Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A grey 2020 Mazda CX-5 is shown from the front at an angle after leaving a Mazda dealer.

Understanding the 2023 Mazda CX-5 Trim Levels

The Mazda brand has been consistently providing innovative and versatile vehicles to drivers everywhere. Whether you consider yourself a car fanatic or just a casual driver looking to get from point A to point B, there are all sorts of Mazdas out there that will more than likely pique your interest, offering exactly what you need to seek out adventure or just handle the daily commute. There’s no doubt that Mazda provides exemplary vehicles on all fronts, but where the brilliance of the brand truly shines is in its selection of SUVs, each of which provides an excellent experience for both solitary adventurers and families.

A standout example of what you can find at a Mazda dealer would be the CX-5, a versatile, powerful vehicle that can carve its own course on the open road or just help you tackle the adventures of everyday life. The 2023 Mazda CX-5 is a fantastic vehicle for a multitude of reasons, with powerful performance, some of the most advanced technology on the market, and plenty of capability when it comes to getting things done. The CX-5 does have a lot to offer, but with eight different trim levels to choose from, the real question becomes: which version of this SUV is right for you? If you’re interested in what the 2023 Mazda CX-5 has to offer across its various trim levels, join us for a rundown on what each of these special SUVs has in store for you.

2.5 S

The Mazda CX-5 2.5 S is the standard trim level for the vehicle. However, the fact that it is the base model does not mean it lacks features that make it an excellent choice for your next SUV. The 2.5 S offers a fantastic well-rounded SUV experience, providing the perfect amalgamation of performance, comfort, and safety. With its SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter engine and standard i-ACTIV all-wheel drive, this model provides plenty of power and capability at an affordable price.

The 2.5 S also comes standard with a wide range of safety features, such as Advanced Smart City Brake Support with Pedestrian Detection, a Lane Departure Warning System with Lane-keep Assist, and Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert. This will help you make every trip with peace of mind, knowing that the CX-5 is keeping you aware of your surroundings, making sure you and all your companions are safe throughout the journey. And with a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, every car ride will be entertaining and fun, no matter where you’re going.

The brown interior of a 2020 Mazda CX-5 is shown from the driver's window.

2.5 S Select

Just one step up from the 2.5 S is the 2.5 S Select trim level, which builds upon the foundations of the base 2.5 S, adding various amenities and features that offer even further comfort and convenience. For instance, this trim includes the Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry and Start System to make locking and unlocking the vehicle simpler. Inside, you will find dual-zone automatic climate control with rear vents and heated leatherette seats to keep everyone comfortable, no matter the weather. The 2.5 S Select also upgrades to a six-speaker audio system and adds USB charging ports and rear privacy glass for your back-seat passengers.

2.5 S Preferred

For those looking for a comfortable ride and interior at an affordable price, the 2.5 S Preferred is the trim level for you. It has various additions that make it even more luxurious, such as its power moonroof, which allows for a view of the sky while driving, allowing more natural light to pour into the vehicle’s cabin, and helping to make you and your passengers feel more connected to the world around you as you drive. The Preferred trim also comes with a driver’s seat memory system, so you can save the seat position that works best for you, and move it into that position at the touch of a button, so you don’t have to mess with your seat before you hit the road. Of course, this is all included with all the previously mentioned features that come standard with the lower trims, making the 2.5 S Preferred a great choice for those who want just a bit more luxury at a still affordable price.

2.5 S Carbon Edition

This is the trim for those looking to get the most out of the CX-5‘s exterior style. With an exclusive Polymetal Gray Metallic paint job, a unique black grille, and 19-inch black alloy wheels, the Carbon Edition of the CX-5 is the pinnacle of sleek style. The interior of the Carbon Edition exudes power, with black trim and black leather seating accented by red stitching. The Carbon Edition also comes standard with all the safety and convenience features mentioned in the previous trims, making it a great option for those looking for a vehicle that lets their own personal style shine through.

2.5 S Premium

The CX-5 2.5 S Premium trim serves to further improve upon the Preferred trim, offering a multitude of features that you won’t find in any of the other trims we’ve discussed. Most notable of all these features is the Premium’s Mi-Drive selectable drive mode. These modes include Normal, offering a well-rounded drive, Sport, for tearing it up on the open road, and Off-Road, for whenever the impulse to seek excitement off the beaten path may arise. To further improve driver control, this trim includes steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters for manual gear changes. The 2.5 S Premium also adds some other handy features, such as an Adaptive Front-Lighting System that swivels the headlights as you turn the wheel to provide added illumination through corners and a larger seven-inch LCD driver display.

2.5 S Premium Plus

For those looking to get the most luxury possible out of their Mazda CX-5, the 2.5 S Premium Plus trim offers the most in terms of high-class features and amenities. This model features an Active Driving Display, projecting important information right onto the windshield so that the driver can get critical info at a glance without having to look away from the road. The 2.5 S Premium Plus trim also kicks entertainment up to the next level with its 10-speaker Bose surround sound audio system, meaning you and your friends or family can really immerse yourselves in the music you choose for your adventure. Additionally, the 2.5 S Premium Plus trim level features a rear power liftgate that opens remotely, streamlining the process of moving and storing cargo, so you can focus more on getting the equipment you need where it needs to go instead of fumbling with how you’re going to get it into your SUV.

2.5 Turbo

The Mazda CX-5 is also an SUV that offers tremendous capability in terms of its power and performance, especially in its 2.5 Turbo trim level. With a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine providing this SUV with 256 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque, the CX-5 Turbo is ready for anything, making it a bold, exciting car to seek out the unknown with. The 2.5 Turbo trim level also features some of the same stylistic options that can be found in the 2.5 S Carbon Edition, such as the deep black interior with red stitching, meaning that you can pair the unparalleled performance of the 2.5 Turbo with the singular flare and distinct personality of the 2.5 S Carbon Edition. In terms of connectivity, the CX-5 Turbo trim level offers a wireless charging pad, so you can ditch those phone cords and get the charge you need without the hassle.

A red 2021 Mazda CX-5 is shown from the rear at an angle.

2.5 Turbo Signature

Finally, for the ultimate CX-5 experience, the 2.5 Turbo Signature trim level marries all the tremendously useful and capable features mentioned in all the previous trim levels, plus various additional technology and cosmetic options. The 2.5 Turbo Signature features exclusive styling details, including a monochromatic look with a body-color front bumper, rocker panels, and wheel arches. It also includes signature badging and 19-inch bright silver alloy wheels not found on any other trim.

Among its improved safety features is a 360-degree View Monitor that helps you monitor your surroundings, keeping you aware and alert of any drivers or potential obstacles that may be in those harder-to-see areas around the vehicle. Smart Brake Support-Rear helps to make backing up even safer, automatically applying brake pressure so that you don’t accidentally bump into anything you can’t so easily see. Traffic Jam Assist helps to maintain a safe following distance from the vehicles ahead and keeps you centered in your lane, reducing driver fatigue on longer trips.

A Standout SUV

The 2023 Mazda CX-5 is a standout model among Mazda’s SUVs, offering bold capability and style. With eight different trim levels that all bring something unique to the table, there are a whole lot of ways that you can make this crossover SUV your own. Whether you’re seeking adventure on your own, going about your daily commute, or getting the various people in your family to where they need to be, there’s a Mazda SUV that is sure to be able to help you with that. And with the various versatile options across its wide range of trim levels, that SUV just might be the CX-5.