Despite Rave Reviews, the Mazda CX-5 Isn’t Selling as Well as Its Rivals

Small SUV sales have seen some sales declines over this last year – some more than others. The Mazda CX-5 falls in the midrange with its total sales in 2020, which is behind some of its rivals, like the Toyota RAV4, that have higher sales figures. 

The question is, does it really matter in the long run? Let’s see what GoodCarBadCar shows as far as sales are concerned and find out whether the CX-5 sales are hurting Mazda at all this year. 

What do the sales look like for the Mazda CX-5?

Out of all the small SUVs shown on the list, a good portion of them have seen sales that range from 18,000 to 49,000 units in a one-month period so far in the year 2020. There is the same amount, if not more, that has seen less than 15,000 purchases in any given month. But the biggest surprise on the list has to be the Mazda CX-5, a highly rated vehicle, with its monthly sales numbers never going over the 16,000 units mark.

In fact, the biggest month for sales of the Mazda CX-5 was in the month of August with 15,592 units. However, in the month of September, it only saw 10,332 sales, down a little over 5,000. 

When you compare that to the sales numbers of the RAV4, which is the highest-selling small SUV on the list, the CX- 5 doesn’t even come close. The RAV4 sold 83,820 SUVs in the first quarter of 2020. When you look at what the Mazda CX-5 did in those first three months, they only sold 37,494 vehicles, which is about 46,000 units less than the RAV4. 

What’s so great about the CX-5?

Car and Driver reviewed the CX-5 and found plenty of pleasant things to say about it. They liked the turbocharged motor that generates 250 hp. Paired with it is the six-speed automatic that enables it to clock in at 6.2 seconds for a 0 to 60 mph run. The base motor isn’t as impressive as the turbocharged or the diesel motor option either. 

The reviewers felt the CX-5 has a premium interior – one that rivals those of Audi or a Mercedes-Benz. Even something as simple as the layout of the seating and dash seemed upscale to them. The only minor issue they had was the cargo space, which didn’t hold as much as some of its rivals. They also didn’t care for the infotainment system, as it seemed outdated to them. 

The Mazda CX-5 got five-stars from the NHTSA for its stellar crash test evaluation. Plus, it earned a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS. To top it all off, it has numerous standard safety and driver assistance features to make driving it safe as well as fun. 

Were the critics wrong about the CX-5?


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It’s important to note that we went through a pandemic in 2020, which caused more than just health problems for families across our country. With the lockdown that remained for months in some places, people were leery to go out or to be around others in case they would pick up the virus. Many businesses suffered because of it, leaving employees without jobs or their hours cut. People just weren’t sure of the economy, so they kept their finances tight. 

However, according to Reuters, Mazda saw a 3.4 percent increase in sales by the end of July of this year. Its year-to-date purchases, at that time, improved to only a 5.5 percent decrease for the year. When you look at their month-to-month sales figures, the worst month it had was in April, but it still saw 9,592 sales despite the pandemic. 

Going one step further, we see that in Q3 2019, the Mazda CX-5 had 39,315 sales. In 2020, the third-quarter sales figures were 39,205 units. It’s actually only down 0.3 percent or a mere 110-unit difference. The Toyota RAV4 is down a whole 3.9 percent from last year’s purchases, making it worse off than the CX-5. 

The Mazda CX-5 consistently gets rave reviews from critics, so it’s surprising to see the sales figures down this year. However, due to the unfortunate incidents occurring in 2020, those figures aren’t quite what they seem.