2020 Mazda CX-5

#2
in Suvs
2020 MODEL
$25,190 - $37,155
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8.3

Overall Rating

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2020 Mazda CX-5 Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: February 17, 2020
Aaron Smith's image

Aaron Smith

Automotive Journalist

The 2020 Mazda CX-5 has a pleasant surprise for you! Starting at $25,090, 2020 Mazda CX-5 looks like a much more expensive SUV. On the highway, the ride is supple with great fuel efficiency while the interior is as quiet as a luxury car. 

See detailed review »

Pros

Feature-loaded variants

Reasonably priced trim

Well-balanced driving characteristics

Fuel-efficient base engine

The turbo 2.5-liter is a torque monster

Cons

The tiny fuel tank compromises efficiency

Second-row roominess is average

What's New?

The SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter with Dynamic Pressure Turbo now makes an extra 10 lb.-ft.

Grand Touring Reserve and Signature variants get an 8-inch touchscreen


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$46600

bodystyle

4dr SUV

engine type

displacement

122

horsepower

296hp @ 5500 rpm

torque

295lb.-ft. @ 1600 rpm

transmission

9-speed shiftable automatic

dimensions

wheelbase

105.5 in.

length

172.1 in.

width

75 in.

height

64.9 in.

curb weight

4075 lbs.

ground clearance

8.3 in.

capacity

towing capacity

3968 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

8.3 sec.

standing ¼-mile

16.4 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

21/23/26 mpg

highway range (evs/hybrids)

460.2 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 yr. / 50000 mi.

powertrain warranty

4 yr. / 50000 mi.

corrosion warranty

6 yr. / unlimited

roadside assistance

4 yr. / 50000 mi.


Pictures

Exterior
Interior

Styles

2020 Mazda CX-5 in Deep Crystal Blue Mica color 2020 Mazda CX-5 in Jet Black Mica color 2020 Mazda CX-5 in Machine Gray Metallic color 2020 Mazda CX-5 in Sonic Silver Metallic color 2020 Mazda CX-5 in Soul Red Crystal Metallic color
Deep Crystal Blue Mica

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

7.0

Engine And Performance

9.0

Fuel Economy

7.0

Interior

9.0

Exterior

9.0

Final Verdict

8.6

8.3

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2020 Mazda CX-5 Sport

Sport

power
187 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
28 combined

$25,190 - $26,590


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Sport 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $25,190 MSRP (25/28/31) 187 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.5 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
6-Speed Automatic front wheel drive 5
Sport 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $26,590 MSRP (24/26/30) 187 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.5 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
6-Speed Automatic all wheel drive 5

2020 Mazda CX-5 Touring

Touring

power
187 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
28 combined

$26,830 - $28,230


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $26,830 MSRP (25/28/31) 187 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.5 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
6-Speed Automatic front wheel drive 5
Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $28,230 MSRP (24/26/30) 187 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.5 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
6-Speed Automatic all wheel drive 5

2020 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring

Grand Touring

power
187 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
28 combined

$30,310 - $31,710


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Grand Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $30,310 MSRP (25/28/31) 187 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.5 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
6-Speed Automatic front wheel drive 5
Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $31,710 MSRP (24/26/30) 187 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2.5 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
6-Speed Automatic all wheel drive 5

2020 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring Reserve

Grand Touring Reserve

power
227 hp @ 5000 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded
mpg
24 combined

$35,135


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Grand Touring Reserve 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A) Starting at $35,135 MSRP (22/24/27) 227 hp @ 5000 rpm, 2.5 L, Inline 4, premium unleaded
6-Speed Automatic all wheel drive 5

2020 Mazda CX-5 Signature

Signature

power
227 hp @ 5000 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded
mpg
24 combined

$37,155


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Signature 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl Turbo 6A) Starting at $37,155 MSRP (22/24/27) 227 hp @ 5000 rpm, 2.5 L, Inline 4, premium unleaded
6-Speed Automatic all wheel drive 5

Expert Review

8.3

Overall Rating


A compact SUV is a rational choice. If you are here, you are probably looking for a vehicle that can accommodate your family in comfort and provide room for their luggage. However, if you are worrying that such a vehicle will be boring, the 2020 Mazda CX-5 has a pleasant surprise for you.

Although it is less practical than segment leader CR-V, it’s still adequate for most. However, its gorgeous exterior will make you believe it’s far costlier than it really is (starting price: $24,150) and the exquisite interior will reinforce that misconception. A single test drive through curvy road will make you buy it then and there with its playful handling, responsive throttle, and slick gear shifts.

2020 Mazda CX-5 SUV Front View
2020 Mazda CX-5 SUV Rear View

7.0/10
Features

 

9.0/10
Engine and Performance

 

7.0/10
Fuel Economy

 

9.0/10
Interior

 

9.0/10
Exterior

 
 
 

8.6/10
Final Verdict

 

2020 Mazda CX-5 Features

7.0/10

The CX-5 comes with only a single engine-transmission choice but AWD can be added for a minimal cost across the trim. The base Mazda CX-5 Sport without any options will cost $25,090. There is a total of 5 trims available starting from the base trim names “Sport” and going up to the top-level feature-packed “Signature” trim. All the trims get a new SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine putting out 250hp mated to a six-speed automatic or manual transmission. 

Trim

Sport

Touring

Grand Touring

Grand Touring Reserve

Signature

MSRP FWD

$25,090

$26,730

$30,210

-

-

MSRP AWD

$26,490

$28,130

$31,610

$35,033

$37,055

Key features

MAZDA Connect

Auto on/off headlights

LED DRLs

i-ACTIV AWD with off-road Traction assist

Mazda Navigation system

 

7-inch touchscreen display

Dual-zone automatic climate control

The 7-inch LCD meter display

8-inch touchscreen display

360-degree view monitor

 

AM/FM

Rear privacy glass

Heated side mirrors

Automatic power-folding side mirrors

Front and rear parking sensors

 

4-speaker audio system w/ automatic level control

6-speaker audio system w/ automatic level control

Bose 10-speaker audio system

Active driving display

Signature badge

 

Bluetooth

Apple CarPlay

6-way power passenger seat

Heated rear seats

Genuine layered wood trim

 

HD Radio

Android Auto

SiriusXM with 3-month trial

Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go

SiriusXM 3-year Traffic and Travel Link subscription

 

LED headlights

LED headlights with auto-leveling

LED foglights

Windshield wiper de-icer

LED lighting for the glove box, cargo area, and vanity mirror

 

17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels

Heated front seats

19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with Brilliant Silver finish

Ventilated front seats

19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with Dark Silver finish

 

Tilt/telescoping steering column

6-way power driver’s seat with manual lumbar support

Paddle shifters

Heated steering wheel

Leather-wrapped steering wheel

 

Cloth trim seats

Leatherette seats with Lux Suede insert

Leather seats

Auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink

Caturra Brown Nappa leather seats

 

Cruise control

Hill Launch Assist

2 rear USB charging ports

Adaptive front-lighting system

Frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink

Which trim to go for?

While the base Sport trim is adequately equipped, it does not do justice to the overall premium feel of the CX-5. The Touring trim is $2k dearer than the CX-5 Sport but adds supple and expensive-looking leatherette upholstery, gorgeous 19-inch wheels that have minimal impact on ride quality, dual-zone climate control and more - it’s our recommendation.

2020 Mazda CX-5 Engine and Performance

9.0/10

A 2.5 L naturally aspirated inline 4 mated to a 6-speed automatic is the available power train option but you can upgrade to AWD and also to a turbocharged variant of the same engine. Although the engine develops just 187 horsepower and 186 lb.-ft. torque, it develops it in a very tractable and exciting manner. However, the engine does not do justice to such a capable chassis in CX-5. For people preferring more power, the turbocharged engine makes 250 hp and 320 lb.-ft. torque, which is now 10 lb.-ft. more than before.

2020 Mazda CX-5 SUV has 6-Speed Automatic Transmission

Transmission duties are handled by Mazda's SKYACTIV -Drive16-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift and Sport Mode. The Manual shift mode allows for the Drivers to take Control of the Transmission when they feel they want to take control of things. The Sport mode quickens up the Gear Shifts and changes Gear only when the Engine nears or reaches its Red Line. To maximize performance.

Regardless of body style you chose, a modern Mazda will excite you behind the wheel. Their new-found vision of “vitalizing and stimulating the body and soul with a driving experience matched to human sensibilities” is evident in CX-5. While the steering is telepathic for a compact SUV, the driving position is also spot on. The interior is especially silent and it rides with excellent composure.

Models

Mazda CX-5

Buick Envision

Ford Escape

Toyota RAV4

MSRP

$25,090

$31,995

$24,885

$25,850

Engine

2.5L I4

2.5L I4

1.5L I3

2.5L I4

Transmission

6-Speed Automatic

6-Speed Automatic

8-speed automatic w/OD

8-Speed Automatic

Horsepower

187 hp

@ 6000rpm

197 hp @ 6300rpm

180 hp

203 hp

@ 6600rpm

Torque

186 lb-ft

@ 4000rpm

192 lb.-ft. @ 4400rpm

177 lb.-ft.

184 lb-ft

@ 5000rpm

Three out of four cars in this segment get a 2.5L engine, only the Ford Escape gets short with a 1.5L engine. Compared to power figures the base engine option manages to come in the third position with 187hp and 186 lb.ft. of torque. 

Acceleration

The linear acceleration is where the CX-5 disappoints and sadly, it’s the most common metric to measure the performance of a vehicle. Also, with a similarly powerful engine, Buick is almost a second faster to 60 mph owing to its transmission that always keeps the engine in its optimum powerband. On the Upside though, we feel that the new 2.5L Turbocharged Motor will better the timings demonstrated by the Naturally Aspirated Counterpart of the Mazda and rank among the top half of this comparison. 

Model

Mazda CX-5

Buick Envision

Ford Escape

Toyota RAV4

0-60 MPH

8.3

7.0

8.4

8.2

Quarter Mile

16.4

15.3

16.6

16.4

Emission (Tons/yr of CO2Emissions @ 15K mi/yr)

6.3

7.0

5.9

5.9

Topping the chart, Buick Envision with its 197 hp 2.5-liter engine outruns every other car. While the remaining three cars have almost similar timings. 

Braking

Talking about braking capabilities of the CX-5, the Brakes offer good bite and feedback and don’t feel soft. Their engineers have worked hard in calibrating the brakes well so that it can match the dynamism of the SUV.

2020 Mazda CX-5 SUV has front brake of 11.7 inches

Model

Mazda CX-5

Buick Envision

Ford Escape

Toyota RAV4

Brake front

(in.)

11.7

12.6

12.8

12.0

Brake Rear

(in.)

11.9

12.4

12.0

11.1

Curb weight (lbs)

3541

3755

3299

3370

60-0 MPH (ft.)

N/A

N/A

128

131

The Mazda CX-5 has a responsive brake that stops the compact crossover within 136ft from 60 mph. The competitors, however, post better times – the escape stops in 128 feet. The CX-5 brake pedal also lacks some initial bite.

Ride and Handling

While 0-60 numbers are most talked about, few things can excite you as much as a car coaxing you into carrying scary speeds through corners. This is where the CX-5 will plant a smile on your face and this is why all automotive critiques rate CX-5 as the best drivers car in this segment.

Technologies like the G-Vectoring Control (GVC) adjusts engine torque depending on the situation – like it can reduce engine torque imperceptibly while entering turns. This shifts the weight on the front wheels and sharpens the steering.

However, if you fell for the CX-5 for its premium looks and wondering whether it’s as luxurious and comfortable inside, it is. Car critiques have especially applauded its superbly quiet cabin and pliant suspension.

2020 Mazda CX-5 Fuel Economy

7.0/10

The compromise in engine power is balanced by the impressive fuel economy – 25 mpg in the city and 31 on the highway for a 28 mpg combined EPA rating. That’s slightly lower than the RAV4s 30 mpg combined rating but more than the Buick. Choosing the Mazda CX-5 AWD costs 1 mpg reduction inefficiency. The 370-mile range in the City of the CX-5 makes for lower trips to the Gas Station courtesy of the big 14.8 Gallon Tank Capacity and good mileage numbers.

Model

Mazda CX-5

Buick Envision

Ford Escape

Toyota RAV4

MPG (city)

25

22

N/A

27

MPG (highway)

31

29

N/A

35

MPG (combined)

28

25

N/A

30

Fuel tank capacity (gallons)

14.8

17.3

N/A

14.5

Range (city/highway) (miles)

370/459

381/502

N/A

392/508

2020 Mazda CX-5 Interior

9.0/10

While the fabric interior in base trim looks great too, it’s the Touring trims leatherette draped interior that is properly exquisite with fine details - like the real French stitching on the dashboard. The driver is cushioned with thick and well-placed armrest. There is nothing to complain about in CX-5. Infotainment is also one of the most intuitive and responsive in the automotive business.

2020 Mazda CX-5 SUV Front Seats

The Mazda CX-5 can seat 5 passengers – but they won’t be equally comfortable. The front seats are roomy and offer great outside visibility. The armrests are well cushioned and are at equal height affording a comfortable driving position. CX-5 Touring gets a 6-way power driver’s seat with manual lumbar support.

Model

Mazda CX-5

Buick Envision

Ford Escape

Toyota RAV4

Passenger Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

39.7/57.1/41.0

40.0/57.0/40.9

40.0/57.6/42.4

39.5/57.8/41.0

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

39.0/54.8/39.6

38.5/55.8/37.5

39.3/56.0/40.7

39.5/56.4/37.8

The slanting roof design takes away some of the headroom in the second row of the CX-5, but there is enough availability of legroom. This is one comparison in which the Ford Escape takes the crown with the best in class interior space. 

Infotainment System

A crisp and sharp looking dash-mounted 7-inch touchscreen does duty on all trims. Mazda considers using touchscreen during driving as a hazard and hence you can only use the touchscreen when the car is stationary. While driving, the rotary controller feels intuitive and the UI is simple and straightforward. However, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are missing.

The base CX-5 Sport gets a 4 speaker audio system while the CX-5 Touring gets a 6-speaker audio system. Keeping with the upscale aura of CX-5, a 10-speaker Bose premium audio system is optional on CX5 Touring and standard on CX-5 Grand Touring. CX-5 Touring and CX-5 Grand Touring also get Mazda Navigation System

  • Voice command
  • AM/FM
  • Bluetooth
  • HD radio
  • SiriusXM
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto

Interior Features

The CX-5 comes loaded with a host of features inside. We have already discussed the features inside the Infotainment System above and will now be enlisting some of the Important Interior Features.

  • USB inputs
  • Steering wheel-mounted audio controls
  • Tilt/telescoping steering column
  • Cruise control
  • Hill Launch Assist
  • Frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • 360-degree view monitor
  • Automatic power-folding exterior mirror
  • Bose 10-speaker audio system

Cargo Space

The Mazda CX-5 with all seats up provides 30.9 cubic feet cargo capacity which is average among the competitor. When the second row is folded, CX-5’s 64.8 cubic feet cargo capacity is least in the segment. However, the 30.9cu ft. of Space is good in terms of compact SUV standards and will accommodate most of your luggage with ease. On a positive note, the load floor on the CX-5 is nearly flat and hence it’s very usable. Also, the low loading height and an available power liftgate with adjustable height makes loading convenient.

Model

Mazda CX-5

Buick Envision

Ford Escape

Toyota RAV4

Cargo Volume with rear seats up (ft.3)

30.9

26.9

33.5

37.6

The Toyota RAV4 manages to offer the best cargo space in the segment followed by Ford Escape with 33.5cu.ft of space.

2020 Mazda CX-5 SUV Front View
2020 Mazda CX-5 SUV Front View
2020 Mazda CX-5 SUV Interior
2020 Mazda CX-5 SUV Interior
2020 Mazda CX-5 SUV Center Console
2020 Mazda CX-5 SUV Center Console
2020 Mazda CX-5 SUV Infotainment
2020 Mazda CX-5 SUV Infotainment
2020 Mazda CX-5 SUV Steering Wheel
2020 Mazda CX-5 SUV Steering Wheel

2020 Mazda CX-5 Exterior

9.0/10

The Mazda CX-5 is considered by many as the best looking compact crossover. Its exterior will actually shame some cars over two times more expensive. Mazda says the design keyword was “refined toughness” and that it is “free of non-essential elements”.

Anyone will agree that it looks “refined” and “tough”. Everyone will also agree that it’s devoid of any fussy element. The proportions are athletic and curves reflect the natural light gorgeously. We highly recommend getting the “soul red crystal metallic” as it accentuates the design even more glamorously.

2020 Mazda CX-5 SUV Three Quater View

The base Mazda CX-5 Sport comes with standard 17-inch aluminum alloys. While the CX-5 Touring and CX-5 Grand Touring trim sport larger 19-inch aluminum alloys. Although, the 19-inch wheels have a negligible effect on the pliant ride quality and they add to the upscale look of the CX-5. Mazda also ranks amongst the most accommodating SUV for Tall Riders as the 66.2 in. of Height gives good headroom to passengers over 6ft of Height.

Model

Mazda CX-5

Buick Envision

Ford Escape

Toyota RAV4

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3541

3755

3299

3370

Length (in.)

179.1

183.7

180.5

180.9

Width (in.)

72.5

72.4

74.1

73.0

Height (in.)

66.2

66.8

66.1

67.0

Ground Clearance (in.)

7.5

N/A

N/A

8.4

Wheelbase (in.)

106.2

108.3

106.7

105.9

Track Width (in.) F/R

62.8/62.8

62.0/62.0

62.4/61.8

63/63.7

In terms of curb weight, the Buick Envision is the heaviest followed by CX-5 with 3541lbs of weight. While the Toyota RAV4 offers the best cargo-hauling capacity even though it has the shortest wheelbase.

Exterior Features

The 2020 Mazda CX-5 is one of the Best Looking Compact SUVs in the class and one of the reasons for this is its good set of Exterior Features. Some of the Cool Exterior Features include

  • Shield grille
  • LED headlights
  • DRLs
  • Body-colored side mirrors
  • 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
  • Roof-mounted shark-fin antenna
  • Body-colored rear roof spoiler
  • Dual exhaust outlets
2020 Mazda CX-5 SUV Bonnet
2020 Mazda CX-5 SUV Bonnet
2020 Mazda CX-5 SUV Badge
2020 Mazda CX-5 SUV Badge
2020 Mazda CX-5 SUV Rear Badge
2020 Mazda CX-5 SUV Rear Badge
2020 Mazda CX-5 SUV Rear Headlight
2020 Mazda CX-5 SUV Rear Headlight
2020 Mazda CX-5 SUV 3rd Quarter View
2020 Mazda CX-5 SUV 3rd Quarter View
2020 Mazda CX-5 SUV Side View
2020 Mazda CX-5 SUV Side View

2020 Mazda CX-5 Safety

The 2020 Mazda CX-5 gets a 4-star crash safety rating from NHTSA and Top Safety Pick from IIHS – both are little short of being perfect. You can have advanced active safety features and driver assistance systems from base CX-5 Sport onwards with optional sport I-ACTIVESENCE package. However, a glaring omission is the absence of a 360-degree camera view system.

  • SKYACTIV-VEHICLE DYNAMICS with G-Vectoring Control Plus
  • E911 automatic emergency notification
  • Rearview camera
  • Automatic rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Dynamic stability control
  • Traction control system
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go
  • Lane departure warning
  • LATCH

2020 Mazda CX-5 Competition

Mazda CX-5 vs. Buick Envision

Both these cars gets powered by a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine. But the Buick Envision is more powerful at 197 hp against 187 hp offered by the Mazda CX-5. but if compared for an overall package, the CX-5 ticks more boxes. The CX-5 offers better boot space and is more accommodating. Yes, performance-wise it might lack in comparison to the Envision. But, it will also provide much better fuel efficiency. Also for the price you pay for the Buick Envision, you get the All-Wheel-Drive Grand Touring variant of the CX-5. 

2020 Buick Envision

Mazda CX-5 vs. Toyota RAV4

The Toyota RAV4 basically invented a compact crossover segment and it is what every Toyota is a safe bet. Although a little short of CR-V, the RAV4 cargo capacity is plenty and the interior is comfortable and roomy as well. Reliability is a given with a Toyota but entertaining driving characteristics are not – RAV4 is no different. Also, the CX-5 looks and feels far more upscale.

2020 Toyota RAV4

 

2020 Mazda CX-5 Final Verdict

8.6/10

The Mazda CX-5 differentiates itself from the crowded compact SUV segment by looking, feeling and driving like a vehicle from a class above. Its exterior is downright gorgeous and the interior looks like it was painstakingly crafted. It handles corners like a seasoned athlete and its ride quality and cabin quietness is out of reach of others in the segment.

That said, the pricing will leave anyone bewildered (in a good way) – it’s priced neck-to-neck with the rivals. Its sublime chassis will leave you asking for more power and then is the absence of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. All considered if you desire something that stands out among others and willing to compromise a bit on practicality, get the CX-5. Mazda says most of the customers opt for higher Touring and Grand Touring trims – they look at it as a compact luxury SUV alternative. And we agree.