13 July 2021

Mazda CX-5 SP25T 2021 Car Review

The Mazda CX-5 is a popular medium-sized SUV, and has now become even more attractive thanks to a slight update to the current CX-5 and a new model added into the mix. The new model is called the CX-5 SP25T and boasts Mazda’s Skyactiv-G 2.5L Turbo engine, which we first saw in the larger CX-9.

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Mazda CX-5 SP25T 2021
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Mazda CX-5 SP25T 2021
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Mazda CX-5 SP25T 2021
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Mazda CX-5 SP25T 2021
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Mazda CX-5 SP25T 2021
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Mazda CX-5 SP25T 2021
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Mazda CX-5 SP25T 2021

The new model boasts a blackout look, with a darker colour palate used both inside and out. It builds upon the attractive CX-5 and adds exterior elements like black metallic alloy wheels and piano black exterior mirrors, while the interior gets a black deluxe leatherette/suede seat trim, along with a black decoration panel. For a contrasting sporty look, red stitching has been added to the seats and steering wheel.

Slight model tweaks

The new Mazda CX-5 SP25T sits between the Limited and Takami models, which both also feature the torquey 2.5-litre turbo engine. The CX-5 line-up has also received additional new updates like the addition of privacy glass to GSX models, and ‘Turbo’ badging on the SP25T and Takami models. All CX-5 models now feature wireless Apple CarPlay, as well as Android Auto via USB.   

The CX-5 SP25T is jam-packed full of i-ACTIVSENSE Technology and safety features like Mazda’s proprietary autonomous emergency braking called ‘Advanced Smart City Brake Support’, Blind Spot Monitoring, Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go functionality, as well as striking Kodo design and a five-star ANCAP safety rating (tested 2017) to complete the package.

Where did we go?

We managed to review the CX-5 SP25T during every day commuting, but we also escaped the city for a bit of a road trip. With a small family on board, we found it to be a perfectly sized vehicle and we can see why Mazda has a suite of popular options in their CX-5 line-up as the unique design language really emanates across the entire range.

Although the fuel economy figure looks a little high when compared to other new SUV vehicles, it does have a rather large turbocharged engine. As its name suggests, it comes with the brand’s firecracker 2.5-litre turbo-four, producing 170kW of power and 420Nm of torque. This is in a market that more commonly sees downsized engines rather than ones with an increased capacity. Despite this, the engine is quite fuel efficient considering the power and torque output.

The CX-5 SP25T handles just as well as it looks. The car is comfortable with no complaints from any of the family, and there’s a powerful Bose stereo to keep everyone entertained.

The Adaptive Cruise Control operated in both peak traffic and open highway with ease, and the Traffic Sign Recognition feature always keeps you informed of the current speed limit.

The engine choice of this variant further adds to the appeal for those who want a perfectly sized vehicle for the family, but offers some of the luxury that we’re used to seeing in most European vehicles, all while remaining 100 per cent Japanese. Some of these luxuries include the sunroof, electric and heated front seats.

This CX-5 SP25T also has the same 2,000kg tow capacity that is given to the diesel and the top-spec Takami models. It also has a fuel efficiency rating of 8.2L/100km, and a CO2 efficiency rating of 191g/km.

Spoilt for choice

The market for medium-sized SUVs is popular and grabbed 20 per cent of the total passenger market share in sales last. Furthermore, the top-four selling passenger vehicles last year all happened to be SUVs and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Mazda CX-5 was one of them. 

Similarly priced vehicles on offer in this segment are the likes of the top-spec Toyota RAV4 Hybrid from $54,990 (TDP), the top-spec Kia Sportage GT Line AWD from $54,990 (+ORC), the 2022 model Hyundai Tucson Active Wagon 1.6T from $57,990 (+ORC), or the Ford Escape ST-Line X Ecoboost
from $55,990 (+ORC).

The Mazda CX-5 range now has one of the most diverse selections of model in both 2WD and AWD, as well as a range of engine choices in the segment - two sizes of naturally aspirated petrol engines, with both turbocharged petrol and diesel options in the mix.

Prices across the seven-variant range start from just $40,995 and top out at $61,495 (+ORC).

At a glance


Mazda CX-5 SP25T


Skyactiv-G 2.5-litre turbo


From $58,995 (+ORC)

ANCAP safety rating


Power and Torque

170kW, 420Nm


Six-speed sports auto

Fuel economy/CO2

8.2L/100km, 191g/km

Towing capacity

750kg (Unbraked), 2,000kg (Braked)



Seating capacity


Luggage capacity/payload

455 litres 

Safety systems

  • Autonomous Emergency Braking
  • Advanced Smart City Brake Support
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Emergency Brake Assist (EBA)
  • Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go functionality
  • Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
  • Traction Control System (TCS)
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
  • Lane-Keep Assist System (LAS)
  • Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)

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