The 2022 Mazda CX-5 starts at $27,475 in the United States and at $32,565 in Canada, freight and delivery charges included.
Seductive design, refined cabin, competent all-wheel drivetrain.
Tight cabin, cargo space could be better, wide front pillars reduce forward visibility.
The 2022 Mazda CX-5 can be found in one of the most popular vehicle segments in North America, confronting well-established compact crossovers that benefit from strong consumer awareness in addition to offering a wider selection of powertrains and distinct trim levels.
The Toyota RAV4 is one of them, which is the best-selling utility vehicle in the United States and Canada. It’s available in hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants, although buyers in certain regions must wait several months to get the unit they ordered. The RAV4 also offers affordable or luxurious trim levels, and between those, variants that offer some sort of off-road capacity, such as the Trail and the TRD Off Road, or a sporty character, such as the SE and XSE editions. In short, a complete lineup to please as many different buyers as possible.
On the other hand, all the 2022 Mazda CX-5’s trim levels look pretty much alike, aside from wheel design and size, in addition to some stylistic details. No off-road version, whether it’s in appearance only or with true credentials to head off the beaten trail. No hybrid version. No performance edition either, although on that point, it would be irrelevant as the CX-5 is sporty by nature. Despite all this, Mazda’s crossover is selling well, and dealers are even in shortage of inventory as these lines are being written.
The CX-5 also has competition within the family, as the Mazda CX-30, a big subcompact, and the all-new Mazda CX-50, a small midsizer, are rubbing elbows on the sales floor. The new models’ naming structure clearly demonstrates that the CX-5’s place in the lineup will have to be redefined. Or maybe it doesn’t have its place anymore, but the sales numbers suggest otherwise.
However, let’s concentrate on the 2022 model, which gets cosmetic revisions with more modern headlamp and taillamp clusters, a more refined grille and reshaped bumpers. New wheel designs are also part of the changes that are subtle, but still welcome.
In the U.S., the trim level lineup includes 2.5 S, 2.5 S Select and 2.5 S Preferred with incremental levels of comfort and convenience features. The 2.5 S Carbon Edition gets a blacked-out appearance with black wheels, grille and mirror caps, while the 2.5 S Premium and 2.5 S Premium Plus pile on the features. New for 2022, the 2.5 Turbo gets a more powerful engine as well as a sportier exterior and interior appearance, while the 2.5 Turbo Signature is a most luxurious of the bunch, seeking to steal sales away from the premium brands.
In Canada, the CX-5 is offered in more affordable GX and GS trim levels, while the Kuro is the blacked-out variant. The GT balances features with the base powertrain, and the Sport Design edition that’s equivalent to the U.S.-spec 2.5 Turbo is new. The Signature crowns the lineup.
The 2.5 Turbo/Sport Design adds glossy black exterior trim, a dark chrome grille wing, black-painted alloy wheels and black mirror caps, as well as red contrast stitching inside the cabin.
Under the hood, two powertrains are offered. The base naturally aspirated, 2.5L four-cylinder engine develops 186 horsepower and 187 pound-feet of torque, managed by a six-speed automatic transmission. Starting with the 2022 model year, all CX-5 units are equipped with all-wheel drive as standard. The base powerplant boasts city/highway/combined ratings of 24/30/26 mpg in the U.S., and 9.9/7.9/9.0 L/100 km in Canada.
The uplevel engine is a turbocharged 2.5L four that develops 227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, it too managed by a six-speed automatic. That’s using regular fuel, but if we move up to 93-octane premium, the engine develops 256 horsepower and 320 pound-feet. Fuel economy ratings are set at 22/27/24 mpg or 10.8/8.7/9.8 L/100 km.
Other changes for the 2022 model year include tweaks to improve the vehicle’s structural rigidity, revised suspension damping and reshaped seats, all contributing to a more refined ride, a quieter cabin and enhanced comfort.
Pricing for the 2022 Mazda ranges from $27,475 to $40,620 in the United States, and from $32,565 to $46,165 in Canada.
What the 2022 Mazda CX-5 Does Well
- Well ok, it doesn’t do anything in this case, it just is. The CX-5’s design seems fit to stand the test of time, and even passes for a crossover sold by a luxury brand.
- The CX-5’s cabin boasts strong build quality, as the uplevel trims get padded dash trim and stitching, while the instrument layout is ergonomic and straightforward.
- Now equipped with standard AWD, Mazda’s i-Activ system is a very competent one, as we’ve experienced first-hand over the years in snowy road conditions. Though it’s a reactive system that shifts available torque from the front wheels to the rear ones as needed, the system scans for wheel slippage 200 times per second.
- The 2022 Mazda CX-5 is safe, having been handed a Top Safety Pick+ rating by the IIHS, its highest award.
- The changes may be minor, but every little improvement to reduce noise, vibration and harshness is appreciated. The CX-5 is very well mannered.
What the 2022 Mazda CX-5 Doesn’t Do Well
- It’s not a big deal, and we think real-world consumption doesn’t reflect the official EPA and NRCan numbers, but the CX-5 could be a little more fuel efficient. During our test of a 2.5 Turbo/Sport Design edition, we managed a decent 25 mpg or 9.3 L/100 km. Still, several rivals offer hybrid powertrains, but not Mazda. The Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, Chevrolet Equinox, Subaru Forester and Nissan Rogue are all more efficient.
- The CX-5’s infotainment system relies on a console-mounted multifunction knob, which is great. It’s also surrounded by a few buttons to quickly access the system’s main menus, and there’s even a volume knob. However, the screen isn’t touch-sensitive, so those who prefer using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto won’t find the experience particularly easy with the rotary dial. According to Mazda, touchscreens are distracting, since when we reach to poke them, our shoulder lifts from the seat, preventing us from keeping a straight line on the road. The optional head-up display only indicates drive-related information to be as less distracting as possible.
- The raked windshield and wide front pillars reduce frontward visibility, especially when turning on street corners and negotiating intersections.
- While the turbocharged engine does bring a little more zip to the CX-5’s forward motion, it doesn’t make it a true performance vehicle. In normal driving conditions, the extra horsepower isn’t always noticeable, especially if we use regular fuel. And with the cost of premium juice right now, who can really afford it? In other words, the turbo engine isn’t a dealbreaker.
- The worst shortcoming is the CX-5’s lack of rear-seat legroom. Which has always been a problem since the crossover first hit the market for the 2013 model year. The Volkswagen Tiguan and the Mitsubishi Outlander are much more accommodating, just to name a couple. Cargo space in the 2022 Mazda CX-5 is one of the smallest among compact crossovers. Enough said.
The 2022 Mazda CX-5 is the brand’s best-selling model in both Canada and the U.S., despite being stuck between its two newer siblings on the dealer showroom floor. It’s refined, it looks great and it could pass for a much more expensive crossover. However, it’s not the most frugal at the pump and its sheer versatility is handicapped by a tight back seat and below-average cargo space.