Current Model
The CX-5 is one of the best small SUVs. For 2022 it got a mild freshening that includes transmission, suspension, and seat updates.
The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic make for a responsive and unobtrusive powertrain. Fuel economy of 24 mpg overall is good but not a standout. All-wheel drive is now standard. Handling is responsive and enjoyable, and the steady, compliant ride is among the best in this class. The cabin is quiet, and interior quality is substantial and looks attractive. Soft-touch surfaces, some detailed stitching, and chrome trim add to the interior ambience. But there is a learning curve to mastering the infotainment system. Exterior styling compromises rear and side visibility. FCW, AEB with pedestrian detection, BSW, and RCTW are standard. High-end versions have a more powerful turbocharged engine.
Road Test
Predicted Reliability
Predicted Owner Satisfaction
2017-2021
2017 Redesign Year
The 2017 Mazda CX-5 may look like the outgoing model, but the changes go deep and are, indeed, substantial. Mazda kept the strengths of the previous version, including its responsive and economical 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and spry, nimble handling.
But they also addressed many weaknesses, making the ride more supple and absorbent and significantly reducing cabin noise. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission; a diesel engine comes later. The cabin is versatile and very nicely trimmed, especially in Touring and Grand Touring trims. Low-speed automatic emergency braking is standard on all trims; a more capable full-speed system with forward collision warning is optional. Figuring out the infotainment system, which is controlled by a console-located knob, takes some time. Upscale options, including driver seat memory and a heads-up display, are optional. Updates for 2019 included a new top-shelf Signature model, which adds special leather trim, and a 227-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The turbo engine is also standard on the Grand Touring Reserve. Adaptive cruise control and auto emergency braking with pedestrian detection are standard for 2020. Updates for 2021 include a new infotainment system. The system, however, isn't a touch screen; users must adjust audio and infotainment features using steering wheel controls or the rotary controller and buttons mounted between the front seats. For 2022 all CX-5’s will come standard with all-wheel drive. The freshened CX-5 gets a mild facelift, redesigned seats, and updates to the transmission and suspension. The Grand Touring Reserve version is now called 2.5 Turbo.
$25,625 - $35,000
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$23,675 - $32,625
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$22,075 - $30,025
Average Retail Price
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OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$20,475 - $24,575
Average Retail Price
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OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$18,750 - $21,800
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
2013-2016
2013 Redesign Year
The CX-5 provides a competitive and more entertaining small SUV alternative. Handling is taut and agile, with quick, well weighted steering that makes the Mazda fun to drive.
However, we found the ride to be choppy and road noise pronounced, making it a loud car. Early versions were powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that returned a good 25 mpg overall in our tests, but it was underpowered. Look for a later model with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder, which is much more responsive and returns the same fuel economy. The smaller engine was eventually phased out. Happily, the cabin is roomy and versatile. Touring and higher trims have standard blind spot monitoring, a welcome feature. If budget permits, we suggest focusing your used-car search on a 2014 or newer model as these did better in the IIHS small overlap crash test. 2016 brought a light freshening that made the car marginally quieter, spiffed up the interior, and brought the Mazda Connect infotainment system, which is frustrating to use. Automatic emergency braking became available on Touring and Grand Touring models, with forward-collision warning an exclusive option on the top trim.
$15,350 - $18,325
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$13,200 - $16,550
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OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$11,950 - $14,550
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OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
$10,400 - $12,700
Average Retail Price
RELIABILITY VERDICT
OWNER SATISFACTION
OWNER REPORTED MPG
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