IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:
The CX-5 boasts nimble handling, excellent steering feel, a classy interior, and a fine selection of available features in a cohesive, well-put-together package.
Cargo space doesn’t rank with the best in the class, and some testers dislike the console-mounted infotainment-system controls.
The CX-5 utilizes Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control Plus system, which varies engine torque in response to steering inputs for better cornering performance and ride stability.
WHAT IS IT?
The CX-5 is Mazda’s 5-passenger compact crossover SUV. The base powertrain, which is standard in Sport, Touring, Carbon Edition and Grand Touring models, is a 187-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder. The Carbon Edition Turbo, Grand Touring Reserve, and top-line Signature models come with a 250-hp turbocharged 2.5 four. Both engines are paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. All CX-5s are available with all-wheel drive, and all but the Grand Touring Reserve and Signature models offer the choice of front-wheel drive as well. Available safety features include forward collision warning and mitigation, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and traffic-sign recognition. Other available features include a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, head-up instrument display, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto functionality, auto-dimming rearview mirrors, two-position reclining rear seat backs, a power liftgate, and adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality.
The Carbon Edition and Carbon Edition Turbo models, which feature unique trim touches such as Polymetal Gray paint and red leather upholstery, are new for ’21. (The Carbon Edition Turbo is the only way to get the turbo engine without all-wheel drive.) Signature models get rear automatic emergency braking, a driver-attention monitor, and a higher-definition 360-degree-view monitor. A new infotainment system features a 10.3-inch touchscreen instead of the previous 7.0-inch display.
With the base engine, the CX-5 is EPA-rated at 25 mpg city/31 highway with front-wheel drive and 24/30 with all-wheel drive. The turbo engine is rated at 23/28 with FWD and 22/27 with AWD. In Consumer Guide® testing, an all-wheel-drive Grand Touring with the base engine returned 24.5 mpg in 55-percent highway driving, and a Signature averaged 22.8 in 55-percent city driving.
VALUE IN CLASS
The Mazda CX-5 doesn’t offer quite as much cargo space as many class competitors, but it has long been a Consumer Guide® favorite for its impressive fuel economy, fun-to-drive character, competitive pricing, and upscale cabin trim in top-line models. Plus, the available turbocharged 2.5 engine supplies satisfying acceleration.