5 Mazda CX-5 KF Akera AWD, 2.5L Turbo Petrol


  • CX-5 , KF , Akera · See All
  • Also referred to as: Mazda CX-5 KF Akera AWD, 2.5L Turbo Petrol 2022 and Mazda CX-5 KF Akera AWD, 2.5L Turbo Petrol 2024.
5 reviews
View Statistics
( 3 )
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( 0 )
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( 2 )
Build Quality
3.4 ( 5 )
Value for Money
3.0 ( 5 )
Cleaning & Maintenance
5.0 ( 3 )
Noise Level
3.5 ( 4 )
5.0 ( 2 )
Acceleration / Power
3.7 ( 3 )
Gear Shifting
5.0 ( 2 )
5.0 ( 2 )
Fuel Efficiency
2.3 ( 4 )
5.0 ( 2 )
Interior Design
5.0 ( 2 )
Boot Size
3.7 ( 3 )
5.0 ( 2 )
5.0 ( 2 )
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Expert Review

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4.3 out of 5 stars

What is it?

Mazda has refreshed the CX-5 for 2022, massaging the exterior and interior to try and creep this small SUV above competitors like the Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV 4.

It’s renowned for being the best driving and handling SUV amongst its competitors, and I wanted to see first hand if this was the case.

There’s no denying the CX-5 has been a sales success with families around Australia, but is it really worth buying instead of the more logical and larger alternatives?

Mazda also offers an off-road mode with the CX-5, so of course it seemed obvious to see if buying a Subaru Forester is entirely necessary if you plan on heading to your favourite camping spot.


4.6 out of 5.
Mazda CX-5 headlight

Mazda’s build quality is certainly above par. Mazda’s solid construction helps make it feel more luxurious than the likes of Subaru and Toyota, especially when it comes to the materials and finishes used in the CX-5.

Our ‘Akera’ model of the CX-5 had some additional flair in the form of Nappa leather seats. However, the door handles, climate controls and volume buttons all added to a higher sense of build quality. The way these elements felt weighty, crisp and slick to engage with were the reasons why the CX-5 felt like it had a superior quality to its construction.

Compared to a Subaru, the Mazda oozes attention to detail making it more appealing to those who would appreciate that. The small interactions with this car scratch a certain itch in my mind, like adjusting the temperature with high quality metal dials that turn with a satisfying ‘click’.

How Much Does it Cost?

4.5 out of 5.
Mazda CX-5 on dirt

The AWD Akera trim of the CX-5 starts from $55,842 drive away.

To be honest, that’s a fair price for the features you’re getting and the amount of car you’re receiving. I appreciate Mazda restraining from heading north of the $60,000 range.

You can start the range for $45,190 driveaway with the entry-level Maxx Sport trim, but I’d recommend getting the most out of your CX-5 with something like the GT SP or the Akera.

Warranty and Servicing

4 out of 5.
Mazda CX-5 engine bay

Mazda offers a 5 year/unlimited kilometre warranty with the CX-5, and 5 capped price services.

Servicing intervals are 10,000km apart, which can seem a little short compared to the likes of Subaru.

It’s worth pointing out Kia still offers the best warranty and capped price service program in the form of the Kia Sportage.

Noise Level

4.4 out of 5.
BOSE speaker inside Mazda CX-5

Despite featuring twin tail pipes and a turbocharged motor, this is just as quiet as you’d expect a family SUV to be.

I absolutely adored the sound isolation provided by the CX-5. It was levels above its competition, preventing outside noise from bleeding into the cabin.

The upgraded speakers inside were a delight to listen to, but I’m not sure that should be the sole reason why you’d spend more money on going up the CX-5 range.


4.2 out of 5.
Mazda Cx-5 wheels, tyres and brakes

It was clear the CX-5 was trying to emulate the buttery braking experience found in the CX-8 and MX-30 Electric. It didn’t quite achieve that same status.

Rather, pushing the brake pedal felt predictable and perfectly responsive to your inputs, but there was a bit more pitch in the body when decelerating.


4.6 out of 5.
Mazda CX-5 intrument cluster

This CX-5 was fitted with the most powerful engine option you can get: a 2.5L turbocharged petrol four-cylinder.

Producing 170kW and 420Nm, with power being sent through all four wheels, this is one of the faster SUVs in its class. VW and Cupra take the crown when it comes to the quickest SUV options at this price point.

With more power than cars like the Subaru Outback and the RAV 4, you can ride the wave of torque without having to dig deep into the accelerator pedal.

Sport mode is a fine way to engage with this more responsive motor, however it’s still a world away from what something like the Tiguan R would offer. Rather, it’s a powertrain for effortless highway driving and overtakes.

It’s always more fun to have more power, and especially a turbocharger.

Gear Shifting

4.4 out of 5.
Mazda CX-5 gear selector

The 6-speed automatic transmission provides smooth and seamless shifts, but is lacking a few gears that are usually found in other SUVs.

A 6-speed seems a little lacking on paper, but I never found the CX-5 to be high in the rev range at highway speeds. The ratios are clearly tuned for optimal efficiency and power delivery, seeing as it’s not ultra exciting to engage with. I never really saw the need to use those paddles on the steering wheel.

Suspension & Handling

4.4 out of 5.
Mazda CX-5 on road

Riding on larger 19-inch alloy wheels, the road can be felt just that little bit more through the cabin. It’s a lot better than some other SUVs that opt for 20-inch wheels, but it’s going to feel a little more stiff than 18-inch wheel options.

The CX-5 feels more sporty and engaging than other SUVs in this category thanks to the suspension and steering. It’s clear why most people consider Mazda more fun to drive.

Corners can be a bit of entertainment too. However, I can’t help but feel there’s just a little lacking in the driving experience from the engine and gearbox.

It’s like a ‘warm’ SUV experience, and not quite as spicy an experience as what you’dl find on some more aggressively tuned alternatives.

I just wish Mazda chose to commit to full comfort or add a little more sporting flair instead of floating in this middle ground.

There’s enough ground clearance to confidently head into Off-Road mode too. It’s not enough to traverse over really deep mud ruts or get lost on the beach, but is rather a handy mode to head to a farm house or your favourite campground. For most people, Mazda’s AWD system returns the same value as Subaru’s - even when two wheels are off the gravel.

Fuel Efficiency

3.8 out of 5.
Mazda CX-5 side profile

This SkyActiv motor returned figures around the 10L per 100km mark. That’s a fine and respectable figure for an SUV of this size and power.

It’s not going to be the option for those looking for more conservative figures - for these people, I’d recommend a diesel instead.

Interior Design

4.2 out of 5.
Mazda CX-5 interior

The Mazda CX-5 doesn’t have an interior as visually striking as Kia’s new cars, but it has a restrained and minimalist finish that hones in on the right things.

There are three displays, a drivers display (flanked by analogue dials) and a central 10.12-inch infotainment non-touch screen.

The interior is simple, but effective. The controls are easy to navigate and understand, and there’s little to no learning curve to using them.

I love the clean, parallel lines and the back to basics approach of the interior. More impressive though is the use of materials; rich Nappa leather, stitching, and high quality switchgear elevate the interior design, pushing it above the likes of Toyota.

For some however, this design might be a little visually bland.

Boot Size & Comfort

4.3 out of 5.
Mazda CX-5 boot

The Subaru Forester has the upper hand when it comes to interior storage, but the CX-5 isn’t too far behind.

An automatic tailgate reveals a boxy, flat load area. That’s good enough for 438L of cargo. Fold the seats down in a 40:20:40 configuration, and you’ll see just over 1,340L of cargo space.

It’s not the biggest SUV, but at least you can make the most of the internal space by folding just that middle seat down.

Mazda CX-5 rear seats

However, there’s a slight problem by just folding that middle seat, or having someone sit in it, as the controls for the rear heated seats and USB port are found in the centre arm rest. It’s a strange oversight from the company that pays great attention to the small details in their cars.

Plenty of comfort can be had inside the CX-5, reinforcing why this car is so popular with families in Australia. Whether it’s the softened suspension, effortless power delivery, quiet cabin or creature comfort features (like heated/cooled front seats and radar cruise control), it’s easy to hit the road in this SUV.

Even off-road, the CX-5 failed to make a dirt road feel miserable in a car really intended to stay on the pavement. Although, I wish Mazda could have taken some of the ride qualities of the MX-30 and employed them here for greater comfort.


4.6 out of 5.
Mazda CX-5 rear heated seat controls

Kia takes the cake for the best features for the money. However, Mazda still offers plenty of features on the top of the CX-5.

It certainly feels a lot nicer than the Forester when it comes to the finishes and quality of screens and cameras.

I just wish it came with a panoramic glass roof instead of the smaller sunroof to let more light in at the back.


  • 2.5L turbo-petrol four cylinder
  • 170kW (227hp) and 420Nm
  • All-wheel drive


  • 10.25 inch infotainment
  • 7-inch TFT LCD multi-information drivers display
  • Heads up display
  • BOSE audio


  • 360 View Monitor
  • Advanced keyless entry
  • Advanced keyless push-button engine start
  • Airbags SRS Front (Driver & passenger); Side (front); Curtain (Front & rear)
  • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Auto Door Lock (ADL)
  • Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM)
  • Child restraint anchor points ISOFIX x2, top tether x5
  • Childproof rear door locks
  • Driver Attention Alert (DAA)
  • Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)
  • Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)
  • Emergency Brake Assist (EBA)
  • Emergency Stop Signal (ESS)
  • Engine immobiliser
  • Forward Obstruction Warning (FOW)
  • High mount stop lamp
  • Hill Launch Assist (HLA)
  • Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA)
  • Intrusion-minimising brake pedal
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
  • Lane-keep Assist System (LAS)
  • Left-hand-side convex (wide angle) exterior mirror
  • Parking sensors Front & rear
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
  • Remote central locking, 2 transmitters
  • Reverse camera
  • Roll Stability Control (RSC)
  • Seat-belt warning Driver & all passengers
  • Seat-belts (front) 3-point lap-sash with pretensioners, load limiters and height adjustable shoulder anchorages
  • Seat-belts (second row) 3x 3-point lap-sash, outboard with pretensioners and load limiters
  • Seat-belts (third row) 2x 3-point lap-sash
  • Side impact door beams
  • Smart Brake Support (SBS)
  • Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) Forward & reverse
  • Traction Control System (TCS)
  • Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR)
  • Trailer Stability Assist (TSA)
  • Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
  • Whiplash-minimising front seats


  • Dual-exit exhausts
  • Drive modes
  • 1.8T towing capacity (braked)


  • Dual-zone climate controls
  • Rear heated seats
  • Power tailgate
  • Front cooled and heated seats

Buy it, Consider it, or Leave it?

Mazda CX-5 parked off-road

Buying an SUV like the CX-5 isn’t the most exhilarating purchase; rather, it’s made with the logical part of your brain.

The CX-5 is a very sensible choice, sprinkled with some features that make it just that bit more appealing than the competition. From its more powerful four-cylinder engine, leather seats, minimalist interior and more engaging drive, the CX-5 looks and feels a little more premium than the likes of Toyota and Subaru.

The problem is, it’s not as sporty as something like a Tiguan R or a Cupra, but it’s a fair middle ground that’s comfortable and relatively capable.

I especially appreciate an SUV in this class that doesn’t feel breathless out on the highway too. For me, the attention to detail (overlooking the placement of the rear heated seat controls) really took the CX-5 to the next level, making it feel a lot more special than most of its direct competitors.

Certainly consider it against the likes of the Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV 4 and VW Tiguan, as the CX-5 might not appeal to all. You might need more boot space (Forester), prefer more power (Tiguan) or want a hybrid drivetrain (RAV 4). But for the best blend of all of the above (bar the Toyota), the CX-5 is the ideal ‘just right’ option for many.


About the author Cameron is our resident car expert. Aside being a source of knowledge about the automotive industry, he has also driven a wide variety of cars - from a Porsche 911 GT2 RS, through to a 1998 Toyota RAV4.


Stevejan Sydney, NSW · 6 posts

We bought August 2022 cx5 petrol turbo akera. Bought to have the safety of surround cameras, have the open road truck passing go of a turbo ( last car 2.5l mazda6), have the awd to go off on dirt roads, under clearance to use dirt roads. 3 weeks into ownership reversed into ditch outside Jindabyne, left front wheel basically off the dirt...selected off road and the traction control on 3 wheels drove dar out of ditch ( in mazda6 a tow job). Turbo has good power. Akera is very quiet abd smooth. City fuel economy about 15l a 100k, whereas open road about 7l a 100klm

Purchased in at Forty Winks NSW, Hornsby for $56,000 .

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Bhuvan M.
Bhuvan M. Sydney, NSW · 3 posts
CX-5 KF Akera AWD, 2.5L Turbo Petrol (2018-2023)

Incredible Luxury without breaking the bank

Purchased in at Mazda Dealers for $49,500 .

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Leo Sydney · 3 posts

Beware Mazda do not honor the warranty you receive when you buy a new vehicle from them, they pick and choose what they want to cover note: don't rest your arm on the arm rest because if it cracks and caves in they will not replace it under warranty, truly poor quality cheap plastics used. High priced vehicle with sub standard quality in various areas of this vehicle, they ignore you hoping you and the problem go away. Well I will be going away....I won't buy another Mazda ever !

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Bilby Sydney · 20 posts

The CX-5 is used for mainly commuting as well as the occasional long drive.

With the leather seats (cool / heated at the front), LED lighting inside and out, HUD, bose sound system and safety features paired with a petrol turbo it really feels like a premium SUV. It is a great car to drive with its 6 speed auto.

Boot space is a little smaller compared to other SUVs but it is also easier to park.

Car is serviced in line with recommended timing / distance and is reasonably priced (though not capped).

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Mazda CX-5 KF Akera AWD, 2.5L Turbo Petrol (2018-2023)


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Category Midsize / Medium SUVs Midsize / Medium SUVs Midsize / Medium SUVs Midsize / Medium SUVs
Starting Price $51,790 $46,540 $37,240 $49,290
Transmission Automatic Automatic Automatic Automatic
Drive Type All Wheel Drive (AWD) All Wheel Drive (AWD) Front Wheel Drive (FWD) All Wheel Drive (AWD)
Fuel Type Petrol Petrol Petrol Petrol
Wheels 19" Alloy 19" Alloy 17" Alloy 19" Alloy
ANCAP Safety Rating 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars 5 Stars
Fuel Consumption 8.2 L/100km 7.4 L/100km 6.9 L/100km 7.4 L/100km
Fuel Tank Capacity 58 L 58 L 56 L 58 L
Engine 4 Cylinder 2.5 L 4 Cylinder 2.5 L 4 Cylinder 2.0L 4 Cylinder 2.5 L
Max Power 170kW @ 5000rpm 140kW @ 6000rpm 115kW @ 6000rpm 140kW @ 6000rpm
Max Torque 420Nm @ 2000rpm 252Nm @ 4000rpm 200Nm @ 4000rpm 252Nm @ 4000rpm
Country of Manufacture Japan Japan Japan Japan
Maximum Towing Capacity (braked) 2,000 kg 1,800 kg 1,800 kg 1,800 kg
Maximum Towing Capacity (unbraked) 750 kg 750 kg 750 kg 750 kg
Manufacturer Warranty 5 year(s) 5 year(s) 5 year(s) 5 year(s)
Ground Clearance 200 mm 200 mm 193 mm 200 mm
Release date
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