2023 Mazda CX-5: Test Drive | Road tests

• Auto123 tests the 2023 Mazda CX-5.

• The model remains as dynamic and fun to drive as ever.

• Competition in the compact SUV segment, however, is fiercer than ever.

• This competition now includes an in-house model, the Mazda CX-50.

The CX-5 has long been considered the most fun-to-drive compact SUV outside of the luxury brands. A well-deserved compliment. Its exterior appearance (which has not changed much over the years, because a winning formula should not be broken) is matched by an attractive handling.

The model faces increasingly stiff competition in the compact SUV segment, including from within, in the form of the new CX-50, a more rugged counterpart. Will this affect CX-5 sales? Probably a little.

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2023 Mazda CX-5 - Front

The news
There aren’t many notable new features in the 2023 edition compared to last year. A new White Rhodium Metallic exterior finish is offered, and fuel economy has been addressed with the introduction of a cylinder deactivation feature.

Starting price for the entry-level CX-5 is set at $32,850, excluding a $1,950 fee. The price then climbs to $45,850 for the Signature Edition, our tester and the model Mazda hopes will attract some luxury SUV buyers.

What you see here is the Signature livery sitting on its 19-inch rims, but note that the base model rolls on 17-inch rims. Our test model was equipped with a sunroof (standard, except for the two most affordable liveries).

Inside, the multimedia screen has a diagonal of 10.25 inches, and the Signature Edition has nice touches like metallic accents on the steering wheel and the air conditioning vents, as well as stitching on the dashboard covering. on board.

Mazda CX-5 2023 - Lights, crest

Mazda CX-5 2023 – Lights, crest

Works great
The CX-5 has earned the highest possible rating from Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS for this year. Mazda has equipped the SUV (in all trim levels) with all the necessary features you would expect, e.g. forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control and wide-angle reversing camera . On the Signature, you also get rear emergency braking, a 360-degree camera, front/rear parking sensors and driver attention alert.

Standard across the range, you’ll find rain-sensing wipers, acoustic windscreen and front windows, heated front seats and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (but not wireless). Depending on which version you choose, you also get an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone climate control, heated steering wheel, ventilated seat, heated rear seats, proximity key, leather seats, adaptive headlights, head-up display high , a premium sound system and an electric tailgate. Again, the Signature version offers more, including wood trim, Nappa leather, LED interior lighting, navigation and satellite radio.

2023 Mazda CX-5 - Interior

2023 Mazda CX-5 – Interior

The inside
The CX-5 is spacious for the compact SUV class, including, and especially, in the back seat. Head, shoulder and leg room is enough for four adults, and five (passengers) is more than possible. The seats are also comfortable, especially in this Signature version with soft Nappa upholstery. Overall, the cabin is quiet.

As for cargo space, the CX-5 has a large tailgate opening, which is handy for getting in large items. To that end, you can fold the 40/20/40 split rear seats (almost) flat. There isn’t a ton of storage space elsewhere in the cabin, but overall, we have no complaints about the practicality of this compact SUV’s ergonomics when it comes to driving.

The 2023 CX-5 is capable of towing a maximum load of 907 kg (2,000 lb).

Mazda CX-5 2023 - Console Bes

Mazda CX-5 2023 – Console Bes

You’ll find physical and on-screen buttons for most of the main controls. The climate control system is operated by buttons and dials, and there are physical buttons for the heated and ventilated seats and the heated steering wheel. Otherwise, the infotainment system is primarily controlled by a thumbwheel located at the base of the center console, so if you insist on having a touchscreen for multimedia functions, you’re out of luck here.

An irritant is linked to the remote control, which, despite its weight, hides the buttons on the side and makes it very small. Buyers of this car will get used to this feeling, but at first it’s annoying if you try to use it in a poorly lit area.

Mazda CX-5 2023 - Exterior design

Mazda CX-5 2023 – Exterior design

The powertrain
As standard, the CX-5 is all-wheel drive and receives a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that generates 187 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque. The other option is the engine that powers the Sport Design Turbo and Signature editions, a turbocharged 2.5-liter that makes 227 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque (or 256 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque with high octane fuel). Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

Official fuel consumption ratings for the 2023 Mazda CX-5 are 10.8 liters/100 km, 8.7 liters/100 km and 9.8 liters/100 km, city/highway/combined. Note that with the atmospheric engine, the combined average consumption drops to 9.0 liters / 100 km, thanks in particular to the cylinder deactivation function. In case you’re wondering, those numbers are slightly higher than the new CX-50, but only slightly.

Mazda CX-5 2023 - Rear

Mazda CX-5 2023 – Rear

On the road
As we’ve seen in the past, Mazda’s turbo powertrain works well here. Initial acceleration is positive and there’s enough energy to make highway overtaking a breeze. The six-speed gearbox is surprisingly efficient and well-matched, delivering linear power without any lag. The steering is lively and responsive, and overall this SUV feels very well balanced, with little body roll for its size in curves.

All-wheel drive prioritizes the front axle, sending torque to the rear when the system detects slippage and/or senses other signals.

The last word
The 2023 Mazda CX-5 is not alone in the compact SUV category, far from it. Not only that, but now there’s competition from within, that of the CX-50. This model is slightly larger and more stable, so it will appeal to Sunday “adventurers”. But it’s not like 5 is terrible in that regard. And it’s cheaper. The model will need modernization and a more comprehensive update, sooner rather than later. But it still looks great and still delivers a dynamic ride.

2023 Mazda CX-5 Signature - Front Three Quarters

2023 Mazda CX-5 Signature – Front Three Quarters

we love

Dynamic driving
Never feels heavy or sluggish
The comfortable and spacious interior

We love less

Some signs of aging
Some rivals offer more cargo space, better fuel economy and more modern conveniences.
No hybrid option on the horizon

The main competition

Chevy Equinox
Ford Escape / Bronco Sport
GMC Terrain
Honda CR-V
Hyundai Tucson
Kia Sportage
Mazda CX-50
Mitsubishi Outlander
Nissan Rogue
Subaru Forester
Toyota RAV4
Volkswagen Tiguan

Some of your questions about the 2023 Mazda CX-5:

What are the horsepower and torque figures for the 2023 CX-5?
The base powertrain puts out 187 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque, while the top two trims get a turbo engine that produces 227 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque.

Is there a hybrid version of the CX-5?
In a word, no. Mazda is a bit behind in electrification, but it’s working hard to catch up. We may see a hybrid CX-5 or its equivalent, but not anytime soon.



2023 Mazda CX-5 photos

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