2023 Mazda CX-5 GT SP turbo review
The Mazda CX-5 holds a special place in the hearts of Australians, but with the influx of new rivals in its class, the question arises: does it still uphold its lofty status?


  • Cool Looks
  • Fun and Comfy to Drive
  • Fancy Inside
  • Lots of Safety Features


  • Drinks a Bit of Fuel
  • Bit Tight in the Back and Trunk
  • Best Stuff Only in Top Model
  • Hard to Use Screen

What are the prices for the Mazda CX-5 GT SP turbo?

2023 Mazda CX-5 Maxx 2.0 FWD: $35,390 (+$1000)

2023 Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport 2.5 FWD: $39,190 (+$1000)

2023 Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport 2.5 AWD: $41,690 (+$1000)

2023 Mazda CX-5 Touring 2.5 AWD: $43,580 (+$1000)

2023 Mazda CX-5 Touring Active 2.5 AWD: $43,880 (+$1000)

2023 Mazda CX-5 Touring Active 2.2TD AWD: $46,880 (+$1000)

2023 Mazda CX-5 GT SP 2.5 AWD: $49,190 (+$200)

2023 Mazda CX-5 Akera 2.5 AWD: $51,380 (+$500)

2023 Mazda CX-5 GT SP 2.5T AWD: $51,690 (+$200)

2023 Mazda CX-5 Akera 2.5T AWD: $53,880 (+$500)

2023 Mazda CX-5 Akera 2.2TD AWD: $54,380 (+$500)

All prices are before on-road costs.

What’s under the bonnet? 

The power for the 2023 Mazda CX-5 is drawn from a selection of familiar engines.

The entry-level CX-5 Maxx gets its power from a 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine, generating 115kW of power and 200Nm of torque.

Two petrol and all-wheel drive combinations are available: one is a 2.5-litre Skyactiv-G naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine producing 140kW and 252Nm, and the other is a 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with a substantial output of 170kW and 420Nm.

Completing the lineup, the 2.2-litre twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel engine persists into 2023, delivering 140kW and a hefty 450Nm.

All models for this year come exclusively paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The 2.0-litre engine is available only in front-wheel drive, while the 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated petrol variant can be equipped with either front- or all-wheel drive. Diesel and turbocharged petrol models are exclusively all-wheel drive.

Fuel consumption for the 2023 Mazda CX-5 with the 2.0-litre petrol engine stands at 6.9 litres per 100km in the combined cycle. Opting for the 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated petrol variant elevates the consumption to 7.4 litres per 100km with all-wheel drive.

The turbo petrol model consumes 8.2 litres per 100km, while the diesel variant claims a modest 5.7 litres per 100km in the combined cycle.

All CX-5 models are equipped with an idle stop/start system, and the petrol models are designed to run on 91 RON regular unleaded fuel.

How does the Mazda CX-5 GT SP turbo drive? 

The 2023 Mazda CX-5's performance is a significant aspect of its overall appeal, particularly when equipped with the 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine. This engine configuration has been designed to deliver a superb balance of power and smoothness, allowing for a driving experience that is both effortless and satisfying.

The turbo-petrol variant of the CX-5 produces 170kW of power (which can exceed 180kW with 98-octane premium fuel) and an impressive torque of 420Nm at 2000rpm. This hefty torque output ensures the vehicle performs well even with just a six-speed automatic transmission. The vehicle offers a Sport mode and manual tip-shift mode, but it performs best when left in Drive mode.

An essential aspect of the CX-5's allure is its excellent handling. The chassis provides a confident and responsive drive, setting it apart from many other mid-size SUVs. The CX-5's front end is very positive, and its steering offers sufficient feel and communication to enhance the driving experience. Moreover, the vehicle's body control through corners is commendable, effectively handling mid-corner bumps with its excellent damping.

One trade-off for its exceptional handling is a slightly firmer ride than some competitors, such as the new Hyundai Tucson. However, the dynamic quality of the ride is often considered worth the compromise. Mazda has continually refined the CX-5's dynamics, leading to a vehicle that handles incredibly well for a mid-size SUV, even considering its loftiness.

The CX-5 also shines in terms of comfort and noise control. The vehicle offers a quiet cruise, the six-speed auto transmission smoothly handles various driving conditions, and the engine noise is well-damped and only noticeable under load.

What is the Mazda CX-5 GT SP turbo like on the inside? 

This in-depth description of the 2023 Mazda CX-5's interior and features further solidifies its place as a refined and feature-rich SUV in the mainstream market. The quality and plushness of the interiors set it apart from other vehicles in its class, providing a comfortable and luxurious feel.

The seating arrangement in the CX-5, despite being a bit different with a smaller front seat cushion and a rear bench design, provides a reasonably comfortable ride for both short and long distances. The ample foot room and decent headroom in the rear seats also add to the comfort level for passengers.

Infotainment in the CX-5 is handled by a 10.25-inch system that, despite not being a touchscreen, offers simplicity and ease of use through a rotary dial controller. Features like built-in satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, AM/FM/DAB+ are all standard, adding to the overall convenience and entertainment factor in the vehicle. The inclusion of a head-up display and a wireless charger are valuable additions that enhance the driving experience.

Even though the Bluetooth connectivity might occasionally show some glitches, the impressive 10-speaker Bose stereo system compensates by providing high-quality sound for calls and music.

In terms of cargo space, the CX-5 offers a decent 442-litre volume, expanding to 1352 litres with the rear backrests down. While this is average for the class, the neat organization and the presence of a space-saver spare tire beneath the cargo area are beneficial features.

Is the Mazda CX-5 GT SP turbo safe?

The Mazda CX-5 bears a five-star ANCAP safety rating, based on tests conducted in 2017.

It achieved 95 per cent for adult occupant protection, 80 per cent for child occupant protection, 78 per cent for pedestrian protection, and 59 per cent for safety assist.

Standard safety features in the 2023 Mazda CX-5 include:

Dual frontal, side chest and curtain airbags

Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)

Pedestrian detection

Rear AEB

Blind-spot monitoring

Rear cross-traffic alert

Lane departure warning

Lane-keep assist

Driver attention alert

Adaptive cruise control with stop/go

Reverse camera

Rear parking sensors

Tyre pressure monitoring

How much does the Mazda CX-5 GT SP turbo cost to run? 

The entire range of Mazda comes with a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty and five years of roadside assistance.

The service intervals for 2023 CX-5 models equipped with petrol engines have been extended to 12 months or 15,000km, depending on which comes first.

The service intervals for CX-5 models featuring the 2.2-litre twin-turbo diesel remain at 12 months or 10,000km, based on which comes first.

As of now, the service pricing hasn't been disclosed. We'll provide an update as soon as this information becomes available.

Yeecar’s Take on the Mazda CX-5 GT SP turbo

The Mazda CX-5 GT SP turbo offers a truly spirited chassis coupled with potent performance, available in two variations – turbo-petrol and turbo-diesel, both with standard AWD.

Its relatively compact size, premium cabin finishes, and balanced drive remain consistent across the lineup, with the GT SP and Akera grades offering an option for turbo power as a distinguishing feature against more ordinary competitors.

The Mazda CX-5 nails it if you're after a reliable, enjoyable, feature-rich drive. Although it may not top the list in terms of style, especially when compared to some of the sleeker newcomers from Hyundai and Kia, it still holds its own in the aesthetics department. All eyes are now on Mazda to see what the all-new iteration will bring to the table.

The CX-5 continues to hold true to the principles that have made it a favorite amongst Australian new car buyers. It's not only attractive and fun to drive but also well-constructed and generously featured. It strikes a fine balance between performance and comfort, making it an ideal choice for those who want a vehicle that's versatile enough to cater to both daily commuting and longer trips.

The only minor concerns might be the fuel economy on the turbo petrol variant, which some may find a little high, and the absence of a touchscreen for the media system. However, these are small issues in what is otherwise a very well-rounded package.

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2023 Mazda CX-5 G35 GT SP KF Series Auto i-ACTIV AWD

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Indicative Drive Away Price
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$52,410 / MSRP Price

Key Specs

  • MSRP Price
  • Body
  • Fuel Type
    Petrol - Unleaded ULP
  • Transmission
    Sports Automatic
  • Drive
    4X4 On Demand
  • Badge
    G35 GT SP
  • Series
    KF Series
  • Number of Gears
  • No. Doors
  • Release Year
  • Seat Capacity
  • Country of Origin