The Mazda CX-5 entered its second generation in 2017 and for 2021, that generation gets some updates to include better infotainment and an option for a smartphone app for remote monitoring. The 2021 CX-5 still retains the excellent interior and fun drive quality of its predecessors, though, and is one of the more upscale-feeling SUVs in the small crossover market.
The 2021 Mazda CX-5 is also one of the best-looking rides in its class. This is the sport sedan ride in crossover-SUV format its competitors wish they could be.
There are seven trim levels for the CX-5, each of which builds on the last to add more and more convenience and comfort. There are also two engines, either of which is a good match for the CX-5, but we’d go with the turbocharged option if fun factor is also something you want. Every 2021 CX-5 comes with forward collision mitigation, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure mitigation, and adaptive cruise control. The CX-5 gets excellent crash test ratings from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Powering the CX-5 is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that outputs 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. A turbocharged version of that engine is available on some models (usually named Turbo at the end), boosting power to 227/250 horsepower and 310/320 lb-ft of torque, depending on your gasoline’s octane grade.
For our money, we’d recommend either the Carbon Edition Turbo or the Grand Touring Reserve models for the price vs accoutrements value. Both have the turbocharged four as well. The Carbon Edition Turbo includes a 10-speaker Bose audio system, leather upholstery, a power liftgate, and 19-inch black-painted aluminum wheels. The Grand Touring Reserve comes with the 19-inch wheels and other stuff from the Carbon Edition, but also adds adaptive headlamps, heated mirrors, paddle shifters, a larger driver information display, power-folding mirrors, a head-up display for the driver, heated steering, heated rear seating (outboard), and ventilated front seats.
Pricing for the 2021 Mazda CX-5 starts at $25,370 for the base model, $30,760 for the Carbon Edition Turbo, and $35,385 for the Grand Touring Reserve.
The 2021 CX-5 is very nice to look at and its interior is next level comfortable. We love the front seating and the outboard rear seats are very well done. The middle position is still only for occasional use, but all three back seat positions have overhead tethers for child safety seat installation and the outboard positions have LATCH anchors that will require a little pushing to get the seat to connect. Cargo space is a little cramped in the CX-5 compared to some of its rivals at only 30.9 cubic feet, but it will accommodate most needs. With the rear seats folded (mostly) flat, the CX-5’s cargo space expands to 59.6 cubic feet.
Infotainment in the CX-5 gets a big upgrade this year, with a bigger 10.25-inch touchscreen and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay now standard. This display has a faster response time and is easier to use than its predcessor, making it a big step up for technology in this Mazda.
In every way, the 2021 Mazda CX-5 hits the mark for just about everything in the small crossover-SUV segment. This is a top choice for shoppers who want an engaging, comfortable drive on the everyday.