The 2021 Mazda CX-5 Offers Something Its ‘Milquetoast’ Simply Can’t

The Mazda CX-5 doesn’t get enough attention, but that’s slowly changing. The CX-5 seems to get better with each new model, and review sites are taking notice. CNET is especially impressed with the latest iteration of the CX-5.

Sure it has a few flaws, but all vehicles do. The few imperfections that plague the CX-5 aren’t that big of a deal, however. In fact, its biggest strength more than makes up for that.

CNET can’t say enough good things about the Mazda CX-5

Mazda has gone above and beyond to improve the 2021 CX-5, and it shows. In fact, CNET was extremely impressed with the changes to the exterior body. 

The review site stated, “Devoid of harsh angles and eye-grabbing garishness, I appreciate the CX-5’s clean body lines, with only a hint of aggression on the hood giving way to subdued curves on the sides. It’s a little anonymous, sure, but I think it’s interesting in the compact crossover segment; competitors like the Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Rogue are content to go hard in the paint with unique styling but a general glossing-over of driving dynamics, whereas Mazda’s taking the opposite approach.”

The interior is pretty sweet as well. The front seats are both spacious and comfortable. It’s easy to lean back and relax, especially for tall individuals who crave a little more room. 

A 10.3-inch infotainment display comes standard on all trim levels. It also comes with the latest version of the MazdaConnect software, which means you can run Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Mazda didn’t skip on safety features with the CX-5 and doesn’t charge extra for things like automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and blind-spot monitoring. If you want a surround-view monitor, traffic sign recognition, and reverse automatic emergency braking, it comes standard on the Signature model.

One of the best parts of the 2021 Mazda CX-5 is the price. It starts at $26,370, which is very affordable for an SUV. The top trim level costs $38,505.

There are a few low points

RELATED: 2021 Mazda CX-5: The Main Interior Flaw Was Finally Addressed

Not even the Mazda CX-5 is perfect, although some might argue that it’s pretty close. The biggest flaw is the lack of storage space. Sure, there are plenty of small nooks and crannies that are perfect for things like your phone, but the CX-5 is severely lacking when it comes to cargo space. It only has 30.9 cubic feet behind the second-row seats, which doesn’t give you much room when it comes to packing for a road trip. 

The back seat is another problem. It’s comfortable enough if you’re piling kids in the back or have short adults willing to give up the front seat, anyway. For tall individuals, it’s going to be a crunched ride.

The Mazda CX-5’s other major problem is the gas mileage. It gets 22 miles per gallon city and 27 mpg highway. If the vehicle were bigger, that would be expected. Given the fact that this is a compact SUV, however, it’s a little harder to overlook. 

Mazda’s appeal to people who crave fun

RELATED: There’s 1 Type of Driver Who Should Pick the Mazda CX-5 Over the Subaru Forester

If you’re looking for a vehicle that can get you from point A to point B, and that’s about it, then the 2021 Mazda CX-5 isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a vehicle that’s a blast to drive, then you should definitely give it a shot.

The CX-5 comes with a 2.5-liter engine that produces 187 hp. The Signature trim has a 2.5-liter turbocharged I4 that gets 250 hp. While the Signature trim definitely has the superior ride, every trim level of the CX-5 makes for a fun ride.

CNET was so highly pleased with the CX-5’s drive, that the review site recommended it over rivals like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and Nissan Rogue. In fact, CNET stated, “The CX-5’s biggest rivals are pretty milquetoast, offering little in the way of an interesting drive.”