2021 Mazda CX-5 Review - Pricing, Release Date, Carbon Edition, Trims, Interior, Features And Rivals

T. Banerjee's image
T. Banerjee

Automotive Journalist

October 21, 2020 at 10:52 AM

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 adds a major change with the addition of a new trim - Carbon Edition, that adds unique aesthetic changes including a new exterior color called Polymetal Gray. On the technology front, it gets a new bigger 10.25-inch infotainment system with a new interface and a host of new safety features under the i-Activsense suite. There are no redesigns this time around and is carried over both mechanically and design-wise. The 2021 Mazda CX-5 is priced from $25,270 and is already On-Sale.

2021 Mazda CX-5 Latest Updates:

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 is priced from the $25,270 mark. The CX-5 receives a couple of updates for the model year 2021, which even includes the introduction of a new trim, going by the name - Carbon Edition with major changes done to the aesthetic front with a unique new color and blacked-out elements. It also gets a new improved infotainment system with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support, this time.

Know More About the Mazda CX-5:

Although some of the comfort features seem to be dormant and unnecessary. However, the feature packages seem to be compatible with your wallet. Mazda CX-5 benefits from two heavily refined drivetrains, of which one is a 2.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder power unit producing 250hp, which was introduced in the 2020 Mazda CX-5. Mazda thus carried over the CX-5 for 2021 without any major powertrain or styling changes.

2021 Mazda CX-5

Model Specs

Price Range(FWD / AWD)

$25,270- $30,460 / $26,670 - $37,405

Release Date

Already On-Sale (Book your 2021 Mazda CX-5 here)


2.5L Naturally Aspirated Inline-4 / 2.5L Turbocharged Inline-4


6-Speed Automatic




7 trims - Sport / Touring / Carbon Edition / Carbon Edition Turbo / Grand Touring / Grand Touring Reserve / Signature


5 exterior shades - Eternal Blue Mica / Soul Red Crystal Metallic / Jet Black Mica / Snowflake White Pearl Mica / Deep Crystal Blue Mica / Machine Gray Metallic / Polymetal Gray Metallic (exclusive to Carbon Edition)


  • New Carbon Edition trim added (gets a new color - Polymetal Gray)
  • New bigger 10.25-inch floating infotainment screen
  • New list of safety features added to the i-Activesense safety suite
  • Added options for interior features including upholstery and trimming

But expect a redesign of the Mazda CX-5 soon, as there are speculations of a next-generation model for 2022. For 2021, there are ample of fresh changes in the CX-5 that will keep it afloat among its competitors. It continues to face the compact SUV bunch, including the likes of the Buick Envision, Ford Escape, and the Toyota RAV4, that come in as its closest competitors.

What are the Prices, Trims, And Featrures of the 2021 Mazda CX-5?

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 is priced from $25,270 and strengthens its hold on the value for money proposition with more and more features making their place on to the standard equipment list. What's further a breeze of freshness for the 2021 Mazda CX-5, is the introduction of a new Carbon Edition trim. The Carbon Edition trim lends this peppy ride some touches of exclusive styling inside out. That makes it a total of 7 trims for the 2021 CX-5.

It can be availed either with the base 2.5L naturally aspirated engine, or the more powerful - 2.5L turbocharged engine. The most prominent change comes in the form of the infotainment system. The SUV gets a large 10.25-inch center display with the latest Mazda Connect infotainment interface that is, however, still controlled by a rotary dial on the center console, only.




Carbon Edition Carbon Edition Turbo

Grand Touring

Grand Touring Reserve





$28,855 $30,660







$30,255 $32,060




Key Features

Daytime Running Lights

Adds on to SPORT's features:

Adds on  to TOURING's features: Adds on to CARBON EDITION's features:

Adds on to TOURING's features:

Adds on to GT's Features:

Adds on to GT RESERVES' features:


LED Headlamps

Self-Leveling Headlights

Blacked-out Door Mirrors 250hp SkyActiv-G 2.5 Turbo Engine

Adaptive Headlights

Dusk Sensing Headlamps

Auto Delay Off Headlamps


4-speaker Sound System

6-speaker Setup

Polymetal Gray Exterior Paint New Exterior Badging

Bose Premium Stereo System

10-speaker Setup w/1 Subwoofer

Satellite Radio w/Real-Time Traffic


Audio and Cruise Controls Buttons on Steering Wheel

Adaptive Cruise Control

19-inch Black Alloy Wheels  

Head-Up Display

Stability Control

Paddle-Shifters on Steering Wheel


Engine Immobilizer

Interior Air Filtration

Red Leather Seats  

Pre-Collision Safety System

Emergency Braking Assist

Traction Control


Push Button Ignition

Climate Control

Honeycomb Trim on Dashboard and Doors  

Tire Pressure Monitoring System

One-Touch Power Windows

Heated Mirrors

You can see that the trims have been reasonably priced and are well laden with practical comfort, and safety features but some of them are way too fancy for the price range. The CX-5's prices have seen a bump for the model year 2021 as compared to the prices of the 2020 Mazda CX-5. However, this bump is indeed very minimal, ranging from $80 for the lower trims to $150 for the range-topping trims. 

Also Read:

What are the Engine and Performance Updates for the 2021 Mazda CX-5?

A large family-friendly SUV that is also appealing to keen drivers is what the 2021 CX-5 stands for. What powers the 2021 CX-5 is Mazda's very own tried and tested SkyActiv-G 2.5 liter 4-cylinder engine. There is an option to upgrade the standard naturally aspirated engine with a turbocharged version as well. The Standard engine produces 187 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque, but the turbocharger version impresses us with its power figures that clock up to 250 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque.

The Mazda 3 will get the same turbo-four as a major update for its 2021 iteration. The transmission duties will be taken care of by a similar 6-speed automatic transmission that serves the purpose quite graciously by sending all of the power to either the front-wheels or all-of-the-wheels. The turbo engine onboard this Mazda can be paired with the all-wheel-drive unit only, whereas, the standard engine can be installed with both the front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive mechanisms.


2021 Mazda CX-5

2021 Buick Envision 

2021 Ford Escape

2021 Toyota RAV4







2.5L Naturally Aspirated Inline-4

2.0L Naturally Aspirated Inline-4

1.5L Turbocharged Inline-3

2.5L Naturally Aspirated Inline-4

Drivetrain AWD





6-Speed Automatic

9-Speed Automatic

8-Speed Automatic 

8-Speed Automatic


187 hp @ 6,000 rpm

197 hp @ 5,500 rpm

181 hp @ 6,000 rpm

203 hp @ 6,600 rpm


186 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm

192 lb-ft @ 3,900 rpm

190 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm

184 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm

The RAV4 is the most powerful SUV of the lot, whereas, the Buick Envision impresses with the most amount of torque. Although the Envision with its hefty price tag seems to be not so favored now. The 2021 Mazda CX-5's official 0-60 MPH figures have not yet been released. If we are right, it would not make any figurative difference from last year's model as there is no change in power and transmission unit.

How do the 2021 Mazda CX-5 fare in the 0-60 mph and quarter-mile runs?

The 2020 Mazda CX-5 did a 0-60 MPH run in 8.3 sec with the base 2.5-liter inline-four engine. When paired to the other turbo-four, this SUV becomes surprisingly zippy. That 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-four engine of the Mazda CX-5 allows it to accelerate from zero to 60 MPH in a little over 6 seconds.

As there are no changes in the performance or dynamics front,  the 2021 CX-5 will return with the same performance prowess for 2021. Even with the base engine, this SUV is pretty fun to drive and the acceleration is at par with the more powerful competitors as well. Mazda also has a dedicated Sport mode for the 2021 CX-5 that helps it have a bit more athletic attitude.


2021 Mazda CX-5

2021 Buick Envision 

2021 Ford Escape

2021 Toyota RAV4

0-60 MPH

8.3 secs

6.9 secs

8.4 secs

9.1 secs

Quarter Mile

16.4 secs

15.3 secs

16.6 secs

16.6 secs

Top Speed

130 mph 130 mph 130 mph 130 mph

However, the Buick Envision is the quickest of all when accelerating to 60 MPH, courtesy of its 197 hp motor, and its blistering torque figures. Toyota has the zeal but its higher rev-band slows it down as compared to the competition. Most of the cars in this segment have a restricted top speed that hovers around the 130 mph mark. But when it comes to top speed endurance, it's the Ford Escape that holds ground well.

What MPG figures can we expect from the 2021 Mazda CX-5?

The Mazda CX-5 is not a leisure SUV and lands more on the practical side which is meant for routine drives across the city for everyday purposes. The performance detuning has marginally improved the fuel efficiency of the vehicle and seems more practical now. Following the development that the 2021 Mazda CX-5 will not have any mechanical changes, it should be just as fuel-efficient as the 2020 model.

This implies that the SUV will return city/highway/combined MPG of 25/31/28. The Mazda CX-5 along with a turbo engine is not that fuel-efficient, but that is understandable as they offer a lot more power on tap. Still, the front-wheel-drive variants aren’t too far ahead of the all-wheel driven variants when it comes to EPA ratings.


2021 Mazda CX-5

2021 Buick Envision 

2021 Ford Escape

2021 Toyota RAV4

MPG (City)





MPG (Highway)





MPG (Combined)





Fuel Capacity (gallons)





Range (City/ Highway/ Combined) (mi.)

370/ 459/ 414

381/ 502/ 432

396/ 485/ 411

392/ 508/ 435

The Mazda CX-5 occupies a competitive spot in the fuel-efficiency comparison charts, yet it still is not the best in here. The Toyota RAV4 comes out as the most fuel-efficient ride in this segment, sharing its EPA figures with that of the Ford Escape. The Buick Envision, with a combined mpg of 25, ranks last. 

Will there be any changes in the 2021 Mazda CX-5 interior?

The interiors of the Mazda CX-5 are too good to be true for its price tag. It just outclasses its segment in terms of styling and comfort features surprising everyone for the price bracket it comes under. The 2021 Mazda CX-5 is just beyond its class that draws much inspiration or treatment from like some of the more premium German SUVs. The cabin of the Mazda CX-5 comes covered in first-grade sumptuous material not giving any chance to critics to complain.

Inside the cabin of the CX-5, the dashboard features, buttons, pockets, dials, and general console all look more layered and purposely designed to deploy more practicality and eas accessibility to all occupants. The metallic covered pedals give it a more sporty feel, which is not common among a lot of SUVs in this segment. The controls are well-crafted above the steering wheel which advises a clean and more sophisticated look. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come as standard on the 2021 Mazda CX-5. However, what's the most eye-catching refurbishment inside the 2021 CX-5 is the infotainment screen.

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 gets a 10.25-inch infotainment screen as standard. The roominess inside the vehicle is ample in the front row and the 2021 CX-5 is expected to offer class-leading headroom and legroom in the front. Rear seats are not that great but then also it manages well to seat three average-sized adults comfortably. One thing that the Mazda CX-5 is not able to deal properly with, is the cargo area. The Mazda CX-5 has more or less proved itself a decent choice for hauling cargo but nothing as a great or superior in the field. 


2021 Mazda CX-5

2021 Buick Envision 

2021 Ford Escape

2021 Toyota RAV4

Passenger Capacity





Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)





Rear (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)





Cargo Capacity

30.9 cu-ft

26.9 cu-ft

33.5 cu-ft

37.6 cu-ft

The Mazda CX-5 gets 30.9 cubic feet of trunk space which can load up to 7 or 8 bags behind the rear seats, and that's pretty much it. However, it has one of the most generous second rows after the Ford Escape. Other SUVs like Toyota RAV4 and Buick Envision have comparatively cramped rear seats, and hence, are not very ideal for longer rides. The CX-5 also gets several spaces to store things inside the cabin. There is a deep tray at the front along with a useful bin with a removable shelf.

What are the infotainment updates for the 2021 Mazda CX-5?

This is perhaps the most noteworthy change that the Mazda CX-5 has gone through for the model year 2021, apart from the introduction of the new Carbon Edition trim. The 2021 Mazda CX-5 replaces the 7 and 8 inches infotainment screens of its previous iteration with a more bold and vivid 10.25-inch panel. Unlike the 2020 Mazda CX-5, which came with a smaller screen in the lower trims and a bigger screen in the upper trims, there is no discrimination here.

Yes, you read that right! The 2021 Mazda CX-5 gets a 10.25-inch touchscreen panel as standard across the range. The 10.25-inch screen atop the dash of the 2021 CX-5 runs the latest Mazda Connect infotainment interface. It gets Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard. It also features a 3-year trial of the Mazda Connected Services capability. Moreover, you also get a free 3 month/2 GB trial of the in-car Wi-Fi Hotspot.

Also Read:

What are the Updates for the 2021 Mazda CX-5 Exterior?

One thing we can assure you of is that when it comes to designing cues, Mazda can't go wrong. The 2021 CX-5 gets the most charming personality among the compact SUVs. The sharper and precise dimensions of the CX-5 can make your head turn on the road. You will surely speak up by looking once at the vehicle “that’s a Mazda”.

The sleek and edgy design of the vehicle is just fantastic, and unlike other SUVs, it does not like the idea of adding any plastic to its outer design. So everything looks and feels metallic. There’s, however, a little bit of soft-touch plastic at some places and the front comes covered in premium glossy chrome. That shield grille with the Mazda chrome logo in the center is leaned forward, while the sleek headlights run into the fenders.


2021 Mazda CX-5

2021 Buick Envision 

2021 Ford Escape

2021 Toyota RAV4

Curb Weight (lbs.)





Length (in.)





Width (in.)





Height (in.)





Ground Clearance (in.)





Wheelbase (in.)





Smooth, uneven cuts along the sides and sloping windshield add a sporty stance to its looks. At the top, the roof gets a shark-fin antenna that slopes down to meet the rear end perfectly embodying Mazda's design language. Also, the CX-5 equips itself with Mazda’s signature dual exhaust outlet design which also proves its functionality. The 2021 Mazda CX-5 lands with a highly sophisticated exterior styling that includes a ray of architectural and stylized features, like:

  • Shield grille
  • LED headlights
  • DRLs
  • Body-colored side mirrors
  • 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
  • Roof-mounted shark-fin antenna
  • Body-colored rear roof spoiler
  • Dual exhaust outlets

How safe can we expect the 2021 Mazda CX-5 to be?

With an increasing concern among automakers to make their latest offerings as safe as possible, the auto marquees have not left a stone unturned when it comes to safety. Mazda is certainly one of them. The 2021 Mazda CX-5 offers a plethora of class-leading safety and driver-assistance features, which are there to keep you safe no matter what the cost.

Furthermore, as the 2020 CX-5 received IIHS's Top Safety Pick + award, we are certain enough for the 2021 CX-5 to be safe on all accounts as well. Some of the standard safety features of the 2021 Mazda CX-5 include:

  • SKYACTIV-VEHICLE DYNAMICS with G-Vectoring Control Plus
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Automatic rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Dynamic stability control
  • Traction control system
  • Blind-spot monitoring system
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go
  • Lane departure warning system

When is the 2021 Mazda CX-5 slated for release, and is it worth your money?

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 gets reasonably priced for a midsize SUV. The 2021 CX-5 is loaded with a lot of technological gizmos and features that reimburses great comfort and enjoyable ride experience. The 2021 crossover comes loaded with a lot of premium safety features that add to its smart characteristics and in turn justifying its jacked-up price tag. 

Moreover, the potent Mazda SkyActiv-G Engine is reliable and excellent to drive for any given condition. For the record, the 2021 CX-5 is all set to arrive at Mazda dealerships in September 2020, with deliveries expected to commence at the starting of the year 2021. 

Also Read:

2021 Mazda CX-5 FAQs

Does the 2021 Mazda CX-5 get a Carbon Edition?

Yes, the 2021 Mazda CX-5 is offered with a new Carbon Edition that gets an array of aesthetic updates that includes a new exterior color called  Polymetal Grey coupled with blacked-out elements including the front grille and other chrome inserts. The interior also gets red leather upholstery with contrasting black trimming.

What are the exterior colors on offer for the 2021 Mazda CX-5?

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 is offered in 5 vibrant exterior colors that include -  Eternal Blue Mica, Soul Red Crystal Metallic, Jet Black Mica, Snowflake White Pearl Mica, Deep Crystal Blue Mica, Machine Gray Metallic and Polymetal Grey Metallic (exclusive to Carbon Edition).

What is Mazda CX-5 SkyActiv?

SkyActiv technology aims to enhance every aspect of driving a vehicle. Be it an excellent fuel economy or enhanced performance, the SkyActiv technology is used to engineer every aspect of driving dynamics. From chassis design to engine and transmission technology, this technology is just another way Mazda looks to make driving better.

Is Mazda CX-5 expensive to insure?

Not particularly. The average cost to insure a Mazda CX-5 amounts to $227 per month or $2,724 in a year. That amount is close to 12% of the cost of the car. So by no means is it extravagant in any way.

Is Mazda CX-5 expensive to maintain?

The cars manufactured by Mazda are some of the most reliable and least expensive to maintain. The average annual cost of keeping a Mazda CX-5 in pristine condition amounts to $447. If we compare that to the segment average of $573, the CX-5 turns up as a fairly easy to maintain midsize SUV.

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