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2024 Mazda CX-5 Pros vs Cons, & How it Stacks Up to Competitors

2024 Mazda CX-5 Pros, Cons, and Competitor Comparison
By Norman Ruckpaul
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch
Published: Feb 5, 2024

Craving a daily driver that injects excitement into your commute?  The 2024 Mazda CX-5 offers the thrill of a sports car with the practicality of an SUV. This nimble crossover punches above its weight with sports car handling, upscale interior appointments, and head-turning looks. But is it the right fit for you? Buckle up as we examine the highs and lows of Mazda’s beloved compact SUV. From cargo capacity to safety ratings, we’ll outline the key pros and cons so you can determine if the CX-5’s blend of style and substance is a match. We will look at how it stacks up against popular choices like the RAV4 and CR-V?  By the end, you’ll know whether this zoom-zoom family hauler deserves a spot in your driveway.

Key Takeaways

  • With its sleek looks, plush interior and fun handling, the CX-5 brings style, luxury and thrills to the table.

  • Don't expect massive cargo space or great MPGs though. The base engine could also use a kick of caffeine.

  • But when it comes to performance, quality and safety, the CX-5 can hang with the top compact SUVs out there.

What We Like: 8 Pros of the CX-5

This Mazda brings a touch of luxury and a whole lotta zoom to the crossover SUV scene.

  • A beautifully designed exterior with slick lighting

  • Leather seats and power adjustments for comfy cruising

  • High-tech safety features to keep you safe

The CX-5 backs up its beauty with serious substance. Stay tuned as we dive deeper into why this ride is winning big with shoppers. Get the details you need to decide if it's the total package for you!

1. Exterior Appeal

On the outside, the CX-5 offers a overall sporty aesthetic with:

  • A sleek, eye-catching silhouette

  • Rugged yet refined styling

  • A larger, bolder grille

  • A 3D mesh grille design

  • Balanced proportions and seamless curves

This Mazda just oozes dynamism and luxury appeal.

It has about the same size compact SUV footprint as rivals, with an estimated 7.6 inches of ground clearance - prime for both city and off-road fun. The LED lighting amps up visibility and style.

Whether cruising downtown streets or exploring the wilderness, the CX-5 exterior brings flair and function. Its modern aesthetic and rugged capability make this Mazda stand out from the crowd. Pedestrians and fellow drivers alike will be jealous of your ride!

2. Luxurious Interior

Inside, the CX-5 cabin is a luxury oasis with meticulous details and upscale materials everywhere you look.

Synthetic leather upholstery hugs the seats on the Select trim , or genuine leather upholstery on higher trims, the CX-5 uses premium materials. The heated front seats include an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat paired with a 6-way power adjustable passenger seat so you can dial in the perfect position.

On the high end trim, the Turbo Signature model has a leather rapped steering wheel with unique stitching and Nappa leather seats.

The thoughtful center console sports a deep tray up front and a handy bin with a removable shelf - storage for days! Even the accelerator pedal is floor-hinged for a more refined feel.

From the supple seats to savvy storage, the CX-5 surrounds drivers and passengers in quality. Its thoughtful touches provide a first-class experience that rivals far pricier rides.

After a long day, the CX-5 interior is a welcoming escape. Settle in and enjoy the comforts and conveniences of this Mazda sanctuary!

3. Driving Experience

According to Motor Trend, the CX-5 delivers driving thrills along with its style. The agile handling and responsive steering make taking corners a blast.

The base 2.5L four-cylinder engine provides a satisfying 187 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque - plenty of pep for everyday driving. Or step up to the turbo option for a surge of power - 0 to 60 mph in just 6.8 seconds! It has 256 horsepower with 320 lb-ft of torque (Reference Source: MotorTrend).

Pair the turbo engine with the quick-shifting six-speed automatic transmission, standard all-wheel drive and available head-up display, and you've got performance that leaves rivals in the dust. This Mazda is built for driving enthusiasts.

Whether you're looking for an everyday commuter with nimble handling or a small SUV with serious get-up-and-go, the CX-5 has you covered. It's proof you can get exhilarating performance without the steep price tag. Smiles per mile come standard!

4. Good Quality and Reliability

J.D. Power gave it a Great rating for reliability and quality. The gave it a score of 82/100. This score looks at how many issues, bugs, and flaws owners run into with their rides. It covers everything from the engine to the infotainment system. A higher rating means fewer headaches and problems for drivers. We're talking minimal trips to the shop.

5. Good Safety Ratings and Features

Safety first! The CX-5 aces when it comes to protecting drivers and passengers. It scored a perfect five-star overall safety rating in NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) crash testing and nabbed an IIHS Top Safety Pick title for 2023. (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) Now those are some straight A's!

This Mazda has got your back with driver assistance features and standard safety tech like:

  • Advanced Smart City Brake Support with pedestrian detection - Includes nighttime pedestrian detection

  • Blind-Spot Monitoring (BSM)

  • Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS)

  • Lane Keep Assist (LKA)

  • Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC) with stop and go function (Adaptive cruise control)

  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert

  • Rearview camera

  • Smart Brake Support (SBS)

Available Safety Features:

  • Traffic Jam Assist

  • 360 degree view monitor (surround view camera system)

  • Driver Attention Alert

  • Front and rear parking sensors

  • Smart City Brake Support Reverse

With high marks from the experts and helpful tech like traffic jam assist, the CX-5 keeps you chill on the road. Buckle up in this Mazda, and every ride is smooth and secure!

6. Good Infotainment Tech

Good The CX-5 rolls into the tech bout with a sweet lineup of infotainment features for staying hooked up on the road. Let's see what it's packing:

  • A 10.3-inch mega display up top

  • A tactile rotary controller down below

  • Voice commands so you don't have to touch anything

  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for your phone

  • Mazda's own connected services

  • Built-in WiFi hotspot to keep everyone streaming

The huge screen has a user-friendly interface with logical menus - no techno KO here. And the center console rotary knob lets you navigate the display without distraction.

With its advanced tech roster, the CX-5 ensures drivers and riders stay informed and entertained. This Mazda wins big on in-car technology - a total knockout!

7. Wide Range of Trim Levels Provides Choices

The 2024 CX-5 comes in a bunch of different flavors - so you've got options for days based on what you want!

There are a number trim levels to pick from. Each gives you something a little different. Whether you just need a simple ride or one loaded up with all the fixings, there's a CX-5 made for you.

And if the trims aren't enough, you can customize even more with optional packages. These let you add extras like nicer speakers for jamming tunes, cool high-tech safety features, and fancier interior bits.

So really, you can trick out your 2024 CX-5 however you'd like. Make it basic transportation or a "luxed" out cruise-mobile. With all the trims and add-ons, you'll find your perfect match so you can ride in style. This Mazda has got range!

Mazda CX-5 trims for the 2024 model year:

  • Base Select Trim - MSRP starting price at $30,675

  • Preferred Trim - MSRP starting at $32,025

  • Carbon Edition - MSRP starting at $33,325

  • Premium - MSRP starting at $35,275

  • Premium Plus - MSRP starting at $37,875

  • Carbon Turbo Trim - MSRP starting at $38,970

  • Turbo Premium - MSRP starting at $39,175

  • Turbo Signature - MSRP starting at $41,975

8. Good Resale Value

The CX-5 holds its value over time. J.D. Power Gave it a Resale Rating of 84/100. That puts it up there with the top contenders in its class for holding value. Tied with the Toyota RAV4 but a little less than the Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester (86/100), It beat out the Hyundai Tucson with 82/100.

Edmunds five year cost to own calculator showed first year depreciation of 26 to 30 percent depending on the trim you choose. (Reference Source: Edmunds Cost to Own)

Mazda CX-5 Disadvantages (4 Cons)

It ain't perfect though. The CX-5 has a few downsides like limited cargo space, a lackluster base engine, and just okay MPGs.

For shoppers wanting max cargo for hauling or the best gas mileage on the block, the CX-5 might disappoint. But every ride's got its flaws.

The key is looking at the total package - nice styling, luxe interior, fun handling and top safety ratings are hard to beat. Prioritize what matters most and weigh the pros and cons to decide if the CX-5 compact SUV is your  match!

1. Limited Cargo Space

Folks needing mega cargo room may find the CX-5 lacking. It offers 30.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat and 59.3 with the seats folded - not bad but less than the cavernous CR-V or Kia Sportage. They both offer over 39 cubic feet of storage. It does do a bit better than the Subaru Foresters 28.9 cu. ft however.

But don't count the CX-5 out! Fold those rear seats down and you've got ample space for Home Depot runs or camping gear. It may fall short of class leaders for packing it all in, but this versatile Mazda still hauls plenty for most needs.

Assess how much room you really require day to day. The CX-5 could be cargo compromise worth making for its head-turning style and fun personality. Just don't expect to fit the whole house in there! Prioritize what matters most for your needs.

2. Base Engine Performance

The CX-5's base 2.5-liter four-cylinder puts out 187 horses and 186 lb-ft of torque. For everyday cruising, no problem! But some may find it pokey when getting up to speed or passing on the highway.

Compared to the turbocharged engine, this base powerplant can feel a little sluggish and slow off the mark. It's not winning any races, that's for sure!

According to Edmunds, the base engine goes from 0 to 60 mph in 9.2 seconds. That is slower than some of its competitors. The Ford Escape did it in 7 seconds and the Honda CR-V got to 60 in 7.5 seconds. It was neck and neck with the RAV4 that clocked at 9.3 seconds however. (Reference Source: Edmunds)

But take a hard look at your driving style. For those wanting max MPGs over power, the base engine gets the job done. It's really about priorities - if you don't need neck-snapping acceleration, this economical engine could be just right.

However, lead-foot drivers will probably want an upgrade. The CX-5's base performance is best for relaxed cruising rather than red light races. Assess your needs to pick the engine that fits!

3. Fuel Economy just OK

At the pump, the CX-5 is average. According to the EPA The base 2.5L engine gets an impressive 26 mpg city and 36 mpg highway, with a combined mpg of 28 - not too shabby!

Opt for the turbo and you'll trade a bit of efficiency for power. Expect the 2024 CX-5 gets 22 city and 27 highway with that zippy upgrade.

Compared to the CR-V and RAV4, the CX-5 is neck and neck or a smidge lower on MPGs. Both the CR-V and RAV4 AWD gets 27 mpg city and 34 highway.

While it may not win any fuel economy races, the CX-5 offers a nice balance of performance and efficiency for most needs. Unless you demand segment-leading MPGs, this Mazda should fit the bill for daily commuting without guzzling too much gas.

(Reference Source: EPA)

4. Rear Visibility Hindered by Thick Roof Pillars

One downside of the 2024 CX-5 is that the thick roof pillars can block your view out the back. Trying to see stuff through the rear window or check your blind spots takes some effort.

You really have to crane your neck around those thick pillars when changing lanes or squeezing into tight parking spots. They can get in the way of seeing what's around you. At least until you get used to it. (Reference Source: Consumer Reports)

Summing it up

And that's the final bell! After going head-to-head on all fronts, here's the 2024 CX-5's scorecard:

This Mazda brings killer style, performance, luxury and safety without the killer price tag. It's a heavy hitter among compact SUVs!

Sure, cargo space and MPGs could be better. But the CX-5 still throws solid punches with its slick design, fun handling, upscale interior and latest driver aids.

Against tough opponents like the RAV4 and CR-V, this Mazda holds its own with a well-rounded experience. It may not win every round outright, but the CX-5 can dive into anything.

For shoppers wanting a sharp looking, great driving, and family-friendly SUV, the CX-5 is an excellent choice. When that bell rings, the CX-5 emerges a win-worthy choice you should put on your test drive list! Only you can decide.