Mazda CX-5|2012 – 2021 Model Year Differences

Mazda CX-5 is a compact crossover SUV manufactured by the Japanese company Mazda Motors from 2012 to the present. 

The production of the CX-5 began in 2012 but was released as a 2013 model. There are two generations of the CX-5 with the production of the second generation running from 2017.

The CX-5 was the first Mazda model built on Mazda’s KODO “Soul Motion” design and new SKYACTIV® engine technology that together brings about efficiency, lightweight construction, and agility. The CX-5 is an all-round family SUV that’s comfortable and fun-to-drive.

Let’s briefly take a look at what makes the CX-5 one of the best-selling Mazda models. Please read on. 



2012$2,490 – 12,660
2014$2,800 – 13,870
2015$3,210 – 11,370
2016$4,190 – 12,750

The CX-5 is a great compact 5-door crossover SUV released in 2012. It’s reasonably priced, with deluxe interior equipment, comfortability, practicality, and reliability.

  • Upscale interior
  • Pleasant drive
  • Well equipped


  • No seven-seater
  •  Less spacious than its competitors

A twin-turbo 2.2-liter diesel is standard and a 2.0-liter petrol is optional. Their consumption rating is 22 km/L and 10 km/L respectively.

In 2014 a more powerful 2.5-liter was introduced with a consumption rating between 13 km/L and 12.8 km/L for FWD and AWD respectively.

In 2016 it was facelifted. Changes included cosmetic touches on the outside, LED head, tail, and fog lights, while on the inside there was less road noise and an upgraded infotainment system. 

Mazda CX-5 2013 engine

The 2013 CX-5 is stylish, comfortable, well-refined with an above-average driving experience. Standard features included a four-speaker audio system, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, and keyless entry. Additional features on the high-end models include a navigation system, leather upholstery, heated seats, and a power sunroof.

In 2016, the CX-5 received a mild update that gave it a bolder look more tech fittings, and revised equipment levels, which kept it on par with competing models.

Exterior changes include a revised ultra-fine grille, a new bumper, LED headlights, LED fog lights, and bigger side vents. At the rear, there’s a signature LED taillight, while other exterior changes include the introduction of new 19-inch rims and new colors. 

Interior changes include a redesigned dashboard, Mazda’s Human-Machine Interface (HMI) infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity, better storage capacity, and an electronic parking brake. Another update followed that made a touchscreen navigation system and a rearview camera standard in all models except the base model.



2017$7,830 – 18,440
2019$8,980 – 23,730
2021$11,790 – 26,650
2023$16,470 – 26,880
2024$49,070 – 49,070

A second-generation model was released in 2016. Notable changes include a stiffened body improving ride comfort, better soundproofing, additional colors, a remote-controlled tailgate, a head-up display, and G-Vectoring Control for better agility. 


  • Upscale interior
  • Superior handling
  • Well furnished


  • Firm ride
  • Uninspiring engines

The same engines were carried forward with only a few tweaks and tuning performed on the diesel engine to make it quieter.

A facelifted 2021 model came with a redesigned tailgate, head and tail lights, bumpers, and larger tailpipes. Inside, seats were refurbished and a wireless charging point was added.

The CX-5 isn’t perfect, but it’s close with many features that qualify it as an outstanding used crossover SUV and one that we can easily recommend.

Standard features on the 2017 CX-5 include the Mazda Connect infotainment system, a four-speaker audio system with Bluetooth connectivity and two USB ports, 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats, and LED headlights. Optional features include sat-nav, DAB radio, dual-zone climate control, electric leather seats, an electric tailgate, a head-up display, and a heated steering wheel.

Models released from 2018 onwards added blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and low-speed forward collision warning and mitigation safety features as standard.

In 2020 more safety features were made standard. These include lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, pedestrian detection, and forward-collision warning.

Under the hood, nothing changes much, the CX-5 continued using the previously used engines which were the 2.0-liter PE-VPS I4 and 2.5-liter PY-VPS petrol and the 2.2-liter SH-VPTS twin-turbo diesel mated with the same six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.

In 2019, Mazda introduced a turbocharged 2.5-liter PY-VPTS inline-4 petrol engine with 250 hp. This engine was fitted on the higher trims of the CX-5.

Mazda CX-5 2019 engine

The CX-50 and CX-5 are similar but different compact crossover SUVs built by Mazda. The CX-5 is short and tall with superior head and cargo room while the CX-50 is wide and long, complimenting the CX-5 with a spacious interior, muscular and rugged looks, better ground clearance, and better off roading capabilities.

People also read: Should You Buy? 5 Pros & Cons of Mazda CX-5 2021


The CX-5 is twelve years old this year, and with each release, it kept improving in areas such as reduction in noise levels, safety, engines, and additional trims. Add to that a premium interior, practicality, reliability, superb handling, efficiency, and responsive performance that the CX-5 is synonymous with, then we conclude by saying ‘the more recent model the better’.

People also read:
Mazda CX-5 vs Toyota Vanguard Comparison
Nissan Dualis vs Mazda CX-5 Class Comparison



Written by: Samuel H. Mponezya

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