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Mazda CX-5 2022 Review: A Premium Compact SUV With Outstanding Comfort

Image Source: Grzegorz Czapski / Shutterstock

The latest iteration of the Mazda CX-5 remains a top contender in the compact SUV segment. For the 2022 model year, Mazda has implemented some updates to ensure it stays ahead of the competition. The CX-5 stands out with its attractive exterior, upscale interior, and enjoyable driving dynamics.

2022 Mazda CX-5 Review

Unlike some of its rivals like the Hyundai Tucson, the CX-5 presents a more sophisticated design with its sculpted and elegant lines. When parked next to a Tucson, RAV4, or CR-V, the CX-5 exudes a higher level of class. Especially eye-catching is the Soul Red Crystal Metallic paint option, a color choice that has been a consistent favorite from Mazda. For 2022, some subtle styling updates can be noted, such as a wider lower air intake, a fresh grille, and redesigned headlights featuring L-shaped LED lighting. On the top-spec CX-5 2.5 Turbo Signature, color-matched trim replaces the black cladding found on lower trims.

Inside, the CX-5 impresses with its chic and luxurious interior. It’s hard to find a more upscale cabin in this class. The interior boasts premium materials, and the minimalistic design creates a peaceful ambiance. The dashboard features a clean layout that wouldn’t feel out of place with a luxury brand badge on the steering wheel. For the new model year, Mazda has enhanced the interior by offering real woodgrain accents and Nappa leather.

While the interior aesthetics are commendable, there are some areas with room for improvement. The partially digital gauge cluster goes against the trend of fully digital clusters, and a fully digital setup would lend a more contemporary look to the interior. The infotainment system is another drawback. Although the CX-5 comes with an attractive 10.3-inch screen, its non-touchscreen operation sets it apart from rivals that offer touchscreen interfaces. Navigating through the system using the rotary dial on the center console can be cumbersome, especially when on the move, making simple tasks like selecting a playlist or finding directions inconvenient.

Standard features include Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, yet a wired connection is required to utilize them. While there is a wireless phone charger available, its utility is limited since the phone needs to remain plugged in. Nonetheless, it does provide a convenient charging option for passengers. Despite the impressive look and feel of the interior, one of the drawbacks is its slightly smaller interior space compared to competitors. The CX-5 offers 39.6 inches of rear legroom, whereas the Honda CR-V provides 40.4 inches. With the rear seats folded, the CX-5 offers almost 60 cubic feet of cargo space, falling short of the CR-V’s 75.8 cubic feet.

The 2022 Mazda CX-5 offers two engine options. The base engine is a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder producing 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. For a more exhilarating driving experience, there’s the turbocharged 2.5-liter engine that delivers up to 256 hp and 320 lb-ft with 93 octane fuel, or 227 hp with 87 octane fuel. Both engines are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive is standard for the 2022 model year.

The naturally aspirated engine achieves an EPA-rated fuel economy of 24 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined, whereas the turbocharged engine is slightly less efficient at 22/27/24 mpg.

In urban settings, the standard engine provides adequate power for city driving, although it may feel lacking when merging onto highways. The turbocharged engine, on the other hand, offers a more energetic performance typical of a small compact SUV. The abundance of torque available at 2,500 rpm adds to the fun-to-drive nature of the CX-5, surpassing expectations within its class. While the six-speed automatic transmission may seem outdated compared to the 8- and 10-speed transmissions in other models, it performs admirably.

Beyond its powertrain, the Mazda CX-5 shines with its comfortable ride quality and precise steering. The suspension effectively absorbs road imperfections, while the CX-5 demonstrates agility on twisty roads. The CX-5 delivers a composed and refined driving experience that aligns with its overall premium appeal.

Pricing for the 2022 Mazda CX-5 starts at $27,475, with the turbocharged version commencing at $37,975, including destination fees.

When compared to its rivals, the Mazda CX-5 distinguishes itself as the driver’s choice with its engaging driving dynamics and optional turbocharged engine. Its sophisticated design and luxurious interior elevate the standards for the compact SUV segment.

Image Source: Grzegorz Czapski / Shutterstock

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