We drove a $40,000 Mazda CX-5 that takes on the Toyota RAV4 and Subaru Forester. Here are its coolest features.

Mazda CX 5 TurboBenjamin Zhang/Business Insider

  • The Mazda CX-5 has been updated for 2019 with the addition of Apple CarPlay and a new turbocharged engine.
  • The Mazda CX-5 compact SUV competes directly against the Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, and Nissan Rogue.
  • The base 2019 Mazda CX-5 Sport with front-wheel drive starts at $24,350, while the top-of-the-line Signature trim starts at $36,890. With options and fees, our Signature trim CX-5 came to an as-tested price of $39,905.
  • We were impressed by the turbocharged CX-5's bountiful power, sporty driving dynamics, stylish design, and high-quality interior.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Mazda CX-5 is one of the most popular offerings in what is arguably the most competitive segment of the US auto market. Introduced for the 2017 model year, the CX-5 doesn't sell quite as well as the segment-leading Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V, but it's no slouch.

Through April, Toyota has sold just shy of 118,000 RAV4s, while Honda has moved about 116,000 CR-Vs. During the same period, Mazda sold a respectable 47,000 CX-5s.

Last year, Business Insider had the chance to spend a week with a 2018 Mazda CX-5. We were impressed by the CX-5's stylish design, stellar driving dynamics, and a cabin that felt surprisingly luxurious. However, the CX-5 wasn't quite perfect. It is adequately powerful, but its standard naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine lacked the punch of a turbocharged unit. On the inside, the infotainment system was lackluster.

Read more: We drove a $40,000 Mazda CX-5 Turbo to see if it's the perfect compact SUV. Here's the verdict.

This year, Mazda has made several updates to the CX-5, including the addition of the turbocharged engine from the larger CX-9 SUV.

Recently, we spent some time with a 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD, clad in a gorgeous Deep Crystal Blue Metallic paint job.

"What Mazda has managed to do is deliver, hands down, the best-driving mass-market compact SUV money can buy," We said in our review of the 2019 CX-5. "It's an impressive feat considering it's fighting for sales in arguably the most brutally competitive segment of the market where everyone brings their A-game."

"And for that reason, if I had $40,000 to spend, the 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature would be the compact SUV for me," we added.

The base 2019 Mazda CX-5 Sport with front-wheel drive starts at $24,350, while the top-of-the-line Signature trim starts at $36,890. All-wheel-drive is a $1,400 option on the Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring trims. It's standard on Grand Touring Reserve and Signature trims.

With options and fees, our Signature trim CX-5 came to an as-tested price of $39,905. It's the most expensive mass-market compact SUV Business Insider has ever tested.

Here's a closer look at its coolest features:

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1. Turbocharged engine: Our top-spec test car had the upgraded 2.5-liter turbocharged engine that can produce up to 250 horsepower using premium-grade fuel. Power output is reduced to 227 horsepower if you use regular gas. The engine is shared with the Mazda6 sedan and larger CX-9 sedan. It's strong, smooth, and delivered a strong fuel economy.

1. Turbocharged engine: Our top-spec test car had the upgraded 2.5-liter turbocharged engine that can produce up to 250 horsepower using premium-grade fuel. Power output is reduced to 227 horsepower if you use regular gas. The engine is shared with the Mazda6 sedan and larger CX-9 sedan. It's strong, smooth, and delivered a strong fuel economy.

2. Sleek styling: The crossover retains its striking and stylish looks, punctuated by the large Mazda corporate front grille and angular headlights.

2. Sleek styling: The crossover retains its striking and stylish looks, punctuated by the large Mazda corporate front grille and angular headlights.

Unlike the front end, the rear of the CX-5 is rounded with short overhangs.

Unlike the front end, the rear of the CX-5 is rounded with short overhangs.

3. Plush interior: Inside, our Signature trim CX-5 sports a plush interior similar to the one that wowed us last year. Cabin ergonomics remain stellar while the material quality is nearly of the luxury-car standard.

3. Plush interior: Inside, our Signature trim CX-5 sports a plush interior similar to the one that wowed us last year. Cabin ergonomics remain stellar while the material quality is nearly of the luxury-car standard.

4. Touchscreen infotainment: Atop the CX-5's dash is a 7-inch touchscreen display running the Mazda Connect infotainment system.

4. Touchscreen infotainment: Atop the CX-5's dash is a 7-inch touchscreen display running the Mazda Connect infotainment system.

The system remains, for the most part, unchanged from the last car we tested. Its menu layout is still fairly basic and straightforward. Unfortunately, that means the touchscreen is still slow to respond, and its user interface is confounding at times to use.

The system remains, for the most part, unchanged from the last car we tested. Its menu layout is still fairly basic and straightforward. Unfortunately, that means the touchscreen is still slow to respond, and its user interface is confounding at times to use.

Fortunately, the system is more responsive if you use the rotary controller on the center console.

Fortunately, the system is more responsive if you use the rotary controller on the center console.

Our Signature trim test car came equipped with a built-in navigation system.

Our Signature trim test car came equipped with a built-in navigation system.

5. Apple CarPlay compatibility: Mazda finally made Apple CarPlay available for the 2019 model year. It's an absolute game-changer. It effectively allows you to bypass Mazda's infotainment system.

5. Apple CarPlay compatibility: Mazda finally made Apple CarPlay available for the 2019 model year. It's an absolute game-changer. It effectively allows you to bypass Mazda's infotainment system.

6. Advanced camera system: For 2019, Signature trim CX-5's come equipped with an advanced camera system. The system uses a network of cameras to stitch together a 360-degree view of the car's surroundings.

6. Advanced camera system: For 2019, Signature trim CX-5's come equipped with an advanced camera system. The system uses a network of cameras to stitch together a 360-degree view of the car's surroundings.

7. Head-up display: CX-5's in Grand Touring trim and above are available with a heads-up display and traffic sign recognition.

7. Head-up display: CX-5's in Grand Touring trim and above are available with a heads-up display and traffic sign recognition.

8. Digital information display: In front of the driver is a configurable 7-inch TFT central digital-information display flanked by a pair of analog gauges. The digital display is engineered to mimic the look of a traditional analog gauge.

8. Digital information display: In front of the driver is a configurable 7-inch TFT central digital-information display flanked by a pair of analog gauges. The digital display is engineered to mimic the look of a traditional analog gauge.

9. Safety and driver assistance tech: The CX-5 comes standard with safety systems such as dynamic stability control, hill-launch assist, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and smart city brake support. Our tester came with optional extras such as adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, and lane-keep assist.

9. Safety and driver assistance tech: The CX-5 comes standard with safety systems such as dynamic stability control, hill-launch assist, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and smart city brake support. Our tester came with optional extras such as adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, and lane-keep assist.

10. Trick rear armrest: The rear seat's fold-down center armrest is home to a pair of cupholders and to the controls for the seat heaters.

10. Trick rear armrest: The rear seat's fold-down center armrest is home to a pair of cupholders and to the controls for the seat heaters.

But open the shallow storage compartment and you'll find a pair of USB plugs.

But open the shallow storage compartment and you'll find a pair of USB plugs.

11. Cargo room: Open the power rear liftgate and you'll find 30.9 cubic feet of cargo space. Fold down the rear seats, and the cargo capacity increases to 59.6 cubic feet.

11. Cargo room: Open the power rear liftgate and you'll find 30.9 cubic feet of cargo space. Fold down the rear seats, and the cargo capacity increases to 59.6 cubic feet.

Underneath the cargo floor is the car's spare tire.

Underneath the cargo floor is the car's spare tire.

12. Comfortable seats: I found the CX-5's Nappa leather-trimmed driver's seat to be comfortable and well-bolstered.

12. Comfortable seats: I found the CX-5's Nappa leather-trimmed driver's seat to be comfortable and well-bolstered.

13. Available sunroof: The CX-5 is available with an optional sunroof. However, unlike many of its rivals, the Mazda is not available with a large panoramic glass roof.

13. Available sunroof: The CX-5 is available with an optional sunroof. However, unlike many of its rivals, the Mazda is not available with a large panoramic glass roof.

14. Nice wheels: 2019 CX-5's in Grand Touring trim and above are available with these stylish new 19-inch wheels.

14. Nice wheels: 2019 CX-5's in Grand Touring trim and above are available with these stylish new 19-inch wheels.

15. Ground Clearance: The CX-5 boasts an adequate 7.5 inches of ground clearance.

15. Ground Clearance: The CX-5 boasts an adequate 7.5 inches of ground clearance.
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