The Price is Right

2021 Mazda CX-5 gets infotainment screen upgrade, $80 base price jump

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 arrives at dealerships later this year.

Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations
Mazda has revealed the details of the 2021 Mazda CX-5. The two-row SUV will have a new 10.25-inch infotainment touch screen front and center on the dashboard and a new Carbon Edition grade offering. It will start at $2,5270, $80 higher than it did in 2020.

The CX-5, which is one of the best-selling SUVs in the U.S. and Mazda's top-performing U.S. model, comes with a long list of standard features, including that screen. The roster includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Mazda Connected Services (with a free three-year trial), a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, Bluetooth, two front USB ports, push-button start, keyless entry, rearview camera, cloth seats, automatic on/off LED headlights, 17-inch gray metallic aluminum alloy wheels, roof spoiler, and rain-sensing wipers.

2021 Mazda CX-5 Mazda's top-tier CX-5 Signature trim offers premium level appointments.Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

Mazda equips its base model CX-5 ($25,270) with a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard and all-wheel drive (AWD) is available (starting at $26,670). Mazda gives each model manual and Sport drive modes.

The CX-5 is equipped with a standard suite of driver assist and safety technology including Advanced Smart City Brake Support with pedestrian detection, Smart Brake Support, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, and blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. Automatic high beams are also standard.

Upgrading to the CX-5 Touring ($27,010 for FWD, $28,410 for AWD) adds heated driver and front passenger seats, leatherette seats with Lux Suede inserts and dual-zone automatic climate control. There's also added air conditioning vents for rear passengers, a center armrest, and two additional USB ports. Mazda Advancned Keyless Entry, rear privacy glass, a six-speaker sound system, and auto-leveling LED headlights are standard in this trim level.

Buyers can add the new Touring Preferred SV Package ($1,445) to their CX-5 Touring to elevate the features list. This package upgrades to the Bose 10-speaker audio system, leather seats, power liftgate, power moonroof, auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink, six-way power passenger seat, and eight-way power driver's seat with lumbar support and memory positioning.

Like other 2021 Mazda models, the company is offering the CX-5 in a Carbon Edition trim level ($28,855 for FWD, $30,255 for AWD). It builds off the CX-5 Touring with Touring Preferred SV Package and adds Polymetal Gray exterior paint, gloss black door mirrors, and 19-inch black metallic aluminum alloy wheels. The CX-5 Carbon Edition's interior has red leather seats and black honeycomb interior trimming on the dash and door panels. The leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob add red stitching.

Buyers can get the Carbon Edition model with the standard powertrain or a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque. Models with the higher output engine will be designated by a CX-5 Carbon Edition Turbo badge and start at $30,660 for FWD and $32,060 for AWD.

One step further up is the CX-5 Grand Touring ($30,460 for FWD, $31,860 for AWD), which adds the Bose 10-speaker audio system, leather seats, power moonroof, paddle shifters on the steering wheel, seven-inch TFT reconfigurable digital gauge display, auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink and satellite radio with three-month trial subscription to its standard features list. Also, the exterior gets a power liftgate, LED taillights, fog and daytime running lights, adaptive front lighting system, dual heated door mirrors, and 19-inch brilliant silver aluminum alloy wheels. The CX-5 Grand Touring is only equipped with the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter engine.

The CX-5 Grand Touring Reserve ($35,285) gets Mazda's turbo-four and standard all-wheel drive. It has a head-up display and is aviaalbe with traffic sign recognition technology and navigation. Ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, automatic folding door mirrors, and windshield wiper de-icer come standard along with the features of the CX-5 Grand Touring.

The top-tier CX-5 Signature ($37,405) builds on the Grand Touring grade and adds Smart City Brake Support Reverse and Driver Attention Alert. The 360° View Monitor with front and rear parking sensors has been updated to have high-definition digital clarity. The CX-5 comes standard with navigation and Traffic Sign Recognition. A SiriusXM three-year traffic and travel link subscription is provided. The car comes with Caturra Brown Nappa leather seats, genuine layered wood trimming, frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink, ambient LED interior lighting, 19-inch dark silver aluminum alloy wheels, black headliner, and Signature trim badge.

Some Mazda paint colors carry an additional fee. Soul Red Crystal Metallic adds $595 to the cost of the vehicle while Machine Gray Metallic and Snowflake White Pearl Mica add $495 and $395, respectively.

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 arrives at dealerships later this year.

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The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is an off-road ready family hauler.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Nissan Pathfinder is the company's three-row crossover, sitting below the Armada and above the Rogue in the company's lineup. It's a rival to the Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Toyota Highlander, and Honda Pilot. Check out the Nissan's most compelling features by scrolling down.

Every Pathfinder comes loaded with safety technology.

The Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite of safety and driver assist technology comes standard on the Rogue. It includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, land departure warning, high beam assist, and rear automatic braking.

Additionally, the company's Intelligent Driver Alertness and Rear Door Alert technologies are standard.

ProPilot Assist takes the wheel.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Nissan's ProPilot Assist technology doesn't allow for hands-free driving and it's not self-driving, but it does fuse together many functionalities that make daily drive functions easier, especially when your children are doing their best to distract you.

ProPILOT Assist combines steering assist and Intelligent Cruise Control to help control acceleration. It can be used in heavy traffic and on open highways.

For 2021, ProPilot Assist has been enhanced. It has next-generation radar and camera technology that is designed to allow for smoother braking, better steering assist, and improved detection performance when vehicles cut into the lane.

There's a removable second-row center console.

Between the second-row captain's chairs in the seven-passenger Pathfinder, there's a thin center console (enough storage space for two cupholders and some small items) that is removable without using any tools. Removing this console allows for easier access in/out of the third-row for small children and adults. With the console in place, the seats can still be tipped and moved forward for quick ingress/egress to/from the third row.

The second row is spacious.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Sitting in the second-row captain's chairs is very much like sitting in those that you'd find in a full-size SUV. Adults will find that hip-room is plenty big enough while children will relish the opportunity to feel like they're being treated to upscale accommodations.

Three people fit across the back seat.

Second-row captain's chairs are being offered for the first time on Pathfinder with this new model. Nissan has added rear seating flexibility with the ability to fit three across the back seat. While three adults are a tight fit in the third row, children, tweens, and some teens that don't have long legs won't likely have a problem with it.

Pathfinder's drive modes are designed to inspire confidence.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Nissan has made the Rogue available with all-wheel drive. Those models also get five drive modes: Off-road, Snow, Standard, Eco, and Sport. The modes are engaged using the drive-mode selector mounted on the center console. The all-wheel drive system uses new technology that is designed to respond quicker when slippage is detected.

It has a 6,000-pound towing capability.

Nissan boasts that the 2022 Pathfinder has best-in-lass available 6,000-pound maximum towing capacity. That's enough to allow boats, ATVs, camp tents, or trailers to be connected out back. Trailer Sway Control is standard on the Pathfinder and allows for more towing confidence, especially when winds pick up.

Moving the second-row seat is as easy as the push of one button.

Nissan has equipped the second-row bench seat in the Pathfinder with EZ-Flex one-touch mechanics. It takes just one press of a button to activate fold and slide functionalities for the second-row seats. The button can be reached from both the driver and passenger sides of the vehicle for ease.

The cargo area is plenty spacious.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America


Behind the SUV's third-row seats Pathfinder can fit a 120-quart cooler or four golf bags - all with the third row full of occupants. The interior can also accommodate 4x8-foot plywood sheets.

The ride is sublimely quiet.

Nissan has equipped the Pathfinder with acoustic laminated front glass, thicker second-row glass, increased door and floor isolation, and a 60-percent increase in engine noise absorption materials. The result is a vehicle that provides a quieter ride, meaning less likelihood parents will have to should to be heard by third-row passengers.

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The Kia Sorento Hybrid offers a lot to like for families looking to save on fuel.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The redesigned Kia Sorento looks good. Kia has given the three-row SUV new life, not as a substitute for the Telluride SUV but instead as its own crossover, with plenty of differences to give them their own identity.

The 2021 Sorento comes in two variants, the Sorento and Sorento Hybrid. Each is offered in its own set of trim levels. The Sorento base model is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder internal combustion engine that delivers 191 horsepower and 182 pound-feet of torque. Higher grades get a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that is rated at 281 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque.

Sorento Hybrid comes in two trim leaves, S and EX. Both are powered by the company's turbocharged 1.6-liter hybrid powertrain that offers up 177 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The SUV prioritizes fuel efficiency over performance, an important distinction that sets the Sorento Hybrid apart from other hybrid variants, including the Toyota RAV4 Prime, a plug-in hybrid that delivers an energetic boost to the RAV4 lineup.

2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid The Sorento Hybrid is the type of vehicle that can get you to a trailhead, but isn't built to go beyond that.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The power output is fine if you plan on sticking to in-town driving and aren't looking to load up the Sorento Hybrid for a long road trip. In the default Eco drive mode, the car responds to the throttle the most comfortably. Under traditional and harder acceleration, the Sorento Hyrbid's powertrain is noisy and ill-mannered. It's almost like the SUV is telling you, "I'm built for efficiency, not speed". Message received.

Kia's done a good job making the Sorento agile and it drives nicely and makes for a pleasant daily runaround. Unlike what Toyota has done with the Highlander, all-wheel drive is not available on the Sorento Hybrid.

The 2021 Sorento Hybrid comes standard as a six-seater with captain's chairs in the second row. The seats, leatherette in the upmarket trim level, are comfortable enough. There's a decent amount of cargo space with the third row erect or stowed.

2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid The cabin of the Sorento Hybrid is plush enough for its price point.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The well-thought out cabin design delvers exactly what customers need and in the EX trim level, the car's appointments are near-premium. The SUV has the usual list of standard and available features, but nothing is too fancy: Bluetooth, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, voice recognition, satellite radio, push button start, keyless entry, a rearview camera, wireless smartphone charger. Nothing looks, feels, or operates like it's cutting edge, but it doesn't have to - this isn't a luxury vehicle.

There is one very nice design touch in the cabin. On either side of the infotainment touch screen are vents that service the front row of the auto. Their output is divided into two each with the bottom vent able to serve the midsection of front passengers' bodies while the upper part goes higher. More automakers should design vents this way.

The Hybrid EX model that was delivered for testing had its lane keeping and centering system not as honed in on lane lines as is optimal, which resulted in crossing over the lines without any alert going off or corrective action being taken by the vehicle's computer.

2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid Cargo space is always tight in three-row SUVs, but Kia has given the Sorento a good balance between cargo space and third-row legroom.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The 2021 Kia Sorento Hybrid starts at $33,590. That's a thousand-and-a-half over the starting price of the Telluride and $4,000 more than the traditional 2021 Sorento.

There are currently only two other three-row hybrid SUVs on the market, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid and the Ford Expedition Hybrid. The three models and their varied price tags and third-row layouts service very different customers but they generally all get lumped together. The Sorento Hybrid is, by far, the lowest priced model of the three, and it feels like it when you're inside. There's nothing wrong with that. Dodge sold a lot of Journeys despite the fact that it wasn't the best or most expensive SUV out there.

Think of the Kia Sorento Hybrid as the Dodge Journey of three-row hybrid crossovers and you won't be disappointed.

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