The 2021 Mazda CX-5 is a compact crossover that impresses Tempe Mazda shoppers for so many reasons, it’s difficult to know where to start. The sharp external styling, striking interior and beautiful external paint hues set it apart from the competitors in a segment that’s full of dull and uninspiring SUVs. Drive the 2021 CX-5, and you’ll discover what really makes it stand out from rivals. The CX-5 drives like a sports sedan, with responsive steering and a firm suspension. The handling is agile, and the brakes provide a premium feel. The six-speed automatic transmission is fast, besting competitors equipped with disappointing CVTs. It’s easy to see why Car and Driver named the 2021 Mazda CX-5 one of its 10Best models of the year.
According to the Mazda dealers near Tempe, notable changes for 2021 include a new Carbon Edition model, which comes with red upholstery and unique Polymetal Gray paint. The top-spec Signature trim now has standard driver attention alert, a higher-definition 360-degree camera and rear automated emergency braking. Last year’s infotainment system is replaced by a new setup with a 10.3-inch touchscreen. The system includes a new Mazda Connect interface, Mazda Connected services with a Wi-Fi hotspot and a remote app, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Perhaps Car and Driver said it best when it wrote: “In a segment that doesn't always share our values, the genius of the CX-5 is that it transcends its kind. It's imbued with the feel of a performance vehicle, but it's also practical, refined, and thoughtfully designed. Even the indifferent will notice the difference. Like all 10Best winners, this Mazda opens eyes and gets people to say, "Whoa. So this is why you're into cars."
The 2021 Mazda CX-5 comes in six trim levels: Sport, Touring, Carbon Edition, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve and Signature. Sport, Touring, Carbon Edition and Grand Touring are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine developing 187 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque, coupled with a six-speed automatic gearbox. Grand Touring Reserve and Signature employ a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine good for 250 hp and 320 lb-ft with premium gasoline and 227 hp and 310 lb-ft with regular. This engine is also teamed to the six-speed automatic and is optional in the Carbon Edition. Both engines can get front- or all-wheel drive.
Fuel-efficiency is exceptional. The base engine gets an EPA-estimated 35 mpg city/31 mpg highway with front-wheel drive.* Will all-wheel drive, this engine returns 24 mpg city/30 mpg highway. The turbocharged engine checks in with 22 mpg city/27 mpg highway.
Standard features for the base Mazda CX-5 Sport include 17-inch alloy wheels, push-button start, LED headlights with automatic high beams, rain-sensing windshield wipers, an electric parking brake, dual exhaust outlets, gray cloth-covered seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a leather-wrapped shift knob. Also standard is a 10.25-inch center display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and two USB ports. All-wheel-drive models come with Off-Road Traction Assist. This system provides extra traction when driving in slippery off-road conditions by applying the brakes to individual wheels.
* All vehicle mileage based on 2021 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.