Flash Drive

2021 Mazda CX-5

Model Tested: 2021 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 Signature looks like the 2020 iteration, but thanks to a new turbocharged engine it’s much sportier.

Engine: 2.5-liter turbocharged I-4, 227-250 horsepower 310 lb-ft torque

Transmission: 6-speed automatic, all-wheel-drive

EPA Rating: 22-mpg city, 27-mpg highway, 24-mpg combined

Base Price: $37,405

As Tested: $38,630


Welcome turbocharger availability

The rear view is handsome, although the sloped hatch does impact cargo capacity.

Lots of useful torque

Impressive acceleration

Smooth power application

Sport mode button by shifter

OK fuel economy—our best was 22.3-mpg city

Excellent safety features including rear automated emergency braking

Great head up display

Off-road traction assist


Leather trimmed seats

Front seat room and features are great including heated and ventilated leather trimmed seats on Signature models.

Great driver and front passenger legroom

Quite hot three temperatures heated front seats

Ventilated front seats

Power lumbar support for driver, but not passenger

Heated steering wheel

Thick, slightly contoured leather wheel

OK auxiliary controls

Good range tilt/telescopic column

Heated (3 temps) outboard rear seats

Good backseat room if fronts are up slightly

An adult can fit in middle position, but firm cushion

Back seat room is ample and three adults can be accommodated.

Ample headroom throughout


Power liftgate with clearance for tall people

Flat cargo deck

Minimal lift-over

3-part folding rear seat

Seat releases in cargo area

Medium size front door bins

A 10.225-inch infotainment screen is new for 2021.

Deep console bin

Small rear door bins

WOW Factors:

New turbocharged engine (250 hp on premium fuel)

Head up display

New, larger (10.3-inch) infotainment screen

Upscale interior

Handsome styling

NHTSA five-star safety rating

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 has earned a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 5-star safety rating.


Only 2,000 pound towing capacity

No lock on glovebox

Bottom Line:

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 is a great midsize crossover SUV that easily ranks as a segment leader. The most notable change for 2021 is the availability of a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine. The CX-5 is handsomely styled inside and out. The roomy interior is loaded with upscale features not always associated with the CX-5’s attractive price. Safety features are extensive and well integrated. One of the biggest knocks on previous iterations has now been remedied with the athletic turbocharged engine making the 2021 Mazda CX-5 near perfect.