Looking back at the history of the Mazda CX-5 is a good way to understand where it stands today. It has as many Car and Driver 10 The best award because it’s so tiresome, but after seven years one of our favorite crossovers, the CX-5 is due for a refresh. It’s still a better driver and far more luxurious than the rival car behind it, but the new kid on the block has quickly outgrown its trophy cabinet. Under the hood is a 187-hp inline-four engine with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. The optional 256-hp turbocharged 2.5-liter is the powertrain to get it, but thankfully Mazda has decided against the popular CVT, and instead uses a traditional six-speed automatic transmission, which sweetens the CX-5’s driving experience. Although it sacrifices a little space for the sake of style, sitting in the CX-5 is enough to convince you of its luxury. For space, we’d stick with the newer Honda CR-V or the slightly larger CX-50, but despite its age, the CX-5 still drives like it’s out to prove something.
What’s New for 2024?
As it did for the CX-30 crossover and 3 sedan and hatchback, Mazda is adding a Carbon Turbo trim level to the CX-5 for 2024. The CX-5 Carbon Turbo is easy to spot, as it wears brown and black Zircon Sand paint trim pieces including the wheels and hood mirror The Carbon Turbo model comes with an optional 256-hp turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-four engine and all-wheel drive.
Price and Which One to Buy
We think the Turbo trim best describes the CX-5. With an upgraded 256 hp turbocharged engine, its speed more than matches its athletic handling. The exterior is sporty elegant with special gloss black trim accents. Its sporty inner mirror with red accents and stitching.
Engine, Transmission and Performance
The CX-5 standard 187-hp four-cylinder engine has great throttle response when pulling away from stoplights or zipping around town, so it feels faster than it actually is. At higher speeds, like when trying to pass or merge onto a freeway, it feels underpowered. The The 256 hp turbocharged version we tested provides faster acceleration. Both engines are mated to a quick six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. You don’t have to drive the CX-5 hard to enjoy it or appreciate its brilliance. Sure, its precise steering and composed turns make for a great Sunday cruise. But it also soaks up rough roads without fuss and has the ride quality of a crossover that costs twice as much. This harmonious dynamic interaction is unmatched by its competitors. Pavement imperfections are isolated, road noise is minimal, and the damping is neither stiff nor floating. At the same time, the Mazda comes alive on bumpy roads. The electric power steering provides a satisfying response. The Signature model we tested had a reassuring brake pedal feel that operated without hesitation and without too much touch when you hit the brakes.
Real World Fuel Economy and MPG
With two engine options, the CX-5 has two fuel economy ratings. The base 2.5-liter engine is rated at 24 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. The more powerful turbocharged engine is rated at 22 mpg city and 27 highway. We tested both on our 75-mph highway route, which is part of the our extensive testing regimen, and the standard engine returns 32 mpg compared to the turbo four’s 30 mpg results. For more information on the CX-5’s fuel economy, visit the website EPA website.
Interior, Comfort and Cargo
Get up inside the top-of-the-line CX-5 model and you might think you’ve been kidnapped by a drive-by kidnapper Audi or a Mercedes. First-class materials and a great layout make it feel very luxurious. The floor-hinged accelerator pedal feels better than the more common floor-hung version, the well-designed steering wheel is right in front of the driver and doesn’t balance at a slight angle, and all the front seat armrests are at the same height for comfort optimum. Sacrifices come in small packages: in this case, the CX-5 only held nine suitcases behind its rear seats in our test. Storage space benefits from a fully flat load floor. There are also several nooks and crannies in the cabin to store smartphones and other small items. For example, the center console has an inner tray in the front and a useful bin with a removable shelf.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Each model has a 10.3-inch infotainment display that is manipulated primarily via a rotary controller and volume knob on the center console. The interface also operates via voice commands and buttons on the steering wheel. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard across the board. The CX-5 is equipped with Mazda Connected Services which includes access to remote vehicle functions via a smartphone app and a subscription-based Wi-Fi hotspot.
Safety Features and Driver Assistance
The CX-5 comes standard with a comprehensive suite driver assistance technology and some other optional aids. For more information on CX-5 crash test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) website. Key safety features include:
- Standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane departure warning and lane keeping assist
- Standard adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Kia and Hyundai both offer better warranty coverage than Mazda, and few other automakers that play in this segment offer free maintenance.
- The limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- No free scheduled maintenance
2022 Mazda CX-5 2.5 Turbo Signature
Vehicle Type: front engine, all wheel drive, 5 passenger, 4 door wagon
Base/As Tested: $40,225/$40,745
Options: Snowflake White Pearl paint, $395; rear bumper protector, $125
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 152 in32488 cm3
Power: 256 hp @ 5000 rpm
Torque: 320 lb-ft @ 2500 rpm
Suspension, F/R: strut/multi-link
Brakes, F/R: 12.6-in vented disc/11.9-in disc
Tires: Toyo A36
P225/55R-19 99Z M+S
Wheelbase: 106.2 inches
Length: 180.1 in
Width: 72.6 inches
Height: 66.3 inches
Passenger Volume: 104 feet3
Cargo Volume: 29-31 feet3
Curb Weight: 3832 lb
C/D TEST RESULT
60 mph: 6.2 seconds
1/4-Mile: 14.9 seconds @ 93 mph
100 mph: 17.7 seconds
The above results leave a 1 foot launch for 0.3 seconds.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 6.7 seconds
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.4 seconds
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 4.6 seconds
Top Speed (claimed mfr): 129 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 185 feet
Road grip, 300 ft Skid Pad: 0.78 g
C/D OIL ECONOMY
Observed: 24 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 24/22/27 mpg
C/D TESTS EXPLAINED
More Features and Specifications