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zK 6b 2021 Mazda CX-5: the flagship alongside the rising star - The Times Hub

2021 Mazda CX-5: the flagship alongside the rising star

2021 Mazda CX-5: the flagship alongside the rising star

While the CX-30 is the rising star in the lineup, the Mazda CX-5 remains by far the brand’s best seller in Canada. The fifth best-selling SUV in 2020, it even climbed a rung in the top 10 for trucks and utility vehicles, placing ninth.

So we can understand that Mazda is not in such a hurry to launch a new generation. The first had only lasted four years; this is in its fifth year and is likely to continue until at least 2023. Except the competition is not slacking off – think of the all-new 2022 Hyundai Tucson and Mitsubishi Outlander on the way.

A 2021 CX-5 up to date

Fortunately, there is always something new on the Mazda CX-5 side. Beyond a small revision of the available colors and the addition of new badges, the off-road traction assistance system is now offered on all CX-5 with i-Activ all-wheel drive, starting from the basic version GX. This is certainly a factor that can deter a potential buyer from looking to a Subaru Forester or Jeep Cherokee, for example.

Photo: Guillaume Rivard

In addition, the only touchscreen in the catalog measures eight inches (previously seven inches as standard), while the GT version incorporates wireless Apple CarPlay.

For those who like special editions, Mazda offers not one but two. The CX-5 Kuro stands out with exclusive red leather upholstery, red stitching on the steering wheel, black decorative panels on the dashboard and doors as well as 19-inch alloy wheels. As for the CX-5 100th Anniversary Edition, it is probably the most chic of all with an exterior in Pearl Snow White and a Garnet Red leather interior with matching carpet, not to mention the many “100th Anniversary” emblems everywhere. .

A powerful turbo engine

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 continues to have the edge over some rivals who are content with just one engine, but on the other hand, seeing hybrid options proliferate in the class and elsewhere in the market, we are asks how long he will be able to resist.

In a wise move that will come as no surprise, Mazda is giving up the 2.2-liter turbodiesel it has spent a lot of time and energy in bringing to America. Consumer interest was simply not there.

Standard, the 2021 CX-5 packs a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 187 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque. The alternative is a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine as well that pushes those numbers up to 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet (by far a category top) using premium gasoline.

2021 Mazda CX-5: the flagship alongside the rising star

Photo: Guillaume Rivard

You can run on regular fuel, which will rob you of 23 horsepower and 10 lb-ft, but that’s not ideal – not so much for performance as it is for long-term engine health.

Is the turbo worth it? Certainly. You can always have fun with the base engine, but the supercharged CX-5 takes us to a whole new level and it’s hard to do without it later. It would be like going back to traction after tasting the joys of an all-wheel drive. However, be aware that the towing capacity does not change (2,000 pounds), which is a bit of a shame.

On the road, the 2021 Mazda CX-5 is as fun to drive as ever, helped by its G-force vector control system, straightforward steering and well-tuned suspension. The six-speed automatic does a very good job, but we imagine that the next generation will be equipped with an eight-speed gearbox for more fluidity and especially better fuel consumption.

With the naturally aspirated engine, consumption is 8.8 or 9.3 L / 100 km depending on the type of gear (subtract 0.3 L in the case of a GS version capable of deactivating half of the cylinders in normal driving) . With the turbo, the average climbs to 9.8 L / 100 km, except that in winter conditions and more urban use, it can easily exceed 12 L / 100 km.

Speaking of winter, don’t forget that a version like the GT, Signature or 100th Anniversary costs more to fit due to the 19-inch wheels. In addition, there is no control to lock the four-wheel drive, which would be appreciated by drivers who regularly face snow-covered roads. But congratulations on the addition this year of automatic emergency braking in reverse and the warning system in the event of driver inattention on the Signature version.

2021 Mazda CX-5: the flagship alongside the rising star

Photo: Guillaume Rivard

Do you care more about style?

Like all Mazda vehicles, the CX-5 seduces with its design and refinement that almost elevate it to the rank of luxury SUVs (we fall for this cocoa-colored nappa leather), but it also imposes a few sacrifices on us. inside.

It is not just a question of “form at the expense of function”. Space in the rear seats is more limited than in many rivals. Ditto for the trunk volume – from 875 to 1,687 liters depending on the position of the bench. At least the latter is split 40/20/40, which gives more versatility.

2021 Mazda CX-5: the flagship alongside the rising star

Photo: Guillaume Rivard

We cannot ignore the lack of ergonomics between the front seats (armrest too far back, more or less user-friendly controls, etc.) and the various frustrations caused by the central screen and its infotainment system. Although it is tactile unlike the new Mazda3 and CX-30, too much manipulation is required to get what you want. The system itself is not super fast to perform, the rear view camera image is poor, and the GPS maps do not impress.

2021 Mazda CX-5: the flagship alongside the rising star

Photo: Mazda

Verdict

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 is an excellent compact SUV for those who seek luxurious styling, powerful powertrains and dynamic driving above all. It continues to evolve and that’s good. But when will we see a hybrid option? One wonders well.

In closing, the CX-5’s resale value exceeds that of Korean models which are known to give us more for our money and its expected reliability ranks it in the top 10 of all vehicles according to the magazine. Consumer Reports.

In video: The Car Guide’s 2021 best buys – compact SUV category

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