If you're looking for a compact luxury SUV but are iffy about the higher price tags and running costs (quite understandably), the 2021 Mazda CX-5 is a perfect alternative. It all starts with its elegantly sporty styling and carries inside where its handsome design and plush materials are a clear step up from others at its price point. Then, when you're behind the wheel, the CX-5 impresses with engaging driving manners that we've routinely described as being indicative of a "budget Porsche." Its available turbocharged engine even has as much or more power as several similarly sized luxury crossovers.
Now, if the CX-5 can be credibly considered an alternative to luxury vehicles, it's safe to say that it also stands tall against non-luxury choices like the popular Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. Certainly, its style, plush interior and driving manners count for a lot. It also gets a new infortainment system for 2021, addressing one of this Mazda's few low points. It's still smaller than those top competitors, particularly in the cargo area, so if max utility and versatility are a priority, it may not be the best choice. Fashion and function rarely go hand-in-hand, and the CX-5 is no exception.