2021 Mazda CX-5 Turbo — It’s become clear that SUVs are first choice of drivers everywhere in America. They have overtaken sedans, and even sport cars as the primary vehicle for singles and families alike, and so much so that it has spawned an entire subdivision devoted to sportier versions of these SUVs. After all, people will always want to go just a little faster, no matter what they’re driving.

For the most part, we see that mostly luxury brands providing the options to choose from — BMW with their XM series, Porsche with basically all of their SUVs, Audi has their SQ lineup, and even Mercedes has their AMG vehicles. At a slightly lower price point, Ford offers up their new Explorer ST line, but that will still run you almost sixty grand.

So what does someone who can’t quite justify ponying up nearly six-figures for a hot rod SUV? Give up their hope of ever going fast again in exchange for a roomier family hauler? Nope. All they have to do is take a look at the new 2021 Mazda CX-5 Turbo.

Let’s start with what is most important shall we? Powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged DOHC inline-four cylinder motor that produces 227-horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque if you choose 87 octane as your fuel, or opt for the premium gas and you’ll get 250-horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque. That power then gets funneled through a quick-shifting 6-speed automatic transmission that then sends that power to all four wheels.

The Mazda CX-5 Turbo weighs in a a relatively svelte (for a five passenger SUV) 3,787 pounds so although it puts down considerably less power than some of its luxury competitors, it still manages to keep things interesting at the track, running from 0-60 mph in just 6.1 seconds and through the quarter mile in 14.6 seconds at 95 mph. And that light-ish weight shows up when braking and cornering too. Coming down from 60-0 mph takes just 129 feet, and around the skidpad, the CX-5 posts a legit 0.80 g. Even the fuel economy of what should be considered a ‘sport SUV’ is exceptional especially when compared to trucks like the X5M or Cayenne Turbo. A city/highway/combined figure of 22/27/24 mpg is almost good enough to be confused with a midsize sedan.

Inside the Mazda CX-5 Turbo provides plenty of posh with things like a massive 10.3-inch infotainment screen, and while it isn’t touchscreen, you tend to forget that after a few stints down the road. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard and compliment the Bose stereo system very well. Heated and ventilated seats feel great, and you might be surprised to feel a heated steering wheel in your grasp, but there it is nonetheless.

On the road, the Mazda CX-5 feels tossable and light on its feet. But it isn’t just fun the Mazda is focused on — there are plenty of safety features to keep it in line with all the higher end SUVs it is competing against. Adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist and blind-spot monitoring all help the CX-5 earn top safety ratings.

So while the Mazda CX-5 Turbo may not be the first SUV you think of when it comes to well-appointed, sporty SUVs, perhaps it should be – especially when you factor in the fact that this truck comes with a base price of just $38,505. Sure, the Cayenne Turbo is faster, and the X5M has a few more optional features, but when you consider that this Mazda costs about a third of the X5M and less than a quarter of the Cayenne Turbo. So if you can afford one of those exceptionally luxurious SUVs, by all means go for it. But, if you are like the rest of us, and can only afford an SUV that most mere mortals can pay for, the Mazda CX-5 Turbo might just be the SUV for you. And remember, there is plenty of value in giving a little scare to those rich guys when you catch them off guard, and let them know that going fast isn’t just for the rich.