2019 Mazda CX-5
A few years ago I sat in a presentation where Mazda engineers showed how the throttle response of a CX-5 crossover compared to that of a Porsche, a Lexus and an Audi. Why, I asked in slightly politer terms, would they waste our time on that instead of comparing the CX-5 to its actual competition, like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V? Because, a PR rep replied, Mazda didn’t want to remain a mainstream brand but instead hoped to become a luxury contender.
At the time, that was a big stretch for the CX-5. But now that the compact crossover has a fancy new Signature trim level, with a powerful turbo engine under the hood and situs casino online lots of lovely appointments, it’s a little easier to consider the compact crossover as a near-premium vehicle.