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The 2020 Mazda CX-5 is landing at the top of its compact SUV class, among many expert reviews. It shines as a contender in performance, available options, and interior comforts.

But as with many models, knowing which trim level and package to choose can be tough. Too many options can be hard to navigate sometimes. The Mazda CX-5 makes it easy, though. And there is one trim that stands out as the best option in terms of value and bang for your buck.

A fan favorite even at the entry levels

The base model Mazda CX-5 is the Sport, and it certainly implies that even at the entry-level, this crossover is fun to drive. This level and the next subsequent trims, the Touring and Grand Touring, come standard with the 2.5L four-cylinder engine, offering 187 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque.

Other standard equipment for the Sport includes push-button ignition, a seven-inch screen, and Mazda’s i-Activsense suite of advanced safety features.

Bumping up a level to the Touring trim brings in a host of extras, including the heated front seats, simulated leather interiors, and Apple and Android smartphone connectivity. The Touring Preferred Package is available for those who want a power liftgate, a ten-speaker Bose system, and a sunroof.

The Grand Touring & Grand Touring Reserve

Imagine that your Mazda CX-5 has all the equipment and extras that the Touring level trims offer, but then add in even more convenience, tech, and creature comforts.

Grand Touring brings leather, seat memory function, an enhanced driver information displays. Add in an optional GT Premium at this level for a heads-up display, ventilated seats, and a heated steering wheel. One step up from the Grand Touring is the Grand Touring Reserve trim, that adds a bigger touchscreen and even a more powerful engine.

The Grand Touring Reserve & Signature engines

At the Grand Touring Reserve and Signature levels, the Mazda CX-5 gets a performance upgrade under the hood. The 2.5L four-cylinder engine is turbocharged, ramping up the horsepower to 227 and increasing the lb-ft of torque to 310.

According to U.S. News, there is even an optional turbodiesel upgrade, a complete rarity for this compact SUV segment. These two trims also come with all-wheel-drive as standard. The most luxurious upper-level Signature trim also adds a premium leather interior, front and rear parking sensors, and the handy surround-view camera.

Mazda CX-5: It comes down to price and value

The Mazda CX-5 ranges in MSRP from $28,230 to upwards of $37,000 at the Signature level of trim. In general, it runs a little higher than other compact SUVs in the class, but it also brings a better quality, making the slighting higher prices well worth it.

Before you make your final crossover purchasing decision, consider the cost of ownership as well, fuel efficiencies included. The more powerful engines and larger wheels at the higher-level trims will mean compromising slightly on fuel economy.

Consumer Reports suggests this is the best Mazda CX-5 trim

According to the experts with Consumer Reports, there’s one CX-5 trim that stands out as the best to buy. They suggest consumers would get more bang for their buck by selecting the Touring trim.

However, they also recommend adding that Preferred Equipment package to take advantage of the Bose audio system and sunroof. It allows for the competitive MSRP, better than the base level of standard equipment, and just the right amount of extras to make it perfect.

Configuring engines, trims, and packages can be tedious, especially when you’re trying to stay on the value side of the options. But for the 2020 Mazda CX-5, finding the sweet spot is relatively easier to do.


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