Car buyers usually have certain expectations when they decide to buy a certain car over the other. But no car can be the best of both worlds, although crossover SUVs are built to get as close as possible to attaining car- and SUV-like attributes. The 2021 Mazda CX-5 is a compact crossover SUV that is well rated by car critics and enthusiasts, but like any car, there are areas that need some improvement, especially interior space. As part of the second generation, for a model that was unveiled in 2017, the 2021 CX-5 required a total redesign.
The 2021 CX-5 has received several significant upgrades. Starting with the larger central display screen equipped with Mazda‘s latest infotainment interface. It’s no longer a touchscreen, but its sizeable growth has allowed for a better arrangement of functions than before. A new Carbon Edition trim is introduced, it’s the least way of getting an upgraded engine without the luxury features, with the option of a naturally aspirated or turbocharged engine. Let’s take a look at what the 2021 CX-5 has to offer.
5 Pros To Buy
Exceptional Driving Experience
The power and delivery of the CX-5 engines are progressively linear, with the base engine capable of accelerating from 0 – 100 kph in just 8.7 seconds which betters some of its rivals with base engines. Meanwhile, the turbocharged engine gets to 100 kph in 6.6 seconds, with the 6-speed automatic transmission always ready to handle upshifts and downshifts when called upon. This applies to all CX-5 models, even the one fitted with a 2.2-liter diesel engine.
Handling is where the CX-5 pulls the strings. Its sharp, direct, and communicative steering wheel is very impressive, it enables the driver to take corners at great speeds while managing body roll very well. The car is unperturbed by quick right-to-left movements. Undoubtedly, the CX-5 is the best small crossover when it comes to handling.
The interior of the 2021 CX-5 is very sumptuous. It’s probably the most luxurious of the non-luxury compact crossover SUVs. Although it’s slightly high-priced than other vehicles in its class, comparing it feature-wise with the luxurious models then certainly the CX-5 is reasonably priced. The interior upholstery is plush, it covers the dashboard, center console, and door panels. Proper premium stuff.
The CX-5 comes with smartly designed double-laminated front windows that considerably insulate the car’s cabin from exterior noise. The significance of these windows may not be that obvious at low speeds, but at high speeds, it becomes more obvious as SUVs are prone to wind noise penetration, but in the 2021 CX-5 there’s hardly any wind ruffle. The only sound that exists is the engine noise, mostly at higher revolutions. Apart from that, the combination of low NVH levels and neatly designed and supportive seats on the 2021 CX-5 results in a cabin that isolates you from the outside world allowing conversations or listening to music from the standard four-speaker audio system to go undisturbed.
The 2021 CX-5 comes fitted with plenty of technological features, from entertainment, driver assists, safety, and more.
Its 10.25-inch infotainment system with smartphone integration integrated with a navigation system with a display screen that is bright, attractive, and easy to use is a move in the right direction. Some models are equipped with a head-up display (HUD) that can project some car instructions and information onto the windscreen. Another useful feature is the Mazda voice control system which is capable of taking instructions using natural speech recognition. This simplifies making calls, entering destinations, and tuning to terrestrial radio stations.
The 2021 CX-5 comes with a host of technological safety features as standard, these include lane departure warning with lane keep assist, low-speed forward emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert. Optional features include a driver alertness monitor, low-speed rear emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and a 360-degree camera system.
Another standard feature on the 2021 CX-5 is the G-Vectoring Control Plus. An advanced feature that automatically applies brakes gently to reduce torque as required when cornering. This feature adds smoothness to the ride and sportiness to the driving dynamics.
The exterior styling of the 2021 CX-5 attracts a lot of attention due to color choices and design, and it’s one of its selling points. Available exterior color choices include Soul Red Crystal Metallic which has proved its popularity. With the release of the 2020 CX-5, Mazda introduced a new Carbon Edition which features a black metallic grille, Polymetal Gray paint, and black 19-inch alloy wheels.
5 Cons Not To Buy
Limited Rear Space
One area in which the CX-5 has been lagging behind in the class is the rear-seat space and cargo area. Although the CX-5 is specified as a five-seat car, only four people can comfortably sit in the rear seat, unless they are kids. The middle seat has limited leg room as a result three sets of legs will struggle for space and invite discomfort as the center seat occupant will have to spread legs to the left and right for some leg room.
The cargo area is 875 liters with rear seats in place and 1687 liters with rear seats folded. This is a bit smaller than what its competitors can offer.
The only noticeable sound in the 2021 CX-5 is the engine noise, mostly at higher revs. Its six-speed automatic transmission works well in transferring power to the wheels, but it tends to have those extra-long gear holds which aren’t pleasant to the ears.
The trend in the automotive world is moving toward cleaner and more efficient cars which gave rise to the emergence of hybrid and electrical vehicles. Although the efficiency of the CX-5 engines is satisfactory, they could do better with a hybrid system. In the 2021 CX-5 lineup, no hybrid model is offered, but we envisage the introduction of a CX-5 hybrid in the future due to market trends.
A Below-par Base Engine
The CX-5 is a fun car to drive regardless of the engine under the hood, but the base engine is not as enticing as the turbocharged one. Currently, the turbocharged engine comes fitted in the top trims only. It’s high time for Mazda to consider making the turbocharged engine standard in order to improve the CX-5‘s appeal.
The CX-5 is sportier and the interior is cushy but all this is overshadowed by its firm ride. Even when sitting on 17-inch wheels with high-profile rubbers, the ride is still rough., and its suspensions do not seem to stabilize the car, slight jiggles are prevalent. On models with 19-inch wheels, the situation is even worse.
The Mazda CX-5 is among the best small SUVs on the market, but with the release of the 2021 model, the car further solidified its position on the market. The CX-5 has a high-quality interior, handles very well, and its price is competitive. The only areas that need addressing are the cargo capacity, rear passenger space, and fuel economy, but otherwise, it remains an outstanding vehicle in the compact crossover SUV category.
Written by: Samuel H. Mponezya