We all love a little more passing power and a little extra oomph when we need it. Mazda has made extra juice available in its highly rated, best-selling crossover with the addition of a turbocharger. Increases the power of the five-seater from 187 horsepower to a not inconsiderable 69 horsepower. However, is the CX-5 turbo worth $10,000 more?
The CX-5 comes with standard all-wheel drive.
The base version of the Mazda CX-5 comes well-equipped with all-wheel drive, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and several of the amenities we’ve all come to expect in a $26,700 SUV. But for those of us who want extra power, there’s the 2.5 Turbo version. It comes similarly equipped, with the addition of a standard wireless charger. But it has the SKYACTIV-G 2.5 Dynamic Pressure Turbo engine that makes 256 horsepower.
The big difference is that the Turbo starts at $36,850, or $10,150 more than a comparable non-turbo version. The CX-50 is related to, but is a taller, off-road-focused version of the CX-5.
The CX-5 in either trim offers a healthy 59 cubic feet of storage space when the seats are folded down and an impressive 29 cubic feet when they are flat. It is one of the most spacious five-seater SUVs on the market. It almost matches the Ford Escape, but it doesn’t match the Toyota RAV4 for space.
Is Turbo more fun than non-turbo?
At JD Power, which rates driving experience as reported by owners, both the turbo and non-turbo versions of the Mazda CX-5 rate 82, which is an “excellent” score. Any other target scores for the two are the same. But, considering you’re saving about $10,000 by not buying the turbo, you could have more fun with the money you’re not spending on the turbo.
Sure, 69 more horsepower is fine in any car. But according to car and driver the CX-5’s chassis offers a class-leading driving experience regardless of engine. The difference in speed, however, is pronounced. Most testers report an 8.5-second burst to 60 mph on the non-turbo version, while the turbo drops about 1.5 seconds in that time. It’s a significant difference, and the turbo certainly helps take advantage of the CX-5’s sporty characteristics.
When you get the turbo, you also get upgraded brakes, bigger wheels, different gearing in the transmission, and paddle shifters.
Is the Mazda CX-5 a reliable SUV?
The Mazda CX-5 ranks first out of 26 midsize SUVs for reliability on RepairPal. Its 4.5 reliability rating easily beats the segment average. When you need repairs, they are usually lower as well. The average cost to repair for the CX-5 is $447, which is $126 less than average. However, RepairPal does not differentiate between turbo and non-turbo CX-5s.
At JD Power, the quality and reliability scores between turbo and non-turbo versions are the same. Both score an 82, which puts them in the “excellent” category, for quality and reliability.
Is Mazda’s security suite different on the Turbo?
Most versions of the CX-5 have the same security features. The Turbo Signature version of the CX-5 gets a significantly different set of safety mods that the base car doesn’t. Of course, the Turbo Signature is almost $40.00 and has a Lexus-like cabin covered in piano black and leather. But it also has a 360-degree camera, front and rear parking sensors, and automatic braking in reverse.
The CX-5 is Mazda’s best-selling SUV in the US and that’s because it’s bigger and has better driving dynamics than most SUVs in its class. The turbocharged engine gives this SUV a bit of punch, but whether it’s worth another $10,000 for that engine (and wireless charging) is a tough decision to make.