2019 Mazda CX-5 Turbo Review: At Last, the CX-5 Gets the Power It Needed [Video]

2019 Mazda CX-5: Now With Turbo Power

Mazda invited TFLcar to spend a day in Whistler, British Columbia driving the brand new, turbocharged 2019 Mazda CX-5. The new turbo engine is only available on the top-end Grand Touring Reserve and Signature models, and that engine makes all the difference. Why? Simply put, that added power helps the excellent-handling Mazda CX-5 reach its full potential.

2019 Mazda CX-5
[Photo: TFLcar]
The funny part is, the 250 horsepower 2.5-liter engine with 310 lb-ft of torque and a six-speed automatic transmission were simply plucked out of the larger Mazda CX-9 and stuffed into the CX-5. A simple idea, but a brilliant one. By giving the CX-5 a new heart as well as a host of other updates, Mazda is sincere in their attempt to move up to a more premium level. They hope to shed their economy-car foundation and revisit their sportier past using the CX-5. After driving this car, I get it.

2019 Mazda CX-5 review
The 2019 Mazda CX-5 has an even nicer interior, particularly on Grand Touring Reserve and Signature models. [Photo: Mazda]
There are additional upgrades to the 2019 Mazda CX-5 that are also noteworthy. Especially the updated GVC+ (G-Vectoring Control system), retuned suspension and – finally – Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There are a few interior and exterior upgrades, as well. Namely, you get new 19-inch wheels and new leather and suede options, along with a slightly restyled nose.

“T is for “Turbo” – that’s good enough for me! [Photo: TFLcar]

How does it drive?

The 2019 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring Reserve and Signature model’s torquey powertrain checks all the right boxes. While 250 horsepower (227 hp with 87 octane) may not appear to be much on paper, it gets the juices flowing before the beefy torque grabs the ground hungrily. Turbo-lag is mitigated thanks to Mazda’s tech wizards finding a way to spin that turbine with a tiny bit of pressure. This all translates to an engine that feels like a beefy V6.

Unfortunately, gas mileage is mediocre at 22 City / 27 Highway and 24 Combined mpg. Those numbers are baed on the turbocharged models with all-wheel drive. Front-wheel drive models are not available with the turbocharged powertrain. Those models carry on with the naturally-aspirated engine, and achieve 25 City / 31 Highway / 28 Combined mpg.

The base model FWD 2019 Mazda CX-5 starts at $25,345. However, to get the turbo engine, the starting price for the AWD Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring Reserve starts at $34,870. The top-of-the-line Mazda CX-5 Signature $36,890. Whichever 2019 Mazda CX-5 you choose, it’s available in dealerships right now.

If you need help deciding which 2019 Mazda CX-5 to buy, check out our TFL Expert Buyer’s Guide!