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Lasting Goodness: The 2023 Mazda CX-5 Turbo Signature AWD

2023 Mazda CX-5 front 3/4 view

The Mazda CX-5 endeared itself to me eight years ago (story here) and even though there have been significant updates, including an all-new generation for the 2017 model year, the basic goodness just shines through.

2023 Mazda CX-5 rear 3/4 view

There are no big changes to report for 2023, apart from an all-new paint color (Rhodium White). Our tester, as you can see, came in Mazda's popular, verging on iconic, Soul Red Crystal Metallic.

2023 Mazda CX-5 hood up

2023 Mazda CX-5 engine

Under the hood, it's the same mostly winning formula as it has been the past seven model years---a 227-horsepower 2.5-liter turbo four. It makes 256 if you feed it premium gas, and it will knock back 0-60 runs in 6.2 seconds. Not shabby at all. The only thing in need of updating is the six-speed automatic transmission. Three or four more gears would help, especially in terms of fuel economy, where the CX-5 manages an EPA-estimated 24 miles per gallon city/highway combined.

2023 Mazda CX-5 rear liftgate open

2023 Mazda CX-5 rear cargo area

2023 Mazda CX-5 rear seat

2023 Mazda CX-5 front seats

2023 Mazda CX-5 front seat detail

2023 Mazda CX-5 instrument panel

The test vehicle was a top-of-the-line 2023 Mazda CX-5 Turbo Signature AWD. Base price $40,925 with destination. Crossing that psychological $39,999 barrier is a bit of a shock, but consider what comes standard: Selectable drive modes, G-vectoring control plus, 19-inch wheels, rain-sensing wipers, heated power mirrors, a power moonroof, LED headlights and taillights with adaptive high-beam control, a power liftgate, Nappa leather-trimmed seats, an eight-way power driver's seat with lumbar, heated front and rear seats and heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a ten-speaker Bose audio system, navigation, and a comprehensive suite of active safety features.

2023 Mazda CX-5 steering wheel and gauge cluster

2023 Mazda CX-5 center stack

And apart from $595 for the Soul Red Crystal Metallic paint and $135 for a rear bumper guard, that's it. As-tested price: $41,655.

2023 Mazda CX-5 front view

2023 Mazda CX-5 side view

2023 Mazda CX-5 rear view

Mazdas are a solid choice that differentiate themselves from other Japanese brands (Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi) through a more involving driving experience and cut-above interiors. The price tag of the top-of-the-line 2023 CX-5 is more than justified.


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