2023 MAZDA CX-5 Price, Reviews, Pictures & More | Kelley Blue Book (2023)

The 2023 Mazda CX-5 isn’t the newest kid on the compact SUV block, but it remains a superb choice, especially for those who enjoy driving. Prices start at $26,700.

This generation of CX-5 launched for the 2017 model year, with a bit of a refresh last year. Its prime attributes have been a luxury driving experience with extra rewards for those who like to be more engaged, plus arguably classy looks inside and out.

Keeping up to date with plenty of standard driver assistance features, the CX-5’s attractions are undiminished. But there is one thing to consider.

Mazda introduces the CX-50 this year. It’s slightly longer but isn’t meant to replace the CX-5. Not yet, at least.

The CX-50 has more of an outdoorsy, typical SUV vibe. Whereas the CX-5 seems right at home in the posher parts of cities and suburbs. It’s good to have the choice.

2023 MAZDA CX-5 Pricing

The 2023 CX-5 starts with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $26,700, plus a destination charge, for the base 2.5 S model. The most popular 2.5 S Preferred trim begins at $30,190.

The most affordable CX-5 with the turbo engine is the aptly named 2.5 Turbo version, priced from almost $37K, but it does come with a lot of extra equipment as well. At the top of the range, a 2.5 Turbo Signature with premium paint adds up to just over $40K.

With eight unique trims, there’s a CX-5 for just about everyone in the market for a modern compact SUV.

For some compact SUV context, the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 both start at around $28K. The Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson begin at $26K or so. And the Subaru Forester is in the $25K region.

2023 Mazda CX-5MSRP
CX-5 2.5 S$26,700
CX-5 2.5 S Select$28,500
CX-5 2.5 S Preferred$30,190
CX-5 2.5 S Carbon Edition$31,100
CX-5 2.5 S Premium$33,000
CX-5 2.5 S Premium Plus$35,500
CX-5 2.5 Turbo$36,850
CX-5 2.5 Turbo Signature$39,650

These are manufacturer’s suggested retail prices (MSRP) and don’t include the $1,275 factory-to-dealer delivery fee (destination charge).

Before buying a new CX-5 SUV, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area paid for theirs. In terms of resale values, the CR-V, RAV4 and Forester perform exceptionally well. The CX-5 is a few percentage points behind.

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2023 MAZDA CX-5 Price, Reviews, Pictures & More | Kelley Blue Book (1)

Driving the 2023 MAZDA CX-5

People who hate driving should buy the 2023 CX-5. So should those who love driving.

Just because — like every other Mazda — the CX-5 has a reputation for being an enthusiast’s choice, that doesn’t mean it has limited appeal.

The ride quality is comfortable, with well-calibrated responses. There’s the raised driving position loved by so many. And the ergonomics are spot-on, working just as well for the soccer parent as the corner-carver.

The base engine is punchy enough for most occasions and the brakes feel confident. The clever thing about the CX-5, though, is when the driver decides to work it a little harder, perhaps chooses the excellent turbocharged engine, and heads down some back roads.

That’s when another character emerges. It’s composed, precise, agile, and involving. It has to be said that compact SUVs are not generally celebrated for being fun machines, but the CX-5 can definitely fill that niche.

Interior Comfort

One word describes the cabin: smart. There’s an intelligent layout, quality materials, refined designs, and excellent fit and finish. The higher trims could easily be mistaken for something expensive and German.

Although the amount of standard equipment is quite good for a basic compact SUV, we’d still prefer to go at least to the next-up Select version to gain heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable driver’s seat, simulated leather seating surfaces, and six speakers for the audio system instead of four.

2023 MAZDA CX-5 Price, Reviews, Pictures & More | Kelley Blue Book (2)

Some vehicles have started using shift-by-wire setups for their transmissions, so the driver has to press buttons instead of moving a lever. The CX-5 keeps things traditional and plenty of people can be happy about that, since they won’t have to learn how to do things differently.

The CX-5 trails many of its competitors in interior dimensions, but it’s nevertheless plenty roomy for most passengers and cargo loads. Maybe not an antique wardrobe, but several Swedish flatpacks, for sure.

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Exterior Styling

Rhodium White Metallic replaces Snowflake White Pearl Mica this year. This is the only change to the 2023 CX-5 lineup. It’s a premium color that costs $595.

However, the exterior design is arguably a highlight of the compact SUV class. Compared with virtually every rival, the CX-5 looks as if it should be a premium vehicle. Because there’s an acute understanding of how lines, shapes, proportions and reflections all interact. There’s nothing clumsy about the CX-5.

The three lower trims have 17-inch alloy wheels, the higher trims have 19-inch alloys. The Carbon Edition also comes with black exterior elements, so does the 2.5 Turbo. The top Signature version replaces those with a mix of chromed and body-colored items.

Favorite Features

All-wheel drive
As well as being standard equipment, this intelligent all-wheel-drive system can send power to different wheels, according to the needs of the moment. And it can revert to front-wheel drive for optimum fuel economy.

G-Vectoring Control Plus
Standard on turbo-powered models, this feature can adjust engine power and apply subtle braking to help the 2023 CX-5 steer around a corner with utmost efficiency and stability. It might sound complicated, but happens without the driver really feeling it.

Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
Smartphone integration is standard in every new CX-5 compact SUV. And the infotainment system has a decent-sized 10.25-inch display. Wi-Fi is included as well.

Leather-wrapped steering wheel
Not every compact SUV has this in its base model, but considering a driver has to hold it all the time, then it’s way better than a plain plastic wheel. It’s yet another ingredient in the CX-5’s almost luxurious vibe.

Reclining rear seats
Admittedly, there are other compact SUVs with more rear passenger space, but at least the rear seats in the 2023 CX-5 can recline, enhancing comfort.

Turbo power
Although the base 187-horsepower engine is adequate, the turbocharged alternative in the top two trims can produce up to 256 horsepower. And the CX-5’s chassis is easily capable of working with this extra muscle.

Handy Volume Knob

2023 MAZDA CX-5 Price, Reviews, Pictures & More | Kelley Blue Book (3)

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It’s a little thing in all respects, but a console-mounted volume knob is among our all-time favorite features. The Mazda CX-5’s is perfectly sized and knurled, and falls right at hand without having to glance or even lift your arm from the armrest.

Auto brake hold is another simple pleasure, allowing you to lift your foot from the brake pedal when waiting at a stoplight, for instance. Is keeping a foot on the brake hard? No. Is not keeping it there just a little bit easier? Yes.

Engine & Transmission

Most versions of the 2023 CX-5 compact SUV — whenever there’s an S in the name — have a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine making 187 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque. Feeding it regular 87-octane gasoline is acceptable.

The two highest trims enjoy a turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. Conveniently for shoppers, they also have the word “turbo” in their names. This unit develops 227 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque on 87-octane gas, or 256 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque on premium 93-octane gas.

In each case, a 6-speed automatic transmission is deployed. In this era of 8-speed units, a mere six ratios might appear old-school. But Mazda says that as long as they’re the correct ones, they’ll do the job just fine.

All-wheel drive is standard in every new CX-5 SUV.

2.5-liter inline-4
187 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
186 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/30 mpg

2.5-liter turbocharged inline-4
227/256 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm
310/320 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/27 mpg

More CX-5 fuel economy information is available at the EPA’s website.

Excellent Safety Ratings

The Mazda CX-5 earns the IIHS Top Safety Pick award, and it gets a perfect 5-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA.

3-Year/36,000-Mile Warranty

The CX-5 is backed by a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. This coverage is average for this segment.

Test Vehicle

2023 MAZDA CX-5 Price, Reviews, Pictures & More | Kelley Blue Book (4)

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The second-generation Mazda CX-5 debuted for the 2017 model year and was significantly updated for 2022. We’ve tested more than a dozen examples, including the 2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 Turbo pictured here at Crystal Cove State Park in Laguna Beach, California. This one’s coated in Deep Crystal Blue Mica and has a sticker price of $38,710 (view window sticker).

What CX-5 Owners are Saying

Owners have contributed more than a hundred reviews of the second-generation CX-5. The reviews are overwhelmingly positive, with an overall rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars and 85% of contributors recommending the vehicle.

Owners love the way it drives

  • “Slicing through the Colorado canyons is a blast, it feels like a sports car.”
  • “The base engine CX-5 has repeatedly demonstrated more than enough power to easily pass anything else when needed.”
  • “The automatic transmission is probably the best I’ve driven. It downshifts at the slightest provocation and never hunts for gears.”
  • While the CX-5’s base engine delivers about the same power as its respective competitors, a handful of owners expressed a desire for greater acceleration. This is easily remedied (at the time of purchase, anyway), by opting for the turbocharged engine, which is among the most powerful engines in the segment. But most buyers stick with the more affordable, more efficient base engine.

Owners love the value relative to luxury brands

  • “I definitely got an SUV that looks and feels like a top dollar vehicle without having paid top dollar.”
  • “The CX-5 provides all of the creature comforts and features of a luxury crossover without paying the premium for the badge.”
  • “Aesthetically, this is probably the sexiest car you could call an SUV.”
  • The few owners coming straight from luxury vehicles were less likely to be impressed by the CX-5. While the CX-5 is in many ways the compact SUV category’s most premium entry, it isn’t as smooth, quiet, or refined as true luxury SUVs like the BMW X3 or Genesis GV70, for instance. It’s just far more affordable.

Owners love the interior

  • “Knobs, screens, and data are exactly where they should be with no stupid distractions or attempts to make you feel like you’re in a night club when you’re driving to work.”
  • “The 40/20/40 folding rear seatback setup turns out to be really useful for me, and the release levers in the trunk will make you wonder why all cars don’t have them. I only wish the headrests folded down automatically.”
  • “Trunk space easily fits four large (60-liter) hiking packs or, with the rear seats down, two bikes.”
  • While several reviewers acknowledge that the CX-5 falls short of most compact SUVs when it comes to cargo capacity, none reported an instance of actually running out of room.

KBB Vehicle Review and Rating Methodology

Our Expert Ratings come from hours of both driving and number crunching to make sure that you choose the best car for you. We comprehensively experience and analyze every new SUV, car, truck, or minivan for sale in the U.S. and compare it to its competitors. When all that dust settles, we have our ratings.

We require new ratings every time an all-new vehicle or a new generation of an existing vehicle comes out. Additionally, we reassess those ratings when a new-generation vehicle receives a mid-cycle refresh — basically, sprucing up a car in the middle of its product cycle (typically, around the 2-3 years mark) with a minor facelift, often with updates to features and technology.

Rather than pulling random numbers out of the air or off some meaningless checklist, KBB’s editors rank a vehicle to where it belongs in its class. Before any car earns its KBB rating, it must prove itself to be better (or worse) than the other cars it’s competing against as it tries to get you to spend your money buying or leasing.

Our editors drive and live with a given vehicle. We ask all the right questions about the interior, the exterior, the engine and powertrain, the ride and handling, the features, the comfort, and of course, about the price. Does it serve the purpose for which it was built? (Whether that purpose is commuting efficiently to and from work in the city, keeping your family safe, making you feel like you’ve made it to the top — or that you’re on your way — or making you feel like you’ve finally found just the right partner for your lifestyle.)

We take each vehicle we test through the mundane — parking, lane-changing, backing up, cargo space and loading — as well as the essential — acceleration, braking, handling, interior quiet and comfort, build quality, materials quality, reliability.

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