Avoid Luxury SUVs and Just Get a 2021 Mazda CX-5

Luxurious features in a vehicle are great, but is it worth paying extra for a luxury brand name? Now, even mainstream vehicles provide high-quality finishes, amenities, and performance without the exorbitant price. For instance, the 2021 Mazda CX-5 compact crossover provides luxury for less. Though it’s a small SUV, it offers excellent performance, high-end features, and great value.

The luxurious 2021 Mazda CX-5

MotorTrend‘s “Luxury For Less: 5 Budget-Friendly Alternatives to Luxury SUVs” suggests the 2021 Mazda CX-5 Signature trim is a great deal. Like all 10 SUVs on MotorTrend’s list, the CX-5 has a lot to offer. The Signature trim provides high-quality materials and design starting at $37,505, Mazda‘s website shows. (The base trim starts at $25,370 but lacks the highest trim’s luxury.)

According to MotorTrend, the CX-5 provides a smooth ride with “crisp and satisfying handling.” It also boasts excellent safety ratings, according to U.S. News. Numerous advanced safety features come standard, including automatic high-beams, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane-keep assist, forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a rearview camera, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

A 10.25-inch touchscreen also comes standard on all trims, as do Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Plus, the CX-5 has a push-button start, a Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth, two USB ports, HD Radio, and a four-speaker sound system. The MyMazda App provides Mazda Connected Services, which lets you perform functions such as locking and unlocking the doors, starting the engine, and seeing the SUV’s health status report, Mazda says.

U.S. News also thinks highly of the 2021 CX-5, naming it a finalist for the 2021 Best Compact SUV for the Money and 2021 Best Compact SUV for Families awards. However, this SUV has a smaller cargo area than some competitors.

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 Signature trim


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The 2021 Mazda CX-5 Signature is the fanciest of the trim levels. There aren’t many crossover SUVs that offer Nappa leather upholstery or real layered wood trim, U.S. News reports.

Lower trims have a 187-hp naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine, but the Signature model comes with a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It produces 227 hp with regular gas and 250 hp with premium gas. The Signature trim also comes with all-wheel drive, an option on most lower trims.

In addition to the many standard safety features, the Signature model also comes with adaptive headlights, a head-up display, reverse automatic emergency braking, driver attention monitoring, traffic sign recognition, a 360-degree view parking camera system, and front and rear parking sensors.

All trims come with a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Upgrades abound in the Mazda CX-5 Signature model. The heated and ventilated front seats are upholstered in Nappa leather. There’s an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and a six-way power-adjustable passenger’s seat. The rear seats are heated too. The interior has dual-zone automatic climate control, a heated steering wheel, and ambient interior lighting. And rear passengers get a center armrest.

Technology upgrades include a seven-inch digital instrument cluster display, navigation, and satellite radio. There’s also a 10-speaker Bose sound system, two rear USB ports, and a universal garage door opener. Also, expect proximity keyless entry, fog lights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and heated outside mirrors. Rounding out the luxurious amenities are paddle shifters, a moonroof, and a power liftgate.

Other luxury SUV alternatives

Other mainstream SUVs also provide luxury-level experiences at affordable prices. Like the Mazda CX-5, these nine also have active safety features, quality interiors, cutting-edge technology, and plenty of performance and style. Buyers in the market for an upscale mainstream SUV could also consider the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Acura MDX, Mazda CX-9, Lincoln Aviator, Hyundai Palisade, Cadillac XT6, and Kia Telluride. And two luxury SUV alternatives are plug-in hybrids: the Audi Q5 Plug-in Hybrid and Toyota RAV4 Prime.

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 is one way to ride in style without paying high-end prices. It’s perfect for buyers who don’t need a luxury brand name to enjoy a luxurious experience.