2021 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD Review by Mark Fulmer
A Good Looking Good Driving Compact SUV
By Mark Fulmer
The Auto Channel
Mazda’s most popular vehicle is the CX-5 compact SUV, and because it has been so well received the 2021 model has only added a number of small updates to its safety features and tech. The exterior is sleek and moderately sculpted, with tastefully understated lines that create a pleasing visual flow. We got a number of nods, smiles, and comments about its shape and rosey color.
This is the 2.5-liter turbo-4 with 250 horsepower and 320 pounds-feet of torque that puts the zoom-zoom in the Signature AWD trim. It is EPA-rated at 22/27/24 mpg city/highway/combined. With the all wheel drive, the driving experience is both responsive and agile. The 19-inch wheels make for a stable and smooth ride over a variety of surfaces.
The infotainment system gets a lot of criticism from many writers, but I would take their comments with many grains of salt. I suspect that most those folks do not make use of voice commands, and do not set up favorites, presets, and use the steering wheel controls the way drivers do when they own the car for more than a week. The Bose audio is clear, clean, and has delightful separation which really enhances the musical experience.
Good news for folks concerned about safety. CX-5 got a five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and also is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick Plus for 2021. The safety tech includes lane departure warning with lane keep assist, and blind spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert. Also included are the very useful, safe, and economic adaptive cruise control, a boon to the parking challenged: a 360-degree camera system (worth its weight in gold).
The interior continues the exterior clean look. Nappa leather seats and wood trim abound, however be aware of whether the front seat bolsters are wide enough to allow your hind quarters to rest between them not atop them. Rear legroom and headroom can be tight for tall folks. As for cargo, the rear seats fold down for 60 cubic feet of storage.
This good looking and good driving compact SUV just keeps getting better.