The 2023 Mazda CX-5 lives up to the company’s reputation for sporty handling while providing a luxurious experience at a more affordable price. The CX-5 is one of our favorite compact SUVs because of its comfortable inside and agile handling, especially in its top-tier Grand Touring trim with the available 256-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
All-wheel drive and the CX-5’s agile handling come standard on every trim level, and the base engine is a more powerful four-cylinder with 187 horsepower. The CX-5 has some flaws, such as less interior space than competitors like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. However, in a class dominated by sensible choices, the CX-5 stands out thanks to its unique flair and attractive price point.
What is coming in 2023?
While the addition of the CX-50 to the lineup this year will create sibling rivalry between the CX-5 and CX-50 in the same showroom, Mazda nevertheless intends to sell both models for the time being. Rhodium White is a new possible exterior color for the 2023 CX-5, but otherwise, it is essentially unaltered from the previous year’s model.
Trims, Pricing, and Release Date
2.5 S:$27,975 (up $500)
2.5 S Select:$29,775 (up $300)
2.5 S Preferred:$30,865 (up $290)
2.5 S Carbon Edition:$31,775 (down $80)
2.5 S Premium:$33,675 (down $210)
2.5 S Premium Plus:$36,775 (up $1,250)
2.5 Turbo:$38,125 (up $150)
2.5 Turbo Signature:$40,925 (up $700)
The 2023 CX-5, available in stores that fall, will come in eight different trim levels. The only exterior paint choice for the 2023 model year that is more expensive than the 2022 model year is the $595 Soul Red Crystal Metallic paint. The 2023 model year also adds Rhodium White to the list of premium colors.
The base 2.5 S model is now priced at $27,975 (with the $1,275 destination charge), a $500 increase over the base price of the 2022 CX-5. However, consumers interested in either the Carbon Edition or Premium trims will be pleased to hear that their respective prices have dropped since 2022.
While the Carbon Edition remains unchanged, the Premium trim no longer comes with an optional Bose 10-speaker sound system. In addition to the previously mentioned amenities, an automated LED headlight/taillight system, keyless entry/start, a leather-wrapped shift knob, and steering wheel, two USB ports in the front, and cloth upholstery are all included as standard equipment.
Dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, leatherette upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and a premium six-speaker sound system are all new features for the S Select. There are vents for air conditioning, two USB ports, and an armrest for those riding in the back. Preferred models come standard with a power sunroof, rearview mirrors that automatically dim, and leather upholstery.
CX-5 Carbon Edition, first released in 2021, is back for 2023 at a discount. It has 19-inch alloy wheels and either black leather seats with red stitching or red leather seats, in addition to the trim-specific paint.
In 2023, the Premium trim receives a price cut and gains Mazda’s Mi-Drive Intelligent Drive Select system with Normal, Off-Road, and Sport modes. It comes with a 7-inch LCD for the instrument cluster, adaptive front illumination, and LED daytime running lights, and combo taillights as standard equipment. The Premium Plus trim level includes a full-color head-up display, ventilated front seats, a heated wheel, and heated back seats. Both a motorized rear liftgate and a high-quality Bose 10-speaker audio system are included as standard equipment.
The 2.5 Turbo has a more potent turbocharged engine and is outfitted with gloss-black exterior decor, black 19-inch alloy wheels, and sharper interior trim. Included with the package is a wireless charger. Body-color cladding, silver 19-inch alloy wheels, and Nappa leather and genuine wood trim set the top-of-the-line Turbo Signature apart from the rest of the lineup. Low-speed rear emergency braking with pedestrian detection, a 360-degree video system with parking sensors, and a driver alertness monitor are all exclusive to this trim level. There is also built-in navigation and mood lighting in the 2.5 Turbo Signature as standard features.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The CX-5’s base four-cylinder engine produces 187 horsepower, but its fast reaction to the accelerator makes it feel much more powerful. When traveling at greater speeds, like when passing another vehicle or merging onto the motorway, it lacks the necessary power to do either of those things effectively.
We found that the turbocharged 256-hp model had far better acceleration. A quick six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive complement both engines. You can enjoy and appreciate the CX-5 for all that it is without having to push it to its limits. Its responsive controls and stable handling indeed make for a fantastic Sunday drive. I
t has the ride quality of crossovers costing twice as much, but it can absorb bumps in the road silently. The competition can’t match the balance and harmony of these dynamics. The damping is neither too stiff nor too soft, and the pavement defects are muffled and the road noise is kept to a minimum. In the same vein, the Mazda comes to life on winding roads. Assists from the electric motor in the steering system are very responsive. The Signature model we tested had a brake pedal that felt solid underfoot, responding quickly and not being overly sensitive.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The CX-5 offers two EPA estimates for fuel economy due to its two engine choices. The EPA estimates 24 city mpg and 30 highway mpg for the standard 2.5-liter engine. The fuel economy for the more powerful turbocharged engine is only 22 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the interstate. On our lengthy testing regiment’s 75 mph highway route, the regular engine returned 32 mpg while the turbo four only managed 30 mpg.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
If you were kidnapped and woke up in the luxurious CX-5 versions, you could think your captors were driving an Audi or a Mercedes. The high-quality construction materials and elegant design give it an elegant air. Everybody in the front seats can relax easily because the armrests are all the same height and the accelerator pedal is attached to the floor rather than being suspended above it, as is more commonly found.
The CX-5 only had enough room for nine standard-sized luggage behind the rear seats during our testing, proving that sacrifices come in little packages. The load floor of the storage area is perfectly level, which is a definite plus. There are numerous compartments around the cabin for stowing away electronic devices. For instance, the front of the center console features a deep tray and a bin with a shelf that can be removed for additional storage.
Infotainment and Connectivity
Each unit features a 10.3-inch infotainment screen that is controlled mostly by a rotary controller and a volume knob located in the center stack. Voice commands and steering wheel buttons are additional interface inputs. In this day and age, Android Auto and the Apple CarPlay interfaces are factory-installed necessities. Mazda Connected Services, standard on the CX-5, offer the driver access to the car’s features from afar with the help of a smartphone app and a paid Wi-Fi hotspot.
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 guard, $125
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 152 in3, 2488 cm3
Power: 256 hp @ 5000 rpm
Torque: 320 lb-ft @ 2500 rpm
Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 12.6-in vented disc/11.9-in disc
Tires: Toyo A36
P225/55R-19 99Z M+S
Wheelbase: 106.2 in
Length: 180.1 in
Width: 72.6 in
Height: 66.3 in
Passenger Volume: 104 ft3
Cargo Volume: 29-31 ft3
Curb Weight: 3832 lb
60 mph: 6.2 sec
1/4-Mile: 14.9 sec @ 93 mph
100 mph: 17.7 sec
The results above omit a 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 6.7 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.4 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 4.6 sec
Top Speed (mfr’s claim): 129 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 185 ft
Road holding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.78 g
Observed: 24 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 24/22/27 mpg