2017~2020 Interior Mods for Carplay, Phone Mount, Storage, and Armrest

Hi All,

I just bought my CX-5 GT Automatic about 2 weeks ago and I love it. I named it "Saru" after the Star Trek Discovery character because like Saru the car can sense the coming of danger with its auto-stop feature, and it's also the tallest vehicle I've ever owned. Now, nerd stuff aside, there were a few minor tweaks we made to help it be more functional (pics at end):

We brought the USB up from the armrest with a USB extension cable and tucked it under the plastic along the floor of the center console, then routed it along the bottom of the A/C vents by gently tucking it in. That resulted in the Carplay USB port being located right under the hazard switch.

Phone Mount:
We then used a standard CD player phone mount and tucked it in gently right above the A/C vents.

To cover the open well in front of the gearshift, we cut a piece of 3/16" black plexi and installed a handle from a motorcycle compartment that we found on Amazon that resembled the knobs in the CX-5. (We had to paint the top of the knob black). We then also bought black leather pencil cases to stuff in the side door pockets so we can keep some tissues, antibacterial spray, and other convenience items in the front of the car without taking up valuable storage space (the CX-5 has very little storage compared to other cars I've owned) and also to mask all of that stuff so it doesn't look junky.

It drove me crazy that the armrest didn't come out all the way. So we bought a cup holder trash bin off Amazon, trimmed down the top a little with an exacto knife to make it the right height, upholstered the top with a little bit of leather from Jo-Ann fabric, and tada… instant arm rest extension inspired by another poster who we saw use a silver tumbler cup. To make sure it stayed put, we added a rubber pipe fitting to the bottom, the 2” to 3” variety seems to hold it snug.

Next up, we’re adding LED lights with an on/off switch to the SUPER DARK trunk/cargo space.
Armrest in Place.jpg
Armrest with Pipe Fitting.jpg
CD Slot Holder for Phone.jpg
Compartment Cover.jpg
Knob for Compartment Cover.jpg

Oh, and we had a few custom decals made with Saru’s Star Trek chevron badge and command stripes. Because #nerdreasons
Saru Exterior.jpeg
Screen Vertical.jpg

USB for Apple CarPlay.jpg

I hope this helps someone else on their customization journey!


2016.5 GT AWD
w/Tech & iActive
Thanks, ScottVedder!
Lights look pretty cool and for about $12...
The cargo boxes look nice too, but I put my dog (Whippet) back there often, and he's a bit too large to fit in the boxes ;)

Am I correct that the trunk 12V is "always-on", so one would have to remember to manually switch these on-off (either with the remote or plug switch) to avoid draining the battery?
2019 CX-5 Signature
The on-off switch for the light kit is built into the 12v car power plug. You simply click it on and off as you would any light switch. Turn it on when you need the extra light and off when you’re done.
2016.5 GT AWD
w/Tech & iActive
I did notice that...but...is that 12v outlet always on, or only on when the accessory switch is on or vehicle is running?
2014 & 2019 CX-5 Touring(s)
Only the front 12V accessory outlet is switched. The center bin and rear outlets are always-on.

(I modified my center bin one to use switched (accessory) power - simple & reversible, just using a fuse tap in the front socket fuse. You could do the same for the rear if you wanted too.)
2019 CX-5 Siganture
Very cool - TFS. The armrest is genius! The ridiculously short stock rest almost kept me from purchasing. Pics of side door pockets? I hate the way they are so exposed.