2024 Mazda CX-5 G25 Touring AWD review

The current-generation Mazda CX-5 is nearing the end of its lifecycle, but it’s now carrying on in Australia for now with a petrol-only engine lineup.

WATCH: Paul’s video review of the MY22 CX-5 G35 Akera

This follows an industry-wide trend of diesel engines being dropped in a move to reduce emissions and boost electrification. Mazda is currently pushing towards its goal of electrifying its entire lineup by 2030.

A successor for the venerable mid-size SUV, which dates back to 2017 in its current second-generation form, has been confirmed for Australia, but it’s unclear if it will retain the CX-5 nameplate.

As part of a recent model year 2024 (MY24) update, the mid-spec 2024 Mazda CX-5 G25 Touring AWD variant tested here received new 19-inch black machined alloy wheels, as well as now exclusively black Maztex upholstery instead of a Maztex/suede combo.

Does this variant form as the sweet spot of the range? Read along to find out.

How does the Mazda CX-5 compare?

View a detailed breakdown of the Mazda CX-5 against similarly sized vehicles.



How much does the Mazda CX-5 cost?

The Mazda CX-5 range recently received a price rise by between $370 and $620 as part of a model year update – they were all recently jacked up again by an additional $30, as recently reported.

2024 Mazda CX-5 pricing:

  • 2024 Mazda CX-5 G20 Maxx: $36,590
  • 2024 Mazda CX-5 G25 Maxx Sport: $40,310
  • 2024 Mazda CX-5 G25 Maxx Sport AWD: $42,810
  • 2024 Mazda CX-5 G25 Touring AWD: $44,950
  • 2024 Mazda CX-5 G25 GT SP AWD: $50,310
  • 2024 Mazda CX-5 G25 Akera AWD: $52,500
  • 2024 Mazda CX-5 G35 GT SP AWD: $52,810
  • 2024 Mazda CX-5 G35 Akera AWD: $55,000

Prices are before on-road costs

To see how the CX-5 compares with its rivals, use our comparison tool.

What is the Mazda CX-5 like on the inside?

Walking up to the Mazda CX-5 G25 Touring AWD you’ll be able to distinguish it from the rest of the range externally due to its new 19-inch machined alloy wheels.

Hopping in is made easy thanks in part to the raised ride height synonymous with crossovers. The driver’s seat is also at hip height which makes life even easier.

As standard the CX-5 G25 Touring AWD now comes with black Maztex faux leather upholstery. It previously came with a combination of black Maztex faux leather and suede.

Sure the seats may look fancy but given they’re now finished exclusively in faux leather they get hot and sticky very quickly. The driver’s seat is comfortable enough and offers an okay amount of side bolstering, though the seat base is very flat.

Both the front seats are entirely manually adjustable which is a little disappointing for the price. They also don’t offer any heating or cooling function.

Ahead of the driver is a leather-wrapped steering wheel which is really soft and nice to hold. It’s covered in older-style buttons which have clicky rocker switches, as well as spongey push buttons.

Behind this is an instrument cluster that will likely look very familiar if you’ve sat in a Mazda vehicle from the last few years. There are two crisp analogue dials on each side of the instrument cluster, as well as a 7.0-inch display in the middle.

Although the latter of these is crisp and clear, there isn’t much functionality to it. There are only a few information screens you can cycle through and the majority are filled with negative space.

There’s a bright head-up display which allows you to keep your eyes on the road. Unlike head-up displays from other brands it shows upcoming give way and stop signs.

Moving across there’s a large 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system that looks really high-resolution and has snappy processing. The latter means the screen boots up quickly upon startup and new pages load quickly.

The Mazda Connect infotainment system is very familiar and it’s very hard to get lost in the menus. Even if you do you can easily navigate back to the home screen using the home button on the rotary dial controller.

Speaking of this rotary dial controller it’s the older-style unit that’s not as aesthetically pleasing as the one in the likes of the Mazda 3, CX-30, CX-60 and CX-90.

Touchscreen functionality returned to the CX-5 with this latest update though it only works when smartphone mirroring is connected – though you also need to dig through menus and turn on a setting to allow it to work.

As standard the CX-5 G25 Touring AWD comes with wireless and wired forms of both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and paired wirelessly with my iPhone 15 Pro Max seamlessly – I didn’t experience any dropouts throughout my time with our tester.

Despite the stellar wireless smartphone mirroring performance, I found it hard to keep my phone battery topped up as the wireless phone charger isn’t fantastic. There’s a lip that’s meant to hold your phone on the wireless charger, but in the CX-5 it’s too small causing my phone to slide off the pad whenever I braked.

This was okay on shorter trips but on longer journeys in the car I resorted to plugging my phone to one of the USB-C ports in the glovebox to keep my battery topped up.

Satellite navigation is standard but I’d only use it if I absolutely needed to, as trying to type in a destination takes forever and is incredibly fiddly thanks to the rotary dial. I know I’d rather stick to using Google Maps with smartphone mirroring.

I really appreciate that Mazda has chosen to retain physical buttons and knobs for the CX-5’s climate control cluster. It’s incredibly intuitive and easy to use.

Around the cabin this mid-spec CX-5 misses out on a lot of the soft-touch materials reserved for the flagship variants. Sure there are some soft touches on the critical touch points, including the armrests, though harder plastics are easy to find – the most noticeable is on the centre tunnel where your left knee sometimes rests.

There’s also a fair bit of piano black on the door armrests and around the gear selector which can get dusty, grimy and scratched really quickly.

Moving to the second row things get a little squishy which is a little disappointing given this is a mid-size SUV.

I really appreciate how the rear doors open pretty much to 90 degrees, however the door opening is a little small. I kept on catching my toe when getting in and out.

Sitting behind my driving position at a leggy 182cm is also a little difficult. It had to splay my legs on either side of the seat otherwise they would be firmly pressed in the backrest. Head- and shoulder-room are fine, though toe-room is actually excellent.

In terms of second-row amenities there are centre console-mounted air vents, a folding centre armrest with cupholders and a compartment that has two USB-A ports.

At the back the CX-5 G25 Touring AWD is the most expensive variant in the range to still have a manual tailgate. You need to step up to the GT SP in order to get a power tailgate which also regained a hands-free opening function for MY24.

Boot space is a claimed 438 litres with the rear seats in place, which expands to 1340 litres with them folded. It’s a decent space though not really as spacious as other mid-size SUVs.

The CX-5 has a 40:20:40 split-fold rear bench which is nifty when you need to slot something long into the boot and don’t want to put down one of the larger side seats.

Something I noticed in the CX-5 is there are no bag hooks in the boot, though there is a 12V socket and a nifty cargo cover that lifts up with tailgate when it’s open.

Under the boot floor there’s a space-saver spare wheel which isn’t quite as good as a full-size spare, as you’re limited to a slower speed. It is, however, better than having nothing a tyre repair kit or nothing at all.

What’s under the bonnet?

The Mazda CX-5 range is now only available with petrol engines as the turbo-diesel option has been axed. On test here is the mid-spec 2.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine.

Model Mazda CX-5 G25 Touring AWD
Engine 2.5L naturally aspirated 4cyl petrol
Power 140kW
Engine torque 252Nm
Transmission 6-speed auto
Driven wheels All-wheel drive
Weight 1659kg (kerb)
Fuel economy (claim) 7.4L/100km
Fuel economy (observed) 10L/100km (400km mixed driving)
8.9L/100km (overall total after 1070km)
Fuel tank size 58 litres
Fuel requirement 91 RON

To see how the CX-5 compares with its rivals, use our comparison tool.

How does the Mazda CX-5 drive?

Starting up the Mazda CX-5 G25 Touring AWD you’re provided with an initial harsh engine rev that’s common with Mazda models – for a minute or two there’s also a high idle until the engine warms up a bit.

Once you get moving you won’t be blown away by the ‘G25’ 2.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine’s performance by any means. If you’re after exhilarating acceleration you’d best look at the ‘G35’ 2.5-litre turbo-petrol engine that’s reserved for the GT SP and Akera variants.

The CX-5 G25 Touring AWD doesn’t feel overly powerful and needs to work in order to keep up with regular urban traffic. It will frequently rev to and beyond 3000rpm during typical acceleration which is a touch too high for my liking.

Thankfully the smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission is able to make the most of the naturally aspirated engine’s mediocre outputs. If the transmission can it will hold a higher gear to maximise efficiency, but on the flipside it’s also really willing to kick down a gear or two to keep things moving along at pace.

Our tester has all-wheel drive which weighs it down a tad but helps reduce tyre slip and builds confidence when driving on slippy surfaces. The majority of owners likely don’t need all-wheel drive grip in their everyday commute but it’s nice to have for peace of mind.

Around town and in the city the CX-5 has a weighty steering feel which can be a bit of a pain when navigating tight urban carparks or a three-point turn, for example. It’s by no means a deal-breaker, but it’s worth calling out when a number of similarly sized SUVs have such light steering racks.

Despite the weight steering, the CX-5 G25 Touring AWD is still a breeze to park with front and rear parking sensors. There’s only a reversing camera, with a surround-view camera reserved for the flagship Akera.

At low speeds the SUV’s ride is generally compliant, though it can be a little fragile on the 19-inch alloy wheels which have a skinny 55 profile.

Over sharper and more severe speed bumps the CX-5’s rear can slap if you come in hot, which is a common trait that a number of current Mazda models share. This can be a bit jarring if you’re not prepared for it.

If you’re predominantly driving the CX-5 G25 Touring AWD around in built-up metropolitan areas, prepare for a hefty petrol bill. Thankfully it’s not quite as thirsty as the G35 turbo-petrol engine but fuel economy hung around 10 litres per 100km on regular trips to and from the office.

There is an engine idle stop-start system that Mazda refers to as ‘i-Stop’ which is a handy for saving some fuel while stopped, yet sometimes is a little frustrating as it drops the air-conditioner and fan speed. I can see why some people turn this feature off.

Disappointingly the CX-5’s fuel thirst isn’t quenched as you pick up the speed. The fuel economy still hovers between eight and 10 litres per 100km which is considerably worse than what the turbo-petrol is capable of.

This can be put down in part to how hard the 2.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine has to work to get up to highways speeds and then maintain it. Although the engine will happily rev, the note provided isn’t the nicest – I much prefer how throaty the turbo-petrol sounds.

If you get even a whiff of an incline the transmission will dip back to fifth gear, and on steeper inclines it will even go back to fourth gear which made me grit my teeth every time.

When coasting downhill there is a cylinder deactivation function which aims to further help reduce fuel consumption. The only way to know if the system is active or not is by going into a vehicle status menu on the infotainment system.

Unlike the Mazda 3 which has a bit of an awkward jitter when the cylinder deactivation function is on, the CX-5’s isn’t noticeable at all.

On the safety front the CX-5’s adaptive cruise control system is really natural. It’s able to judge when a car merging into your lane is travelling faster than you and won’t immediately slam on the brakes.

The CX-5 G25 Touring AWD only has a lane departure warning and lane-keeping assist system that engages once your start to drift out of your lane. It’s very subtle however and isn’t intrusive like some systems can be from other carmakers.

This variant doesn’t come with Mazda’s Cruising and Traffic Support feature which combines lane centring and traffic jam assist. You need to step up to the GT SP variant or flagship Akera to get this.

What do you get?

The 2024 Mazda CX-5 is available in five different trim levels. On test here is the mid-spec Touring variant that picked up new 19-inch black machined alloy wheels and now exclusively black Maztex faux leather upholstery (previously had a Maztex/suede combo) with the latest update.

2024 Mazda CX-5 Maxx highlights:

  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Automatic LED headlights
  • Automatic high-beam
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Body-coloured side mirrors with power folding
  • 7.0-inch TFT LCD digital instrument cluster
  • 10.25-inch infotainment system (Mazda Connect)
  • DAB+ digital radio
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
  • 6-speaker sound system
  • Head-up display
  • Two front USB-C ports
  • Push-button start
  • Air-conditioning
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped gear shifter
  • Electric parking brake with auto-hold
  • Keyless window open function
  • Black cloth upholstery
  • Rear seat reclining function

Maxx Sport adds:

  • LED tail lights
  • Satellite navigation
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Rear air vents
  • Paddle shifters
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • Rear centre armrest
  • Two rear USB-A ports

Touring adds:

  • Power-folding, heated exterior mirrors
  • Wireless phone charger
  • Keyless entry
  • Black Maztex upholstery
  • 19-inch alloy wheels

Is the Mazda CX-5 safe?

The Mazda CX-5 is now unrated following its five-star ANCAP safety rating from 2017 lapsing.

It scored 95 per cent for adult occupant protection, 80 per cent for child occupant protection, 78 per cent for pedestrian protection, and 59 per cent for safety assist.

The 2024 Mazda CX-5 comes standard with the following safety features:

  • 6 airbags
  • Adaptive cruise control with stop/go
  • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
    • Pedestrian detection
    • Rear AEB
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Driver attention alert
  • Reverse camera
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Tyre pressure monitoring

The Maxx Sport and up get traffic sign recognition, while Touring and up get front parking sensors. Opting for the GT SP and up gets Mazda’s Cruising and Traffic Support system, while the flagship Akera adds a surround-view camera.

How much does the Mazda CX-5 cost to run?

Mazda backs its range with a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty and five years of roadside assist.

The company recently increased its servicing intervals to 12 months or 15,000km (up from 10,000km), and offers seven years or 105,000km of capped-price servicing.

Current service pricing is as follows:

  • CX-5 G20: $334, $509, $396, $509, $334, $570, $334
  • CX-5 G25: $341, $515, $402, $515, $341, $576, $341
  • CX-5 G35: $354, $528, $439, $830, $354, $613, $354

CarExpert’s Take on the Mazda CX-5

I can see why the Mazda CX-5 is continuing to be a hot-selling mid-size SUV in Australia despite getting on in age now and erring on the smaller side of the segment.

The CX-5 offers a jacked-up and confidence-inspiring seating position that a number of SUV buyers are looking for, wrapped up in a premium-leaning package that’s right-sized for singles, couples, or at a pinch small families.

If you’re banking on the CX-5 having oodles of storage space however given it’s an SUV, be prepared to be sorely mistaken. The second row and boot space is compromised compared to other the vehicles in its segment.

There are plenty of other mid-size SUVs that offer more space than the CX-5. If you’re set on sticking with a Mazda you’d be silly to overlook the ageing Mazda 6 sedan or wagon. It’s not only more practical than the CX-5, it’s also more affordable (20th Anniversary variant aside).

The mid-spec CX-5 G25 Touring AWD on test here is a hard sell in my eyes and doesn’t firm as the sweet spot of the range.

Its ride can be fragile on the larger 19-inch alloy wheels, the atmo 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine really has to work hard, and it’s weighed down by the all-wheel drive system.

The CX-5 can be a smile-inducing and dynamic vehicle but only when paired with the zesty G35 turbo-petrol engine. The catch is you need to spend over $5300 to step up the G35 GT SP to get it.

A cost-conscious alternative for those still looking at getting a CX-5 is to opt for the entry-level G20 Maxx which surprisingly offers an attractive asking price in its segment – currently advertised at $39,990 drive-away.

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