What Is the Best Year for the Mazda CX-5?

by Gabrielle DeSantis

The Mazda CX-5 is a popular compact SUV that offers sporty handling and room for five. What makes this Mazda the right SUV for your family? The safety scores and overall reliability make the CX-5 a solid choice.

Which Mazda CX-5 is best?

A 2012 Mazda CX-5 is a reliable pick, but which year is the best? | National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images

U.S. News ranks the Mazda CX-5 in a few different categories. Critics’ rating, performance, interior, safety, and reliability. With all of these categories taken into consideration, the CX-5 also gets an overall score.

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 scored an 8.6 overall. It scored a 9.8 from the critics and a 9.9 safety rating. It also ranked pretty high in the SUV categories. The newest model has many safety features standard and gets 25 miles per gallon in the city, 31 on the highway.

The 2020 Mazda CX-5 scored a 9.8 from the critics and a 9.9 for safety. This year included other safety features like forward collision warning and adaptive cruise control. While these used to be optional, Mazda now includes these features standard.

In 2018, the CX-5 scored an 8.7 overall. This included a 9.4 from the critics and a 9.8 for safety. It came in number one on numerous lists, including Affordable Compact SUVs, Affordable Crossover SUVs, and Affordable SUVs with 2 Rows.

Is the Mazda CX-5 a reliable car?

RELATED: How Reliable Is the Mazda CX-5?

U.S. News and J.D. Power worked together to score the 2021 and 2020 CX-5. For both years, the SUV scored a three out of five. There are currently no safety recalls noted from The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

For 2018, the Mazda CX-5 got a score of 3.5 out of five. This year does have two safety recalls. The first one is related to the powertrain control module. Mazda can fix this at the dealership by reprograming the software.

The second recall is for the side curtain airbags not properly deploying. Mazda will replace the airbags free of charge if your vehicle was impacted.

All three years of the Mazda CX-5 come with a three-year, 36,000-mile warranty and a five-year, 60,000-mile warranty for the powertrain.

Is a warranty important?

RELATED: How Many Miles Will a Mazda CX-5 Last?

The 2021 models are still available new with Mazda’s warranty, which is a good deal. The starting MSRP for these starts at $25,370. These will likely go on sale as we progress through the year and the 2022 model comes out.

For the 2020 models, you can find most under $25,000 for the sport trim on AutoTrader. If you want an all-wheel-drive option, they are more along the lines of $30,000. Many of these will still have some warranty left, as well.

It should be noted that the older models do not have all of the same safety features. The 2020 model likely has all of the safety options standard that used to be optional. Some optional features include Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and parking camera systems.

The 2018 model is a great used option. With safety features, roomy seating, and solid handling, this is available at a good price. Blind-spot monitoring became standard during this year. It also got around 25 miles per gallon in the city and 31 on the highway.

The 2018 year was also available in front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. The front-wheel drive options are easier to find and usually around $22,000. With low miles, this is a good used car option.

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