2020 Mazda CX-5 First Impressions
2020 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring? I wasn't sure what trim this was as it was just a loaner car.
I really enjoyed the 2020 Mazda CX-5 loaner car. I had it for a few days while the Speed3 was in the shop. I think it's a great daily driver. It wasn't the top of the line CX-5 trim, but it had a Bose sound system, heated seats, heated steering wheel and even had power folding mirrors. I think it also had ventilated seats, but I didn't get to try it out.
It didn't have the turbo engine, but it drove really well. Sure, it could use more passing power at highway speeds, but the engine felt responsive and strong. The biggest difference in my opinion, between the engine in this 2020 CX-5 and our 2016 CX-5, is the powerband. They both have the same 2.5 liter 4 cylinder SkyActiv-G engine. The newer engines do have cylinder-deactivation. But the powerband on the 2016 CX-5 goes from 3250 to 5700 RPM, while the powerband on the 2020 CX-5 goes from 4000 to 6000 RPM. Technically, the 2016 CX-5 has a wider powerband, so it should feel stronger in everyday driving. But this was not the case.
The much improved throttle response on the newer CX-5, plus the powerband being at the higher end of the RPM range, meant the newer CX-5 felt stronger in everyday driving. It also made for a much more fun drive. Bury the throttle on a 2020 CX-5 and the transmission puts you right into the powerband, where you can wind it out to 6000 RPM if you want to. The 2016 CX-5 on the other hand, feels like it runs out of steam before the redline. It's like the 2016 CX-5 doesn't want to be revved to redline, while the 2020 CX-5 wants you to redline it as often as you want.
The 2016 CX-5 also seems to prefer to cruise at around 60 mph. To cruise faster than that, you have to step on the gas pedal more. But when you do, you will feel this sort of resistance. Like it does not want to cruise at a higher speed. The 2020 CX-5 on the other hand, I had a hard time keeping it below 75 mph. It's almost like it prefers to cruise at 80 mph. The engine spins so freely while cruising on the highway, I end up cruising at a much higher speed than I intend to.
The throttle response and transmission shifting logic in the 2020 CX-5, was so well matched to my driving style, it felt telepathic. This was one instance where I really felt Mazda's Jinba Ittai philosophy in a car. It's almost like the car was made for me, or I did the test driving and told them how the throttle response and transmission logic should be set.
The interior is a great place to be. Mazda has been trying to raise their cars up to luxury car standards. Their current cars are not far off. If you consider the price you're paying for a Mazda, versus say a BMW or an Audi, then yes their interiors are luxurious enough. And they are very quiet too. As soon as I closed the doors on this 2020 CX-5, my ears picked up on the deafening silence. Okay that's a bit of an exaggeration. But it is really quiet inside. You have to try it out to understand what I'm saying.
Lastly, it is a beautiful looking car inside and out. I seem to be saying that for newer Mazdas nowadays. But I really believe that to be true. Mazda's newer Soul Red Crystal Metallic paint is beautiful. And it comes alive in different lighting conditions. You can see the difference in color when you look at it under the sun and at night. It renders a wonderful shade of red, that looks even better than the Soul Red on our 2016 CX-5.
Anyway, time to wrap this up. I've written more about this car than I thought I would. And it was just a loaner car. And no, this not a Mazda sponsored post. But I am a Mazda fan. If you are looking for a new daily driver and it needs to be a CUV, then this is my recommended choice. Get the turbo if you want more passing power. Otherwise, stick with the Grand Touring trim and the 2.5l engine for a luxury feel without the luxury price tag.