Mazda CX-5: Which Should I Buy, 2020 or 2021?

2021 Mazda CX-5

Most significant changes: Larger multimedia screen standard across all trims; new Carbon Edition trim; more available safety features

Price change: Base Sport model costs $80 more than the outgoing version; prices for other trims also up slightly

On sale: September 

Which should you buy, 2020 or 2021? 2021 for the upgraded multimedia system and access to more safety features

Mazda added some more standard safety features to the CX-5 for 2020, and even more are available for 2021. Other updates for the new model year include a larger standard size for the multimedia system and a new Carbon Edition trim. 

Related: 2020 Mazda CX-5: What’s Changed

Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve and Signature trims return to the lineup for 2021. The base Sport model starts at $26,370 — just $80 more than the outgoing model (all prices include destination). Price increases on the CX-5’s four higher trim levels (in ascending order Touring, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve and Signature) are up $150 to $250.

New this year is the Carbon Edition trim, which slots between the Touring and Grand Touring models. It adds Polymetal Gray exterior paint, gloss-black side mirrors and 19-inch black metallic aluminum-alloy wheels. Inside, upgrades include red leather seats and black honeycomb interior trim on the dash and door panels. Prices for the trim start at $29,955 with front-wheel drive and the base engine.

Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trims continue to get power from the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 187 horsepower. Grand Touring Reserve and Signature trims use the 227-hp, turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder. The Carbon Edition can be had with either engine. All-wheel drive is standard on Grand Touring Reserve and Signature trims, and it’s available on all others.

Inside, the biggest news is that all trims get the larger 10.25-inch center display as standard equipment. It uses the latest version of the Mazda Connect multimedia system and features standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. It includes a free three-year trial of the Mazda Connected Services system. For 2020, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto were unavailable on the base Sport trim.

On the safety front, the CX-5 returns for 2021 with the i-Activsense safety package standard on all trims. It includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning with steering assist and blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. New for 2021 on the top Signature trim is automatic emergency braking that works in reverse and a driver attention alert system. Also, Mazda says the front and rear parking sensors have been updated with high-definition digital clarity.

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 goes on sale in September.

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