I'm with you on CVTs, I hate them!!! I travel for work a lot and rent cars quite often, so I've sampled a lot of them and haven't found a single one that I would buy. I've heard that Honda has done an impressive job of making their CVT mimic a conventional automatic, but I haven't driven one yet....and it's still a CVT!
The Subaru also has a CVT (and it stinks, based on my experience in a Forester and Legacy rental) and there have also been some oil consumption issues with them that aren't definitely resolved. I also wouldn't want to pay the penalty in price, complexity and fuel economy for AWD if I didn't need it.
The Hyundai Tucson has been getting very good reviews. It looks good and seems pretty competitive, but the fact that it's a first year of a new model would worry me.
To be honest, I'm not a big fan of the RAV4, but that's solely based on my own tastes and not any flaws in the car. It is fundamentally a very good vehicle and I doubt many have ever regretted buying one. My biggest issue is, as with most Toyotas, it is "dull as dishwater"! On the plus side, there is a new SE trim level for 2016 that helps in the looks department. Still, it wouldn't be my pick.
Without hesitation, the CX-5 would be the one I would buy! I own a 2006 Mazda3 that I bought new in late 2005 and a 2012 CX-9 and love them. The CX-5 was the first vehicle solely designed by Mazda after they were freed from Ford's control. It was introduced in 2013 and has been very reliable so far. The same is true of the 2014 Mazda3 and Mazda6. Mazda's small dealer network (comparatively speaking) is probably their weakest point. The two dealers closest to me are a full hour away, but I have only needed to return to the dealer for two recalls on the CX-9.
The CX-5 is the best handling and most enjoyable to drive compact CUV. It has great fuel economy but still has some guts when you put your right foot down.
The CX-5 is also a great value and available feature content is impressive. You can get a CX-5 Grand Touring 2WD with Tech Pkg (LED headlight/fog lights, Nav, Smart City Brake Support, Homelink) for about $28k. For another $1500, you can add the 'i-Activsense Pkg' which includes Radar Cruise Control, Auto High Beams, Fwd Collision & Lane Departure Warning and several other features.
Mazda is also offering some sweet financing deals right now- 0% for 36mos or 0.9% for 60mos.