Mazda CX-5 0-60 Times: Great for its Segment

By: Max F. Arellano / February 04, 2024

Mazda CX-5's 0-60 times range from 6 to 9 seconds, depending on the engine configuration.

In this article, we'll review the reports, see what the numbers mean, and compare them to some of the CX-5's competitors.

What Is the 0-60 Time of the Mazda CX-5?

What is the Mazda CX-5?

The Mazda CX-5 is a compact crossover SUV, and is the best selling model produced by Mazda since 2014, which probably explains why its 0-60 time is one of the most searched models on google, in spite of the fact that it's not known for its acceleration.

In any case, we're here to dig into that very topic, so let's dive into the reviews and reports.

Analyzing Mazda CX-5 0-60 Times

Performance Evolution

  • 2012/2013: The CX-5 was introduced with a 2.0L Skyactiv-G engine, initially clocking 0-60 times around 9 seconds.
  • 2014: Introduction of a more powerful 2.5L Skyactiv-G engine, enhancing the 0-60 time by about a second compared to the original 2.0L engine.
  • 2015-2017: The 2.5L engine continued, maintaining 0-60 times at approximately 8 seconds. Notably, the manual version, available only with the 2.0L engine, was phased out in 2017.
  • 2019: A significant performance leap with the introduction of the 2.5L turbocharged engine in models like the Signature and Grand Touring trims, slashing the 0-60 time to about 6.1 seconds for the 2021 CX-5 Signature. This engine delivers 256 horsepower, a substantial increase over the non-turbo variants.

So we can see a 3-second increase over a period of less than 10 years, which is pretty significant.

Sure, a 6-second 0-60 time is not anything to write home about, but it is fast enough to be noticeable.

To really understand what these times mean, we have to compare them to some of its competitors.

Competitive Analysis

Keep in mind this is going to be from the perspective of acceleration and price, and occasionally aesthetics.

1. Mazda CX-5 vs. Honda CR-V:

0-60 Times: The turbocharged CX-5 leaves all CR-V variants in its wake, achieving 0-60 times significantly faster than the CR-V's typical high 7-second range, which closely matches the speeds of the non-turbocharged CX-5.

Verdict: A turbocharged CX-5 starts at around $39,000, whereas the fastest version of the CRV is only a few thousand dollars less. I'd say the bump in price is worth a nearly 2 second improvement in acceleration.

2. Mazda CX-5 vs. Toyota RAV4:

0-60 Times: Much like the comparison with the Honda CR-V, the turbocharged variant of the CX-5 demonstrates a substantial speed advantage over every RAV4 model, except for the RAV4 Prime XSE, which boasts an impressive 0-60 time of 5.4 seconds.

In contrast, the standard CX-5 aligns closely in terms of speed with the non-electric RAV4 models

Verdict: No clear winner when comparing the base models of each car, however the RAV4 prime is about half a second faster than the turbocharged CX-5, but ~$5,000 more expensive.

We're creeping up in price here, for diminishing returns, so I'd still stick with the turbocharged CX-5.

3. Mazda CX-5 vs. Ford Escape:

0-60 Times: The Mazda CX-5 consistently outperforms the Ford Escape in terms of acceleration across its range of engine options, with the exception of the Titanium variant, which achieves similar speeds to the turbocharged CX-5, and the newer turbocharged SE, which is on par with the non-turbocharged CX-5.

Verdict: The Ford Escape ST-Line Select with its turbocharged engine can get to 60mph in around 6.5 seconds, and is cheaper than the turbocharged CX-5 by a few thousand dollars.

From a purely statistical point of view, I could see the turbocharged Ford Escape being the better option, however I find it to be too bland looking to ever want, so I'd rather pony up the extra money for the CX-5.

4. Mazda CX-5 vs. Subaru Forester:

0-60 Times: The CX-5 and Forester exhibit similar 0-60 times, with the turbocharged Forester achieving times in the low 6-second range, while the standard engine records times in the mid-8-second range.

However, Subaru ditched the turbocharged option several years ago, so it can't compete with the CX-5's acceleration currently.

Verdict: If you're penny-pinching, the base model of the Forester is a few thousand dollars cheaper than the standard CX-5, with the same acceleration, however if you want something faster, there is no Forester that competes with the turbocharged CX-5.

In summary, the turbocharged CX-5 offers some of the best performance in its class, and isn't significantly more expensive. Its also worth noting that its been praised for its exceptional handling, and personally, I think its the most aesthetically pleasing of the bunch.

Out of the 5 options, I'd pick the CX-5 everytime.

Souped-up Mazda CX-5

How can I improve the CX-5 0-60 Time?

Other than upgrading to the turbocharged CX-5 (if you have the base model), these are your best performance-related upgrades.

Short Ram Intake:

Increased Airflow: A short ram intake replaces the stock air intake system with a more direct and less restrictive design. This allows the engine to breathe in more air, which is essential for combustion.

Improved Throttle Response: With better airflow, the engine can respond more quickly to throttle inputs.

This can result in a more immediate acceleration feel when you step on the gas pedal.

Potential Horsepower Gain: While the exact horsepower gains can vary depending on the CX-5's specific engine and existing intake system, a short ram intake can add a few extra horsepower. Even a modest increase in horsepower can contribute to quicker acceleration times.

Better Exhaust System:

Reduced Backpressure: An aftermarket exhaust system, designed for performance, typically reduces exhaust backpressure compared to the stock system.

Lower backpressure allows the engine to expel exhaust gases more efficiently.

Enhanced Engine Note: Many performance exhaust systems produce a more aggressive and sporty engine sound, which can be appealing to enthusiasts.

Potential Horsepower Gain: Just like with the intake system, upgrading the exhaust can lead to a modest increase in horsepower. The combined effect of improved intake and exhaust systems can provide a more noticeable performance boost.

Impact on 0-60 Time:

Quicker Acceleration: The improved airflow from the short ram intake and reduced backpressure from the better exhaust can lead to quicker acceleration.

While the exact improvement will depend on the specific modifications and the baseline performance of the CX-5, it's not uncommon to see a reduction in 0-60 times by a few tenths of a second or more.

Enhanced Torque: These modifications can also result in increased torque, which is critical for acceleration. Improved torque in the lower RPM range can help the CX-5 accelerate more briskly from a standstill.

It's essential to note that the impact of these modifications may vary based on the quality of the aftermarket parts used, the engine's original performance, and how well the modifications are tuned or calibrated to work together.

Additionally, some modifications may affect emissions and void warranties, so it's essential to check local regulations and consult with a reputable tuner or mechanic for guidance.


The Mazda CX-5's 0-60 times, while not groundbreaking, are praiseworthy and rank among the top performers in its class.

If you're in the market for a crossover and prioritize speed, it's a great option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Mazda CX-5 fast?

Fast is subjective, but it’s quick enough for most driving situations and more enjoyable to drive than many of its competitors.

Can I improve the 0-60 time of my CX-5?

Performance modifications can improve acceleration, but it’s wise to consider warranty and reliability implications.

Does the CX-5 handle like a sports car?

While it’s not a sports car, the CX-5 offers more engaging handling than many crossovers, a testament to Mazda’s driver-focused ethos.

What are the differences between the CX-5 trims in terms of performance?

Performance-related differences between the Mazda CX-5 trims primarily revolve around engine and drivetrain options. These differences can affect acceleration, handling, and overall driving experience.

Is a manual transmission available for the Mazda CX-5?

No, Mazda discontinued the manual transmission option for the Mazda CX-5 in the United States starting with the 2017 model year.

About the Author

Author Name

Max F. Arellano

While researching cars awhile back, I encountered a frustrating trend: the available 0-60 resources felt outdated, resembling little more than glorified Excel spreadsheets. Moreover, they seemed outright unwelcoming to mobile users, adding an extra layer of inconvenience to the process.

Drawing on my expertise in software engineering, I embarked on the journey to establish ZeroSixty, aiming to craft an authentic next-generation resource.