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Lexus NX vs Mazda CX-5

What's the difference?

Lexus NX
Lexus NX

$59,888 - $95,999

2023 price

Mazda CX-5
Mazda CX-5

$33,990 - $61,031

2023 price


2023 Lexus NX
2023 Mazda CX-5
Safety Rating

Engine Type
Inline 4, 2.5L

Inline 4, 2.5L
Fuel Type
Premium Unleaded Petrol

Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency
6.9L/100km (combined)

7.5L/100km (combined)

  • Driver-assist tech could use some Aussie road tuning
  • Hard to tell apart from previous design
  • NX 250 engine needs the open road to truly shine

  • Hardly cutting-edge drivetrain tech
  • Clumsy dial-operated phone mirroring
  • Fuel consumption could be better
2023 Lexus NX Summary

As far as clichés go, attempting to make “a silk purse from a sow’s ear” couldn’t be more apt than when contemplating the original NX of 2014.

What was essentially the Lexus-fication of the vocal, fidgety and thirsty old Toyota RAV4 may have worked a treat sales-wise, but proved trickier when assessed against the lens of a BMW X3, Audi Q5 and Volvo XC60 rival.

The earliest NX just wasn’t refined enough.

This was especially true following the reborn RAV4 arrival in 2019, proving to be embarrassingly more competent – even compared to most luxury midsized SUV alternatives.

Now, finally, the NX redesign has followed suit, moving on to a variation of the Toyota’s stronger, quieter and more advanced TNGA architecture (dubbed GA-K) as a starting base.

Speaking of which, let’s dive straight into the least-expensive version, the NX 250 Luxury 2WD auto, to find out if the most popular Lexus model in Australia has finally found its mojo.

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2023 Mazda CX-5 Summary

Australia loves Mazda.

We have all sorts of Mazdas. Big ones, small ones, relatively affordable ones, expensive ones, but one which stands above the rest is the CX-5.

That's because this mid-sizer does a lot of the heavy lifting for the Japanese brand, keeping it in the fight against titans like Toyota in the sales charts.

If you're ready to feel old, this second-generation version of the CX-5 with its eye-catching design is now a whopping seven years old, although it has been tweaked recently in 2022 to bring a few updates, as well as the addition of the variant we're looking at here, the Touring Active.

So, the question we're wrestling with is whether this car's continued massive popularity is still warranted.

Is this still one of the best mid-size SUVs you can buy for your family, or should you be considering more recently arrived alternatives?

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Deep dive comparison

2023 Lexus NX 2023 Mazda CX-5

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