2021 Mazda CX-5 Review

Last Updated: April 25, 2022By Tags: , , ,

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 challenges for a top spot in the competitive compact SUV class thanks to its engaging handling and refined interior.

Pros & Cons

Sporty handling
Potent turbocharged engine option
Upscale interior
Long list of standard features
Terrific safety score

x) Below-average cargo space for the class

New for 2021:

10.25-inch touch screen, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay now standard
Driver attention monitoring and reverse automatic emergency braking newly optional
Diesel engine discontinued
Carbon Edition trim debuts

The 2021 Mazda CX-5’s #2 ranking is based on its score within the Compact SUVs category. It is a finalist for our 2021 Best Compact SUV for the Money award and a finalist for our 2021 Best Compact SUV for Families award. Currently the Mazda CX-5 has a score of 8.9 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 36 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

Is the Mazda CX-5 a Good SUV?

Yes, the Mazda CX-5 is a very good compact SUV . It’s one of the most fun-to-drive entrants in the class, a designation resulting mostly from its agile handling. The standard engine delivers a bit of pep, but the optional turbocharged variant injects a lot more vigor.

The CX-5 doesn’t have the most spacious cargo hold, but it offers a sophisticated and elegant interior, comfortable seating, and a revamped infotainment system. It also rates highly for crash safety and comes outfitted with many standard safety features. The CX-5’s solid combination of quality and value led us to name it as a finalist for our 2021 Best Compact SUV for the Money award. It was also named a finalist for our 2021 Best Compact SUV for Families award.

Consider buying the Mazda CX-5?

As long as you’re not looking for a ton of cargo space, the CX-5 should be high on your list. It’s a great value thanks to its long list of standard infotainment and driver assistance features, and higher trims offer plenty of options for those looking for more amenities and who have wiggle room in their budgets.

2020 vs. 2021 Mazda CX-5: What’s the Difference?

Mazda made several changes to the CX-5 for 2021. The previously optional larger touch screen (10.25 inches, up from 7), Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay are now standard, while driver attention monitoring and reverse automatic emergency braking are available for the first time. There’s also a new Carbon Edition trim, with an exclusive paint color, red leather upholstery, and unique styling for the wheels and interior trim. Finally, Mazda no longer offers the CX-5 with a turbodiesel engine.

Here are the key changes for the Mazda CX-5 over the last few years:

2017: fully redesigned with a more powerful base engine but less cargo space; gained a standard infotainment system and rearview camera; manual transmission discontinued
2018: added standard blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert; several driver assistance features more widely available
2019: gained turbocharged engine and diesel engine options; Grand Touring Reserve and Signature trims debuted; Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, ventilated front seats, parking sensors, and a surround-view parking camera system became available
2020: adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, and automatic high-beam headlights added to standard features list; 8-inch touch screen became optional; turbocharged engine gained more torque
2021: larger touch screen and smartphone integration now standard; more available driver assistance features; turbodiesel engine discontinued; Carbon Edition trim debuts
If you’re considering an older model, be sure to read our 2018 CX-5 , 2019 CX-5 , and 2020 CX-5 reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Much Does the Mazda CX-5 Cost?

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 starts at $25,370, which is an above-average base price for the class. Several higher trims increase in price up to about $30,500, and all come standard with front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive is a $1,400 option. The range-topping CX-5 Signature has one of the highest prices in the class at $37,505.

Mazda CX-5 vs. Mazda CX-30

The CX-30 is Mazda’s newest vehicle, and it competes in the subcompact SUV class alongside the entry-level Mazda CX-3 . The CX-5 and CX-30 both offer the same standard and optional engines, commendable handling, and similar fuel economy estimates. There’s little reason to choose one over the other for performance. Instead, your decision will likely come down to your budget, how much space you need, and the features you want.

The CX-5 is several thousand dollars more expensive than the CX-30 across its entire trim lineup, but it has a larger infotainment screen and serves up more than 10 extra cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats. A few features – such as Nappa leather upholstery, wood interior trim, and ventilated front seats – are exclusive to the CX-5 and are not available in the CX-30. If you have a bigger budget, getting the CX-5 is worth it.

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