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Compact SUVs are in high demand, with many competitive choices. Also, to get the best things in the automotive world, one often has to pay much money. However, as shown by the 2023 Mazda CX-5, that’s not always the case. It’s the best new compact SUV — and with a starting price of only $26K, it’s very affordable.

2023 Mazda CX-5 is the best new compact SUV

Affordable 2023 Mazda CX-5, best new compact SUV that costs $26K, driving on a street
2023 Mazda CX-5 | Mazda

In a field of many different compact SUVs, the 2023 Mazda CX-5 is a standout model. This is remarkable considering the popularity of the top-selling Toyota RAV4 and acclaimed redesigns for the Honda CR-V and Kia Sportage. 

However, despite getting no major changes for the new model year, the 2023 Honda CR-V outshines the competition. It’s the best new compact SUV, an assertion that’s backed up by experts such as U.S. News & World Report. The media site gave the top honor to the CX-5. It’s followed by the 2023 Hyundai Tucson, 2023 Honda CR-V, 2023 Ford Bronco Sport, 2023 Mazda CX-50, 2023 Nissan Rogue, 2023 Subaru Forester, and 2023 Toyota RAV4.

Mazda CX-5 provides excellent value with its affordable price and many standard features

Man driving the affordable 2023 Mazda CX-5, best new compact SUV that costs $26K
2023 Mazda CX-5 | Mazda

Not only is the 2023 Mazda CX-5 the best new compact SUV, but it’s also one of the most affordable. With a starting price of $26,700 MSRP, it’s not too harsh on your bank account. Plus, the CX-5 is cheaper than other compact SUVs that sell better, such as the 2023 Honda CR-V ($28,410 MSRP), 2023 Toyota RAV4 (28,275 MSRP), and 2023 Nissan Rogue ($27,360 MSRP).

Also, when factoring in its low price with its many standard features, the CX-5 provides excellent value. Even the base-level 2.5 S trim has a plethora of standard amenities. This includes all-wheel drive, LED lighting, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a roof spoiler, push-button start, remote keyless entry, steering wheel controls, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. 

There’s also a plethora of standard driving assistance features for enhanced safety and convenience. This includes lane keep assist, a blind spot monitor, automatic braking, rear cross-traffic alert, pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, a backup camera, and collision warning. 

Top ranking for the 2023 CX-5 is also due to its driving dynamics and upscale cabin 

In addition to its affordability and value, another key reason for the top ranking for the 2023 Mazda CX-5 is its superb driving dynamics. The best new compact SUV is one of the most enjoyable to drive in the segment. It boasts nimble handling, precise and responsive steering, good cornering abilities, and a smooth and comfortable ride.

The driving experience is especially good for the CX-5 equipped with the available turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. It doles out 256 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque. With the potent turbo engine, the affordable SUV can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 6.2 seconds. 

Another reason for the top ranking is the upscale cabin of the CX-5, which demonstrates its value even further. The interior has a premium look and feel — not what many people would expect to see for a budget-friendly mainstream SUV.

The 2023 Mazda CX-5 is the best new compact SUV, with its wide range of standard features, superb driving dynamics, and upscale cabin. Also, it’s very affordable, with a starting cost of only $26K.


How Much Does a Fully Loaded 2023 Mazda CX-5 Cost?