2023 Mazda CX-5 G35 GT SP (car review)

Since its launch in 2013, the CX-5 has been a success story for Mazda. Sitting among a broad range of siblings at different spec levels, the GT SP is the kid that’s totally into sports, comes loaded with all-wheel drive and has plenty of power.

Under the hood is a turbocharged 2.5-litre petrol engine delivering 170kW of power and 470Nm of torque. It’s plenty noticeable when you put your foot down, with smooth gear changes, and the option of paddle shifting.

The chassis and suspension on the CX-5 make for a really comfortable ride, with dampers absorbing bumps and ruts to an above average level. Light at 1,730kg, the GT SP feels nimble, although lacks a little in sporty cornering.

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There’s just a little too much body roll, and when combined with seats that don’t really hold you in place all that much, it makes connecting with the car in terms of driving feel and feedback, a very hard task in deed. That aside, braking is excellent in the GT SP.

On the outside, the exterior features the latest light update from Mazda and really finishes of this shape and design well. The look elevates the overall vibe to one of premium luxury, and it’s that same feeling you’ll get inside.

Inside the 2023 Mazda CX-5 G35 GT SP

The leather finish in the GT SP is ultra plush, and it’s not just on the seats, but all the arm rest points as well. It’s among the most impressive interiors in its class. The dash is kept simple but elegant too, and features the latest Mazda Connect infotainment system.

If you’ve been in a Mazda before, then the interaction control in the centre of the console will be no stranger to you. It does require a bit of learning for the uninitiated but it’s a simple design that is easy to use, once you know how.

You will find wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and wireless phone charging, as well as a 10.25-inch infotainment system, a 10-speaker Bose premium audio setup with a 249-watt amp, and DAB+ digital radio. USB charging ports are also available.

A mode switch controls your ability to flick through the drive modes, with Normal, Sport and Off Road on offer. Sport really hangs high in the rev range through the gears, making it great for when you need to get up and go.

Utilising the paddle shifters in that mode makes for a really enjoyable drive too. The gauge cluster is a mix of dials and an information panel and is clear and concise. A crisp head-up display that integrates navigation makes keeping your eyes on the road, effortless.

rear seats
Inside the 2023 Mazda CX-5 G35 GT SP

Blind spot monitoring is ultra-sensitive and we suspect that may be on purpose should you be towing with the CX-5 GT SP (it’s good for 2000kg). Cruise control works a treat with lane keep and speed management.

The passenger room in the second row was ample for adults of most sizes, and the seats are really comfy back there. The powered tailgate adds to a long list of standard kit, but doesn’t quite open to its full height automatically.

Overall, the 2023 Mazda CX-5 G35 GT SP AWD is a modest luxury mid-level SUV that is reasonably priced at $58,282 plus on-roads (in the Soul Red Crystal Metallic we’re testing). While there’s a few things we’d tweak, it’s all-in-all a good option for a sportier car.

It comes with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty, with 5-years roadside assistance also included. The CX-5 can also be had in Rhodium White Metallic, Sonic Silver Metallic, Machine Grey Metallic, Polymetal Grey Metallic, Jet Black Mica and Eternal Blue Mica.

You can also opt for Deep Crystal Blue Mica or Zircon Sand Metallic. You can find out  more on the Mazda Australia website. If you’re keen on one and need finance, talk to CreditOne.

Inside the 2023 Mazda CX-5 G35 GT SP

Our test vehicles was provided by Mazda Australia. To find out more about the 2023 Mazda CX-5 G35 GT SP AWD, contact your local Mazda dealer.


Driving experience
Exterior styling
Interior look and feel
Technology and connectivity
Family friendliness
Value for money


Pros - noticeable extra power; great all-rounder; plus seats and touch points.
Cons - front seats need to hold you more; suspension a little too soft for sporty model.
Dylan Swan
Dylan Swan
IT specialist who loves all things adventure and anything with wheels. Someone who loves a challenge and saying yes to new opportunities.


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<strong>Pros -</strong> noticeable extra power; great all-rounder; plus seats and touch points.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> front seats need to hold you more; suspension a little too soft for sporty model.2023 Mazda CX-5 G35 GT SP (car review)