New 2020 MAZDA CX‑5 SUV
MAZDA CX‑5 SUV
The 2020 Mazda CX-5 is the compact-crossover SUV that looks, feels and behaves like a luxury model at a mainstream price.
2020 MAZDA CX-5 Pricing
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2020 MAZDA CX-5 KBB Expert Review
#3 in Best Compact SUVs of 2020
The 2020 Mazda CX-5 proves that not all compact-crossover SUVs are created equal. Priced like its mainstream competition, but designed, executed and equipped like an entry-luxury model, the 2020 CX-5 is that rare bargain even at sticker price.
The CX-5 comfortably seats four occupants and carries five in a pinch. It provides all the usual equipment and advanced safety features that buyers desire, combined with impressive build quality, reliability and safety ratings. But get behind the wheel and the CX-5 displays an extra talent that’s rare elsewhere in the class. The driving experience is genuinely engaging. That’s why we think the CX-5 is a must-try.
You'll Like This Car If...
- Stylish design, inside & out
- Lots of useful standard equipment
- Impressive driving dynamics
- Available turbocharged engine
- Top safety ratings
You May Not Like This Car If...
- Smaller back seat & cargo area than some competitors
- Infotainment system sometimes confusing
- Lackluster climate-control system on hot summer days
- Turbo engine thirstier than EPA ratings suggest
What's New for 2020
- More standard driving-assist & collision-avoidance technology
- Measures taken to reduce noise, vibration, harshness
- Additional standard equipment for Sport trim
- Slight increase in torque for turbocharged gas engine
If anyone thought all mainstream compact-crossover SUVs were boring to drive, they haven’t tried the CX-5. It’s nimble and precise, able to change direction with grace thanks in part to a standard sophisticated torque-vectoring system.
The Mazda CX-5’s naturally aspirated 187-horsepower engine is adequately energetic, able to reach freeway speeds without drama. Putting it in Sport mode sharpens its responses. The turbocharged version makes the SUV downright quick, and it makes a little more torque for 2020.
Mazda also introduced a twin-turbocharged diesel engine halfway through the 2019 model year, but hasn’t announced details regarding this option for 2020.
Traditionally, the CX-5’s ride quality hasn’t been quite as supple as, say, a Honda CR-V’s. The SUV’s stubby wheelbase and higher center of gravity than a car’s can produce a choppy feel over uneven pavement. But thanks to perfectly weighted and sharp steering, deftly calibrated brakes, and its standard G-Vectoring Control Plus technology, this is one fun SUV to drive.
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ADVANCED SMART CITY BRAKE SUPPORT
This standard feature can reduce the severity of an impact or perhaps prevent one altogether. When an accident is imminent, the system will sound an alert. If the driver doesn’t respond in time, it will apply the brakes automatically. It works at speeds of up to 50 mph and includes pedestrian detection.
G-VECTORING CONTROL PLUS
Every 2020 Mazda CX-5 includes G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus). Engineered to smooth ride and handling through subtle reductions in engine torque and applications of braking, GVC Plus responds to steering input to manage vehicle motion related to corner entry and to stabilize the vehicle as it exits the corner.
Feeling more premium than mainstream, Mazda’s interiors are full of classy touches that make them look and feel a cut above the competition. And that is certainly true in the 2020 CX-5.
Especially in Signature trim with supple premium leather upholstery, the CX-5’s front seats are quite comfortable. Heat and ventilation are available, along with a heated steering wheel. Mazda also provides power-height adjustment for both front chairs.
Like the competition, the CX-5’s rear seats are more comfortable for two rather than three, but at least the wide-opening doors make child seats easy to install and use. Air-conditioning vents help keep rear passengers comfortable, and in Signature trim the rear cushions are heated.
Behind the second row is 30.9 cubic feet of luggage space, expanding to 59.6 when those 40/20/40-split-folding seats are completely down. For some context, the Honda CR-V, one of the most accommodating vehicles in the class, provides 37.6/75.8 cubic feet.
Put a luxury badge on the 2020 CX-5’s sheet metal and it would look perfectly right. This is arguably the best-looking compact-crossover SUV, especially in Soul Red Crystal paintwork, a production color so deep and glossy it’d do justice to an exotic Italian sports car.
The CX-5 makes its principal impact with a prominent trapezoidal grille and cool (yet bright) LED headlight slits to either side. The lines then flow along the flanks with a taut elegance and come to a satisfying conclusion at the tail. We think it works well.
Notable Standard Equipment
The 2020 CX-5 is available in Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve and Signature trim levels.
The least expensive CX-5 Sport model includes 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, LED headlights with automatic high-beam operation, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and dual exhaust outlets with a chrome finish.
Inside, the CX-5 Sport features black cloth-covered seats with a driver’s-side height adjuster, leather-wrapped steering wheel/shift knob, and floormats. Remote keyless entry with push-button engine start and an electronic parking brake are also standard.
The basic infotainment system includes a 7-inch touch screen, AM/FM/HD radio, Bluetooth, two USB ports, text-messaging delivery and reply, and a 4-speaker sound system. Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration is standard from the Touring trim upward.
Safety features include Advanced Smart City Brake Support with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, and a rearview camera. The standard adaptive cruise-control system offers stop-and-go capability.
Notable Optional Equipment
Touring costs another $1,640, but it’s worth stretching your budget. It brings a power-adjustable driver’s seat, a height-adjustable front-passenger’s seat, simulated leather upholstery with fake suede inserts, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, and passive keyless entry. Rear passengers are treated to air-conditioning vents, rear privacy glass, a center armrest, and two rear USB charging ports. Don’t forget: Touring trim also has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a better 6-speaker sound system.
Grand Touring models have bigger 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, leather seating, a 10-speaker Bose audio system, a power sunroof, and a power rear liftgate. This trim also installs heated side mirrors and an adaptive front-lighting system for improved nighttime visibility.
All-wheel drive is available for Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trims, and is standard with the Grand Touring Reserve and Signature. Grand Touring Reserve also comes with a larger 8-inch touch-screen infotainment display, a head-up display, a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, and heated rear outboard seats.
Signature trim transforms the CX-5 into a luxury SUV with premium Nappa leather, real wood trim, front and rear parking sensors, a 360-degree view camera, and a navigation system.
Under the Hood
The 2020 CX-5 Sport, Touring and Grand Touring have a 187-horsepower, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with cylinder deactivation, which contributes to an impressive average fuel economy of up to 28 mpg. This engine is paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission, with front-wheel drive (FWD) as the default setup. All-wheel drive (AWD) is available, reducing average fuel economy to 26 mpg. Maximum towing capacity is 2,000 pounds.
A 250-horsepower turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard in Grand Touring Reserve and Signature trim levels. It also links to a 6-speed automatic transmission, and includes standard all-wheel drive to help manage its robust 320 lb-ft of torque. Towing capacity measures 3,500 pounds, and this version of the CX-5 earns a rating of 24 mpg in combined driving.
In 2019, Mazda debuted a new 2.2-liter turbodiesel 4-cylinder engine, offered exclusively with Signature trim and AWD. It put out 168 horsepower and 290 lb-ft of torque while returning 28 mpg in combined driving. The diesel might not return for 2020, though. Mazda is coy about the subject, and the powertrain doesn’t appear on the EPA’s website as available for the model year. We include it below in the event it does make a return appearance in the lineup..
187 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
186 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/31 mpg (FWD), 24/30 mpg (AWD)
2.5-liter turbocharged inline-4
250 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm (93-octane premium gasoline; 227 horsepower with regular)
320 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500 rpm (93-octane premium gasoline; 310 lb-ft at 2,000 rpm with regular)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/27 mpg (AWD)
2.2-liter twin-turbocharged diesel inline-4
168 horsepower @ 4,000 rpm
290 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: est 27/30 mpg (AWD)
Add the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) to a destination charge of $1,045 and the 2020 Mazda CX-5 range starts at $26,135 for the front-drive Sport model. As mentioned, though, a better buy is the Touring trim ($27,775) that brings more comfort and convenience equipment. All-wheel drive is an extra $1,400.
At the other extreme, the Signature trim level starts at $38,100. The most affordable CX-5 with the turbo 2.5-liter engine is the Grand Touring Reserve, an all-wheel-drive model with an MSRP of $36,080. The CX-5 diesel went on sale in the summer of 2019, offered only in Signature trim and priced at $42,045. It is the only CX-5 that comes with a free maintenance program lasting for two years or 30,000 miles.
The Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 don’t reach quite the same level of luxury, but prices of their lower trims are similar to the CX-5’s. However, each of these popular competitors is available with a hybrid powertrain, so people concerned about fuel economy may find them more appealing. Other choices in the segment include the Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Nissan Rogue and Subaru Forester.
Be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for a new CX-5. The Mazda’s resale values hold up well, but not to the same degree as the RAV4 and Forester.
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MAZDA CX-5 Consumer Reviews
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2020 MAZDA CX-5 Photos and Videos
2020 MAZDA CX-5 Specs
2020 MAZDA CX-5 Safety Ratings
How does it compare?
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|#2||2020 MAZDA CX‑5||187|
|#3||2020 MAZDA CX‑30||186|
|#4||2020 Volkswagen Tiguan||184|
|#5||2020 Subaru Forester||182|
|#1||2020 Buick Encore||31|
|#2||2020 Subaru Crosstrek||30|
|#3||2020 Ford Escape||30|
|#4||2020 Honda CR‑V||30|
|#9||2020 MAZDA CX‑5||28|
|#1||2020 Volkswagen Tiguan||4.9 / 5|
|#2||2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross||4.8 / 5|
|#3||2020 Kia Sportage||4.8 / 5|
|#4||2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport||4.7 / 5|
|#10||2020 MAZDA CX‑5||4.5 / 5|
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