Even as the market shifted towards utility vehicles and away from passenger cars in recent years, Mazda seemed to be one holdouts. But it eventually went along with the change, albeit reluctantly, bringing on the Mazda CX-5, a poised compact crossover utility vehicle.
The 2021 Mazda CX-5 Carbon Edition Turbo AWD is smooth, poised and polished, borrowing some of the sporty attributes Mazda fans around the world have come to love and appreciate. At the same time, the 2021 CX-5 is versatile enough to satisfy the practical-minded buyers of utility vehicles, who are mainly interested in being able to carry a passenger or two and some of their stuff.
The CX-5 is also nicely equipped with leather-trimmed seats, a moonroof, keyless entry and a Bose 10-speaker sound system in a surprisingly inclusive package that also is relatively affordable and includes radar cruise control.
It’s hard to dress up the exterior of compact utility vehicles but Mazda has some very talented designers and they managed to give the CX-5 an exterior feel with a unique face and light fixtures. It also has sleek hood and a raked windshield, which gives the vehicle a sportier appearance whether it is sitting in a driveway or at a curb or is in motion.
The silhouette offers a long sweep of sheet metal, which is highlighted by a handsome polymetallic gray metallic finish. The exterior design of the 2021 Mazda CX-5 is dressed up with rear spoiler, 19-inch black alloy wheels and a nifty rear liftgate. Overall, the vehicle looks very attractive, which only enhances the vehicle appeal.
The 2021 Mazda CX-5 is nicely furnished and surprisingly comfortable for a crossover that is basically a compact vehicle. The quality of the materials throughout are impressive and make the vehicle look more expensive than it is. The technology in the CX-5 also is nicely integrated into the vehicle, making them relatively easy for the driver to reach.
There also is room for the passenger in the rear seat. The moonroof in the model of the CX-5 I drove helped open the interior with more light. But I also was impressed by how relatively quiet the cabin was in the CX-5, which helped relieve the stress on a longer drive. The visibility of from the driver’s seat also is very good, which also helps relieve the tension that so often accompanies daily commuting.
During the past decade, Mazda has made a significant effort to refine and upgrade its powertrains to boost the appeal of their vehicles. The results of that push shows in the 2021 Mazda CX-5, which is equipped with a Skyactiv 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder, turbocharged engine, matched to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The combination produces 227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. It also comes equipped with I-Activ all-wheel drive. The Mazda CX-5 gets a 24 miles per gallon rating from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, including 22 mpg in city driving and 27 mpg on the highway.
Safety and Technology
The 2021 Mazda CX-5 is equipped with advanced dual airbags to protect front-seat passengers, side-impact airbags and side air curtains to protect in rollover accidents. It also comes with blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assistance and rear cross-traffic alert as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth and 10.25-inch color display in the center stack.
The CX-5 also is equipped with rain-sensing windshield wipers rear-view camera, high-beam control and auxiliary jacks for as many as four USB connections and a rearview camera. As well as dynamic stability control, traction control and hill start assist, and Mazda Radar Cruise controls operated from steering wheel controls and advanced smart city braking to help prevent collisions with pedestrians or cyclist. The CX-5 also is Mazda connected services capable.
Mazda has a reputation for building vehicles that are fun to drive, and the 2021 Mazda CX-5 does not disappoint. The steering and brakes are excellent, and the CX-5 features a well-tuned suspension, which includes independent front suspension and front and rear stabilizer bars adding to the vehicle’s overall stability and its ability not to sway or lean in sharp turns or through curves.
While the fuel economy is not particularly impressive, the car has plenty of power and torque for everyday driving, making it easy to pass or pull away from a stop light or up a freeway ramp. The 7.5 inches of ground clearance coupled with the all-wheel drive system also means the CX-5 is capable of handling gravely or sandy roads.
2021 Mazda CX-5 Carbon Edition Turbo AWD specifications:
|Dimension||L: 179.1 inches/W: 72.5 inches/H: 66.2 inches/Wheelbase: 106.2 inches|
|Powertrain||2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine; 6-speed automatic transmission|
|Fuel Economy||22 mpg city/27 mpg highway/24 mpg combined|
|Performance Specs||227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||Base price: $30,660; As tested: $32,110 including $1,175 destination and delivery fee|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
I came away impressed. The Mazda CX-5 is in a highly competitive segment with lots of good vehicles from to choose, including the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, which represent stiff competition. Nonetheless, the 2021 Mazda CX-5 manages to hold its own and may even have a greater fun quotient than its more dour competitors because of ability to master the open road. Like the other vehicles in this segment, prices start in the high $20K range and go up from there. This version of the CX-5 carried a price tag of $34,000, which used to be the price of luxury vehicle.
2021 Mazda CX-5 Carbon Edition Turbo AWD — Frequently Asked Questions
What are the differences between the Mazda CX-3 and CX-5?
The main difference is probably in the roofline and pillars: While the CX-5 uses a painted D pillar and a flat roofline, the CX-3’s roofline is more sloped and its rear pillar is black, which gives the CX-3’s windows a wraparound look. See the 2016 Mazda CX-3 models for sale near you.
What are the common problems of Mazda CX-5?
The Mazda CX-5 has stood up well to its competitors, but owners of older models rsome frustrating issues to contend with such as cracking windshields on the 2015 and the daytime running lights on the 2016.
How fast is Mazda CX-5 Turbo?
The CX-5 Turbo races from 0 to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds, doing the quarter-mile in 14.6 seconds at 94.9 mph.