Find out what our experts think of the 2023 Mazda CX-5. We dive deep looking at powertrain, interior options, trim levels, and more.
The CX-5 was completely redesigned in 2021, so the 2023 model is largely unchanged, only gaining a new optional Rhodium White exterior paint color. The CX-50 joins the Mazda lineup this year and is strikingly similar in size and design making us wonder if the automaker might be phasing out the CX-5.
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Powerful turbocharged engine
Less cargo space than rivals
Uncomfortable rear seat
Turbo option would be nice on lower trims
The 2023 CX-5 comes with a standard 2.5-liter 187-horsepower four-cylinder engine. Turbo models come with a 2.5-liter 227-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The base engine does an adequate job of accelerating from a stop around town, but you’ll really feel held back when passing or merging onto the highway.
The turbocharged engine provides quicker acceleration and maneuvering on the highway is effortless. Both engines are equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive is standard on all trims. The ride quality and handling of the CX-5 is unmatched in its class. Steering is precise and it can take corners at decent speeds without feeling out of control. Bumps in the road and imperfections are absorbed for a smooth ride and road noise is kept to a minimum.
We know all the technical stuff can get confusing. That’s why we wrote Car Drivetrains and Powertrain Explained—to help you sort through the details and understand what’s going on underneath the hood.
The CX-5’s base 2.5-liter engine gets an estimated 24 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, while the more powerful turbocharged engine is rated slightly lower with 22 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.
With no hybrid option on the CX-5, those wanting to save even more at the pump may be interested in checking out our 2023 Kia Sportage Review.
Quality materials are used throughout the cabin of the CX-5 giving this compact SUV an upscale feel. The front seats are comfortable, and Mazda did a good job of arranging controls so that everything is within the driver’s reach. Rear passengers may find the seats to be lacking on long trips. They do recline, but the flat bench can become uncomfortable.
The CX-5 isn’t a front-runner for cargo capacity, but it is able to hold two large suitcases behind the rear seat. A shorter max opening height of the liftgate paired with a higher cargo floor height makes for a smaller area to load and unload compared to its rivals. We did find plenty of places to stow small items, though, and especially appreciated the functionality of the deep center console with a removable shelf.
All CX-5 models come with a 10.3-inch infotainment display it is easy to use and controlled primarily through a rotary controller and volume knob on the center console. It can also be operated though buttons on the steering wheel and voice commands. Other standard features include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, two USB ports, Bluetooth, four audio speakers, a 4.6-inch multi-information display, and HD Radio.
The CX-5 also comes with Mazda Connected Services that includes a subscription-based Wi-Fi hotspot and access to remote vehicle functions through smartphone app. Higher trims gain six- or ten-speaker Bose audio systems, additional USB charging ports, satellite radio, a head-up display, a wireless charging pad, navigation, and a 7-inch digital instrument cluster.
The CX-5 has historically received high safety ratings. It has been a Top Safety Pick+ since 2014 with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and has received a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) five-star overall safety rating the last few years.
All CX-5 models come standard with automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, a blind spot monitor and rear cross-traffic monitoring, adaptive cruise control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, adaptive high-beams, lane departure warning, and lane keeping assist. Higher trim levels get auto-leveling and curve-adapting headlights, parking sensors, traffic sign recognitions, reverse automatic emergency braking, traffic jam assist, driver-attention monitoring, and a 360-degree view camera system.
We’ve compiled a list of Our Favorite Family Car Features across the board, many of which are included on the CX-5 and make shuttling your crew around a breeze.
The CX-5 base trim comes standard with cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, manually adjustable seats, push-button start, remote keyless entry, rain-sensing windshield wipers, automatic LED headlights, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
The Select trim adds leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, advanced keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear privacy glass, and auto-leveling headlights.
The Preferred trim adds leather upholstery, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, a six-way power-adjustable passenger’s seat, and a moonroof.
The Carbon Edition gets Polymetal Gray Metallic paint, a unique black grille, 19-inch wheels, and available red leather upholstery.
The Premium trim gets heated exterior mirrors, paddle shifters, and LED taillights.
The Premium Plus trim adds ventilated front seats, a power liftgate, automatic power-folding exterior mirrors, and a windshield wiper deicer.
The Turbo gets many of the same features as the Premium Plus trim but adds a turbocharged engine.
The top-of-the-line Turbo Signature trim gets Nappa leather upholstery, layered wood trim, a black cloth headliner, a frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror, body-colored wheel arches, and Signature badges.
Think a used Mazda CX-5 might be the way to go? Check out our New vs. Used: Mazda CX-5 review to see which is best for you.
The 2023 Mazda CX-5 has a limited warranty that covers 3 years or 36,000 miles and a powertrain warranty that covers 5 years or 60,000 miles. There is no complimentary scheduled maintenance.
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The 2023 Mazda CX-5 has been a compact SUV constant that continues to impress us with its upscale interior and smooth, enjoyable ride. We would go with the Turbo trim to get the more powerful engine that this car needs. While there are many options out there with greater cargo and towing capacity, we’ll keep looking to the CX-5 for its abundance of standard features and driving ease.