6 month Review of my 2019 CX-5 Signature

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2019 CX-5 Signature Soul Red Crystal Metallic
Hey guys - this post is probably more for those of you out there who are on the fence, or wondering how owners feel about their new vehicles after half a year of driving.

Overview

I picked my new car up at the beginning of April. I chose the 2019 Signature in Soul Red Crystal Metallic.

The day after picking her up, I took her in to have the two front windows tinted to match the back ones, and also to have PPF (Paint Protection Film) put on the front end. I had PPF but on all the painted surfaces on the front of the vehicle and up about 20" up the hood.

I was able to significantly reduce the cost of the vehicle through negotiations and was able to get the Sig for about the same price as the GT-R Reserve (Base price). I was also able to get a 7 year front to back warranty for 50% off. I was able to utilize some of the benefits afforded to me (500$ Car show credit, 1500$ dealer credit, low interest rate returning customer) to get a SERIOUSLY good deal.

I did not add any bells and whistles (door sill stuff, chrome on the outside, etc. The vehicle is 99% stock the 1% being the PPF and the tint.

This was a huge upgrade for me. I previously owned a 2009 Mazda 6 GS with comfort package. While a lot of the features from the '09 M6 GS comfort translated over to the '19 Signature, I can say that I am hugely impressed with the refined features of the Signature.

I didn't think initially that the visual differences between the GT-R and the Signature would matter to me, but... they do! The black cloth A-pillars and the black headliner MATTER. To me, they're very rich looking. The Abachi wood trim is an eye-catcher. Almost every person who's either ridden in my car, or looked in has commented on how rich the interior of the CX-5 is compared to other vehicles in this class. The seats with the contrasting leather interior is attractive. The seats are comfortable to ME. I know others on here have complained about them, but I've found them to be sufficiently comfortable.

As for the ride and engine, this is where my thoughts are: The ride is most definitely "stiffer" than an automobile, however it's NOT uncomfortable at all. The engine is most-definitely one of the joys of this vehicle - there's PLENTY of Torque when you need it, and there's nothing like that Turbo feel when it kicks in when you need it as well. Its' a great vehicle to drive. I've found myself out cruising around a lot more just simply because I love the way the vehicle drives.

Some pros and cons:

Pros

- Peppy Turbo engine is a pleasure to drive
- Fit and finish is impeccable.
- The tech is pretty useful, including the Radar Cruise Control, Emergency Brake assist, Blind Spot monitoring, lane departure warning, Heads Up Display is VERY well designed and executed compared to other manufacturers (who have that awful glass panel that sticks up).
- Creature comforts are amazing such as: Folding side mirrors, multi-driver seat positioning, auto-climate control is intuitive and "just works well", auto-high bean and Adaptive front lightning system are really cool!!, LED's are bright and accurately highlight the right parts of the road.
- Entertainment system is easy to use *** (see cons below)
- Apple CarPlay is really useful and adds to my driving experience.


Cons

- Entertainment system is both a pro and con. It's easy to navigate and use, however it is extremely slow and the interface is very outdated compared to other options on the market. I've had issues with my SiriusXM not working at all (see the threads on it in the forum) off and on occasionally. Mainly, my complaint is how SLOW it is.
- I've had issues with the rear lift-gate randomly opening. I believe it's actually a mistaken key-press in my pants pocket causing it, and i have had to eliminate having anything attached to the keyfob (keys lol) and having anything else in the pocket I carry the FOB in. Not really a 'issue', but moreso just a localized issue that I've been experiencing.
- Small gas tank. This is by far, the smallest gas tank I've ever had in a vehicle. Its a 58 litre tank, and my old mazda 6 had a 70 litre tank in it. Therefore, I am filling this vehicle up a LOT more than I used to the old one.
- The transmission in stop and go traffic is terribly herky-jerky. I believe through discussions on here, as well as reading up on the Skyactive transmission that this might be by design. Otherwise, I've had no issues with how it drives at speed or in 'normal' traffic.
- I've had an odd issue with the auto-headlights turning off at a traffic light when I'm stopped and the auto-windshield wipers are going. I've reported it here and also to the dealer (who was ZERO help), and i am trying to understand the logic if it's not a 'bug' in the system. Having your headlights turn off when you're at a traffic light in the rain is probably not the best safety measure.

My biggest concern with the vehicle has been the dealer. I took the vehicle in for service and was just totally unimpressed with the post-sales experience. This same dealer used to be impeccable. When I had purchased my last vehicle, at my first service I was thanked for purchasing a vehicle from them and also thanked for choosing them for my service. They asked me how I liked the car, and if I had had ANY issues of any significance whether large or small. This time, the service advisor didn't appear to care too much about my business, and really didn't care about the small issues I had raised.

Summary

In summary, I am very happy with my purchase, and wouldn't hesitate to do it again. The vehicle is a solid vehicle, with little minor annoyances. I am glad I picked the Signature over the Reserve as I mulled that over for a few months.

My largest issue has been so far my post-sales experience with the dealer.

I hope this will help anyone who is struggling to make a choice between the two trim levels., I realize the review is uber long, but I wanted to be as thorough as I could.

Thanks!
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
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Canada
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'18 CX-9 Signature
Great review, thanks for posting!
 

Kaps

Contributor
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CX-5 Touring 2016.5
When I had purchased my last vehicle, at my first service I was thanked for purchasing a vehicle from them and also thanked for choosing them for my service. They asked me how I liked the car, and if I had had ANY issues of any significance whether large or small. This time, the service advisor didn't appear to care too much about my business, and really didn't care about the small issues I had raised.

My largest issue has been so far my post-sales experience with the dealer.

I hope this will help anyone who is struggling to make a choice between the two trim levels., I realize the review is uber long, but I wanted to be as thorough as I could.

If I have a diy friend looking for a Mazda I would recommend one. Not recommending a Mazda unless you know and like your dealer. My dealer has given me the 'Since TSB is not a recall we don't have to do it' lie. Also lied about me being out of warranty without checking. If I was unaware - they would have charged me. All of the service reps keep a bad air filter in their drawers as its a $30 sell for a 2 minute job and 20 dollar profit. I just see it plain in the open. I think they are really desperate for money / sales and would exit Mazda if they could (dealer chain). This is where my Toyota dealer is better as the volume and steady flow means no pushy service etc. Plain old oil change.
I am going to try getting Mobil 1 at Sam's and going to my Toyota dealer to check them out. Mazda corporate are equally bad. At least you have Gen2 which has ironed out some flaws and is a quiet ride. Gen1 has quite a few other issues - rear axle just thuds over small bumps no matter the speed, plus highway mpg is 2-3 mpg below EPA for FWD 2.5 NA. This is a poor highway cruiser in Gen1 config due to 10.8-11.5 gallon tank and 30 mpg.
 
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2019 Mazda CX-5 GTR
Great review. While I have a GTR, much of your review is pertinent. As well, my biggest complaint is how slowly the infotainment system loads up. I do use CarPlay almost every trip, so once loaded, I'm happy with performance.

I also have noticed that in the rain, the auto headlights will come on ONLY when the wipers are in the steady mode, but will go off when in intermittent mode. Even while driving in the rain, if the wipers toggle back to intermittent in very light rain, the lights will click off.
 
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2021 CX-9 Sig
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2014 CX-5 GT
"I've had an odd issue with the auto-headlights turning off at a traffic light when I'm stopped and the auto-windshield wipers are going. I've reported it here and also to the dealer (who was ZERO help), and i am trying to understand the logic if it's not a 'bug' in the system. Having your headlights turn off when you're at a traffic light in the rain is probably not the best safety measure."

I have a 2018 CX-9 signature and in my car if the wipers are on and the lights are set to auto with auto high beams - they auto high beam function will fail to work. This is a bug in the system as we tested another 2018 CX-9 and it did the exact same thing. Mazda's electronics have bug and they don't really ever fix them.
 

Pitter

Pitter
Contributor
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2020 CX-5 Signature Azul Metalico
Appreciate the review, very helpful. I have only 300 kometers on mine, brand new. My dealership and salesperson here in Colombia have been excellent. However I plan to have it serviced at a different dealer much closer to me so hope that goes well when 5000k roll around.
 

leeharvey418

Member
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2019 CX-5 Signature; 2014 CX-9 Touring AWD
- I've had issues with the rear lift-gate randomly opening. I believe it's actually a mistaken key-press in my pants pocket causing it, and i have had to eliminate having anything attached to the keyfob (keys lol) and having anything else in the pocket I carry the FOB in. Not really a 'issue', but moreso just a localized issue that I've been experiencing.

Completely off-topic, meta question:

Did you intentionally put fob in all caps? I see this a lot, and I'm wondering if there's some autocorrect that insists that the person typing must be abbreviating Freight On Board.
 

shadonoz

SkyActiv Member
Contributor
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State of Jefferson
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2017 CX-5 GT AWD+
- I've had an odd issue with the auto-headlights turning off at a traffic light when I'm stopped and the auto-windshield wipers are going. I've reported it here and also to the dealer (who was ZERO help), and i am trying to understand the logic if it's not a 'bug' in the system. Having your headlights turn off when you're at a traffic light in the rain is probably not the best safety measure.
So the DRLs turn off, too?
 

shadonoz

SkyActiv Member
Contributor
:
State of Jefferson
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2017 CX-5 GT AWD+
- The transmission in stop and go traffic is terribly herky-jerky. I believe through discussions on here, as well as reading up on the Skyactive transmission that this might be by design. Otherwise, I've had no issues with how it drives at speed or in 'normal' traffic.

You're not the first to complain about this. It seems like it became as issue in 18 when they redesigned the transmission to deal with cylinder deactivation.

Is the herky-jerky when you're "cruising" at a steady crawl? Or when you first start to move? Or when you're varying slow speeds? Or any combination?

And I have two questions for the group:
  1. Does anyone with a KE or 17 have this issue?
  2. Does anyone know if the transmission on the turbo is the same as the one on the NA w/ CD? Or are there two transmissions now for the 2.5s?
 
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2019 cx-5 signature. 2019 cx-3 awd touring
the only thing you're missing out on, being you have the canadian signature version, is the 360 camera,
and let me assure you it's definitely good to have.
 
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2019 CX-5 White Pearl Sig
All of the service reps keep a bad air filter in their drawers as its a $30 sell for a 2 minute job and 20 dollar profit.

There's an easy way to find out if your dealer is pulling this trick or not, mark your air and cabin filters with a Sharpie before you go. I prefer something discreet like three dots in a triangle that only I know the meaning of. I just did mine to see how long it would take. Having never removed either one before and not even being sure where they were, it took about two minutes for the air filter and half that for the cabin filter.
 

Kaps

Contributor
:
CX-5 Touring 2016.5
There's an easy way to find out if your dealer is pulling this trick or not, mark your air and cabin filters with a Sharpie before you go. I prefer something discreet like three dots in a triangle that only I know the meaning of. I just did mine to see how long it would take. Having never removed either one before and not even being sure where they were, it took about two minutes for the air filter and half that for the cabin filter.

I had a new filter installed before I went in. That was defo not my filter. When I pointed he quickly pulled it away.
 
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2019 CX-5 Signature Soul Red Crystal Metallic
Completely off-topic, meta question:

Did you intentionally put fob in all caps? I see this a lot, and I'm wondering if there's some autocorrect that insists that the person typing must be abbreviating Freight On Board.

I might do it without really knowing I'm doing it - I DO work in the transportation industry lol.
 
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2019 CX-5 Signature Soul Red Crystal Metallic
So the DRLs turn off, too?

They DO! I can see my DRL's in the back of some silver or black cars i'm behind when this happens, and the lights literally shut right off. From what I remember, the dashboard light indicating the lights are on doesn't go off I believe.. I'll have to double check that too.
 
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2019 CX-5 Signature Soul Red Crystal Metallic
You're not the first to complain about this. It seems like it became as issue in 18 when they redesigned the transmission to deal with cylinder deactivation.

Is the herky-jerky when you're "cruising" at a steady crawl? Or when you first start to move? Or when you're varying slow speeds? Or any combination?

And I have two questions for the group:
  1. Does anyone with a KE or 17 have this issue?
  2. Does anyone know if the transmission on the turbo is the same as the one on the NA w/ CD? Or are there two transmissions now for the 2.5s?

For me, its when I'm doing less than say, 30km. I'll take my foot off the gas and you can feel the torque converter kick in. (the muffer sound changes too.. its much more audible). as its slowing down from 30km/hr, to anything below including 0, if I hit the gas again gently (to say, just coast along at say, 10-20 km /hr) if I take the foot off the gas again and coast, the car will jerk around a lot while this is happening.

its varying slow speeds.

The transmission is smooth as butter if I'm GOING. If I hammer the gas and accellerate for example merging onto the highway, she shifts so smoothly.. don't feel nary a thing. Its ONLY at slow, crawling speeds.
 
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2019 CX-5 Signature Soul Red Crystal Metallic
the only thing you're missing out on, being you have the canadian signature version, is the 360 camera,
and let me assure you it's definitely good to have.

Corrrect.

Now, I learned to drive on a big bread-box delivery truck, so the 360 degree camera would be useless to me. The ONLY time I use the backup camera is to make sure I'm properly aligned in the parking spot and that I'm not going to hit the guy behind me.

But yes, you are correct - we don't have that OR the backup sensors.
 
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2019 CX-5 Signature Soul Red Crystal Metallic
I had a new filter installed before I went in. That was defo not my filter. When I pointed he quickly pulled it away.

THIS is why dealerships get their bad raps. Seriously.

if I could ONLY go back 30 some odd years and take that automotive class I had the option of taking so I could at least KNOW when I'm being bullshat at (lol) I would. In fact, it should be something that EVERYONE learns in school, along with how to properly bloody do banking and finances.

I tend now to stick to the manual, and to do things I see/hear recommended here. No flushes and s*** until the manual says to do it, WITH the exception of the transmission later on down the road, and that's a drain and fill.

I just don't like how I was lied to. There was more to that story than I let on as the review was already lengthy, but I caught the guy in a lie just like you did. I'm done with him. I'll only go in when he's not there now. I have to find a reputable dealer nearby.
 
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Fmr CX5 Touring
THIS is why dealerships get their bad raps. Seriously.

if I could ONLY go back 30 some odd years and take that automotive class I had the option of taking so I could at least KNOW when I'm being bullshat at (lol) I would. In fact, it should be something that EVERYONE learns in school, along with how to properly bloody do banking and finances.

I tend now to stick to the manual, and to do things I see/hear recommended here. No flushes and s*** until the manual says to do it, WITH the exception of the transmission later on down the road, and that's a drain and fill.

I just don't like how I was lied to. There was more to that story than I let on as the review was already lengthy, but I caught the guy in a lie just like you did. I'm done with him. I'll only go in when he's not there now. I have to find a reputable dealer nearby.

When I still had my CX-5, I took it in for an oil change. The guy pulled the, "you've got sludge but I can fix it" bit. This was at 60K miles, I was religious with the oil changes and I don't think you can actually see sludge in the oil (not certain on this). Anyways, it was almost certainly BS, but the kid got really mad at me. Started lecturing me on how he was trying to help me, etc.

Needless to say, I never went back.