Currently reading: Mazda CX-5 gains 2.5-litre petrol engine and new tech for 2021
SUV is now available with two diesel and two petrol powertrains and receives new infotainment

The Mazda CX-5 has been updated for 2021 with a new range-topping petrol engine, upgraded infotainment and driveability improvements. 

The headline change to the SUV is the introduction of a new 191bhp 2.5-litre Skyactiv-G unit for top-rung GT Sport models. Unlike the existing 2.0-litre petrol option, this sends its reserves to both axles through an automatic gearbox. 

Like the 2.0-litre engine, however, the new 2.5-litre unit uses Mazda's recently introduced cylinder-deactivation technology for improved efficiency at cruising speeds with "no cost to performance". It's capable of 35.3mpg on the WLTP cycle while emitting 182g/km of CO2. 

The smaller 163bhp petrol engine remains available for front-wheel-drive cars specified in SE-L, Sport and GT Sport trims. It can also be paired to a six-speed manual gearbox to take advantage of the cylinder-shutdown function.  

Unlike the Mazda 6, the CX-5 can still be specified with a choice of diesel engines: a 148bhp front-wheel-drive option for SE-L and GT Sport trims and a 181bhp option for GT Sport trim, now available with front-wheel-drive for the first time.

The diesel models will arrive in dealerships in April, having now been made compliant with the latest RDE2 emissions regulations. 

Mazda claims that all versions of the CX-5 benefit from "optimised throttle pedal calibration for better response and control with improved engine response to throttle inputs" and that its automatic gearbox has been made more responsive. 

An updated infotainment system has been rolled out across the CX-5 range for 2021, with a larger and thinner 10.25in touchscreen and access to more connectivity functions.  

A limited-run Kuro Edition will mark the updated CX-5's arrival in dealerships, sporting either Soul Red or Polymetal Grey paint with 19in black alloy wheels and matching wing mirror caps. It also gains a raft of extras as standard, including an electrically adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, half-leatherette upholstery and red stitching throughout.

Just 750 examples will be produced, priced from £31,230. 

Prices for the refreshed CX-5 range begin at £28,830 for entry-level SE-L trim and top out at £32,730 for GT Sport, with the first examples arriving alongside the Mazda MX-30 electric crossover in March. 

This is the most substantial round of updates for Mazda's Volkswagen Tiguan rival since it launched in its current form in 2017.

Subtle revisions last year included the introduction of cylinder-deactivation technology in the name of improved efficiency, technology tweaks and measures to improve refinement.


Mazda CX-5 2.0 Skyactiv-G Sport 2WD UK review

Diesel vs hybrid: Mazda CX-5 vs Honda CR-V

Mazda CX-5: the full road test


Read our review

Car review

New version of Mazda's established family SUV looks to hone its driver appeal further and move upmarket in a rapidly expanding segment

Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

Join the debate

Add a comment…
Will86 26 January 2021

Shame the 2.5 isn't available with front wheel drive and a manual, would have improved fuel economy a bit and bring the price down. Same is true with the Mazda6, I wish the 2.5 could be had with a manual and at lower trim levels.

Bishop 26 January 2021

Still the best looking car in this class and Mazda has the knack (through necessity) of keeping its cars competitive and relavant through regular upgrades like this.  Needs a hybrid or EV option desparately, though, which will need a new platform, no doubt.

xxxx 26 January 2021

Bit of a come back from mazda. Interesting the sky inactive x engine is not used, over rated from off in my humble opinion.