Cybertruck would win a tug of war against a Super Duty F350, probably with ease due to the electric motors.   In fact, I bet the Tesla Roadster would win a tug of war with an F350.

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    19 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    There is no tesla roadster, Musk shot it into space, remember?

    Maybe he was referring to the new Tesla Roadster due in the future.  Supposed to have outrageous statistics...like 0-60 in less than 0 seconds or something... 😁

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    54 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    Tesla outpulled a 2WD F-150 with a rolling start. But you forget there is a 250, 350 (& more) above the F-150 that could out tow 2 Teslas daisy-chained together. I know the Ram tows up to 35,000, or going on triple what Tesla claims; Ford is in that neighborhood without a doubt.

    But the Tesla is marketed as a pickup, not an SUV. Silverado 1500 3.0TD is rated at 9300, but the 6.2 is rated for 13,400. 

    Anyone know what engine was in the F-150 tug of war? 

    It's irrelevant with these tug-of-war games. It's always the truck to break traction first that loses no matter what's under the hood. If they were both 4WD with it engaged and they both regulated the throttle the same then it would come down to which trucks drivetrain breaks first...weakest link.

    Edited by USA-1
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    19 hours ago, USA-1 said:

    Where did I ever say GM builds all of their cars and makes all components here? Again, putting words in someone else's mouth. GM builds some makes in other countries because it's one way of getting away from the greedy UAW here.

    GM is an American company so the money goes to a company based here to strengthen our U.S. GDP. Get it? So all of this CUV is Korean made and built which all goes to Korea. How does that benefit us here? It doesn't. That was my point that you missed again...

    Drew D. has even agreed and stated previously that they are targeting Escalade with this CUV, as ridiculous as that seems on their part.

     

    Thanks for noticing my post and taking the time to reply. It means the world to me! 😂

    Aaaaaaand.....triggered. 
     

    Thanks for playing and displaying your continued inability to understand context. (Looks for Drew’s mention of the led piping and finds nothing in this article yet finds a fair amount of praise for it). 
     

    And the whole “made in the USA” schtick is fake outrage when one realizes that they are posting said outrage on a device NOT made in the USA. And do you think the folks who work at the many foreign car plants in this country give two $h!s about where the money ends up? No. They are getting paid and putting THEIR money back into the economy. Now apply your “Made in the USA” motto to everything you own and then realize how asinine it sounds when you realize how hypocritical you are. 

    Edited by surreal1272

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    33 minutes ago, surreal1272 said:

    (Looks for Drew’s mention of the led piping and finds nothing in this article yet finds a fair amount of praise for it).

     

    Aaaaaaand....this was easy to find. Anything else you need help with Errol Hassol? 😂

     

    985348799_DrewD.takeonHyundaiPalisade.thumb.JPG.1512c78db4660cc6bce0716b92e5c5b1.JPG

    Edited by USA-1
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    3 hours ago, Robert Hall said:

    Maybe he was referring to the new Tesla Roadster due in the future.  Supposed to have outrageous statistics...like 0-60 in less than 0 seconds or something... 😁

    Right the new Tesla, and it has rocket thrusters and like 7,000 lb-ft of torque.

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      One area that the Corolla Hatchback’s predecessor impressed me was the handling. It felt planted and had surprising reflexes when going through a bend, but the rubbery steering did let it down. The Corolla Hatchback carries this torch as it feels even sharper with less body roll and a nimble feel. Steering is improved as well with a more natural feel when turning. I’ll still put the last-generation Mazda3 and Volkswagen Golf as the best-handling models in the class, but Corolla Hatchback isn’t too far behind.
      Despite its sporting intentions, the Corolla Hatchback coped very well on Detroit’s shambolic roads with most bumps and ruts being smoothed over. Part of this comes down to the SE having 16-inch wheels, allowing for more sidewall. Road noise is kept out, but there is a fair amount of wind noise that enters when driving on the freeway.
      Toyota pulled most of the stops out when working on the Corolla Hatchback and their efforts have paid off. It is the best looking Corolla in quite some time, offers surprising handling characteristics, and comes well equipped for the money. The SE begins at $21,090 and that includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, eight-inch touchscreen, and LED lighting. Where the Corolla Hatchback loses ground is rear-seat space and cargo room which trails competitors by a significant amount. That’s the make or break decision as to whether you should or shouldn’t consider one.
      Nevertheless, Toyota has done the seemingly impossible: Made the Corolla interesting.
      Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Corolla Hatchback, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Corolla Hatchback
      Trim: SE
      Engine: 2.0L DOHC 16-Valve D4S Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT
      Horsepower @ RPM: 168 @ 6,600
      Torque @ RPM: 151 @ 4,800 
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 32/42/36
      Curb Weight: 3,060 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Toyota, Aichi, Japan
      Base Price: $21,090
      As Tested Price: $23,639.00 (Includes $920.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      SE Preferred Package - $1,400.00
      Carpet Mat Package - $229.00
    • By Drew Dowdell
      Nov-19 Nov-18 2019 YTD 2018 YTD Hyundai 60,601 57,082 624,051 602,527
       
      Model Sales
      Vehicle
      Nov-19
      Nov-18
      2019 YTD
      2018 YTD
      Accent
      1,596
      1,957
      23,317
      25,260
      Elantra
      17,322
      18,148
      156,374
      185,339
      Ioniq
      1,495
      1,074
      18,410
      13,801
      Kona
      5,996
      5,976
      66,648
      38,771
      Nexo
      38
      0
      252
      36*
      Palisade
      5,268
      0
      23,082
      0
      Santa Fe
      9,740
      8,994
      117,023
      105,691
      Sonata
      5,931
      8,173
      80,361
      96,413
      Tucson
      12,008
      11,908
      126,157
      126,879
      Veloster
      917
      853
      12,137
      9,710
      Venue
      290
      0
      290
      0
      *Includes Tucson Fuel Cell sales
       
    • 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.
       

      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.
       
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