2021 Mazda CX-5

2021 Mazda CX-5 Review: The Enthusiast Crossover

Competing in America's most competitive non-truck vehicle segment is no easy feat. Just ask the Mazda CX-5, a compact crossover that deserves to be one of the USA's bestsellers, and yet in 2020, could only sell 146,420 units while its chief rival, the Toyota RAV4, managed to sell 430,000. But sales volumes don't determine a great car, and the CX-5 deserves to wear the tag of greatness. While it may lack the rear-seat and trunk space of more practical rivals like the Honda CR-V, it's arguably the most luxurious non-premium crossover around. More than that, it's a crossover built for those who still enjoy driving, with a keen chassis, great steering, and the ability to instill joy in the driver on even the shortest commutes. Aiding this are two 2.5-liter engines, one with a turbocharger equipped to develop 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque. Pair this with a six-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive and it's a recipe for success. Climb inside the luxurious leather-clad cabin and enjoy a feast for the senses, from luxurious materials to a stylish design and class-leading infotainment. In the world of compact crossovers, few do it better than the CX-5.

Read in this review:

2021 Mazda CX-5 Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2020 CX-5?

The new Mazda CX-5 hasn't changed immensely since the previous model year, but there have been some notable enhancements for 2021 that improve the already winning recipe. Among the changes is a newly-standard 10.25-inch touchscreen with Mazda's brand new infotainment software. A new package for the Touring trim, called the Touring Preferred SV Package, includes leather seats, a Bose 10-speaker sound system, a power liftgate, power moonroof, power-adjustable front seats, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

There is also an all-new pair of trims called the Carbon Edition and Carbon Edition Turbo. Based on the Touring Preferred SV Package, it wears Polymetal Gray paint, received gloss black exterior detailing, unique black 19-inch alloy wheels, and gets red leather seats and black honeycomb interior trim. The top-tier Signature trim adds a few driver-assist features that include driver-attention alert and a 360-degree camera.

Pros and Cons

  • Stunning exterior design
  • Class-leading infotainment
  • The driver's compact crossover
  • Strong turbocharged engine
  • Loaded with standard features
  • Excellent safety rating
  • Smaller trunk than the competition
  • Lethargic standard engine
  • Rivals can tow more
  • Can get pricey for luxurious trims

Best Deals on CX-5

2021 Mazda CX-5 Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Sport
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$25,370
Touring
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$27,110
Carbon Edition
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$28,955
Grand Touring
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$30,560
Carbon Edition Turbo
2.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$30,760

CX-5 Exterior

The exterior styling of the Mazda CX-5 could easily rival that of far more expensive, luxury German counterparts. The Japanese SUV's elegant appearance is attributable to the design that relies on clean lines and a long-snouted design. The front end of the CX-5 boasts a set of thin LED headlights that flank a large, gloss black grille. The rear is home to equally slim LED taillights, and dual chrome-plated exhaust opening pokes out of the bottom right side. From the Touring model onwards, signature LED lighting, LED DRLs, LED fog lights, and adaptive front lighting are standard. Mazda has gifted even the base model with 17-inch multi-spoke wheels that make it appear far more expensive than it is and higher trims get a 19-inch set.

The new-for-2021 Carbon Edition is further differentiated by black alloy wheels, black mirror caps and window surrounds, and a black grille surround.

2021 Mazda CX-5 Front Angle View Mazda
2021 Mazda CX-5 Rear Angle View Mazda
2021 Mazda CX-5 Side Perspective Driving Mazda
See All 2021 Mazda CX-5 Exterior Photos

Dimensions

In terms of its dimensions, the CX-5 is smaller than the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. The Mazda has a 106.2-inch wheelbase and a length of 179.1 inches. It measures 83.3 inches in width, but the height is dependent on what drivetrain is configured. AWD models are slightly shorter overall, measuring 65.3 inches tall compared to the FWD derivatives' 65.4-inch measurement. All models have a ground clearance of 7.5 inches. At its lightest, the CX-5 weighs 3,552 pounds while turbocharged AWD models are the heaviest with a curb weight of 3,836 lbs.

  • Length 179.1 in
  • Wheelbase 106.2 in
  • Height 65.4 in
  • Max Width 72.5 in
  • Front Width 62.8 in
  • Rear Width 62.8 in
  • Curb Weight 3,552.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

There are a total of eight exterior colors to choose from for the CX-5. Of course, some of these are reserved for specific trims. The base Sport trim, for example, can only wear one of four shades: Eternal Blue Mica and Jet Black Mica at no cost, or premium options of Snowflake White Pearl ($395) and Soul Red Crystal ($595). The Carbon Edition models get exclusive access to one hue and one hue only, Polymetal Gray Metallic. The remainder of the trims get access to a broader color palette including Deep Crystal Blue Mica and Sonic Silver at no cost, or Machine Gray Metallic for an extra $495. The top-spec Signature trim does without Sonic Silver. Out Carbon Edition tester's Polymetal Gray looked absolutely stunning, but we're also partial to Soul Red Crystal - a color that has become somewhat of a signature hue for Mazda.

  • Jet Black Mica
  • Snowflake White Pearl Mica
  • Eternal Blue Mica
  • Soul Red Crystal Metallic
  • Sonic Silver Metallic
  • Machine Gray Metallic
  • Deep Crystal Blue Mica
  • Polymetal Gray
  • Sonic Silver Metallic, Build Out: 09/21/2020

CX-5 Performance

It might be easy to think of the Mazda CX-5 SUV as a family commuter, but Mazda's engineers clearly think of it as an SUV for those who have been forced to grow up but still enjoy driving. It has a communicative chassis, keen handling, suspension that doesn't flop all over the show, and crucially, a punchy turbocharged engine. Only the latter is compromised on cheaper models, but in these, the standard naturally aspirated 2.5-liter is still decent enough. It'll manage a 0 to 60 mph sprint in around the mid-eights, which is about standard for the segment. However, for performance, few compacts can match, the 2.5T motor is the real gem, cutting that sprint down to the six-second region. Few, if any rivals in the segment aside from the Kia Sportage SX Turbo can compete with that. As for its top speed, that's not something you should be pursuing in a family crossover, so Mazda makes no claims in this regard.

Like many in this segment, a choice of FWD or AWD is available, but regardless of your choice, the maximum towing capacity remains pegged at just 2,000 lbs. This is some way behind segment leaders like the RAV4 that can tow up to 3,500 lbs in its optimal configuration.

2021 Mazda CX-5 Front View Driving Mazda
2021 Mazda CX-5 Side Angle Driving Mazda
2021 Mazda CX-5 Engine Mazda

Engine and Transmission

Mazda avails two engines for the CX-5 range, identical in displacement at 2.5 liters apiece, but with one key differentiator, turbocharging. The base engine does without forced induction, generating 187 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque, while, on premium fuel, the turbocharged variant available on the Carbon Edition, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve, and Signature generates peak outputs of 250 hp and 320 lb-ft. Regardless of the engine choice, a six-speed automatic gearbox is the only available transmission. This is the weak link here, as it can be slow to respond and gear changes aren't quite met with the same urgency as we'd like.

As for the engines themselves, both are decent, with ample pull and a decent desire to be revved out, but the turbo motor is by far the jewel of the two. It might not sound particularly sporty, but it pulls strong and makes the bulk of its torque available across a decent engine speed range. Be it from standstill or when overtaking, there's more than enough grunt ready to be deployed, while the naturally aspirated motor is happy to be wrung out to achieve the necessary end result.

  • Engines
    2.5L Inline-4 Gas, 2.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmission
    6-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Right out the gate, one thing is clear - there are more comfortable compact crossovers than the Mazda CX-5. However, while some rivals give you a spongy ride with an abundance of body roll around the corners, they'll never remind you why you loved driving to start with. The Mazda CX-5 is a crossover that will.

Independent suspension at all four corners is tuned to not roll as much as competitors might. This gives the CX-5 an excellent sense of connection with the driver, which is just as well since the steering is somewhat lacking in this department. The suspension isn't overly stiff, though, not to the point of shaking out your fillings, but it relies on quality damper tuning to filter out road imperfections without removing you from the driving experience.

As alluded to, the steering isn't very communicative, but it responds quickly to inputs in a manner that sees the CX-5 change direction quickly, behaving more like a compact hatchback than a high-riding crossover. It'll still handle dirt though, and when the dirt ends and twisting roads beckon, you'll feel like you didn't trade in your gearhead membership card the day you decided to start a family.

But if there's one area we weren't convinced of the CX-5's ability, it was in the way its brakes felt, particularly on the base model. Here, 11.7-inch vented discs sound ample, but there were a few times we didn't feel confident in the stopping power. The turbocharged configurations get larger 12.6-inch discs which do a far better job and instill a greater sense of confidence in the driver.

CX-5 Gas Mileage

With quite a few configurations available, the CX-5's gas mileage figures will differ slightly from model to model. The lightest sipper of the bunch is the FWD-equipped CX-5 with the naturally aspirated engine, returning EPA estimates of 25/31/28 mpg. The turbocharged FWD has figures of 23/28/25 mpg. In AWD guise, the base engine returns figures of 24/30/26 mpg, and the turbocharged mill returns EPA estimates of 22/27/24 mpg. In its most efficient guise, the CX-5's 14.8-gallon fuel tank will allow for 414 miles of range. The AWD turbo model, however, will only manage around 367 miles.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    14.8 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 25/31 mpg
* 2021 Mazda CX-5 Sport Automatic FWD

CX-5 Interior

If you want a premium look and feel in this corner of the market, no one is more capable of delivering than Mazda. The CX-5 boasts an interior swathed with more premium materials than you'd expect from an affordable SUV, but it also pairs this with ample space and a classy design. It may fall short on practicality compared to the segment's best offerings, but space for five is ample, the seats are comfortable, and the overall feel is one of luxury. The larger infotainment screen made standard for 2021 also goes a long way toward making the CX-5 feel modern, especially when some rivals insist on selling base models with infotainment from the dark ages. The inside of the CX-5 is a great place to be, even on lower trim levels. Not many rivals can say the same.

2021 Mazda CX-5 Dashboard Mazda
2021 Mazda CX-5 Interior Wooden Trim Mazda
2021 Mazda CX-5 Gear Shifter Mazda
See All 2021 Mazda CX-5 Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

There's a reason that sedans are on the road to extinction and that's because crossovers like the CX-5 offer all the extra space you need without the added bulkiness that comes with a bonafide body-on-frame SUV. The Mazda has plenty of space to offer and has seating for up to five occupants. Front passengers will enjoy more legroom than those in the rear, but even taller adults will manage in the back seats with 39.6 inches of legroom and 39 inches of headspace. The seating is comfortable and supportive enough for daily trips to school and work, but longer trips might not appease all occupants as the firmer ride quality isn't as lounge-like for those with sensitive behinds.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 41.0 in
  • Front Head Room 39.7 in
  • Rear Leg Room 39.6 in
  • Rear Head Room 39.0 in

Interior Colors and Materials

An attestation to our earlier statement about premium materials, the base CX-5 is the only trim to come with black cloth upholstery. Touring models offer the choice between Silk Beige or Black leatherette while Grand Touring models get upgraded with genuine leather upholstery. The leather is available in either Parchment or Black. The Signature spec ups the ante significantly, however, with Caturra Brown Nappa leather and genuine layered wood trim inserts on the dash and doors. Reserved for the Carbon Edition are red leather seats and red stitching throughout the interior.

CX-5 Trunk and Cargo Space

If an automaker wants their crossover to sit at the top of shortlists, it'll need to offer a decent amount of practicality. Generous trunk space is a box that needs to be ticked, and while the CX-5's trunk isn't the most cavernous of its kind, it's certainly manageable. Behind the second row lies 30.9 cubic feet that will gladly swallow up school bags and luggage. But it falls miles behind the CR-V's cavernous 39.2 cubes and the RAV4's 37.6 cubes. Dropping the rear seats unlocks more space, but at 59.6 cubes, this is still some 16 cubes shy of what you'll find in the Honda.

In-cabin storage is accommodating thanks to a large storage bin in the center console and deep door pockets. The glove compartment is also big enough to store a few small items and a small tray in front of the gearshift is perfectly sized for smartphones.

2021 Mazda CX-5 First Row Mazda
2021 Mazda CX-5 Interior Overview Mazda
2021 Mazda CX-5 Trunk Space Mazda

CX-5 Infotainment and Features

Features

Mazda has ensured that the CX-5 is well-laden with comfort and convenience features regardless of trim level. The entry-level Sport model gets push-button start, an electronic handbrake, a multifunction tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, and air conditioning. The driver's seat is six-way manually-adjustable and a leather-clad steering wheel is standard. Touring models welcome keyless entry, dual-zone climate control, a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat, heated seats, and rear air conditioning vents. Grand Touring trims add a power sunroof and paddle shifters as well as an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel are added to the Grand Touring Reserve while the Signature gets a frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror and traffic sign recognition.

In terms of driver-assists, the base model boasts traction control, hill launch assist, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. Cruise control with stop and go is also included with smart city braking, pedestrian monitoring, and collision warning. Lane departure warning and lane-keep assist round off the list. Exclusive to the Signature is a 360-degree camera and front and rear parking sensors.

Infotainment

For 2021, Mazda went all out on the CX-5's infotainment suite, equipping even the base model with a 10.25-inch display replete with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality. Mazda falters by only supplying four speakers in the Sport variant, but immediately upgrades to six for the Touring, while every other trim gets a 10-speaker Bose system. As is to be expected, USB and Bluetooth are standard, while from the Grand Touring, SiriusXM satellite radio is added. The top-spec Signature also includes three year's worth of SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link for a fully connected experience. The system looks classy and responds well to inputs via the rotary dial on the center console. The Bose sound system we tested wasn't stellar, however, but this small fault aside, the infotainment suite is one of the best in the segment.

CX-5 Problems and Reliability

The 2021 model hasn't been involved in any recalls in the US as yet, and neither has the 2020 model. This should come as a relief to those who are concerned about reliability ratings despite J.D. Power's ratings of the Mazda CX-5 only pointing towards an average reliability score of 76. The CX-5 does come with a three-year or 36,000-mile basic warranty as well as a five-year or 60,000-mile drivetrain warranty. Roadside assistance is also standard for three years or 36,000 miles.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

CX-5 Safety

It's unsurprising that reviews of the Mazda CX-5's safety are stellar, especially when you have a look at the list of standard driver-assist features. The NHTSA's review of the CX-5 resulted in a five out of five star overall rating. The IIHS also awarded the SUV as a 2021 Top Safety Pick+ Award, the highest accolade it can give.

US NHTSA crash test result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Key Safety Features

One of the biggest advantages that the CX-5 boasts is its impressive suite of safety features included on all trims. The traditional bunch of features include dual-front, front-side and side impact airbags as well as a rearview camera, traction control, and hill launch assist. The standard driver-assist tech on all models includes collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, pedestrian monitoring, and advanced smart city brake support. The Signature is the only trim that gets standard access to a 360-degree camera and front and rear parking sensors.

Verdict: 🏁Is the new Mazda CX-5 a good SUV?

Many see compact crossovers as the proverbial river Styx, signifying the death of your passion for driving as you cross over from singledom to a family lifestyle. The CX-5 is a different breed of crossover, one that still lets you cling to your love of driving despite the inherent ability to ferry your family around. But not only is it involving to drive; it's also luxurious, spacious, and jam-packed with features, from the largest standard infotainment screen around to the plethora of standard safety features.

In its most potent form, the turbocharged engine and upgraded brakes make the CX-5 a standout in this segment, and the upper-most trims are borderline premium in their use of high-end materials. A Honda CR-V might be more practical, and a Toyota RAV4 more capable off-road or when needing to tow, but the CX-5 is a phenomenal blend that caters to the enthusiast, to the discerning buyer who craves something more than mere numbers on paper.

🚘What's the Price of the Mazda CX-5?

The price of the Mazda CX-5 is another bragging point for the Japanese automaker, as few, if any, can match the levels of comfort and luxury at this price point. The base price of the Sport starts at $25,370 while the Touring increases this to $27,110. New for 2021, the Carbon Edition carries an MSRP of $28,955 while the Carbon Edition Turbo bumps up the sticker to $30,760. The Grand Touring will set you back a little less at $30,560 as it doesn't come with the turbo engine. All of these prices are for the front-wheel drive derivatives, and adding AWD to any of these models will increase the cost by $1,400. Available exclusively with AWD, the Grand Touring Reserve costs $35,385 while the range-topping Signature asks $37,505. Costs as mentioned above are exclusive of a $1,175 destination charge.

2021 Mazda CX-5 Models

There are seven Mazda CX-5 models in the lineup: Sport, Touring, Carbon Edition, Grand Touring, Carbon Edition Turbo, Grand Touring Reserve, and Signature. The first four are powered by a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter engine with 187 hp, while the latter three get a turbocharged engine with up to 250 hp. FWD is standard and AWD optional on all except the Grand Touring Reserve and Signature which are exclusively AWD.

Sport models come standard with automatic LED headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, remote keyless entry, push-button start, a manually adjustable driver's seat, cloth upholstery, adaptive cruise control, and air conditioning. The standard infotainment suite comprises a 10.25-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth streaming, HD Radio, and a four-speaker sound system. Safety features include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, smart city braking, pedestrian monitoring, collision warning, lane departure warning and lane-keep assist.

Touring models add rear privacy glass, advanced keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, and rear air conditioning vents. Heated front seats, leatherette upholstery, a power-adjustable driver's perch, and six speakers round out the upgrades here.

The new-for-2021 Carbon Edition gets blacked-out styling elements, exclusive paintwork, and black 19-inch alloy wheels, but also added luxury and convenience in the form of a power tailgate, auto-dimming rearview mirror, a power moonroof, eight-way driver and six-way front passenger seat power adjustment, bespoke leather upholstery, rear USB charging ports, and a 10-speaker Bose sound system.

The Carbon Edition Turbo mimics these specs but gives you more power from a turbocharged engine with accompanying turbo badges.

The Grand Touring is based on the standard Touring but equips additional LED lighting and an adaptive front lighting system and 19-inch alloys outside, while inside, you get paddle shifters, leather-upholstered power-adjustable front seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, SiriusXM satellite radio, the Bose audio system, and a seven-inch driver display.

The penultimate model in the range is the Grand Touring Reserve, replete with a standard turbo engine and AWD, power-folding side mirrors, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel. A head-up display rounds out the upgrades here.

Last up, the Signature treads on premium territory with a frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror, LED interior lighting, Caturra Brown Nappa leather upholstery, genuine wood trim, and a black headliner. Three years of SiriusXM Traffic and Travel is included, as is standard navigation, traffic sign recognition, front and rear parking sensors, a driver attention alert, smart city brake support in reverse, and a 360-degree camera.

See All 2021 Mazda CX-5 Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

With seven complete trims, there's no need to offer an abundance of packages, so Mazda keeps it simple with only a few available options. For the Touring, a Touring Preferred SV Package costs $1,445 and adds an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bose 10-speaker sound system, power moonroof, power tailgate, leather upholstery, eight-way power driver's seat adjustment, and six-way power adjustment for the front passenger. The only other package is the GT Premium Package, available exclusively on the Grand Touring. For $1,625, this equips a head-up display, power-folding side mirrors, heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and a windshield wiper de-icer.

A few standalone options also exist, like a frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror for $325 or onboard navigation for $450. Rear parking sensors add $500 to the overall cost of the Mazda CX-5.

🚗What Mazda CX-5 Model Should I Buy?

With so many models to choose from, it's difficult to pick. Especially when all of them come well-laden with safety and comfort features. The top-spec Signature is the pick of the litter if you're after a true luxury SUV, but we understand that not everyone's budget permits going all out. For those on a tighter budget, the Carbon Edition Turbo is a sublime middle ground that gets you the turbocharged engine and bigger brakes, but also gives the CX-5 standout styling, a Bose sound system, and luxuries like leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, power moonroof, and USB ports for the whole family. At a tick more than $30,000 we feel it's worth every penny.

2021 Mazda CX-5 Comparisons

Honda CR-V CarBuzz
Toyota RAV4 Toyota
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Mazda CX-5187 hp25/31 mpg$25,370
Honda CR-V 190 hp28/34 mpg$25,350
Toyota RAV4 203 hp27/35 mpg$26,250

2021 Mazda CX-5 vs Honda CR-V

It might be a Toyota that dominates the sales charts, but if you want a compact crossover that caters to the joy of driving, the Honda CR-V is the closest thing you'll get to the CX-5. It's not as pure a machine, though, and the softer suspension and abundance of cargo space - 8.3 cubic feet more than the CX-5 - make it more comfortable daily and more practical, too. But from a performance perspective, it falls short. A 1.5-liter turbo four-cylinder is more fuel efficient, but with only 190 hp on tap, it can't match the available 250 hp from the Mazda. However, Honda has an available 212-hp hybrid variant too, which the CX-5 doesn't have a true rival for. While the Honda has solid build quality and feels pretty high quality overall, the CX-5 completely outguns it, feeling more premium at every step of the way, particularly in its uppermost echelons. But even at a base level, the CX-5 packs in the value, with a larger infotainment suite and tons of safety. The CR-V is just as safe, and as we said, is more practical. On paper, the Honda makes the most sense for a family vehicle, but do you really want to settle for "makes sense", when you can have something that fulfills all your needs and brings a smile to your face in the process? In a heart vs head choice, we'd have the Mazda.

See Honda CR-V Review

2021 Mazda CX-5 vs Toyota RAV4

If you believe that sales reports determine how good a car is, you'll likely be of the opinion that the Toyota RAV4 is three times as good as the Mazda CX-5. You'd be stone-cold wrong. The RAV4 is the choice of the masses - reliable, spacious, comfy, safe, and even somewhat capable off-road. It'll even tow an extra 1,500 pounds more than the CX-5. It is, for all intents and purposes, a great family crossover. But the Mazda is as good on many a front. It might not have the same cargo capacity, but interior space is just as generous and vastly more luxurious. The Toyota feels a little staid and outdated, although there can be no doubting it'll likely last a century without wearing. However, the infotainment feels outdated by comparison, and Mazda will give you way more feature in upper trims, making the CX-5 feel like a luxury SUV while the RAV4 is very much a utilitarian machine. The Toyota has less power than the available Turbo engine from Mazda but does have available hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants that compensate for this, being more economical, and in the case of the plug-in, more potent, too. But the kicker here is that a base RAV4 isn't as generously equipped as a base CX-5, yet the Mazda's starting MSRP of $25,370 undercuts the Toyota's $26,250 base price.

Ultimately, you need to decide whether you want practicality or luxury. If you plan on going off-road or towing regularly, the Toyota might be a better fit, but if you spend all your time on the streets, the CX-5 will bring you more joy.

See Toyota RAV4 Review

Mazda CX-5 Popular Comparisons

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2021 Mazda CX-5 Video Reviews

Check out some informative Mazda CX-5 video reviews below.

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$25,370 - $37,505
Price Range (MSRP)
Mazda CX-5
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