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2023 Mazda CX-5: Choosing the Right Trim


The 2023 Mazda CX-5 stands apart from its competition, offering a sleek exterior, luxuriously appointed interior, a choice of engines, a powerful turbocharged version, and the type of ride and handling usually associated with sports sedans.

Although not as roomy as the Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, or Toyota RAV4, the 5-seat CX-5 can comfortably accommodate four passengers and most of their gear. A wide model range means a variety of price points, but even the least expensive CX-5 trim will surprise you with its features and attention to detail.

All CX-5 SUVs come standard with all-wheel drive (AWD). A 187-horsepower 2.5-liter SkyActiv engine is standard, paired with a 6-speed automatic. At the top end, two turbocharged trims get a more powerful, turbocharged 2.5-liter paired with the same 6-speed automatic.

2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 S (starting at $26,700)

The entry-level 2.5 S is pretty basic but far from barren. It comes standard with numerous driver aids, some of which are optional on other SUVs.

The base S includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, a blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic detection, lane-keeping assist, and lane-departure warning.

Also standard is adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, automatic high-beam headlights, a tire-pressure monitoring system, and a rearview camera.

Exterior features include 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, power side mirrors with turn signal indicators, automatic on/off headlights, and a rear wiper/washer. Unexpected at this price level are rain-sensing front wipers and rear spoiler.

Moving to the interior, we find cloth upholstery and manual front seats, manual air conditioning, power door locks, one-touch up/down power windows, and remote keyless entry with push-button start.

A leather-wrapped tilt-telescoping steering wheel with controls for audio, Bluetooth, and cruise comes standard, as do reclining 40/20/40 rear seats.

The 2.5 S includes Mazda’s Connect infotainment system that features a 10.25-inch display screen operated via a console-mounted Command controller. The view screen isn’t the touch variety, meaning inputs are done either through the steering wheel controls, by voice, or by utilizing the controller’s rotary knob and surrounding buttons.

The infotainment system includes a 4-speaker stereo, AM/FM/HD Radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Mazda Connected Services. SiriusXM satellite radio isn’t offered until you reach the Premium Plus trim, although it can be played via CarPlay or Auto if you have the SiriusXM app on your smartphone.

Buyers can add navigation by purchasing a $450 SD card from their Mazda dealer. Once installed, the navigation works with the Mazda Connect infotainment system, with lane guidance, speed limit alerts, voice commands, and 3-year complimentary map updates.

Additional instrumentation includes a 4.6-inch multi-information display for various features such as engine coolant temp, outside temperature, average fuel economy, and maintenance monitor. The screen also displays the driver aids, adaptive cruise control, and warning messages.

With the $1,275 destination fee, the 2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 S costs $27,975. On a 60-month loan with 3% financing and zero down, the monthly payment comes to about $503. See 2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 S models for sale

2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 S includes:

  • Adaptive cruise control – Maintains a safe distance from the traffic ahead, with the ability to automatically slow or stop the CX-5.
  • Android Auto/Apple CarPlay – This allows access to a smartphone’s apps, maps, music, and messages, all via the car’s infotainment system.
  • Rain-sensing wipers – Automatically activate when sensing rain, mist, or snow on the car’s windshield.

2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 S Select
(starting at $28,500)

The Select trim costs just $1,800 more than the S, but it brings several features we think buyers will appreciate while keeping the cost well under $30,000.

Adding to the S trim, the Select brings auto-leveling LED headlights and deep-tinted rear privacy glass. Mazda’s Advanced Keyless Entry comes standard, allowing access to a locked vehicle by simply touching the door handle.

Interior upgrades include a 6-way power driver’s seat with manual lumbar support, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, leatherette vinyl upholstery with Lux Suede inserts, and a 6-speaker sound system.

Rear seat passengers enjoy air vents, a center armrest, and two USB ports.

With the $1,275 destination fee, the 2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 S Select costs $29,775. On a 60-month loan with 3% financing and zero down, the monthly payment comes to about $535. See 2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 S Select models for sale

2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 S Preferred
(starting at $30,190)

The Preferred hits the sweet spot for affordability and features, bringing more upgrades aimed at increasing driver and passenger comfort.

Building off the Select, the Preferred adds a power moonroof, leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink, a 6-way power passenger seat, and an 8-way power driver’s seat with a 2-position memory setting.

Due to the ongoing chip shortage, credit is offered for two features typically part of the Preferred’s equipment list: a power tailgate and the Bose audio system.

With the $1,275 destination fee, the 2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 S Preferred costs $31,465. On a 60-month loan with 3% financing and zero down, the monthly payment comes to approximately $565. See 2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 S Preferred models for sale

2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 S Preferred includes:

  • Heated front seats – Includes 3-level heating for a broader range of temperature settings.
  • Driver’s seat memory – Includes 2-position settings that remember the driver’s seat and side mirror positions.
  • Power moonroof – A roof-mounted sliding glass panel allows light in the cabin with the sunshade retracted or a blast of fresh air when fully opened.

2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 S Carbon Edition (starting at $31,100)

The Carbon Edition is the Preferred trim with additional styling elements.

The package includes black metallic 19-inch alloy wheels, black mirror caps, black badges, and Polymetal Gray paint.

The Carbon Edition’s interior gains a black instrument panel and door trim, plus red stitching on the leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear selector.

With the $1,275 destination fee, the 2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 S Carbon Edition costs $32,375. On a 60-month loan with 3% financing and zero down, the monthly payment comes to about $582. See 2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 S Carbon Edition models for sale

2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 S Premium
(starting at $33,000)

Building off the Preferred trim, the Premium adds Mazda Intelligent Drive Direct, which features various drive modes for Normal, Sport, and Off-Road.

Exterior enhancements include 19-inch alloy wheels, steering adaptive auto-leveling headlights, and heated side mirrors.

The multi-information monitor grows to seven inches, and the steering wheel gains a set of paddle shifters.

With the $1,275 destination fee, the 2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 S Premium costs $34,275. On a 60-month loan with 3% financing and zero down, the monthly payment comes to about $616. See 2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 S Premium models for sale

2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 S Premium Plus
(starting at $35,500)

The Premium Plus brings the CX-5 into the near-luxury category, adding even more luxury features.

To the Premium’s standard content, the Plus brings a programmable power liftgate, power-folding side mirrors, and windshield wiper de-icers.

Interior upgrades include ventilated front seats, a head-up display, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and a 10-speaker Bose Centerpoint 2 audio system. SiriusXM satellite radio is also standard and includes a 3-month trial subscription.

With the $1,275 destination fee, the 2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 S Premium Plus costs $36,775. On a 60-month loan with 3% financing and zero down, the monthly payment comes to approximately $661. See 2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 S Premium Plus models for sale

2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 S Premium Plus includes:

  • Bose audio – This 10-speaker Bose audio system with a center speaker and subwoofer is a must-have for loud music lovers.
  • Ventilated front seats – The upgraded seats of the Premium Plus circulate cool air through the perforated leather, helping keep occupants cool and dry when the outside temperature soars.
  • Power liftgate – Can automatically open by pushing a button on the key fob or touching a pad on the gate.

2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 Turbo (starting at $36,850)

The Turbo trim sees a significant boost in power, with a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine delivering either 227 hp on regular 87-octane or 256 hp using premium 93-octane gasoline.

Building off the Premium Plus standard equipment, the Turbo adds gloss black exterior trim pieces and black metallic 19-inch alloy wheels.

The interior features the same visual upgrades found in the Carbon Edition (red stitching and black instrument panel and door trim) plus a wireless charging pad.

With the $1,275 destination fee, the 2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 Turbo costs $38,125. On a 60-month loan with 3% financing and zero down, the monthly payment comes to about $685. See 2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 Turbo models for sale

2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 Turbo Signature
(starting at $39,650)

If you’re looking for a CX-5 with power, performance, and every bell and whistle in the Mazda wheelhouse, the Turbo Signature is the way to go.

It includes all of the features of the 2.5 Turbo, then adds bright exterior trim, body-color wheel arches and rocker moldings, and a body-colored lower bumper.

The Signature’s cabin gains ambient interior lighting, a black headliner, Caturra Brown Nappa leather-trimmed seats, real wood trim, a frameless rearview mirror, and LED interior illumination.

Also included is Mazda navigation, a head-up display, and a 3-year subscription to SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link.

Additional safety systems include a 360-degree monitor, front and rear parking sensors, rear automatic emergency braking, and a driver attention monitor. Traffic Jam Assist maintains a safe distance from the traffic ahead and keeps the vehicle centered in its lane without driver intervention.

With the $1,275 destination fee, the 2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 Turbo Signature costs $40,925. On a 60-month loan with 3% financing and zero down, the monthly payment comes to about $735. See 2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 Turbo Signature models for sale

2023 Mazda CX-5 2.5 Turbo Signature includes:

  • Nappa leather – Rich Nappa leather in a soothing brown color gives the CX-5 a look and feel of an expensive European SUV.
  • Head-up display – Projects relevant information such as vehicle speed, navigation directions, and speed limits onto the windshield.
  • Turbocharged engine – When running on 93-octane gasoline, the 2.5-liter turbo makes an impressive 256 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque.

FAQ

What is the best 2023 Mazda CX-5 trim?

If performance isn’t at the top of your shopping list, we’d go with the Mazda CX-5 2.5 S Preferred. It comes nicely equipped with a price of just over $30,000. If you need things like heated side mirrors and a Bose stereo, you’ll have to move to at least the Premium Plus trim or go big and enjoy the power of the 2.5 Turbo Signature.

How many miles per gallon does the 2023 Mazda CX-5 get?

With the 2.5-liter engine, the 2023 Mazda CX-5 is rated by the EPA at 24 mpg city/30 mpg highway/26 mpg combined.

The 2.5 Turbo is a little thirstier, returning 22 mpg city/27 mpg highway/24 mpg combined.

Which 2023 Mazda CX-5 trim offers the most safety?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the Mazda CX-5 excellent scores in all crash-test categories and awards it a Top Safety Pick + designation.

Given the CX-5’s impressive list of standard safety and driver assists, only the top-line Turbo Signature offers more protection through its surround-view monitor, rear automatic emergency braking, and driver attention monitor.

Joe Tralongo
Joe Tralongo
Joe Tralongo is a longtime contributor who started in the industry writing competitive comparison books for a number of manufacturers, before moving on in 2002 to become a freelance automotive journalist. He’s well regarded for his keen eye for detail, as well as his ability to translate complex mechanical terminology into user-friendly explanations. Joe has worked for a number of outlets as... Read More about Joe Tralongo

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