All-new Mazda CX-50 and MX-30 PHEV expected in 2022.
Minor changes and a couple of new trim levels across the lineup.
MX-3 dead in the U.S., Mazda6 discontinued in both the U.S. and Canada.
Japanese automaker Mazda has taken its first step in the fully electric waters in 2021, and plans to expand on that with a new plug-in-hybrid variant that will mark the return of a rotary engine in the brand’s lineup. Well, sort of. Meanwhile, an all-new crossover will join the brand’s lineup.
The 2021 calendar year has been pretty decent for Mazda in the United States and in Canada, but that’s compared to the horrible, COVID-stricken 2020. With an all-new model and a product lineup readjustment, the brand is likely hoping to rebound in good fashion. Here’s what to expect from Mazda in 2022.
The Mazda MX-30 arrived with a fully electric powertrain producing 143 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque, along with a front-wheel drivetrain. Also of note is the EV’s projected driving range, pegged at 100 miles by the EPA and 161 kilometres by Natural Resources Canada. An MX-30 with a range-extending rotary engine will be added sometime in 2022, allowing owners to cover a greater distance on a full charge and a full tank of fuel.
Over the course of the year, the Mazda CX-30 became the brand’s second best-selling vehicle ahead of the Mazda3, and behind the Mazda CX-5. It’s offered in a few trim levels and the choice between naturally aspirated and turbocharged 2.5L engines, producing 187 or up to 250 horsepower, respectively. All-wheel drive is now standard on all trim levels.
The all-new 2023 Mazda CX-50 will go on sale in 2022, which is slightly bigger than the CX-5, but otherwise shares its architecture and powertrains. It has been designed specifically for the North American market and will be built in an Alabama assembly plant Mazda shares with Toyota. A long-awaited Mazda inline-six engine and a 48-volt mild hybrid system should also appear sometime in 2022, and although we thought it one or both would initially appear in the new CX-50, that’s not the case.
The subcompact Mazda CX-3 is still on sale in Canada in GX, GS and GT trim levels, with optional AWD, as a low-budget crossover option in the brand’s lineup. It now gets rain-sensing windshield wipers and automatic headlights as standard equipment, while two paint colours have been dropped. Say sayonara to the CX-3 in the U.S. market.
The Mazda CX-5 is the most popular vehicle in the lineup, and for the 2022 model year, it gets a bunch of updates to stay competitive. AWD is now standard, and the company’s designers applied some styling tweaks front and rear, along with design distinctions for trim levels equipped with the turbocharged 2.5L engine. The CX-5 also benefits from redesigned seats, and a new drive mode system called Mi-Drive “enables the driver to select the most appropriate drive mode to optimize driving capability with one touch of a switch.” The six-speed automatic transmission has been reworked for increased responsiveness, while the massaged suspension provides better handling characteristics in addition to less road noise and vibration. In Canada, a 2021.5 model was introduced mid-year with a standard 10.25-inch infotainment screen and more active safety features.
As is the case with the brand’s other crossovers, the Mazda CX-9 gets standard all-wheel drive across all trim levels, both in Canada and in the United States. The six- or seven-passenger midsize crossover gets a new Touring Plus trim with ventilated front seats and black 20-inch wheels in the United States, while the Carbon Edition is back for 2022 as well, alongside the carryover Sport, Touring, Grand Touring and Signature trims. In Canada, the 2021.5 CX-9 introduced in the middle of last year received a standard 10.25-inch infotainment screen and Mazda Connected Services integration, while wireless phone charging was available on lower trim levels. The Canadian lineup consists of GS, GS-L, GT, Kuro and Signature trims.
The Mazda MX-5 roadster and retractable-hardtop MX-5 RF get some changes for the 2022 model year, including what the brand calls Kinetic Posture Control that is said to provide “better stability when cornering.” Platinum Quartz Metallic paint, Terracotta Nappa leather seats and Dark Blue convertible top are now available. In a strange turn of events, Mazda actually deleted the automatic transmission option in its U.S.-market Sport and Club trim levels, leaving only the top-rung Grand Touring available with both the six-speed manual and the automatic. The Canadian market still gets both gearboxes across most of the trim level lineup consisting of GS, GS-P, GT, MX-5 RF GT Exclusive Package and MX-5 RF GT Grand Sport Package.
The Mazda3, available in four-door sedan and five-door Mazda3 Sport hatchback body styles, receives Mazda Connected services in Canada and some option package reshuffling, while the U.S. market gets a new Carbon Edition with Polymetal Gray paint and red leather seating. Platinum Quartz Metallic paint is now available as well.
The Mazda6, the award-winning midsize that draw rave reviews from the automotive press when the third generation arrived for the 2014 model year, is no more. Sales never picked up in a segment where buyers seemingly prefer less sporty and blander models. If the Mazda6 returns at some point, it might be as a much more luxurious offering with a rear-wheel drivetrain and an inline-six powertrain. Maybe.