The current generation Mazda CX-5 has continued to be one of our favorite compact SUVs and for the 2022 model year, Mazda has given it some updates to keep it at the top of its class. The CX-5 continues to stand out with its stylish exterior, luxurious interior and fun to drive chassis.
While some automakers are going to the extreme with their designs, like the Hyundai Tucson, the CX-5 exudes a classier feel with its sculpted and pretty lines. Sitting next to a Tucson, RAV4 or CR-V, the CX-5 looks a class above its rivals. It’s a stand out in Soul Red Crystal Metallic paint, a color that we continue to love from Mazda. For the 2022 model year, you might notice some small styling changes, like at the front where there’s a wider lower air intake, a new grille and redesigned headlights with L-shaped LED lighting. The top spec CX-5 2.5 Turbo Signature adds color-matched trim instead of the black cladding on lower trim levels.
Inside the CX-5 is a stand out with its stylish and luxurious interior. We challenge you to find a more premium interior in this class. The interior is packed with high quality materials and the minimalistic design theme creates a serene environment. The dashboard has a simple design that feels like it could have a luxury badge on the steering wheel. For the new model year, Mazda has elevated the interior with available real woodgrain and Nappa leather.
While we love the look and feel of the interior, there are a few areas of improvement. The partially digital gauge cluster bucks the trend of fully digital clusters, but the interior would feel a bit more modern if it had a fully digital setup. More aggravating is the infotainment system. the CX-5 has a nice looking 10.3-inch screen, but the infotainment system is not a touchscreen like in the CX-5’s rivals. Instead you have to operate the rotary dial on the center console to operate it. It’s not easy to use when you’re on the go and simple tasks like selecting a specific playlist or looking for directions are not easy.
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard, but you have to use a wire to connect it. There’s a wireless charger for your phone though, but that’s kinda pointless, since you have to keep your phone plugged in. At least you have a charger handy for your passenger. While the interior does look and feel great, one of the other big issues is the space, since the CX-5’s interior is a touch smaller than its rivals. The CX-5 has 39.6-inches of rear legroom compared to 40.4 in the Honda CR-V. With the rear seats folded, there’s almost 60 cubic feet of cargo space, but the CR-V offers a lot more space with 75.8 cubic feet.
Under the hood there are two engines to choose from. The standard engine is a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. The more exciting option is the turbocharged 2.5-liter that generates up to 256 hp and 320 lb-ft. using 93 octane fuel or 227 hp with 87 octane fuel. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and for the 2022 model year, the CX-5 comes standard with all-wheel drive.
The naturally aspirated engine is rated at 24 mpg city, 30 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined. The turbo is slightly less fuel efficient at 22/27/24 mpg.
Around town the standard engine has enough power to get the CX-5 moving down the road with ease, but it runs out of power fast when you’re trying to accelerate onto a highway. The better choice is the turbocharged engine that packs quite the punch for a small compact SUV. All that torque is available at 2,500 rpm, which makes the CX-5 more fun to drive than you’d expect in this class. A six-speed automatic might seem a bit old, considering the number of 8- and 10-speed transmissions on the market, but it works well.
Moving past the engines, the CX-5 stands out with its comfortable ride and accurate steering. The suspension does a great job of soaking up the roads bumps, but when the road gets twisty the CX-5 is ready to carve up a mountain. The CX-5 feels more composed and refined on the road, which aligns with the overall premium look and feel of the CX-5.
The pricing for the 2022 Mazda CX-5 starts at $27,475, while the turbo version starts at $37,975, including destination.
Compared to other compact SUVs, the Mazda CX-5 is the driver’s choice with its fun to drive chassis and available turbocharged engine. Plus it’s styling and luxurious interior elevate what you’d expect from anything in this class.