If you had any doubts as to the Mazda CX-5's popularity, first quarter sales results should put those to rest. The CX-5 is the fourth best-selling small SUV through March - with sales up 40% year-over-year. Quite an achievement given the current microchip shortage.
It's certainly not hard to see the CX-5's appeal. Its contemporary style, near luxury interior and sporty driving signature are all attractive propositions. Add to that, the model receives a redesign for 2022 that includes design tweaks and newly standard i-Activ all-wheel drive along with new Mi Drive (Mazda Intelligent Drive).
My 2.5 Turbo review vehicle sits just below the range-topping Turbo Signature model.
I have to start with the color because in my opinion Mazda's unique Soul Crystal Red Metallic paint is one of the most gorgeous reds you can find on a vehicle today. For 2022, Mazda design tweaks included refining the front and tail ends which includes new bumper designs as well as larger bright finish dual exhaust outlets. The headlight and taillight designs were updated, too,
The 2.5 Turbo model is differentiated from the lineup by a gloss black grille, chrome black front signature wing and lower bumper trim, black side rocker molding, black power-folding and heated side mirrors, black wheel arches and a new black Signature wing. In back, you'll find a body-colored rear roof spoiler. The 2.5 Turbo rides on 19-inch black alloy wheels with a black metallic finish.
The CX-5 offers two different power figures depending on the fuel you use. With regular fuel it delivers 227-horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. With premium fuel those numbers increase to 256-hp and 320 lb.-feet of torque. Acceleration is smooth thanks to updates to its 6-speed automatic transmission.
Mazda is also making an effort to make its lineup more rugged and ready for adventure, and to that end, it adds a new Mi Drive (Mazda Intelligent Drive Select) mode with new Sport and Off Road modes. Mazda also makes i-Active AWD standard across the lineup for 2022.
The Turbo model delivers 24 mpg combined.
Mazda interiors enjoy a well-deserved reputation for being near luxury and that's what you'll find in the CX-5. The cabin's black interior with red stitching features soft-touch materials on the dash and door panels, along with gloss black and silver accents. (If you want genuine wood trim, step up to the Turbo Signature.)
Leather-trimmed 3-level heated and ventilated front seats are on the flatter side, but comfortable. The driver's seat is 8-way power adjustable, the passenger's is 6-way. A leather steering wheel with paddle shifters is heated and on the firmer side. I'd love to see Mazda update the steering wheel controls with some fancier switchgear.
A fairly slim center console hosts a leather-wrapped gear shift knob, multifunction commander control for the multimedia system, new Mi Drive select, electronic parking brake and auto brake hold, and the Turbo's standard wireless charger. The center console bin offers a nice amount of storage.
The roomy second row and even slightly raised seating doesn't threaten headroom. Soft-touch materials adorn the top half of the door panels. Turbo passengers are treated to 2nd-row 3-level heated, cushiony seats, along with nice seat back pockets, A/C vents and a drop down center console that opens to reveal two of four USB ports.
Standard equipment includes push-button start, dual-zone digital climate, an electronic parking brake, one-touch power windows, rain-sensing wipers, windshield wiper deicer, and a power moonroof.
The 40/20/40 split one-touch fold-down rear seats recline slightly. There's an impressive amount of cargo space and levers in the cargo area operate the folding seats. A power liftgate has a programmable height adjustment. There's also a compact spare tire.
A 10.25-inch multimedia screen is standard. The non-touchscreen houses nice mapping (navigation is an option) as well as rear view monitor. It's also responsive when you operate it via the multifunction commander control on the console, or using the steering wheel controls or voice command. The system features non-wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, HD Radio and Pandora. I really enjoyed the 10-speaker Bose sound system.
The driver information and tachometer area is to me is in need of tech update. A 7-inch LCD display incorporates road sign info as well as scrollable info, but the whole look is a little dated compared to full digital displays.
Mazda does a terrific job with a windshield-projected color Active Driving Display.
Ride and Drive
One of the things that makes Mazda so unique is its distinctive driving characteristics. The CX-5, equipped with AWD and G-Vectoring Control Plus, delivers fun to drive, confident handling. The new Mi Drive mode selector adds new sport and off-road modes. An updated suspension is sportier than its competitors, adding to the engaging experience as well as ride quality. Visibility is great out the rear window while cabin noise at highway speeds is so-so, as is typical of the small SUV segment.
The 2022 CX-5 comes with i-Active Safety tech. It includes Advanced Smart City Brake Support with Day and Night-time Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear-Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, and Mazda Radar Stop and Go Cruise Control. The Signature model adds a 360-degree camera, front and rear parking sensors, reverse brake support, Driver Attention Alert and Traffic Jam Assist.
What You'll Pay
My review vehicle is equipped with optional Mazda Navigation ($450), the Soul Red Crystal Metallic paint ($595), and Rear Bumper Guard ($125.) This brings the total MSRP to $38,795.
The Mazda CX-5 Turbo is a terrific small SUV and a leader in its class thanks to its sophisticated style, premium cabin and engaging, sporty driving dynamics. I'd imagine its 2022 redesign is one reason for its successful first quarter.
- What I liked most: Color, Driving Dynamics and Bose stereo.
- What I would change: Update technology, specifically the tachometer area.
- MSRP: Base price: $36,400; as equipped: $38,795.
- Fuel Economy: 22 city/27 highway/24 combined.
- Odometer reading when tested: 2,566 miles.
- Weight: 3,856 pound curb weight.
- Spare Tire: Temporary Spare.
- Length-Width-Height: 180.1” long/85.3 wide with mirrors open/ 65.6” high without roof rails.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 15.3 gallons with the filler on the driver's side.
- Official Color: Soul Red Crystal Metallic ($595).
- Towing Capacity: 2,000 pounds.
- 2022 Mazda CX-5 Turbo in a few words: A fun to drive small SUV with some notable updates for 2022 that add to its appeal.
- Warranty: 3-year, 36,000-mile overall warranty; 5-year, 60,000-mile powertrain protection, 24-hour roadside assistance.
- Final Assembly Location: Hiroshima, Japan.
- Manufacturer's website: Mazda