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Coilovers

:
Mazda CX-5
Two things.

Stiffer is NOT rough/harsh. It means the suspension moves a shorter distance for any given bump, nothing else. The shock controls/resists speed. A stiff shock fails to move quickly enough and transmits the jolt directly to the chassis. Wham!! A spring moves smoothly.

Eibach and others (stupidly) lower the car, often onto or nearly onto the bumpstops. Little compliance there, so it will feel unusually stiff. The relationship of the center of gravity to the roll center and roll axis of most Mazdas is quite good as is the suspension geometry. Lowering a car mostly gives up compression travel (the part that makes bumps smoother), making the lowering stupid.
 
:
2014 Mazda3 S GT auto, 2008 MX5 6-speed
Well, I must add that the handling of my 3 with Eibach springs is noticeably better than it was with the OEM springs. The Koni shocks are icing on the cake.
Remember that years ago and even today to some extent, ordering a handling package, like the "M"-series BMW and Mazdaspeed 3 meant that yes, the handling is very much improved over base versions of the same model, but the ride was not as comfortable. You are correct in that to the enthusiast, the ride is not punishing as it would be with cheap, stiff shocks/struts.
 

JT2

:
2019 CX-5 GTR
I love the look of dropping the car and IF I was going to do so I would only do coilovers. Lowering springs on stock struts/shocks is not the best idea.
For me and this car I think I’ll leave it pretty much stock due to possibility of resell in the near future (hurry up Mazda with a performance EV).
I have lowered a couple of cars in the past but question the effect of changing the suspension geometry of this car.
I do plan to swap out stock shocks and struts with something like Bilstein B6 for improved handling and go to an 8” wheel to open up some more tire choices.
 

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