and holy crap is it great. Amazing even.
The model I drove was a Grand Touring AWD. It’s a beautiful, bright day, and I kept it on the pavement, so no off road, inclement weather, or night driving.
Interior is miles ahead of anything else in the segment that I’ve yet encountered (haven’t been in the HR-V yet). Better than the Buick Encore by far. There isn’t much cargo room due to the sloping hatch, but it’s flat and no wasted space that I could find. Head room is acceptable (I’m about 5’10”) and outward visibility is surprisingly good. Nice big mirrors, too. The one I drove was Soul Red, and had a few pieces of red interior trim, which was a nice accent, but I wouldn’t want it. The HUD above the steering wheel seemed slightly redundant as large and clear as the gauges are, but it’s nice to have.
Exterior is quite good. Not quite as handsome as the CX-5, but still quite good-looking. I don’t like that the front turn signals are below the bumper (like the 3, 2, Miata, Mustang, MKZ, and others), but they seem well-placed. Soul Red is a great color, but I’d rather have one of the blue colors, with tan interior,
Ride quality was quite good, and it’s amazingly quiet, especially after my experiences in an early-release CX-5, which, while not as noisy or boomy as, say, a Trax, wasn’t the quietest modern vehicle I’d been in, especially with the 2.0 straining away.
Acceleration and highway composure were good - this is no slouch, and not a slab-sided box getting pushed about in the crosswinds.
Would I buy one? Certainly! I’m not sure I’d put up the $27K for one like the one I drove, or over $30K how I’d want mine built, as the CX-5 can be had for so damn close in price especially as a slightly older model (though the one I’d want is about $35K). If I’m dropping that kind of scratch, I’d also be considering a CarMax warranted Range Rover Evoque five-door.