Moment in time with the 2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD

I didn’t intent to, but I recreated a Mazda commercial… I got off a plane and was decidedly happy to be back in control of the vehicle, a 2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring with all-wheel drive.

When I was done being a sardine in a tube at 40,000 feet, Mazda’s spacious mid-sized SUV was a sight for sore eyes. I’ve sung overtures to the Soul Red color, and it gleamed brightly in the well-lit parking garage where I’d left it overnight.

2016-mazda-cx-5_07The Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring is equipped with dynamic 19-inch alloy wheels covered in all-seasons, darkened privacy glass for the rear seats and cargo space, and the distinctive qualities of the Kodo design philosophy. The black and metallic look of the wheels hitting off well with the black trim pieces and bright Soul Red paint.

A quick pop of the button on the door handle and I slid into comfort, unlike that of the human-sardine can I’d existed within for the past 6 hours. At the behest of the accelerator, the 2.5L Skyactiv-G engine churned out 184-horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque. More than enough to send you through an onramp with a smile on your face.

Of course, that’s what I’ve come to expect from Mazda. Their “Driving Matters” slogan is seen in every aspect. Not only is the engine and sporty suspension nice for those of us who enjoy that, but the interior is spacious, leather appointed, heated to the nines and has plenty of support for the driver.

2016-mazda-cx-5_26Mazda fitted the CX-5 Grand Touring with a tilt and telescopic steering wheel and an 8-way driver’s seat featuring power lumbar support. At your fingertips is the usual slew of audio, phone, and information scrolling buttons.

Along with another set for the radar assisted cruise control with usability in city speed traffic. As part of the GT i-Activesense package ($1,500), the CX-5 is optioned with assisted cruise control, smart break assist, lane departure warnings and automated high-beam control. The automated cruise control works well in medium traffic, but won’t do stop and go traffic.

However, tonight held no assisted cruise controls. Tonight was for driving, which the Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring did with pep even in the downpour I’d returned to. Where days before I’d driven through blue skies into Leavenworth, tonight was darkness and rain.

As wet Seattle drifted past, Ace of Base on SiriusXM station poured through the 9-speaker Bose system as I drove down the I5 corridor. The controls let me easily switch to a new station without breaking my attention away from the road.

I could have connected my phone to the 7-inch color touchscreen display and Mazda’s easy-to-use infotainment system with my favorite radio app (Pandora), but my phone was still in airplane mode and all I wanted to do was get home.

(More below photo gallery.)

The rain-sensing wipers churned away, having turned themselves to the optimal speed for the drizzle; a standard feature on the Grand Touring along with rear cross traffic alerts and blind spot monitoring. Adaptive front lights, an auto-dimming mirror with Homelink connectivity, city braking support, and LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, LED foglights, and LED combination taillights were all part of the Grand Touring Tech package ($1,155).

Mazda’s 2016 CX-5 Grand Touring starts at an MSRP of $29,870, but the tester we drove came in at an MSRP mark of $34,485. A low price in the market filled with plenty of tech.

While the 2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring could pack a family-sized army just about anywhere, today wasn’t about the road trips or cargo space.

Today was about getting off the plane and enjoying the feeling of driving and the drive itself (just like in that Mazda6 commercial).