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The elevated ride height and superior passenger and cargo room of small SUVs make them far more sensible than the typical small sedan. The downside is that sensible isn't normally sexy, but that's where the 2021 Mazda CX-5 comes in. This SUV boasts sleek styling and impressive handling abilities to match. It also has a top-notch interior and a strong optional turbocharged engine that wouldn't seem out of place in a BMW. These traits have helped the CX-5 earn a place near the top of our rankings of the best small SUVs.

The CX-5 receives a few notable upgrades for 2021. The central display screen is larger than last year's and is outfitted with Mazda's newest infotainment interface. It loses touchscreen functionality, but the increased width makes the layout look less cluttered than before. There's also a new Carbon Edition trim that's available with or without the turbocharged engine. If you want the extra thrust but don't need the luxury features that come in the pricier trims, the Carbon Edition is the least expensive way to get the upgraded engine. So is the CX-5 the best small SUV for you? Check out our Expert Rating to read more of our in-depth evaluation of this year's CX-5.

What's it like to live with?

Want to know even more about the Mazda CX-5? Learn about the day-to-day ownership on our long-term test of the 2018 CX-5. Was the cargo room sufficient for everyday use? Was it reliable? See what we liked and disliked about this fun and stylish SUV after driving it for a year. Note that the 2020 CX-5 differs slightly from the 2018 model, which did not have the optional turbocharged engine and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay that became available in 2019 or the revised infotainment system that debuts this year. Our coverage is otherwise applicable.

","datePublished":"2020-04-30T17:00:00","description":"Review, Pricing, and Specs","headline":"2021 Mazda CX-5","thumbnailURL":"https://media.ed.edmunds-media.com/mazda/cx-5/2021/oem/2021_mazda_cx-5_4dr-suv_signature_fq_oem_4_175.jpg","publisher":{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"Organization","name":"Edmunds","logo":{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"ImageObject","url":"https://static.ed.edmunds-media.com/unversioned/images/logos/edmunds-logo-200x200.png","width":200,"height":200}},"author":{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"Person","name":"Cameron Rogers","jobTitle":"Reviews Editor","image":"https://static.ed.edmunds-media.com/unversioned/img/about/editorial-photos/team/cameron-rogers.jpg","url":"https://www.edmunds.com/about/authors/cameron-rogers.html","worksFor":{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"Organization","name":"Edmunds","logo":{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"ImageObject","url":"https://static.ed.edmunds-media.com/unversioned/images/logos/edmunds-logo-200x200.png","width":200,"height":200}}},"reviewRating":{"@type":"Rating","ratingValue":"8.1","bestRating":10,"worstRating":1}}},{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"ImageObject","contentUrl":"https://media.ed.edmunds-media.com/mazda/cx-5/2021/evox/2021_mazda_cx-5_4dr-suv_signature_tds2_evox_3_500.jpg","url":"https://media.ed.edmunds-media.com/mazda/cx-5/2021/evox/2021_mazda_cx-5_4dr-suv_signature_tds2_evox_3_500.jpg","name":"2021 Mazda CX-5","author":{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"Organization","name":"Edmunds","logo":{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"ImageObject","url":"https://static.ed.edmunds-media.com/unversioned/images/logos/edmunds-logo-200x200.png","width":200,"height":200}}},{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"VideoObject","description":"Carlos Lago and Elana Scherr compare four of the most popular and best small SUVs in America to find out which is the best SUV for sale in 2020. In this video, we evaluate the 2020 Toyota RAV4, 2021 Nissan Rogue, 2020 Mazda CX-5 and 2020 Mazda CX-5 to give you all the information you need, including mpg, cargo space, interior features, specs and more. Join us for this ultimate SUV comparison test and find out which of these compact SUVs is the right choice for you and your family.","name":"Toyota RAV4 vs. Nissan Rogue vs. Mazda CX-5 vs. Mazda CX-5! Best SUV for 2020 Comparison Test","transcript":"CARLOS LAGO: If you're looking for an inexpensive and compact SUV for yourself and the family, odds are you're looking at one of these. Currently we rank the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 highest and recommend them to most shoppers. \n\nELANA SCHERR: We don't rank the Toyota RAV4 quite as high. But it remains wildly popular with buyers, as does the Nissan Rogue, which was just redesigned-- I mean, so recently, seconds ago-- brand new. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: That's not true. \n\nELANA SCHERR: We're gonna explain what each of these vehicles do well, what they don't, and which one's right for you. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: Make sure you click the links below to find out more information about each of the vehicles here. And also visit Edmunds.com/sellmycar to get a cash offer on your car. Each one of the vehicles here has gone through our rigorous and exhaustive ranking process. That includes a standardized road loop, performance and static measurements, and evaluations from professionals who do this for a living. \n\nELANA SCHERR: Each starts at around $25,000 and tops out around $35,000, or maybe $38,000. There are a few exceptions. But we'll address those as it's relevant. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: Yes, we know each of the vehicles here don't necessarily lineup apples to apples. But we have logged thousands of miles in various versions of most of the vehicles here. So think of them as ambassadors from their respective model lines. \n\nELANA SCHERR: Representatives. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: Representatives. \n\n[MUSIC PLAYING] \n\nThe Honda CR-V has been a longtime favorite of our team. We've ranked it number one among small SUVs for the past few years now. We validated that decision by buying one and running it in our long-term test fleet for 40,000 miles. As far as fuel economy, you can expect around 30 MPG for most models, though the hybrid gets up to 38 MPG. And like all the SUVs here, the CR-V is available with all-wheel-drive. \n\nELANA SCHERR: We've had a Mazda CX-5 in our long-term test fleet. And we liked it. In our rankings, it came in just below the CR-V. While that SUV got high marks for interior space and usability, the CX-5 focuses more on driver experience and material quality and overall style. \n\nWhile the CX-5 is not available in a hybrid, it does offer a 250-horsepower, turbo-charged, four-cylinder engine, which is more powerful than any of the rest of these. The trade off, of course, is fuel economy. In its most efficient offering, you're only gonna get 28 MPG combined from the Mazda. And if you get that turbo engine, 24. Personally I think it's worth it. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: The 2021 Nissan Rogue is the newest vehicle in this group. Now, historically the Rogue's been a favorite-- not through the attributes of the vehicle itself, but due to the pricing. That's all changed for this year. \n\nThe pricing hasn't. But the interior is much nicer and newer and has more modern features. What hasn't changed though is the engine and transmission, or at least they haven't changed much. They're still behind the rest of the field when it comes to power and fuel economy. \n\nELANA SCHERR: The Toyota RAV4 comes in a ton of varieties, including a hybrid, a pricey and powerful plug-in hybrid, and even one that's all dressed up for off-roading. Fuel economy and price ranges vary accordingly. But the regular version hovers around 30 MPG. And the hybrids are around 40. \n\nWe've evaluated most versions of the RAV4. In fact, the Edmunds team once drove a RAV4 nonstop through all the lower 48 states, which was very fun and meant that we spent a lot of time with it. Through all that, we found most parts of the RAV4 agreeable. \n\nIt's a solid choice that has received continuous improvements. It's just that some of its competitors put together a package that we like better overall. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: When we're looking at the cargo areas of these vehicles, we're considering the actual cargo space, how easy it is to load, how functional that area is; is it easy or difficult to lower the second row; are there power ports back there; and things along those lines. \n\nELANA SCHERR: Tailgate party! \n\nCARLOS LAGO: Yeah. When it comes to cargo space, this is really the CRV's biggest bragging right. It has the most space here, and some clever features to go along with it too. What really makes the space usable though is this low lift-over height. On the other side of that, you actually have a height adjusting floor that buys you additional space. \n\nBut I think most of the time, you would just drive around in this position anyway. Why would you have it higher up? And then the second row folds down really easily. If you can reach these levers, that's one way to do it. But if you can't, there's also levers on the side that flip them down just like that. The only thing that's missing back here is a power port. But otherwise, this is a really nice cargo area. \n\nELANA SCHERR: All right, if you are planning on starting a moving company, the CX-5 is not the way to go. It has considerably less cargo space than the other three SUVs in this test. And the load floor is high, with a lip that you have to lift things over. It's just not super-convenient. Plus it doesn't have very many of those cool cubbies like the other guys do. \n\nWell, that's not totally true. It does have these little winglets in the corner. I don't even know why they're hidden. It doesn't make sense to me. But I will say that it has very convenient handles for putting the seats down. And it's the only one that lets you put the middle down. Which means-- say you're taking two kids and the family skiing, put the skis in the middle, hit the bunny slopes. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: The Nissan Rogue may not have the most space here, but it does have a really neat party trick. And that's the Divide-N-Hide system. The load floor is split into two pieces. So you can raise and lower one section at a time. And you can also flip this one up like that to have a space set up like that for groceries on either side. It's pretty nice. \n\nOne thing I will call out though, because I am sensitive to having a clean car, is there are a lot of crevices up here that dirt and Cheerios and little Goldfish crackers will inevitably populate. Folding the second row is really easy as well, because you have releases that drop it just like that. And there's also a 12-volt power port right here. \n\nELANA SCHERR: The Toyota RAV4 hybrid can brag that it has the same amount of cargo space as the non-hybrid, which means it beats the CR-V in that metric because the CR-V hybrid has less cargo space than the non-hybrid. One thing about the RAV4 is there are no easy, convenient handles for lowering the rear seat, which means if you're short like me it's really annoying. Also the seats don't fold all the way flat, which is also annoying. It's fine. It's just not gonna win cargo hold of the year. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: Interior space and functionality is massively important for these kinds of SUVs because the people and the families that own and operate these vehicles have diverse needs for them. We're not just looking at the overall interior space here either, but how functional that space is. As far as the interior goes, in terms of functionality, the CR-V is our favorite. \n\nGetting in and out is really easy thanks to large door openings and a low step-in height. And it's really helpful from the back, when you're getting kids in and out. As far as interior measurements go, the CR-V is generally above average in all measurements. And that makes for an overall large-feeling, roomy interior. You can easily sit four adults back here. \n\nAs for storage options, you have a ton. The door cubbies are massive. You can fit a big water bottle and a bunch of other stuff all at the same time. And the center console remains one of our favorites. Not just because of the space, but because of the adjustability. \n\nYou can have it in this configuration, which leaves a ton different room. You can also slide this guy down and out if you want to secure stuff underneath. Now, this is slightly less functional than previous versions of this generation. But it's still among the best. \n\nReally, the downside of the CR-V is the feel of the materials. This is the top level trim of the CR-V. And it doesn't have the richness that you'll find in other vehicles here, like the Mazda and the Nissan. \n\nELANA SCHERR: The interior in the CX-5 is like a little black dress. It's simple. It's clean. It's classy. I like it. Everything about it is very driver-focused, from the way that all of the controls are slightly angled over towards the driver, as they should be. The seats are comfortable, a little bit firm. But again, that's that whole driver thing. You want to stay in place. \n\nOne of the things I really like is the shifter in the Mazda. It's kind of old school. It has a manual transmission feel, with the leather surround. Headroom is good for tall people-- I mean, I assume. And seating position is highly adjustable for tall and short folks. \n\nOne place where the CX-5 is kind of weak sauce is in small-item storage. There just isn't very much of it. There's an angled pocket up here for a phone. But it's kind of hard to reach. And there's a fairly large pocket here on the side. I mean, it will fit my regulation size capybara succulent planter. \n\nBut the console, oh, not so much. I mean, you really need to be able to carry these sort of things with you when you've got a car like this. The backseat has plenty of room though. You could fit several of these back there. Overall, I'm gonna give the interior of the Mazda high marks, just for being easy. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: The interior in this top-trim Nissan Rogue is impressive for a lot of different reasons. But first we'll talk about getting in and out. What's nice is that the second-row doors in this open to basically 90 degrees. So that's gonna be really helpful if you're loading bulky items or kids or car seats. It gives you a lot of space to do so. Also the privacy shades in the second row are a really nice feature to have. \n\nWhen it comes to overall space, the Rogue gives an impression of being a much larger SUV than it actually is. There's an impression of roominess that's really nice to have. In terms of interior measurements, they generally fall on the larger side. So this is an interior that feels spacious. \n\nNow, this is again a fully-loaded Rogue. And you really sense that in the type of materials used throughout the interior. This, you could say, over-delivers on design and style. And that's really the strength. You sense that your money is going further in this to get these materials than it is in some other examples in this segment. \n\nWhen it comes to interior functionality, that's where things are not as great as some other vehicles in this segment. Specifically, the door pockets aren't as big as the CR-V, for example. It's something you can live with. But just be aware. \n\nThe center console also follows a different strategy, where you have this floating top layer where your cup-holders is. And your storage is underneath the arm rest right there. On the bottom though, you have this open pad that has a rubberized and texturized floor that's gonna prevent things from sliding around. But it isn't big enough to accommodate even a medium-size handbag, as I found out with my wife. Overall though, the appearance and feel and spaciousness of this Rogue is really the highlight. \n\nELANA SCHERR: I'm gonna start talking about the RAV4 interior with what I don't like. Because there isn't very much I don't like, so we'll be done with it quickly. Basically it has to do with the seats. They're comfortable. They're nice and soft. But they don't have very much adjustability. \n\nIn fact, this is as low as the seat will go. And it kind of feels like driving while sitting on a barstool. If I were a tall person, I think this would bother me. The only other negative, and that's really depending on how much you like to caress your interior, is that most of these materials are kind of rubbery and plastic. \n\nOn the plus side, it makes them very easy to clean. Overall I really like the RAV4 interior. I think it's so unique. It has all of these cool details like rubber knobs and patterning in all the shelves and cup-holders. And you can see by my t-shirt matching the seats that I'm kind of down with the fashion they've got going on here. \n\nWhen it comes to small-item storage, the RAV4 has little shelves, very clever. And it has a nice big console that absolutely fits my regulation capybara plant and planter. It doesn't even squish the leaves. \n\nUnfortunately these side pockets-- oh, that's like half a capybara. So, all right, not as good there on the side. But he's nice and comfortable right in here. Your friends and children will be comfortable in the backseat as well, because there's lots of room there too. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: Speaking of backseat space, each of these SUVs are generally roomy and easy to access. The CR-V and the RAV4 boast the largest interior measurements, while the CX-5 and the Rogue garnered small complaints from taller test drivers. \n\nWhether you call it an infotainment screen or a center touchscreen, this area of a vehicle is becoming rapidly more popular and more important for our evaluation process. Because outside of driving, this is the part of the vehicle that you're going to interact with the most. Now, all the SUVs here have Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support. And that takes away all of the frustrations you may have with the systems that automakers generally have in these vehicles. \n\nBut what happens when you don't have cell phone service? And what happens if you just don't like Android Auto or Apple CarPlay? How do these systems work? When it comes to higher trim levels of the CR-V, you do get additional connectivity. There's two USB ports in the back, two up front. \n\nThere are no USB-C ports. There are just the older style. But they do have the amps of each port written right above them. And that's nice if you have a phone that's really sensitive to that kind of thing when it comes to charging. \n\nYou also have a wireless charging pad that you can turn on and off for reasons. The entertainment center touchscreen itself is where the CR-V begins to show its age relative to the other vehicles here. It's slightly small. The resolution is low. And the graphics just look dated. \n\nFunctionality is a touch cumbersome too, especially when it comes to the voice commands. And the long-term CR-V we had in our fleet and put 40,000 miles on it had a number of glitches that were pretty frustrating. Overall this is a system that you just want to ignore. Plug in your phone and use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Also when it comes to cameras on the exterior-- you have this backup camera, which has a wide-angle view, but also looks fairly dated relative to other vehicles here. \n\nELANA SCHERR: When it comes to tech in the Mazda CX-5, if you're the kind of person who wants everything to be the most cutting edge and every single technological advance that is available, that's not this car. It's pretty simple. It's pretty basic. Most of that I find actually a plus on the CX-5 because it's really easy to figure out how to use. \n\nBut there are just some things where it's sort of lagging behind some of its competitors. For example, the backup cameras-- they do have multiple different views, which is very helpful. But the quality of those views is kind of fuzzy. So if you were planning to use this to record your student film, it's going to be pretty low quality. \n\nNow, this is a touchscreen, but only when you're parked or you're at a stop. So right now, while we're parked, I can touch it. But if I was driving, it would no longer work when I touch it. Although it won't tell you that it won't work. It just won't work. And you actually have to know that from the owner's manual. \n\nAnd then you can use the controls down here to scroll through and pick things. But I don't understand why this down here is any safer than just reaching across and touching it. So if someone at Mazda wants to call me and explain that, I would really appreciate it. I think control should work the same all the time. Otherwise it's confusing. And when I get confused, I get angry and it just ruins my day. \n\nA lot of the in-car things, like Nav aren't really that important anymore because everybody's using their phones. And you have both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in the Mazda. And there are a lot of places to charge that phone up. There's no wireless charging. And there's no wireless Apple CarPlay. \n\nOne minor complaint about the charging is that the ports are all here in the console, which means you got to do that whole \"all the way over with the cord\" thing. And it takes a while to get your phone to read to the screen. 1, 2, 3. There we go, 3, that's not too bad. \n\nAnyway those are pretty minor things. And like I said, overall, it's simple. It's clean. It's responsive. And if you're not the kind of person who wants the latest, you're going to be perfectly satisfied. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: Infotainment and connectivity in this fully-loaded Nissan Rogue is fairly strong. For USB ports, you have four-- two in the front, two in the back. One on each side is USB-C. So if you have a phone that takes advantage of it, that's a really helpful thing too. \n\nAnother thing is you get not only wireless charging, but wireless Apple CarPlay is available. And that's something you don't get in any other SUV in this group. The screen itself is the larger 9\" screen that's available on higher-end Nissan Rogues. \n\nAnd from the perspective of graphics and resolution, it looks good. It's fairly modern and crisp. It's not as responsive as some other screens that you can get among small SUVs. But it generally works well if you need to use it. \n\nThe only thing we'll call out is the voice commands. They require you to use specific prompts in order to get stuff done. And in 2020, we expect a bit more-- a lot of other SUVs do that. But because this is the newest one on the block, we would prefer more natural language. But again, that's something you can do with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. \n\nThe screen is nice and attractive until you put on polarized sunglasses. And then it gets really weird and splotchy. And that's kind of unfortunate. But you can live with it. I'll also point out too, the exterior camera system is really strong. \n\nNot only does it give you a view of everything that's happening around you, but the individual cameras the Rogue uses are really crisp. And when somebody moves, or something moves next to you, it actually highlights and beeps at you and highlights that portion of the screen. Really nice stuff, I think the best of the vehicles here. \n\nELANA SCHERR: All right, what does Toyota offer us for tech in the RAV4? Well, we've got a touchscreen. It works all the time, unlike the Mazda. And it also has all the buttons that run alongside of it. They're tiny little buttons. But they're there. And buttons are great. \n\nIn general, the controls in the RAV4 are easy. I mean, everything is separated. So it's like, oh, this is climate control. It's got its own little island. That's great. And, oh, their modes are here for changing things. This button says \"push normal.\" But I pushed it, and I'm still weird. So I think it's broken. \n\nWe've got Apple CarPlay. We've got Android Auto. We have a wireless charging port, which is cool. And you can turn it on and off. And it has a sort of no-slip surface, although it's still a little slippy. USB port right here next to the phone resting pad, conveniently placed. And you've got a 12-volt as well. \n\nI would say the Toyota system looks a little behind the times. I mean, just the layout looks old school-- and not in the cool way. And the backup camera is [BEEPING NOISE] warning me that the sound guy is there, but also not a great picture. But it all works. And it's all easy to understand. \n\nThe best thing about the RAV4's infotainment system and technology is that it has a lot of buttons. And they're very clearly marked. You don't have to figure out what any symbols mean. It just straight up tells you-- \"Audio,\" \"Menu,\" \"Home.\" So if this is the sort of thing that bothers you-- if you don't like getting in a car and being confused or having to open the owner's manual to figure out how to use stuff, Toyota RAV4-- that's the infotainment system for you. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: Now, when it comes to talking about how these vehicles drive, we know they aren't supposed to handle and feel like sports cars. What we're most interested in is if any of these vehicles do anything particularly good or bad when it comes to on-road refinement and comfort. \n\nWhen we talk about driving impressions, yes we aren't expecting the sports car-like behavior from small SUVs. But what we feel is important is how they blend ride and handling, steering field, and how their drivetrains react to the needs of normal day to day driving. Do they do anything particularly good or bad? \n\nWhere the Honda CR-V excels in my mind is how it marries ride comfort, handling, and steering. They make this thing pretty pleasurable to drive around town. Yeah, you're not going to get a lot of fun out of the driving experience. But the steering goes where you point it and feels good doing so in the process. \n\nWhen you take this thing around a freeway off-ramp or a highway interchange, you don't have to search on the wheel to find your ideal line. You just can intuit it pretty easily. Ride comfort is another area where the CR-V feels really strong. It's not super-plush. But it isn't overly brittle either. It relays appropriately the texture of the road and impacts you drive over. \n\nThe engine is a turbo 1.5 liter, 4-cylinder. And it's married to a continuously variable transmission. Power is adequate. Where you may sense some slowness or delay in acceleration is mostly attributable to that continuously variable transmission. It doesn't have traditional gears. So you don't get traditional feeling gear-changes. It just blends from one ratio to the next. \n\nNow, in theory that should make for smooth shifts. But when you step on the gas pedal, it can make for a sensation of acceleration that's a little bit slurred and less than ideal. Overall though, you have enough power in this car to maneuver around traffic, get away from a stop sign or a stoplight, and make a pass on a two-lane road. \n\nThis CR-V is equipped with adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and so on and so forth, also frontal collision warning. Our experience with our long-term CR-V that we had for 40,000 miles-- we learned to really dislike the frontal collision warning system. We actually turned it off because it was overly sensitive. The adaptive cruise control worked generally as you'd expect. So just keep that in mind when you're considering the safety features of the CR-V. \n\nOverall when it comes to driving the CR-V, this does an appropriate job at everything you might expect on the road. Its real strengths are its steering and its ride. \n\nELANA SCHERR: Out of the four SUVs that we're testing, the CX-5 is the one that I would choose to drive just for the fun of driving. So not to get anywhere, not to listen to the radio, not to haul stuff-- just because I enjoy being in it and driving. When car reviewers talk about driving enjoyment, handling, steering, sometimes it ends up sounding sort of snobby. \n\nAnd if you're just looking for a daily driver, you might be, like, why do I even care about that? But even if you don't want to be a racecar driver, the things that the Mazda does well, like changing lanes-- see, it's just so smooth. And accelerating, at least with the optional turbo-charged engine-- hecks yeah. \n\nThat's the kind of stuff that's going to make passing on the freeway easier. It's going to make on-ramps and off-ramps or curvy driveways up mountain roads just feel better. You may not want to drive the car like a racecar driver. But you're going to feel more confident no matter how you're driving. \n\nI think visibility has gotten better in crossovers in the last few years. This front pillar tends to be more narrow now. So you can see around it when you're turning. And they don't lock in the back quite as much as they used to in the designs. But all of that almost doesn't even matter because there are so many driver aids that can help you with backup cameras and blind spot monitoring. \n\nSo even if you didn't have any windows, you could probably almost drive this car. Oh, God, that would be so depressing. Automakers, do not do that. That would be sad. \n\nAll of the things that I like about the CX-5-- the steering, the braking, the way it goes around corners, that applies no matter which engine you get. But I do recommend the upgrade to the turbo-charged one, even though you'll take a hit in fuel economy. Because it is just so much more satisfying. \n\n[ENGINE ACCELERATING] \n\nHey! Get some. Yeah, that's a lot better. The base engine is kind of sluggish. And you'll really have to plan ahead if you want to overtake someone. Go for it. Get that horsepower. You deserve it. \n\nEverything about this CX-5 design is really about the driver. Everything's just laid out in front of you, simple. You're in the car to experience the road. You don't need to have a whole bunch of distractions. \n\nIt's really no surprise that Mazda's SUV is a good handling machine. I mean, after all, have you ever heard of a little car called the Miata? Yeah, Mazda knows how to make a car that's fun to drive. I don't recommend getting the CX-5 in place of a sports car. But out of the crossovers on our list, it's definitely the sportiest one. And it's not just sporty by default. It's genuinely fun to drive. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: Two things I need to call out with the Rogue immediately-- one doesn't matter. The other one does. The one that doesn't matter is the shifter. Instead of rocking back and forth when you shift a gear, the whole thing moves front and back. And that's just strange. It doesn't change anything, but you should know. \n\nAlso whoever thought it was a good idea to put heat conductive material on the window up and down switches should rethink that decision. It's not a good one. As for the way the Rogue drives, here's the thing. It does everything just fine. If you genuinely do not care about how a car drives, you can disregard everything I'm about to say. \n\nIf you do find enjoyment in the experience of driving, particularly with regard to steering, the Rogue is going to let you down. Not that there's anything bad per se. It's just that vehicles like the CR-V and the Mazda CX-5 have a nicer experience when it comes to steering. \n\nAnd it's one of those things that's hard to put language again to describe why. But when we drove these vehicles back to back, each one of us got out of the Rogue asking, what's the deal with the steering? My particular complaint was with the way it returned and behaved on-center, when the steering wheel's straight. It's a little loose, a little vague. It behaves in a way that made me have to pay extra attention to the steering wheel in order to keep the wheel straight. Not ideal. \n\nLet's talk about driveability. In the Rogue, you have a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder and, like the CR-V, a continuously variable transmission. The engine is slightly outgunned in this group when it comes to power. Although you don't really sense it on the road. It doesn't become that apparent. It's mostly apparent in the figures themselves that we got when we test these vehicles. \n\nThe continuously variable transmission, much like the Honda CR-V, can feel somewhat strange when you really step on that gas pedal hard. Like the CR-V, you don't have specific gear ratios to shift from one to the next. So you just have this surge of acceleration that doesn't really turn into anything that you might expect. It's just different. \n\nLet's talk about safety equipment, because the Nissan Rogue comes fully featured, like many of these vehicles, with auto emergency braking; with front collision warning; adaptive cruise; and so on and so forth. The adaptive cruise in the Nissan works fairly well. It accelerates and slows down naturally, in a way that doesn't make you want to step on the gas pedal yourself or the brake pedal yourself. And the lane-centering generally works pretty well too. \n\nThe version that we're driving actually incorporates navigation instructions into that system. So it will, in theory, adjust speeds before approaching a corner if your navigation is programmed. Neat idea, but kind of wonder how often people will experience it. \n\nOverall the Rogue, I say, is about average when it comes to the driving experience, particularly because of how that steering feels. There's really nothing extremely bad here. But you could find a better experience elsewhere. \n\nELANA SCHERR: All right, RAV4, it's so cute. And it's so disappointing to drive. The steering in the RAV4 is both falsely heavy and vague. You know when you're talking to your kids or a co-worker and you ask them to do something, and they're like \"yeah, no, OK?\" And you're, like, wait. Does that mean you're going to do it or you're not going to do it or when you're going to do it? \n\nIt's sort of the same in the RAV4. It's like sometimes the steering feels really like it's going to take a lot of effort. And then when you're at slow speeds, it feels super-light. It doesn't always come back to center exactly. \n\nAnd it's, like, are you paying attention to me or not? Of course, it is. I mean, there's no problem driving this car. It just doesn't give you the feeling that it's going to do what you asked. Pay attention to me. \n\nNow, the hybrid is probably one of the better drivetrains you can get in the RAV4. But it's still not a horsepower monster. And if you get the base engine, it is really slow. It's also loud. I mean, they're all loud. Like-- [ENGINE ACCELERATING] I don't know. It doesn't really bother me. But you're definitely going to know it's there. \n\nVisibility in the RAV4 is great because it has these little wing windows, which I love because they give you a little extra bit to look around between the mirror and the A-pillar. And I think that's a great idea. It's also got a big back window and big side windows. So even if it didn't have driver aids, which it does, you'd still be able to see out all around you. \n\nAnd the visibility is probably one of the reasons why people like the RAV4 so much for camping and off-roading. Because when you can really see where you're going, you're not going to drive off a cliff or run over a bush. I find the gauge display disappointing in the RAV4, especially here in the hybrid. It's got this huge digital center screen. But there's really nothing very pretty happening on it. \n\nAnd there's also nothing very interesting to put on it. And the actual gauges are off to the side. And they're little tiny things. And I don't know. It just doesn't really do anything for me emotionally. \n\nThere are a lot of easy to use controls on the steering wheel. But the controls in the console and screens over here are actually a little bit far away. I mean, I'm sitting pretty close up. And I can't really reach the tuning knob. And even the shifter is a little bit of a stretch. The overall complaint I have about driving the RAV4 is just that nothing seems very well-matched. The steering, I already talked about, feels heavy. \n\nThe throttle is a little laggy. And it just sort of feels like-- all right, you know when you're hungry and there's not really anything to make a good meal-- nothing that really goes together? So you end up eating Ritz crackers and some dried fruit and a half of a cold piece of pizza. And you're, like, OK. It was fine. But it wasn't really a well-matched meal. I'm not going to put that on Instagram. That's what driving the RAV4 is like. \n\nIt's not bad. It's just outgunned. The RAV4 does many things well. It's a simple, easy car to live with. And it deserves praise for that. It's also got a lot of personality, which might seem like a silly reason to buy a car. But it's actually really nice to feel like your vehicle represents what an interesting, outgoing, outdoorsy person you are-- even if you're just running errands. \n\nThe reason the RAV4 doesn't rank higher is because everything that it does-- haul stuff, offer driver aids, connect to your phone-- its competitors do just a little bit better, or with a little more style. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: The Nissan Rogue makes for a very compelling vehicle, especially as we have it here in the fully-loaded trim. It over-delivers on features and qualities. I mean, just look at the quilted leather inside. It's really attractive. \n\nOK, we were disappointed with a couple of things with regard to interior functionality and driveability, especially the steering. But if you really don't care about how a car drives-- I mean, if you really don't care-- the modern and plentiful features in this make it worth consideration over basically any other vehicle here. \n\nELANA SCHERR: Here's the problem with the CX-5. By most of the metrics we use to measure things, it falls short. It doesn't have the most cargo space. It doesn't have the best tech. It's not the most options for the money. So why do we rank it so highly? Well, at its core, at the true spiritual center of cardom-- that would be driving enjoyment-- the Mazda is in a different league than its competitors. \n\nIt drives well on curvy roads. It drives well on straight roads. It looks good standing still. It doesn't have very many gimmicky options, useful or otherwise. But it just drives great. I mean, it's fun to drive. And we'd be remiss as automotive enthusiasts if we didn't reward Mazda for taking that road, when most of the segment focuses on utility. \n\nCARLOS LAGO: So where do we end up after all that? Well, we end up with the CR-V remaining our top pick of small SUVs. First the bad, and primarily it's with to do with age. The CR-V feels old, especially with regard to the infotainment system and the technology inside. And also, at this top trim level, you really don't see your money in the interior like you do in the Rogue and the CX-5. \n\nBut then there's everything else. And the CR-V does everything else really well. From the pleasant on-road experience, to that really nice pleasurable steering too, to the interior, which is massive but also highly functional and easy to use. Combine that all together and you end up with a vehicle that remains a really easy recommendation for most shoppers. Stay up to date with the latest SUV rankings by going to Edmunds.com/SUV. \n\n[MUSIC PLAYING]","thumbnailUrl":"https://media.ed.edmunds-media.com/honda/cr-v/2020/ot/2020_honda_cr-v_group_ot_101620_175.jpg","contentUrl":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a43V7pGMDdM","uploadDate":"2020-10-16"}]

2021 Mazda CX-5

MSRP range: $25,370 - $37,505
(18)
MSRP
$26,940
Edmunds suggests you pay
$26,222

Choose the trim, color, options, packages and more for your 2021 Mazda CX-5.
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2021 Mazda CX-5 Review

  • Keen handling and steering make the CX-5 enjoyable to drive
  • Attractive and upscale cabin for a premium ownership experience
  • Optional turbocharged engine provides plenty of power
  • Quiet at highway speeds
  • Base engine's lackluster acceleration
  • Ride is a little firm for the class
  • Less rear legroom and cargo room than most competitors
  • New infotainment system with a larger screen
  • Remote monitoring and control through a smartphone app
  • New Carbon Edition trim
  • Top Signature trim gains some new safety features
  • Part of the second CX-5 generation introduced for 2017
  • The elevated ride height and superior passenger and cargo room of small SUVs make them far more sensible than the typical small sedan. The downside is that sensible isn't normally sexy, but that's where the 2021 Mazda CX-5 comes in. This SUV boasts sleek styling and impressive handling abilities to match. It also has a top-notch interior and a strong optional turbocharged engine that wouldn't seem out of place in a BMW. These traits have helped the CX-5 earn a place near the top of our rankings of the best small SUVs.

    The CX-5 receives a few notable upgrades for 2021. The central display screen is larger than last year's and is outfitted with Mazda's newest infotainment interface. It loses touchscreen functionality, but the increased width makes the layout look less cluttered than before. There's also a new Carbon Edition trim that's available with or without the turbocharged engine. If you want the extra thrust but don't need the luxury features that come in the pricier trims, the Carbon Edition is the least expensive way to get the upgraded engine. So is the CX-5 the best small SUV for you? Check out our Expert Rating to read more of our in-depth evaluation of this year's CX-5.

    What's it like to live with?

    Want to know even more about the Mazda CX-5? Learn about the day-to-day ownership on our long-term test of the 2018 CX-5. Was the cargo room sufficient for everyday use? Was it reliable? See what we liked and disliked about this fun and stylish SUV after driving it for a year. Note that the 2020 CX-5 differs slightly from the 2018 model, which did not have the optional turbocharged engine and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay that became available in 2019 or the revised infotainment system that debuts this year. Our coverage is otherwise applicable.

    EdmundsEdmunds' Expert Rating
    Rated for you by America’s best test team
    The Mazda CX-5 remains one of the best small SUVs around. It offers a high-quality interior, sharp handling and a competitive price. It comes up just a bit short in terms of rear passenger space, cargo capacity and fuel economy, but overall it's an outstanding vehicle in its class.
    The base engine provides underwhelming acceleration while moving, and overtaking on the highway requires some planning. It fares slightly better from a dead stop — the 0-60 mph run on our test track took 8.7 seconds, which is typical for rivals with a base engine. The available turbocharged engine gets the CX-5 to 60 mph in only 6.6 seconds.

    Handling is where the CX-5 excels. Since it's sharp and communicative, you can take corners at speeds greater than rivals without squealing tires or feeling like you're out of control. The car is unfazed by quick left-to-right transitions. This is the best-handling small crossover. No doubt about it.
    The front seats are shaped well and generally comfortable. The rear bench seat is flat on the bottom, which might make long-distance driving uncomfortable for rear passengers. But the rear seatback can recline for added comfort.

    The CX-5's ride quality is firm but not uncomfortable. Midcorner bumps barely faze the CX-5, and it never feels floaty. Road imperfections are dealt with immediately. Noise in the cabin is really only evident at highway speeds. Even then, you won't have to raise your voice to talk to passengers.
    The cabin is driver-oriented with all controls within easy reach. The CX-5 is spacious up front, and there's enough headroom for tall folks all around. Rear passengers might feel cramped by the sculpted outboard seats, which also make it difficult for an adult to sit in the middle. Rear legroom is a little tight.

    An elevated driving position, tall windows and narrow pillars make this an easy car to see out of. The exception is the view over your shoulder; the rear windows are a bit smaller than those of competitors but provide a decent view to limit blind spots. The backup camera's resolution is crisp.
    The infotainment system is easy to use overall, and the 10.25-inch display screen is bright and attractive. The available integrated navigation system is also easy to figure out. CX-5s with the head-up display can project turn instructions right onto the windshield. Mazda's voice control system is based on natural speech recognition. It's good at entering destinations, calling people and tuning to terrestrial radio stations.

    The usability of the CX-5's advanced driver aids is a mixed bag. The lane departure warning system emits a unique low-pitched buzzing sound that really gets your attention. But the blind-spot monitor is overly sensitive, even triggering while passing vehicles that are several car lengths behind.
    The CX-5 has a cargo area that's a bit smaller than competitors, but we were able to fit two large suitcases without impeding rear visibility. The portal to load items is also a little smaller than the Honda CR-V's because of a higher cargo floor height and shorter max open height of the liftgate. Storage space for small items inside the cabin is abundant.

    Got small kids? Four slots on the outboard seats allow access to the car seat anchors. It's easy to push past the slots, but the anchors are inset a bit. The tethers on the seatback are easy to reach even with the cargo cover in place. Push down on the plastic tab that keeps stuff concealed to access the tether.
    Estimated fuel economy stands at 26 mpg in combined city/highway driving for an all-wheel-drive CX-5 with the base engine. We managed to get 28.8 mpg from our test AWD CX-5 on our 115-mile mixed-driving evaluation route, so you can probably expect to match the EPA's number. Some top rival crossover SUVs will still get you slightly better fuel economy.
    There's not a single cheap-feeling trim piece in the CX-5. All materials, from the available leather upholstery to the buttons and controls, feel expensive. The only disappointments are the malleable side bolsters that rub against the center console in turns. Everything else is exceptional.

    Fully loaded, the CX-5 is far less expensive than top-trim competitors, but you don't get luxury items such as ventilated seats or a panoramic sunroof. Warranty coverage is average for the class, and there is no free maintenance included, also typical for the class.
    The CX-5 is impressive from the moment you lay eyes on the expressive, sharklike nose. The good vibes continue when you take a seat inside and see the beautifully constructed cabin that puts all other vehicles in this class to shame. Few crossovers offer a sense of adventure, but you get it here with the CX-5.

    Which CX-5 does Edmunds recommend?

    There's value to be had throughout the CX-5 lineup, but two trims stand out. The Touring is a great choice if you're looking to keep costs low. It doesn't cost much more than the Sport, and it adds quite a few useful features. Its Preferred SV package is also quite comprehensive. If you want cheap power, the new Carbon Edition Turbo is the way to go. It includes the Preferred SV package along with the upgraded engine, and it costs thousands less than the Grand Touring Reserve.

    Mazda CX-5 models

    The 2021 Mazda CX-5 is a small SUV sold in seven trim levels: Sport, Touring, Carbon Edition, Grand Touring, Carbon Edition Turbo, Grand Touring Reserve and Signature. Feature highlights for each include:

    Sport
    The base CX-5 Sport starts you off with:

  • 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (187 horsepower, 186 lb-ft of torque)
  • Six-speed automatic transmission
  • Standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • LED headlights
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Push-button start
  • 10.25-inch central display
  • Four-speaker audio system
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Two front USB ports
  • Every CX-5 comes with a comprehensive set of driving aids, which include:

  • Forward collision mitigation (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)
  • Blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle is in your blind spot during a lane change or while reversing)
  • Lane departure mitigation (warns you of a lane departure when a turn signal isn't used and can automatically steer to maintain lane position)
  • Adaptive cruise control (maintains a driver-set distance between the Mazda and the car in front)
  • Touring
    The Touring model adds a handful of convenience features, such as:

  • Keyless entry
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Power-adjustable driver's seat
  • Heated front seats
  • Simulated leather upholstery
  • Rear air vents
  • Rear armrest
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • Two rear USB ports
  • The Touring's Preferred SV package adds:

  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Sunroof
  • Power liftgate
  • Driver-seat memory settings
  • Power-adjustable passenger seat
  • Leather upholstery
  • 10-speaker Bose audio system
  • Carbon Edition
    The new Carbon Edition trim includes:

  • Preferred SV package
  • 19-inch black-painted wheels
  • Carbon Edition Turbo
    This trim simply adds a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. It produces 227 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, or 250 hp and 320 lb-ft when using 93 octane gasoline.

    Grand Touring
    The Grand Touring adds the following on top of Touring content:

  • Preferred SV package
  • 19-inch wheels
  • Adaptive headlights (swivel as you turn the steering wheel for better illumination in curves)
  • Heated mirrors
  • Paddle shifters
  • Upgraded driver information display
  • Satellite radio
  • The GT Premium package includes:

  • Power-folding mirrors
  • Head-up display (displays important information in your sight line onto the windshield)
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Heated rear seats
  • Grand Touring Reserve
    The Grand Touring Reserve is essentially the Grand Touring trim plus the GT Premium package and the turbocharged engine. All-wheel drive comes standard.

    Signature
    The range-topping Signature goes all-in on luxury appointments. It starts with Grand Touring Reserve content and adds:

  • Dark gray wheels
  • Ambient interior lighting
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Wood trim
  • Navigation system
  • 360-degree camera system (gives you a top-down view of the CX-5 and its surroundings for tight parking situations)
  • Parking sensors (alert you to obstacles that may not be visible behind or in front of the vehicle when parking)
  • Rear automatic braking (brakes if sensors detect an imminent collision with an object behind the vehicle)
  • CARLOS LAGO: If you're looking for an inexpensive and compact SUV for yourself and the family, odds are you're looking at one of these. Currently we rank the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 highest and recommend them to most shoppers. ELANA SCHERR: We don't rank the Toyota RAV4 quite as high. But it remains wildly popular with buyers, as does the Nissan Rogue, which was just redesigned-- I mean, so recently, seconds ago-- brand new. CARLOS LAGO: That's not true. ELANA SCHERR: We're gonna explain what each of these vehicles do well, what they don't, and which one's right for you. CARLOS LAGO: Make sure you click the links below to find out more information about each of the vehicles here. And also visit Edmunds.com/sellmycar to get a cash offer on your car. Each one of the vehicles here has gone through our rigorous and exhaustive ranking process. That includes a standardized road loop, performance and static measurements, and evaluations from professionals who do this for a living. ELANA SCHERR: Each starts at around $25,000 and tops out around $35,000, or maybe $38,000. There are a few exceptions. But we'll address those as it's relevant. CARLOS LAGO: Yes, we know each of the vehicles here don't necessarily lineup apples to apples. But we have logged thousands of miles in various versions of most of the vehicles here. So think of them as ambassadors from their respective model lines. ELANA SCHERR: Representatives. CARLOS LAGO: Representatives. [MUSIC PLAYING] The Honda CR-V has been a longtime favorite of our team. We've ranked it number one among small SUVs for the past few years now. We validated that decision by buying one and running it in our long-term test fleet for 40,000 miles. As far as fuel economy, you can expect around 30 MPG for most models, though the hybrid gets up to 38 MPG. And like all the SUVs here, the CR-V is available with all-wheel-drive. ELANA SCHERR: We've had a Mazda CX-5 in our long-term test fleet. And we liked it. In our rankings, it came in just below the CR-V. While that SUV got high marks for interior space and usability, the CX-5 focuses more on driver experience and material quality and overall style. While the CX-5 is not available in a hybrid, it does offer a 250-horsepower, turbo-charged, four-cylinder engine, which is more powerful than any of the rest of these. The trade off, of course, is fuel economy. In its most efficient offering, you're only gonna get 28 MPG combined from the Mazda. And if you get that turbo engine, 24. Personally I think it's worth it. CARLOS LAGO: The 2021 Nissan Rogue is the newest vehicle in this group. Now, historically the Rogue's been a favorite-- not through the attributes of the vehicle itself, but due to the pricing. That's all changed for this year. The pricing hasn't. But the interior is much nicer and newer and has more modern features. What hasn't changed though is the engine and transmission, or at least they haven't changed much. They're still behind the rest of the field when it comes to power and fuel economy. ELANA SCHERR: The Toyota RAV4 comes in a ton of varieties, including a hybrid, a pricey and powerful plug-in hybrid, and even one that's all dressed up for off-roading. Fuel economy and price ranges vary accordingly. But the regular version hovers around 30 MPG. And the hybrids are around 40. We've evaluated most versions of the RAV4. In fact, the Edmunds team once drove a RAV4 nonstop through all the lower 48 states, which was very fun and meant that we spent a lot of time with it. Through all that, we found most parts of the RAV4 agreeable. It's a solid choice that has received continuous improvements. It's just that some of its competitors put together a package that we like better overall. CARLOS LAGO: When we're looking at the cargo areas of these vehicles, we're considering the actual cargo space, how easy it is to load, how functional that area is; is it easy or difficult to lower the second row; are there power ports back there; and things along those lines. ELANA SCHERR: Tailgate party! CARLOS LAGO: Yeah. When it comes to cargo space, this is really the CRV's biggest bragging right. It has the most space here, and some clever features to go along with it too. What really makes the space usable though is this low lift-over height. On the other side of that, you actually have a height adjusting floor that buys you additional space. But I think most of the time, you would just drive around in this position anyway. Why would you have it higher up? And then the second row folds down really easily. If you can reach these levers, that's one way to do it. But if you can't, there's also levers on the side that flip them down just like that. The only thing that's missing back here is a power port. But otherwise, this is a really nice cargo area. ELANA SCHERR: All right, if you are planning on starting a moving company, the CX-5 is not the way to go. It has considerably less cargo space than the other three SUVs in this test. And the load floor is high, with a lip that you have to lift things over. It's just not super-convenient. Plus it doesn't have very many of those cool cubbies like the other guys do. Well, that's not totally true. It does have these little winglets in the corner. I don't even know why they're hidden. It doesn't make sense to me. But I will say that it has very convenient handles for putting the seats down. And it's the only one that lets you put the middle down. Which means-- say you're taking two kids and the family skiing, put the skis in the middle, hit the bunny slopes. CARLOS LAGO: The Nissan Rogue may not have the most space here, but it does have a really neat party trick. And that's the Divide-N-Hide system. The load floor is split into two pieces. So you can raise and lower one section at a time. And you can also flip this one up like that to have a space set up like that for groceries on either side. It's pretty nice. One thing I will call out though, because I am sensitive to having a clean car, is there are a lot of crevices up here that dirt and Cheerios and little Goldfish crackers will inevitably populate. Folding the second row is really easy as well, because you have releases that drop it just like that. And there's also a 12-volt power port right here. ELANA SCHERR: The Toyota RAV4 hybrid can brag that it has the same amount of cargo space as the non-hybrid, which means it beats the CR-V in that metric because the CR-V hybrid has less cargo space than the non-hybrid. One thing about the RAV4 is there are no easy, convenient handles for lowering the rear seat, which means if you're short like me it's really annoying. Also the seats don't fold all the way flat, which is also annoying. It's fine. It's just not gonna win cargo hold of the year. CARLOS LAGO: Interior space and functionality is massively important for these kinds of SUVs because the people and the families that own and operate these vehicles have diverse needs for them. We're not just looking at the overall interior space here either, but how functional that space is. As far as the interior goes, in terms of functionality, the CR-V is our favorite. Getting in and out is really easy thanks to large door openings and a low step-in height. And it's really helpful from the back, when you're getting kids in and out. As far as interior measurements go, the CR-V is generally above average in all measurements. And that makes for an overall large-feeling, roomy interior. You can easily sit four adults back here. As for storage options, you have a ton. The door cubbies are massive. You can fit a big water bottle and a bunch of other stuff all at the same time. And the center console remains one of our favorites. Not just because of the space, but because of the adjustability. You can have it in this configuration, which leaves a ton different room. You can also slide this guy down and out if you want to secure stuff underneath. Now, this is slightly less functional than previous versions of this generation. But it's still among the best. Really, the downside of the CR-V is the feel of the materials. This is the top level trim of the CR-V. And it doesn't have the richness that you'll find in other vehicles here, like the Mazda and the Nissan. ELANA SCHERR: The interior in the CX-5 is like a little black dress. It's simple. It's clean. It's classy. I like it. Everything about it is very driver-focused, from the way that all of the controls are slightly angled over towards the driver, as they should be. The seats are comfortable, a little bit firm. But again, that's that whole driver thing. You want to stay in place. One of the things I really like is the shifter in the Mazda. It's kind of old school. It has a manual transmission feel, with the leather surround. Headroom is good for tall people-- I mean, I assume. And seating position is highly adjustable for tall and short folks. One place where the CX-5 is kind of weak sauce is in small-item storage. There just isn't very much of it. There's an angled pocket up here for a phone. But it's kind of hard to reach. And there's a fairly large pocket here on the side. I mean, it will fit my regulation size capybara succulent planter. But the console, oh, not so much. I mean, you really need to be able to carry these sort of things with you when you've got a car like this. The backseat has plenty of room though. You could fit several of these back there. Overall, I'm gonna give the interior of the Mazda high marks, just for being easy. CARLOS LAGO: The interior in this top-trim Nissan Rogue is impressive for a lot of different reasons. But first we'll talk about getting in and out. What's nice is that the second-row doors in this open to basically 90 degrees. So that's gonna be really helpful if you're loading bulky items or kids or car seats. It gives you a lot of space to do so. Also the privacy shades in the second row are a really nice feature to have. When it comes to overall space, the Rogue gives an impression of being a much larger SUV than it actually is. There's an impression of roominess that's really nice to have. In terms of interior measurements, they generally fall on the larger side. So this is an interior that feels spacious. Now, this is again a fully-loaded Rogue. And you really sense that in the type of materials used throughout the interior. This, you could say, over-delivers on design and style. And that's really the strength. You sense that your money is going further in this to get these materials than it is in some other examples in this segment. When it comes to interior functionality, that's where things are not as great as some other vehicles in this segment. Specifically, the door pockets aren't as big as the CR-V, for example. It's something you can live with. But just be aware. The center console also follows a different strategy, where you have this floating top layer where your cup-holders is. And your storage is underneath the arm rest right there. On the bottom though, you have this open pad that has a rubberized and texturized floor that's gonna prevent things from sliding around. But it isn't big enough to accommodate even a medium-size handbag, as I found out with my wife. Overall though, the appearance and feel and spaciousness of this Rogue is really the highlight. ELANA SCHERR: I'm gonna start talking about the RAV4 interior with what I don't like. Because there isn't very much I don't like, so we'll be done with it quickly. Basically it has to do with the seats. They're comfortable. They're nice and soft. But they don't have very much adjustability. In fact, this is as low as the seat will go. And it kind of feels like driving while sitting on a barstool. If I were a tall person, I think this would bother me. The only other negative, and that's really depending on how much you like to caress your interior, is that most of these materials are kind of rubbery and plastic. On the plus side, it makes them very easy to clean. Overall I really like the RAV4 interior. I think it's so unique. It has all of these cool details like rubber knobs and patterning in all the shelves and cup-holders. And you can see by my t-shirt matching the seats that I'm kind of down with the fashion they've got going on here. When it comes to small-item storage, the RAV4 has little shelves, very clever. And it has a nice big console that absolutely fits my regulation capybara plant and planter. It doesn't even squish the leaves. Unfortunately these side pockets-- oh, that's like half a capybara. So, all right, not as good there on the side. But he's nice and comfortable right in here. Your friends and children will be comfortable in the backseat as well, because there's lots of room there too. CARLOS LAGO: Speaking of backseat space, each of these SUVs are generally roomy and easy to access. The CR-V and the RAV4 boast the largest interior measurements, while the CX-5 and the Rogue garnered small complaints from taller test drivers. Whether you call it an infotainment screen or a center touchscreen, this area of a vehicle is becoming rapidly more popular and more important for our evaluation process. Because outside of driving, this is the part of the vehicle that you're going to interact with the most. Now, all the SUVs here have Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support. And that takes away all of the frustrations you may have with the systems that automakers generally have in these vehicles. But what happens when you don't have cell phone service? And what happens if you just don't like Android Auto or Apple CarPlay? How do these systems work? When it comes to higher trim levels of the CR-V, you do get additional connectivity. There's two USB ports in the back, two up front. There are no USB-C ports. There are just the older style. But they do have the amps of each port written right above them. And that's nice if you have a phone that's really sensitive to that kind of thing when it comes to charging. You also have a wireless charging pad that you can turn on and off for reasons. The entertainment center touchscreen itself is where the CR-V begins to show its age relative to the other vehicles here. It's slightly small. The resolution is low. And the graphics just look dated. Functionality is a touch cumbersome too, especially when it comes to the voice commands. And the long-term CR-V we had in our fleet and put 40,000 miles on it had a number of glitches that were pretty frustrating. Overall this is a system that you just want to ignore. Plug in your phone and use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Also when it comes to cameras on the exterior-- you have this backup camera, which has a wide-angle view, but also looks fairly dated relative to other vehicles here. ELANA SCHERR: When it comes to tech in the Mazda CX-5, if you're the kind of person who wants everything to be the most cutting edge and every single technological advance that is available, that's not this car. It's pretty simple. It's pretty basic. Most of that I find actually a plus on the CX-5 because it's really easy to figure out how to use. But there are just some things where it's sort of lagging behind some of its competitors. For example, the backup cameras-- they do have multiple different views, which is very helpful. But the quality of those views is kind of fuzzy. So if you were planning to use this to record your student film, it's going to be pretty low quality. Now, this is a touchscreen, but only when you're parked or you're at a stop. So right now, while we're parked, I can touch it. But if I was driving, it would no longer work when I touch it. Although it won't tell you that it won't work. It just won't work. And you actually have to know that from the owner's manual. And then you can use the controls down here to scroll through and pick things. But I don't understand why this down here is any safer than just reaching across and touching it. So if someone at Mazda wants to call me and explain that, I would really appreciate it. I think control should work the same all the time. Otherwise it's confusing. And when I get confused, I get angry and it just ruins my day. A lot of the in-car things, like Nav aren't really that important anymore because everybody's using their phones. And you have both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in the Mazda. And there are a lot of places to charge that phone up. There's no wireless charging. And there's no wireless Apple CarPlay. One minor complaint about the charging is that the ports are all here in the console, which means you got to do that whole "all the way over with the cord" thing. And it takes a while to get your phone to read to the screen. 1, 2, 3. There we go, 3, that's not too bad. Anyway those are pretty minor things. And like I said, overall, it's simple. It's clean. It's responsive. And if you're not the kind of person who wants the latest, you're going to be perfectly satisfied. CARLOS LAGO: Infotainment and connectivity in this fully-loaded Nissan Rogue is fairly strong. For USB ports, you have four-- two in the front, two in the back. One on each side is USB-C. So if you have a phone that takes advantage of it, that's a really helpful thing too. Another thing is you get not only wireless charging, but wireless Apple CarPlay is available. And that's something you don't get in any other SUV in this group. The screen itself is the larger 9" screen that's available on higher-end Nissan Rogues. And from the perspective of graphics and resolution, it looks good. It's fairly modern and crisp. It's not as responsive as some other screens that you can get among small SUVs. But it generally works well if you need to use it. The only thing we'll call out is the voice commands. They require you to use specific prompts in order to get stuff done. And in 2020, we expect a bit more-- a lot of other SUVs do that. But because this is the newest one on the block, we would prefer more natural language. But again, that's something you can do with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The screen is nice and attractive until you put on polarized sunglasses. And then it gets really weird and splotchy. And that's kind of unfortunate. But you can live with it. I'll also point out too, the exterior camera system is really strong. Not only does it give you a view of everything that's happening around you, but the individual cameras the Rogue uses are really crisp. And when somebody moves, or something moves next to you, it actually highlights and beeps at you and highlights that portion of the screen. Really nice stuff, I think the best of the vehicles here. ELANA SCHERR: All right, what does Toyota offer us for tech in the RAV4? Well, we've got a touchscreen. It works all the time, unlike the Mazda. And it also has all the buttons that run alongside of it. They're tiny little buttons. But they're there. And buttons are great. In general, the controls in the RAV4 are easy. I mean, everything is separated. So it's like, oh, this is climate control. It's got its own little island. That's great. And, oh, their modes are here for changing things. This button says "push normal." But I pushed it, and I'm still weird. So I think it's broken. We've got Apple CarPlay. We've got Android Auto. We have a wireless charging port, which is cool. And you can turn it on and off. And it has a sort of no-slip surface, although it's still a little slippy. USB port right here next to the phone resting pad, conveniently placed. And you've got a 12-volt as well. I would say the Toyota system looks a little behind the times. I mean, just the layout looks old school-- and not in the cool way. And the backup camera is [BEEPING NOISE] warning me that the sound guy is there, but also not a great picture. But it all works. And it's all easy to understand. The best thing about the RAV4's infotainment system and technology is that it has a lot of buttons. And they're very clearly marked. You don't have to figure out what any symbols mean. It just straight up tells you-- "Audio," "Menu," "Home." So if this is the sort of thing that bothers you-- if you don't like getting in a car and being confused or having to open the owner's manual to figure out how to use stuff, Toyota RAV4-- that's the infotainment system for you. CARLOS LAGO: Now, when it comes to talking about how these vehicles drive, we know they aren't supposed to handle and feel like sports cars. What we're most interested in is if any of these vehicles do anything particularly good or bad when it comes to on-road refinement and comfort. When we talk about driving impressions, yes we aren't expecting the sports car-like behavior from small SUVs. But what we feel is important is how they blend ride and handling, steering field, and how their drivetrains react to the needs of normal day to day driving. Do they do anything particularly good or bad? Where the Honda CR-V excels in my mind is how it marries ride comfort, handling, and steering. They make this thing pretty pleasurable to drive around town. Yeah, you're not going to get a lot of fun out of the driving experience. But the steering goes where you point it and feels good doing so in the process. When you take this thing around a freeway off-ramp or a highway interchange, you don't have to search on the wheel to find your ideal line. You just can intuit it pretty easily. Ride comfort is another area where the CR-V feels really strong. It's not super-plush. But it isn't overly brittle either. It relays appropriately the texture of the road and impacts you drive over. The engine is a turbo 1.5 liter, 4-cylinder. And it's married to a continuously variable transmission. Power is adequate. Where you may sense some slowness or delay in acceleration is mostly attributable to that continuously variable transmission. It doesn't have traditional gears. So you don't get traditional feeling gear-changes. It just blends from one ratio to the next. Now, in theory that should make for smooth shifts. But when you step on the gas pedal, it can make for a sensation of acceleration that's a little bit slurred and less than ideal. Overall though, you have enough power in this car to maneuver around traffic, get away from a stop sign or a stoplight, and make a pass on a two-lane road. This CR-V is equipped with adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and so on and so forth, also frontal collision warning. Our experience with our long-term CR-V that we had for 40,000 miles-- we learned to really dislike the frontal collision warning system. We actually turned it off because it was overly sensitive. The adaptive cruise control worked generally as you'd expect. So just keep that in mind when you're considering the safety features of the CR-V. Overall when it comes to driving the CR-V, this does an appropriate job at everything you might expect on the road. Its real strengths are its steering and its ride. ELANA SCHERR: Out of the four SUVs that we're testing, the CX-5 is the one that I would choose to drive just for the fun of driving. So not to get anywhere, not to listen to the radio, not to haul stuff-- just because I enjoy being in it and driving. When car reviewers talk about driving enjoyment, handling, steering, sometimes it ends up sounding sort of snobby. And if you're just looking for a daily driver, you might be, like, why do I even care about that? But even if you don't want to be a racecar driver, the things that the Mazda does well, like changing lanes-- see, it's just so smooth. And accelerating, at least with the optional turbo-charged engine-- hecks yeah. That's the kind of stuff that's going to make passing on the freeway easier. It's going to make on-ramps and off-ramps or curvy driveways up mountain roads just feel better. You may not want to drive the car like a racecar driver. But you're going to feel more confident no matter how you're driving. I think visibility has gotten better in crossovers in the last few years. This front pillar tends to be more narrow now. So you can see around it when you're turning. And they don't lock in the back quite as much as they used to in the designs. But all of that almost doesn't even matter because there are so many driver aids that can help you with backup cameras and blind spot monitoring. So even if you didn't have any windows, you could probably almost drive this car. Oh, God, that would be so depressing. Automakers, do not do that. That would be sad. All of the things that I like about the CX-5-- the steering, the braking, the way it goes around corners, that applies no matter which engine you get. But I do recommend the upgrade to the turbo-charged one, even though you'll take a hit in fuel economy. Because it is just so much more satisfying. [ENGINE ACCELERATING] Hey! Get some. Yeah, that's a lot better. The base engine is kind of sluggish. And you'll really have to plan ahead if you want to overtake someone. Go for it. Get that horsepower. You deserve it. Everything about this CX-5 design is really about the driver. Everything's just laid out in front of you, simple. You're in the car to experience the road. You don't need to have a whole bunch of distractions. It's really no surprise that Mazda's SUV is a good handling machine. I mean, after all, have you ever heard of a little car called the Miata? Yeah, Mazda knows how to make a car that's fun to drive. I don't recommend getting the CX-5 in place of a sports car. But out of the crossovers on our list, it's definitely the sportiest one. And it's not just sporty by default. It's genuinely fun to drive. CARLOS LAGO: Two things I need to call out with the Rogue immediately-- one doesn't matter. The other one does. The one that doesn't matter is the shifter. Instead of rocking back and forth when you shift a gear, the whole thing moves front and back. And that's just strange. It doesn't change anything, but you should know. Also whoever thought it was a good idea to put heat conductive material on the window up and down switches should rethink that decision. It's not a good one. As for the way the Rogue drives, here's the thing. It does everything just fine. If you genuinely do not care about how a car drives, you can disregard everything I'm about to say. If you do find enjoyment in the experience of driving, particularly with regard to steering, the Rogue is going to let you down. Not that there's anything bad per se. It's just that vehicles like the CR-V and the Mazda CX-5 have a nicer experience when it comes to steering. And it's one of those things that's hard to put language again to describe why. But when we drove these vehicles back to back, each one of us got out of the Rogue asking, what's the deal with the steering? My particular complaint was with the way it returned and behaved on-center, when the steering wheel's straight. It's a little loose, a little vague. It behaves in a way that made me have to pay extra attention to the steering wheel in order to keep the wheel straight. Not ideal. Let's talk about driveability. In the Rogue, you have a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder and, like the CR-V, a continuously variable transmission. The engine is slightly outgunned in this group when it comes to power. Although you don't really sense it on the road. It doesn't become that apparent. It's mostly apparent in the figures themselves that we got when we test these vehicles. The continuously variable transmission, much like the Honda CR-V, can feel somewhat strange when you really step on that gas pedal hard. Like the CR-V, you don't have specific gear ratios to shift from one to the next. So you just have this surge of acceleration that doesn't really turn into anything that you might expect. It's just different. Let's talk about safety equipment, because the Nissan Rogue comes fully featured, like many of these vehicles, with auto emergency braking; with front collision warning; adaptive cruise; and so on and so forth. The adaptive cruise in the Nissan works fairly well. It accelerates and slows down naturally, in a way that doesn't make you want to step on the gas pedal yourself or the brake pedal yourself. And the lane-centering generally works pretty well too. The version that we're driving actually incorporates navigation instructions into that system. So it will, in theory, adjust speeds before approaching a corner if your navigation is programmed. Neat idea, but kind of wonder how often people will experience it. Overall the Rogue, I say, is about average when it comes to the driving experience, particularly because of how that steering feels. There's really nothing extremely bad here. But you could find a better experience elsewhere. ELANA SCHERR: All right, RAV4, it's so cute. And it's so disappointing to drive. The steering in the RAV4 is both falsely heavy and vague. You know when you're talking to your kids or a co-worker and you ask them to do something, and they're like "yeah, no, OK?" And you're, like, wait. Does that mean you're going to do it or you're not going to do it or when you're going to do it? It's sort of the same in the RAV4. It's like sometimes the steering feels really like it's going to take a lot of effort. And then when you're at slow speeds, it feels super-light. It doesn't always come back to center exactly. And it's, like, are you paying attention to me or not? Of course, it is. I mean, there's no problem driving this car. It just doesn't give you the feeling that it's going to do what you asked. Pay attention to me. Now, the hybrid is probably one of the better drivetrains you can get in the RAV4. But it's still not a horsepower monster. And if you get the base engine, it is really slow. It's also loud. I mean, they're all loud. Like-- [ENGINE ACCELERATING] I don't know. It doesn't really bother me. But you're definitely going to know it's there. Visibility in the RAV4 is great because it has these little wing windows, which I love because they give you a little extra bit to look around between the mirror and the A-pillar. And I think that's a great idea. It's also got a big back window and big side windows. So even if it didn't have driver aids, which it does, you'd still be able to see out all around you. And the visibility is probably one of the reasons why people like the RAV4 so much for camping and off-roading. Because when you can really see where you're going, you're not going to drive off a cliff or run over a bush. I find the gauge display disappointing in the RAV4, especially here in the hybrid. It's got this huge digital center screen. But there's really nothing very pretty happening on it. And there's also nothing very interesting to put on it. And the actual gauges are off to the side. And they're little tiny things. And I don't know. It just doesn't really do anything for me emotionally. There are a lot of easy to use controls on the steering wheel. But the controls in the console and screens over here are actually a little bit far away. I mean, I'm sitting pretty close up. And I can't really reach the tuning knob. And even the shifter is a little bit of a stretch. The overall complaint I have about driving the RAV4 is just that nothing seems very well-matched. The steering, I already talked about, feels heavy. The throttle is a little laggy. And it just sort of feels like-- all right, you know when you're hungry and there's not really anything to make a good meal-- nothing that really goes together? So you end up eating Ritz crackers and some dried fruit and a half of a cold piece of pizza. And you're, like, OK. It was fine. But it wasn't really a well-matched meal. I'm not going to put that on Instagram. That's what driving the RAV4 is like. It's not bad. It's just outgunned. The RAV4 does many things well. It's a simple, easy car to live with. And it deserves praise for that. It's also got a lot of personality, which might seem like a silly reason to buy a car. But it's actually really nice to feel like your vehicle represents what an interesting, outgoing, outdoorsy person you are-- even if you're just running errands. The reason the RAV4 doesn't rank higher is because everything that it does-- haul stuff, offer driver aids, connect to your phone-- its competitors do just a little bit better, or with a little more style. CARLOS LAGO: The Nissan Rogue makes for a very compelling vehicle, especially as we have it here in the fully-loaded trim. It over-delivers on features and qualities. I mean, just look at the quilted leather inside. It's really attractive. OK, we were disappointed with a couple of things with regard to interior functionality and driveability, especially the steering. But if you really don't care about how a car drives-- I mean, if you really don't care-- the modern and plentiful features in this make it worth consideration over basically any other vehicle here. ELANA SCHERR: Here's the problem with the CX-5. By most of the metrics we use to measure things, it falls short. It doesn't have the most cargo space. It doesn't have the best tech. It's not the most options for the money. So why do we rank it so highly? Well, at its core, at the true spiritual center of cardom-- that would be driving enjoyment-- the Mazda is in a different league than its competitors. It drives well on curvy roads. It drives well on straight roads. It looks good standing still. It doesn't have very many gimmicky options, useful or otherwise. But it just drives great. I mean, it's fun to drive. And we'd be remiss as automotive enthusiasts if we didn't reward Mazda for taking that road, when most of the segment focuses on utility. CARLOS LAGO: So where do we end up after all that? Well, we end up with the CR-V remaining our top pick of small SUVs. First the bad, and primarily it's with to do with age. The CR-V feels old, especially with regard to the infotainment system and the technology inside. And also, at this top trim level, you really don't see your money in the interior like you do in the Rogue and the CX-5. But then there's everything else. And the CR-V does everything else really well. From the pleasant on-road experience, to that really nice pleasurable steering too, to the interior, which is massive but also highly functional and easy to use. Combine that all together and you end up with a vehicle that remains a really easy recommendation for most shoppers. Stay up to date with the latest SUV rankings by going to Edmunds.com/SUV. [MUSIC PLAYING]

    Toyota RAV4 vs. Nissan Rogue vs. Mazda CX-5 vs. Mazda CX-5! Best SUV for 2020 Comparison Test

    NOTE: This video is about the 2020 Mazda CX-5, but since the 2021 Mazda CX-5 is part of the same generation, our earlier analysis still applies.


    Features & Specs

    Base MSRP
    $25,370
    MPG & Fuel
    25 City / 31 Hwy / 28 Combined
    Fuel Tank Capacity: 14.8 gal. capacity
    Seating
    5 seats
    Drivetrain
    Type: front wheel drive
    Transmission: 6-speed shiftable automatic
    Engine
    Inline 4 cylinder
    Horsepower: 187 hp @ 6000 rpm
    Torque: 186 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
    Basic Warranty
    3 yr./ 36000 mi.
    Dimensions
    Length: 179.1 in. / Height: 66.2 in. / Width: 72.5 in.
    Curb Weight: 3552 lbs.
    Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 30.9 cu.ft.

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    Safety

    Our experts’ favorite CX-5 safety features:

    Smart Brake Support
    Sounds an alert and applies the brakes when it detects the risk of an imminent front crash.
    Lane Keep Assist
    Provides gentle steering guidance to prevent you from inadvertently drifting out of your lane.
    Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
    Alerts the driver to vehicles approaching from the rear when, say, reversing from a parking stall.

    NHTSA Overall Rating 5 out of 5 stars

    The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

    Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
    Overall
    5 / 5
    Driver
    5 / 5
    Passenger
    5 / 5
    Side Crash RatingRating
    Overall
    5 / 5
    Side Barrier RatingRating
    Overall
    5 / 5
    Driver
    5 / 5
    Passenger
    5 / 5
    Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
    Front Seat
    5 / 5
    Back Seat
    5 / 5
    RolloverRating
    Rollover
    4 / 5
    Dynamic Test Result
    No Tip
    Risk Of Rollover
    17.4%

    IIHS Rating

    The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.

    Side Impact Test
    Good
    Roof Strength Test
    Good
    Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
    IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
    Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good



    Mazda CX-5 vs. the competition

    2021 Mazda CX-5

    2021 Mazda CX-5

    2021 Mazda CX-30

    2021 Mazda CX-30

    Mazda CX-5 vs. Mazda CX-30

    The Mazda CX-30 is the newest SUV in the automaker's fleet, and it's noticeably smaller than the CX-5. The two share powertrains and interior design philosophies, making them feel quite similar, albeit on a different scale. The CX-30 is perfect for owners who only occasionally carry passengers, while the CX-5 is more family-friendly.

    Compare Mazda CX-5 & Mazda CX-30 features 

    Mazda CX-5 vs. Honda CR-V

    While the CX-5's sleek styling and athletic dynamics appeal to the right side of our brains, the Honda CR-V is far more practical. The CR-V has a larger back seat — four tall adults will have room to spare — and there's tons of space for cargo. Both vehicles are among the best in the compact crossover segment, so the choice really comes down to what you want and need in an SUV.

    Compare Mazda CX-5 & Honda CR-V features 

    Mazda CX-5 vs. Toyota RAV4

    Like the CR-V, the Toyota RAV4 is a more practical choice if you're looking for a small SUV with a lot of utility. While it doesn't come close to the CX-5 in terms of driving pleasure, the RAV4 does have a few cool things going for it. The Adventure trim adds tough-guy aesthetics, while the TRD Off-Road equips the Toyota with all-terrain tires and special suspension tuning for braving ruts and bumps in the dirt. Nifty stuff, but we'll take the Mazda for its on-road dominance.

    Compare Mazda CX-5 & Toyota RAV4 features 

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    Is the Mazda CX-5 reliable?

    To determine whether the Mazda CX-5 is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the CX-5. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the CX-5's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

    Is the 2021 Mazda CX-5 a good car?

    There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2021 Mazda CX-5 is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2021 CX-5 and gave it a 8.1 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2021 CX-5 is a good car for you. Learn more

    How much should I pay for a 2021 Mazda CX-5?

    The least-expensive 2021 Mazda CX-5 is the 2021 Mazda CX-5 Sport 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $25,370.

    Other versions include:

  • Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) which starts at $31,960
  • Grand Touring Reserve 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A) which starts at $35,385
  • Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) which starts at $28,510
  • Grand Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A) which starts at $30,560
  • Signature 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A) which starts at $37,505
  • Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A) which starts at $27,110
  • Sport 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A) which starts at $25,370
  • Sport 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) which starts at $26,770
  • Carbon Edition Turbo 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A) which starts at $30,760
  • Carbon Edition 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) which starts at $30,355
  • Carbon Edition Turbo 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A) which starts at $32,160
  • Carbon Edition 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A) which starts at $28,955
  • Learn more

    What are the different models of Mazda CX-5?

    If you're interested in the Mazda CX-5, the next question is, which CX-5 model is right for you? CX-5 variants include Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Grand Touring Reserve 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A), and Grand Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A). For a full list of CX-5 models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

    More about the 2021 Mazda CX-5

    2021 Mazda CX-5 Overview

    The 2021 Mazda CX-5 is offered in the following submodels: CX-5 SUV. Available styles include Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Grand Touring Reserve 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Grand Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Signature 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Sport 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Sport 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Carbon Edition Turbo 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Carbon Edition 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Carbon Edition Turbo 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A), and Carbon Edition 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A). Mazda CX-5 models are available with a 2.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 227 hp, depending on engine type. The 2021 Mazda CX-5 comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The 2021 Mazda CX-5 comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.

    What do people think of the 2021 Mazda CX-5?

    Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 Mazda CX-5 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2021 CX-5 4.4 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 CX-5.

    Edmunds Expert Reviews

    Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 Mazda CX-5 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 CX-5 featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

    Our Review Process

    This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

    We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

    What's a good price for a New 2021 Mazda CX-5?

    2021 Mazda CX-5 Sport 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

    The 2021 Mazda CX-5 Sport 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $26,940. The average price paid for a new 2021 Mazda CX-5 Sport 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A) is trending $718 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $718 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $26,222.

    The average savings for the 2021 Mazda CX-5 Sport 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A) is 2.7% below the MSRP.

    2021 Mazda CX-5 Carbon Edition 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

    The 2021 Mazda CX-5 Carbon Edition 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $30,420. The average price paid for a new 2021 Mazda CX-5 Carbon Edition 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A) is trending $758 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $758 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $29,662.

    The average savings for the 2021 Mazda CX-5 Carbon Edition 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A) is 2.5% below the MSRP.

    2021 Mazda CX-5 Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

    The 2021 Mazda CX-5 Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $30,970. The average price paid for a new 2021 Mazda CX-5 Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) is trending $747 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $747 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $30,223.

    The average savings for the 2021 Mazda CX-5 Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) is 2.4% below the MSRP.

    2021 Mazda CX-5 Carbon Edition Turbo 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

    The 2021 Mazda CX-5 Carbon Edition Turbo 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $32,335. The average price paid for a new 2021 Mazda CX-5 Carbon Edition Turbo 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A) is trending $455 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $455 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $31,880.

    The average savings for the 2021 Mazda CX-5 Carbon Edition Turbo 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A) is 1.4% below the MSRP.

    2021 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

    The 2021 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $34,545. The average price paid for a new 2021 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) is trending $1,105 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $1,105 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $33,440.

    The average savings for the 2021 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) is 3.2% below the MSRP.

    2021 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring Reserve 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

    The 2021 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring Reserve 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $37,150. The average price paid for a new 2021 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring Reserve 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A) is trending $1,285 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $1,285 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $35,865.

    The average savings for the 2021 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring Reserve 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A) is 3.5% below the MSRP.

    2021 Mazda CX-5 Signature 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A)

    The 2021 Mazda CX-5 Signature 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $39,330. The average price paid for a new 2021 Mazda CX-5 Signature 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A) is trending $1,291 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $1,291 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $38,039.

    The average savings for the 2021 Mazda CX-5 Signature 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A) is 3.3% below the MSRP.

    Which 2021 Mazda CX-5s are available in my area?

    Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2021 Mazda CX-5 for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2021 Mazda CX-5.

    Can't find a new 2021 Mazda CX-5s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

    Find a new Mazda for sale - 10 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $17,781.

    Why trust Edmunds?

    Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

    What is the MPG of a 2021 Mazda CX-5?

    2021 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A), 6-speed shiftable automatic, regular unleaded
    26 compined MPG,
    24 city MPG/30 highway MPG

    2021 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring Reserve 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A), 6-speed shiftable automatic, premium unleaded (required)
    24 compined MPG,
    22 city MPG/27 highway MPG

    2021 Mazda CX-5 Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A), 6-speed shiftable automatic, regular unleaded
    26 compined MPG,
    24 city MPG/30 highway MPG

    EPA Est. MPG
    26
    Transmission
    6-speed shiftable automatic
    Drive Train
    all wheel drive
    Displacement
    2.5 L
    Passenger Volume
    134.5 cu.ft.
    Wheelbase
    106.2 in.
    Length
    179.1 in.
    Width
    72.5 in.
    Height
    66.1 in.
    Curb Weight
    3691 lbs.

    Should I lease or buy a 2021 Mazda CX-5?

    Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

    Check out Mazda lease specials