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2021 CX-5 Carbon Turbo FWD or AWD

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AWD is nice when leaving a stop light when it is raining here in FL. You drive off and hear tires spinning beside you as they loose traction.
Yes, AWD will have more traction on slippery condition like rain or snow, but there are none of those conditions where I live.
 
My point was how much difference do you feel with that smallish person in the car?

Maybe FWD turbos are hard to find because they are slow sellers so dealers don't order up many of them for inventory.

If you really want a FWD, did you think about a factory order? There may still be time before the 2022s roll out. In general, it's a misconception that factory orders are more expensive than off the lot, though I can't speak specifically to what Mazda does. If anything, with a factory order the dealer saves on the carrying costs of an inventoried vehicle. You don't know if you don't ask.

There might even be one on the boat or already landed he might be able to get for you. My sister-in-law does this repeatedly with VWs. First is was a hard to come by stick, then specific trim/option/color combos. It might have been a couple of weeks, but her dealer would always come up with one that was already on the ground.
Good advice on the factory order. Maybe I try that too.
 
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2021 CX-5 GTR
Yes, AWD will have more traction on slippery condition like rain or snow, but there are none of those conditions where I live.
It doesn't rain in SF???

It sounds like you pretty much have to get AWD but I would say if an opportunity comes up to get a FWD Turbo, I would certainly try both as in my few months with the GTR- I can tell you I would be spinning the front tires constantly if I didn't have AWD. 320ft/lbs is a decent amount of torque.
 
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Mazda 2
Hi acefr, I was in the exact same situation as you (Bay Area, FWD vs AWD) and while I didn't drive the two back to back, I do remember the AWD Turbo (on an old test drive) feeling more sluggish than the FWD Carbon Turbo I currently own. I don't gun it at every stoplight or sign so I haven't experienced any wheelspin or torque steer but the benefits of FWD will be not having to replace all 4 tires at the same time if one goes bad, more durable drivetrain, better braking, and more nimble handling. At the same time, since the car is already over 30 grand, another 1,400 is not much more to pay for AWD which may pay dividends if you decide to sell later on, and could be of benefit if you are ever on an icy incline. Most of my driving is in the city so the lighter weight and peppier feel were of greater importance and I am happy with my car.

At the same time, I have never owned an AWD vehicle--I learned to drive growing up in the midwest in a Chevrolet Chevette 4MT which was RWD (followed by a Ford Fairmont, also RWD) and never had any issues even in Colorado in December so my driving habits/skills are likely different from most. Good luck with your purchase!
I am an owner of a 2015 CX-5 Grand Touring FWD, and am considering 2021 CX-5 Carbon Turbo. I am debating if I should get FWD or AWD. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area that hardly ever rains. It is a city car, and the only time it may see some snow is 1 or 2 trips to Lake Tahoe annually, which my old FWD CX-5 seems to handle fine. I am willing to sacrifice a few MPG to get the Turbo. I initially thought I would get Turbo FWD, but does AWD offer any benefit to justify a further hit to MPG and heavier weight for worse inertia? All 2022 CX-5 come in AWD, so there may be some benefit. Thanks.
 
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Mazda 2
It doesn't rain in SF???

It sounds like you pretty much have to get AWD but I would say if an opportunity comes up to get a FWD Turbo, I would certainly try both as in my few months with the GTR- I can tell you I would be spinning the front tires constantly if I didn't have AWD. 320ft/lbs is a decent amount of torque.

Hi chickdr, I live in SF and while it does rain in the winter time, there's a reason why California experiences annual droughts!
 
I am an owner of a 2015 CX-5 Grand Touring FWD, and am considering 2021 CX-5 Carbon Turbo. I am debating if I should get FWD or AWD. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area that hardly ever rains. It is a city car, and the only time it may see some snow is 1 or 2 trips to Lake Tahoe annually, which my old FWD CX-5 seems to handle fine. I am willing to sacrifice a few MPG to get the Turbo. I initially thought I would get Turbo FWD, but does AWD offer any benefit to justify a further hit to MPG and heavier weight for worse inertia? All 2022 CX-5 come in AWD, so there may be some benefit. Thanks.

I live in SF and opted for Carbon Edition Turbo because it is the only way I can get the Turbo and a FWD drivetrain.

I just drive around the city and the valleys. I do occasional winter trips to Tahoe where I have extensively used a FWD Ford Escape 2.0 Turbo with great results.

I have no need for an AWD for my daily driver. My previous cars are a tuned Ford Focus ST and Escape 2.0t which was a little more powerful (less smooth, bonkers acceleration, dismal reliability) than the Mazda 2.5T. You just need great tires and brakes to put all that torque and power down. What I don't like with Mazda's AWD system is that it cuts rpms and pads throttle when the wheels slip. It doesn't feel as peppy and as quick at speeds above 70mph compared to the FWD. When you are passing lanes, the FWD carries more speed and exits with more immediacy. And cornering is not a problem on mountain passes, too. The transmission tuning is not as stabby and immediate as my last CUV and the CX-5's tuning is mellower. You get more torque but the torque swells smoothly. The tire slipping is very minimal. With grippier and wider tires than the stock Toyos, I assume it would be much, much better because the stock tires are very skinny.

The FWD is just more exciting to drive IMO. It just feels lighter and the steering is not as loaded as my dad's AWD Signature. I barely get tire slip from a stop when I get a bit heavy on the throttle.

If you have to ask if you really need AWD, you don't really need it. People who really need AWD know right away that they do because of the yearly conditions that they drive through. I have really thought this through and drove an AWD Turbo to compare. I would just be throwing away $1,300 for the AWD system I will barely use. It's my city and highway car.

The only con I see when it comes to deciding against an AWD is that my resale value would suffer a bit when the time comes to trade-in or sell. But the car is just so good that it doesn't really bother me.

YMMV
 
I live in SF and opted for Carbon Edition Turbo because it is the only way I can get the Turbo and a FWD drivetrain...
Thank you for your and HurricaneSteve input. I think you have convinced me to opt for a Turbo FWD. However, all the Carbon Turbo are AWD in the Bay Area inventory. I think I might need to do a factory order for FWD.
 
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2021 Rav4 Prime
I am an owner of a 2015 CX-5 Grand Touring FWD, and am considering 2021 CX-5 Carbon Turbo. I am debating if I should get FWD or AWD. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area that hardly ever rains. It is a city car, and the only time it may see some snow is 1 or 2 trips to Lake Tahoe annually, which my old FWD CX-5 seems to handle fine. I am willing to sacrifice a few MPG to get the Turbo. I initially thought I would get Turbo FWD, but does AWD offer any benefit to justify a further hit to MPG and heavier weight for worse inertia? All 2022 CX-5 come in AWD, so there may be some benefit. Thanks.
YES! AWD. I was given a FWD non-turbo loaner, and in the rain it was a mess. I was used to my turbo CX5, and I was spinning all over the place. The AWD does a TON for you in this vehicle. If you don't get it, I wouldn't bother with the turbo, either, because you're obviously not buying the vehicle for performance reasons at this point. That's literally how strongly I feel about the AWD in it. Don't even bother with more power, the 186hp overwhelms it in FWD on anything but perfectly clean, dry pavement. With my GTR, I could floor it. In the rain. It would dead hook. In the rain if you floor the FWD even without the turbo, it's going to spin badly, lol. Corners are another area where it matters, maybe even moreso.

FWD=non-turbo
Turbo=AWD

Otherwise your mission statement is at odds with each other, unless you want the turbo solely for 50mph+ passing maneuvers or something.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
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Plano, Texas, USA
Thank you for your and HurricaneSteve input. I think you have convinced me to opt for a Turbo FWD. However, all the Carbon Turbo are AWD in the Bay Area inventory. I think I might need to do a factory order for FWD.
What I did for my 2016 CX-5 AWD where it’s almost non-existent in Texas is my Mazda dealer searched all CX-5’s in transit and at the port location of Long Beach, LA, and found one (actually there’re quite a few matched my requirement on the boat coming into the US) exactly what I wanted then placed an order with a VIN. This took only 23 days which will be much faster than a true “factory order”.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
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Plano, Texas, USA
YES! AWD. I was given a FWD non-turbo loaner, and in the rain it was a mess. I was used to my turbo CX5, and I was spinning all over the place. The AWD does a TON for you in this vehicle. If you don't get it, I wouldn't bother with the turbo, either, because you're obviously not buying the vehicle for performance reasons at this point. That's literally how strongly I feel about the AWD in it. Don't even bother with more power, the 186hp overwhelms it in FWD on anything but perfectly clean, dry pavement. With my GTR, I could floor it. In the rain. It would dead hook. In the rain if you floor the FWD even without the turbo, it's going to spin badly, lol. Corners are another area where it matters, maybe even moreso.

FWD=non-turbo
Turbo=AWD

Otherwise your mission statement is at odds with each other, unless you want the turbo solely for 50mph+ passing maneuvers or something.
So did you turn the Dynamic Stability Control / Traction Control System and/or G-Vectoring Control Plus off on that FWD loaner CX-5? 😉
 
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2021 Rav4 Prime
So did you turn the Dynamic Stability Control / Traction Control System and/or G-Vectoring Control Plus off on that FWD loaner CX-5? 😉
No, I left everything on. It was dogsh*t to be blunt. I was given the loaner on a drizzly day, and my first takeoff from a light resulted in wheelspin and warning lights. I was not acting a fool really, just driving as I did in my Reserve, and it could not offer similar acceleration as a normal takeoff in the reserve without wheel spin and power limiting. Kindof shocked me. Then I was hooning around a bit, took a corner in it under throttle, and oof. Spin, understeer, just a mess. I have taken that same corner way more aggressively in the Reserve with no issue, rain or shine. In short, horrible experience, would not recommend except for leisurely driving. Not performance oriented.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
No, I left everything on. It was dogsh*t to be blunt. I was given the loaner on a drizzly day, and my first takeoff from a light resulted in wheelspin and warning lights. I was not acting a fool really, just driving as I did in my Reserve, and it could not offer similar acceleration as a normal takeoff in the reserve without wheel spin and power limiting. Kindof shocked me. Then I was hooning around a bit, took a corner in it under throttle, and oof. Spin, understeer, just a mess. I have taken that same corner way more aggressively in the Reserve with no issue, rain or shine. In short, horrible experience, would not recommend except for leisurely driving. Not performance oriented.
I believe Mazda needs to review the design of Dynamic Stability Control / Traction Control System and G-Vectoring Control Plus as they seem to be not functioning well on CX-5 FWD?
 
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2021 Rav4 Prime
I believe Mazda needs to review the design of Dynamic Stability Control / Traction Control System and G-Vectoring Control Plus as they seem to be not functioning well on CX-5 FWD?
It functioned great. It did not nanny me too hard at all, and I thought it was excellent. The vehicle is just super traction limited is all.
 
It functioned great. It did not nanny me too hard at all, and I thought it was excellent. The vehicle is just super traction limited is all.
I guess it has a lot to do with the driving habit. My 2015 FWD CX-5 is definitely not a performance vehicle. The 2.5L engine has similar HP like the current year non turbo, and I had no problems driving it in rain or snow. I don't recall the wheel spinning in the last 6 years. Judging from the 2 users in the same area, I think Turbo FWD will be fine for me.
 
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2021 Rav4 Prime
I guess it has a lot to do with the driving habit. My 2015 FWD CX-5 is definitely not a performance vehicle. The 2.5L engine has similar HP like the current year non turbo, and I had no problems driving it in rain or snow. I don't recall the wheel spinning in the last 6 years. Judging from the 2 users in the same area, I think Turbo FWD will be fine for me.
Why are you buying the t urbo, then? Features? More passing power on the freeway? If those are the reasons, rock on.
 

FirstMazdaCX5

Member
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2016 Toyota Highlander
Hey Ace,

Dublin Mazda just got a carbon turbo Fwd with red seats……it’s the only turbo carbon I’m seeing available in the bay.
 
I was given a FWD non-turbo loaner, and in the rain it was a mess.
Don't even bother with more power, the 186hp overwhelms it in FWD on anything but perfectly clean, dry pavement. With my GTR, I could floor it. In the rain. It would dead hook. In the rain if you floor the FWD even without the turbo, it's going to spin badly, lol.
With all due respect, you can completely disregard Unobtanium's viewpoint.

He hasn't even bothered to read the OP's use case, stating MULTIPLE TIMES that he drives exclusively in clear/dry conditions.

The feedback you've received from others, particularly 5150JP2C, are much more relevant to the OP.
 
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2021 Rav4 Prime
With all due respect, you can completely disregard Unobtanium's viewpoint.

He hasn't even bothered to read the OP's use case, stating MULTIPLE TIMES that he drives exclusively in clear/dry conditions.

The feedback you've received from others, particularly 5150JP2C, are much more relevant to the OP.
With all due respect, I have stated multiple times that in clear and dry conditions the FWD non-turbo is still a traction liability vs the AWD. But if spirited driving isn't of import, then yes, FWD is economical.
 
I have stated multiple times that in clear and dry conditions the FWD non-turbo is still a traction liability vs the AWD.
All of the first-hand experiences you posted about were discussing the FWD version "in the rain" and "on a drizzly day", which are completely irrelevant to the OP's situation.

I own a FWD non-turbo, like your loaner, and have nave experienced none of the issues you experienced in dry weather.
 
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