Mazda CX-5 review: Akera Turbo AWD 2021 five-seat SUV - long-term family test
Mazda CX-5 review: Akera Turbo AWD 2021 five-seat SUV - long-term family test

Mazda CX-5 review: Akera Turbo AWD 2021 five-seat SUV – long-term family test

00:00 Intro
01:25 Pricing and features
02:51 Design
04:27 Practicality
06:15 Safety
07:14 Under the bonnet
08:22 Efficiency
08:54 Ownership
09:52 Driving
11:40 Verdict

Mazda CX-5. For a long time it was the go-to name in the midsize SUV segment, but after a decade, the Toyota RAV4 overtook it as Australia's most popular medium crossover.

So does the Mazda CX-5 2021 model still offer enough to make it worth considering? Tung Nguyen spent six months with the top-spec Akera Turbo AWD to see whether it fit into his lifestyle as a family SUV.

From the boosted turbo engine to the fine-tuned design lines, the interior fit and finish to the real world fuel consumption, Tung gives you the lowdown on what to expect if you're in the market for the flagship Mazda SUV alternative to the Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, Mitsubishi Outlander, Subaru Forester, Honda CR-V, Haval H6 and plenty more.

Read Tung's full review:

Visit our Mazda CX-5 hub:

Check out our family guide:

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Comments (39)

David Lewis

Might be a touch unfair on the CX5 using a Britax Millenia, those things are massive and only good for Klugers etc.


What’s the point of this review. Facelift model is coming in two months

Big Big

Yep, time to move old stock before new model release.


And still a mid range CK5 and more power and torque than its Hyundai and kia rivals

Tony Z

Long term test always best

Kien Fung

Best in his class.

Robert Ceroli

It’s a shame they don’t make that eng available in the lower grade models .Decades ago in a falcon or Kingswood you could option the biggest V8 without going for the top spec

Aussie Gamer

It looks really old now … definitely lost its modern touch


I think this could be a great option as a long term option…

Mike R

I’ve never seen such a large rear facing car seat. No wonder you have no passenger room. I have a regular size rear facing seat installed and barely moved the passenger seat.

Rabids Minions

Families would be better getting the Mazda 6 Wagon with the 2.5L engine over a 2.0L Mazda CX5 for the same price. Mazda 6 has 140kw & 252nm vs 115kw & 200nm for the 2L CX5 and they weigh the same in the cheapest spec of each model.

Stephen Walters

@Dirtygore – doubt it. Most are sold to city folk. By the way my Mazda 6 copes very well living in a rural area.

Rabids Minions

@Dirtygore Seriously how many families actually go off road? If they are intending to do that then they should buy a large Subaru thats bigger than a CX5.


Awesome till you need that AWD on country roads.

Stephen Walters

My 2019 Mazda 6 GT wagon has the same engine as the test vehicle here. It’s B Fuel monitor has not been reset since new and for 34000km has shown a constant 8.2l/100. Less wind resistance due to lower stance. More room in back for families.

Mark Sweet

not to bad but its still dreary suv.

Mark Sweet

@Dirtygore thats a matter of opinion.


Still better than Hyundai and kia.

Henry Lawson

Too small, no wireless charging, no touch screen for infotainment

Henry Lawson

@Dirtygore true except I purchased a wireless dongle for my new Tucson Apparently Hyundai has the hardware but it just needs to be enabled at a software level pending resolution of a dispute with big tech.

Julius Ferrer

The top model of 2022 Kia Sportage has wireless charging and also a Hybrid version. The interior of the Sportage is more futuristic as well compare to this one!


Hyundai and kia are still wired Android auto and Apple car play. You still need to plug your phone in just like the Mazda and they all still charge that way. Besides, a cord is always better than wireless.

NZ Auto Review

Looks old and boring shape.need total redesign for cx5


Still better than Hyundai and kia

Wayne Young

I like the Torque for the hill work. Order two 2022 CX5 Akera turbo petrol and diesel interesting times to come


When the new CX-5 Touring Active comes out, you should def have a compo between it and a Forester Sport!

Joe Powell

I bought one and loving it. It also has a regular auto, no CVT or Double clutches to go wrong …


Spot on there. Standard auto with a powerful engine and Japanese reliability. Take this over RAV4 and Tiguan anyday!

James Pountney

The-e most overrated SUV on the market. This car is proof of herd mentality; it is simply not family friendly whatsoever with how little space there is and the interior is severely outdated compared to rivals. Car journalists keep raving about the CX-5 but there are so many better options. The reviewer here was fine, but he talks about things like rear seat cup holders, rear vents and the adjustable steering wheel like it’s not available in competitors.

The only thing I liked about the CX-5 was that it was comfortable, but that’s hardly a ringing endorsement. It’s essentially a small sedan on stilts and overpriced.


Still a better interior and exterior over Hyundai and kia and even there mid spec has more power and torque.


@Paul D the subaru is hard cheap plastic inside, not where close to the mazda interior quality, plus the subaru exterior looks like it was design for early 2000 year model. But its has roomy cabin and nice infotainment system

James Pountney

@Paul D I prefer both to CX-5, but agreed – especially Subaru. Another overrated one. At least the latter has competitive pricing, Mazda’s are laughable at their $$

Paul D

Outdated interior? Have you been in a RAV 4? Subaru?


Most reviews overrate cars. But some new rivals only has nice infotainment and instrument display. But the interior is filled with cheap recycle plastic, cheap sound system. Engine and transmission that may last only 2 years, things you would not fine in the cx5. The cx5 needs a redesign tho. It kinda getting boring now

Phil Ross

In my opinion and many other Mazda fans I wish Mazda would loose the Piano Black exterior finishes on their vehicles, even from showroom they look badly scratched and they do not age well. Mazda can do better than this as it cheapens the product and spoils what are otherwise beautifully finished vehicles.

Phil Ross

@Matt Lyster I’m glad we agree, it’s very annoying that after paying around $50000 or more for a new car that you have to accept quality control problems such as this.

Matt Lyster

@Phil Ross oh, I see what you mean now, I misread your comment and thought you meant the paint itself. I do agree, these surfaces aren’t that good and haven’t really looked as good as the rest of the exterior since shortly after purchase. Clearly a very soft paint. For reference it’s a 2018 turbo petrol GT. I remember these looked a bit sad on my RX8 too although they were different, they just used to fade quickly

Phil Ross

@Matt Lyster you must have be very lucky and yes I do know what I’m talking about!
Even the dealers know there is a problem from new with piano black plastic finishes especially on the C Pillars etc having surface scratches and have reported it to Mazda Japan.
I have been a Mazda owner for more than 30 years and fastidiously care for my cars.
Perhaps your Mazda is one of the lower grade or an older model that don’t have this finish.

Matt Lyster

Not sure what you’re talking about. Ours looks great and I don’t let the muppets at Mazda wash it so it’s stayed looking great 3 years on


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