More importantly, it just feels better. No matter what I’m driving, I want to enjoy driving it. Anything with four wheels and an engine can get you to the grocery store, so why not pick the one that puts a smile on your face? The CX-5’s sport-tuned suspension makes it responsive and fun to drive, even just to the store, but still gives it a comfortable ride.
You want to smile when you see your car, too, and the CX-5’s design, inside and out, put it way ahead of the pack. Clean and sophisticated, it looks like it could be a luxury vehicle and easily stands out from the frumpy CR-V and generic Toyota RAV4. Why look like everyone else in the suburb when you can drive around in this? What’s better, the inside (where you spend all your time with your car anyway) is also luxury car quality. Fine woods, metals, and leathers put the competition on the shelf in a sleek, refined package.
It doesn’t give up any safety to get that sexy sheet metal, either. The CX-5 gets the exact same crash test scores as the Honda CR-V from both the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and it’s a 2019 IIHS Top Safety Pick+.
You don’t give up any features to the bigger players, either. Mazda’s infotainment system supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Pandora, Stitcher, and Aha and is easier and more intuitive to use than Honda or Toyota’s. The Grand Touring Reserve trim level also buys you adaptive cruise control with stop and go traffic programming, lane departure warning and lane keeping, blind-spot monitoring, forward collision warning and emergency braking assistance, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, navigation, a premium Bose stereo, automatic wipers and LED headlights, automatic high beams, and a power liftgate.
Of course, it does require a small stretch. My target price for a new car would be $35,000, and the Grand Touring Reserve trim with my preferred features comes in at about $37,000, but I think it’s worth a couple extra car payments to get the more powerful engine and all-wheel drive. If neither matters to you, a Grand Touring trim in front-wheel drive can be built to my preferences for about $34,000. Either way, I’d get mine in Deep Crystal Blue Mica with the airy Parchment leather interior.
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