Some compact crossover SUVs emphasize cargo and passenger volume above all else, but with the 2023 Mazda CX-5, Mazda has decided to concentrate on style and superb driving characteristics. The incredibly stylish and attractive exterior is unmistakable as soon as you see a CX-5 on the road in Surrey or anywhere in the Vancouver area. And the work to make the CX-5 rewarding to drive and be driven in is immediately apparent as soon as you get behind the wheel or sit in a passenger seat.
The six available trim levels in the 2023 Mazda CX-5 lineup accentuate the strong identity of this impressive vehicle. Anyone shopping on a strict budget will appreciate that the lower and higher trim levels are equally stylish, and even the most affordable model doesn’t look as though corners are being cut to keep the price down. However, there is a notable difference in MSRP between the entry-level and top-of-the-range models, meaning there are trim levels to suit a variety of shoppers and budgets.
All six available versions of the 2023 Mazda CX-5 lineup get standard AWD, and there’s no need to move up the trim levels to get a larger touchscreen as the sizeable 10.25-inch unit is also standard at every level. The 2023 model year CX-5 lineup kicks off with the entry-level GX, then the range goes to the GS, Kuro, GT, Sport Design, and finally to the range-topping and awe-inspiring CX-5 Signature.
It can be easy to get carried away with the beautiful exterior styling of the CX-5, but there’s far more to it than how it looks. Two excellent engines are available, and the way the CX-5 drives is also a massive part of its appeal. The handling is superb for a relatively tall crossover SUV, the body roll is as close to undetectable as it gets in a vehicle like this, and the precise steering connects the driver with the vehicle and the road, as well as, or better than anything in the Mazda’s class.
Every CX-5, apart from the range-topping Signature, features a standard 2.5-litre four-pot that develops 187 horsepower and 186 lb.-ft. of torque. Every CX-5 sends its power to all four wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission, but if you’d prefer something more powerful, there’s a 2.5-litre turbo-four that provides the Mazda with 227 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque available for the Sport Design, and standard with the Signature trim level. The power can be increased even further by using 95 octane premium gas, which boosts the output by 23 horsepower and 10 lb.-ft. of torque.
You won’t find a stripped-down, fleet-focused model underpinning the 2023 CX-5 lineup that is only there to achieve a super-low starting MSRP. Instead, the entry-level CX-5 GX gets standard AWD, heated front seats, an infotainment system with that large 10.25-inch screen, Bluetooth, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The GX represents outstanding value for money, but that shouldn’t prevent you from looking beyond it to higher trim levels.
And that’s because we’re sure you’ll find it hard to resist at least going to the GS, which adds a power-programmable liftgate, synthetic leather-trimmed upholstery with Grand Lux Suede inserts, and a heated steering wheel for a relatively small price uplift. Go as far as the Sport Design and Signature models, however, and you’re then getting into the realms of luxury compact crossover SUVs without the badge and associated prices. The big difference between the Signature and Sport Design is the standard turbo-four in the Signature. But if you can live without the turbo-four under the hood, the Sport Design is a magnificent specification.
The 2023 Mazda CX-5 is a stylish, practical, and engaging compact crossover SUV, and especially at lower trim levels, it can also look like excellent value for money. If you’re interested in a new compact SUV, you can enjoy and appreciate on every level, drop in for a test drive at Freeway Mazda, 15420 104 Ave, Surrey, BC, or call us at (604) 583-7121 for more information and arrange an appointment for a time that suits you.
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