2023 Mazda CX-5 Review

By Alexi Falson on 21 Nov 2022
image for 2023 Mazda CX-5 Review The Mazda CX-5 has long been one of the go-to options for buyers in the market for a midsize SUV, and in its latest model year, the package looks better than ever.

Last year Mazda unveiled a heap of upgrades for the CX-5 platform, and while the most recent update added just a few pieces of equipment and some extra paint options, the CX-5 remains a powerhouse within the midsize SUV segment.

If you’re shopping around, you might be wondering just how well the CX-5 performs on the road, and how it stacks up against its rivals when it comes to fuel economy, entertainment and safety features, as well as family-friendly space & practicality; let's take a closer look.

Starting Price: $31,390

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How Much Does It Cost?

The Mazda CX-5 range features a choice of six variants, with prices starting from $31,390 for the entry-level CX-5 Maxx, which rise to $36,690 for the Maxx Sport FWD and up to $39,690 for the Maxx Sport AWD.

Stepping up to the CX-5 Touring brings the price to $41,580, while the Touring Active is priced at $42,680.

The CX-5 GT SP is priced at $48,790, while the range-topping Akera Turbo is priced at $53,180.

Keep in mind that prices listed here are subject to change, and do not include on-road costs.

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You?

Using OnlineAuto’s car buying service in Australia, you could save by using one of our car experts to help you find the best new car for you.

What Features Does the Mazda CX-5 Have?

The entry-level CX-5 Maxx comes riding on a set of 17-inch alloys, and receives automatic LED headlights, automatic wipers, a leather-wrapped steering wheel & gear lever, push-button start, 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster, adaptive cruise control, rear-view camera with parking sensors and an 8.0-inch infotainment system fitted with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto.

Stepping up to the CX-5 Maxx Sport adds an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, dual-zone climate control, USB ports in the rear cabin, wheel-mounted paddle shifters and satellite navigation for the infotainment system.

Upgrading to the CX-5 Touring adds keyless entry, wireless smartphone charging, front-mounted parking sensors, body-coloured mirrors, and Maztex synthetic suede upholstery, while the Touring Active gains 17-inch alloys and green interior accents.

The CX-5 GT SP gains a set of 19-inch alloy wheels, an upgraded 10.25-inch infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay, adaptive headlights, a panoramic sunroof, hands-free boot lift, leather upholstery and a 10-speaker BOSE sound system.

Finally, the flagship CX-5 Akera gains a set of 19-inch alloys, a surround-view camera, adaptive LED headlights, Nappa leather upholstery, ambient lighting, heated rear seats and wood inserts for the centre console and dashboard.

Range Features:

  • 17-inch alloys

  • Automatic LED headlights

  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel & gear lever

  • Adaptive cruise control

  • 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster

  • 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto

  • Maztex synthetic suede upholstery (Touring)

  • Wireless smartphone charging (Touring) Front-mounted parking sensors (Touring)

  • 19-inch alloys (GT SP)

  • 10.25-inch infotainment system (GT SP)

  • Panoramic sunroof (GT SP)

  • Hands-free boot lift (GT SP)

  • 19-inch alloys (Akera)

  • Surround-view camera (Akera)

  • Adaptive LED headlights (Akera)

  • Nappa leather upholstery with wood inserts (Akera)

Mazda CX-5 Colours

One upgrade for the MY23 CX-5 was the addition of Rhodium White as a premium paint option, which joins Polymetal Grey, Deep Crystal Blue, Eternal Blue, Soul Crystal Red, Zircon Sand, Jet Black, Machine Grey, Sonic Silver and Snowflake White.

Is it Comfortable to Drive?

The CX-5 platform excels as a comfortable, user-friendly, and surprisingly sporty SUV package that makes it perfect for growing Australian families.

Within the range, there’s four engine options, ranging from a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol producing 115kW/200Nm in the base model all the way up to 170kW of power and 420Nm in the GT SP & Akera, with the option of a twin-turbo diesel producing 140kW/450Nm that is great for towing.

Power is put to the ground via a six-speed manual or automatic transmission, with the option of both front and all-wheel drive platforms across the range that give the CX-5 some serious versatility for a range of different needs.

Around town, the CX-5 is smooth and comfortable thanks to its suspension package and lightweight steering rack, while the front end offers a heap of feedback as you pick up speed that makes it surprisingly fun on the road.

As a family-mover for short hops around town and long-distance road trips alike, the CX-5 is difficult to fault and an absolute pleasure to drive.

Is it Practical and Spacious?

Inside, the CX-5’s cabin is one of the finest within the midsize SUV segment and offers buyers a design that is clean, sleek, and features a heap of family-friendly practicality.

Up front, even the entry-level CX-5 gains a sleek cabin design that is user-friendly to use and houses a decent amount of storage options for families, with no complaints in terms of headroom in the front of the cabin.

The base model gains cloth upholstery with a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear lever, while higher-spec variants gain leather upholstery and an upgraded infotainment screen that adds to the well-equipped cabin.

Move to the rear of the cabin and there’s a decent amount of space for adult rear passengers, which means you won’t hear any complaints from kids on long road trips, with easy access into the rear cabin to fit a pair of child seats with the ISOFIX anchors.

Finally, the CX-5 has a boot measuring in at 438L which might not be the biggest of the midsize SUV bunch, but it remains large enough for the majority of a family’s needs.

Is it Safe?

The Mazda CX-5 has been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five-star safety rating, scoring 95% for adult protection, 80% for child protection, 78% for pedestrian protection, and 59% for safety assist technologies.

As standard, the CX-5 is fitted with forward and reverse autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, lane departure warnings, lane-keep assistance, adaptive cruise control and parking sensors.

Is it Fuel Efficient?

Mazda’s range of engines powering the CX-5 are impressively fuel efficient for its size, with the entry-level 2.0-litre petrol returning combined cycle figures of 6.9L/100km, which rises to 7.4L/100km in the 2.5-litre petrol.

Mazda’s turbocharged petrol engine is rated at 8.2L/100km, while the turbo-diesel is by far the most fuel-efficient engine on offer, returning figures of 5.7L/100km.

Our Verdict: Is the Mazda CX-5 Worth it?

While Mazda hasn’t introduced much in the way of ground-breaking additions to the latest CX-5 update, the platform as a whole remains an exceptionally well-crafted, comfortable and practical family SUV.

Mazda’s approach to styling, combined with generous heaping's of entertainment and safety features means as standard that buyers in the entry-level CX-5 don’t need to stretch their budget to get a great and well-equipped midsize SUV.

As a result, we’d encourage you to add the CX-5 to your shortlist while shopping around the midsize SUV segment, and on that note,  if you’re in the market for a new car, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Five-year, unlimited KM warranty

  2. 12-month/10,000km service intervals

  3. Five-star ANCAP safety rating

  4. 438L boot space

  5. Fuel economy between 5.7L/100km - 8.2L/100km


  • Stylish design, inside and out

  • Generous entertainment & safety features as standard


  • Short service intervals

  • Smaller boot than some key rivals

OnlineAuto Rating: 9/10

Mazda CX-5 Competition

Mazda CX-5

Hyundai Tucson
Toyota RAV4
Kia Sportage
Subaru Forester
Volvo XC60
Haval H6
Ford Escape


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

Have any questions? Call us on 1300 719 925

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