2021 Mazda CX-5: Small price bump adds larger screen, turbocharged Carbon Edition

August 25, 2020

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 compact crossover gets a modest price bump over the 2020 model but adds a larger 10.3-inch display screen and a new Carbon Edition trim, the automaker announced Tuesday. 

Mazda keeps nudging its products into the premium space with scads of standard safety and convenience features. It competes as much with the 2021 Honda CR-V as it does the 2021 Acura RDX

The 2021 CX-5 Sport base model starts at $26,370, including $1,100 mandatory destination charge. That's an $80 increase over 2020. A 10.3-inch display screen replaces a 7.0-inch screen from last year that's controlled by steering wheel buttons or a knob in the center console. It is not a touchscreen, which provokes a fair amount of criticism, but Mazda claims it's safer. Advanced safety features include adaptive cruise control that can restart itself from a stop in traffic, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, active lane control, blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic high beams and LED headlights. Most luxury automakers charge extra for everything but automatic emergency braking. 

2021 Mazda CX-5 interior

2021 Mazda CX-5 interior

In addition to standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, Mazda adds a three-year trial to Mazda Connected Services that can monitor and control the CX-5 through a smartphone app. Other standard goodies include a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, keyless ignition and entry, two USB ports, and 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels. 

Most CX-5s are powered by a 2.5-liter inline-4 that makes 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque, mated to an outdated 6-speed automatic transmission in front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive adds $1,400 across the board, except for Grand Touring Reserve and Signature trims, which included it as standard equipment.

The Touring trim goes up $180 to start at $28,110. It adds heated front seats shod in synthetic leather, dual-zone climate control, two more USB ports in the back seats, which also get air conditioning vents. For $1,445 more, the Preferred SV Package adds leather seats, a Bose 10-speaker sound system, power liftgate, sunroof, and power-adjustable front seats. It offers the most premium feel without the premium price. 

New for the 2021 Mazda CX-5 is the Carbon Edition, which starts at $29,955. Following in the footsteps of the 2021 Mazda CX-9, It builds off the Touring premium package with gray paint, black trim elements, and 19-inch black alloy wheels. Inside, red leather seats with black trim distinguish the cabin.

The Carbon Edition is available with a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-4 also used in the 2021 Mazda 3. It makes 250 hp and 320 lb-ft on 93 octane fuel, or 227 hp and 310 lb-ft on 87 octane. The Carbon Edition turbo costs $31,760. 

The 2021 CX-5 Grand Touring and GT Reserve increase $150 to $31,560 and $36,385, respectively. Grand Touring has the interior upgrades of the Touring Preferred SV, but the outside comes with LED taillights, fog lights, adaptive headlights, heated mirrors, and 19-inch silvery alloy wheels.

The GT Reserve adds all-wheel drive standard and a turbocharged engine. It also includes cooled front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, and power-folding side mirrors. 

At the top of the 2021 Mazda CX-5 lineup is the Signature trim, which increases $250 to $38,505. Clearly in luxury territory, Signature trim adds rear automatic emergency braking, a surround-view camera system, parking sensors, traffic sign recognition, nappa leather seats, wood trim, and ambient lighting. 

Built in Japan, the 2021 Mazda CX-5 goes on sale in September. 

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