2022 Mazda CX-5

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2022
The Car Connection
2022
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Robert Duffer Robert Duffer Senior Editor
January 5, 2022

Buying tip

The S Preferred hits the sweet spot of style and value, while Turbo models price into luxury grades.

features & specs

2.5 S AWD
2.5 S Carbon Edition AWD
2.5 S Preferred Package AWD
MPG
24 city / 30 hwy
MPG
24 city / 30 hwy
MPG
24 city / 30 hwy
MSRP
$25,900
MSRP
$30,720
MSRP
$29,600

The 2022 Mazda CX-5 prioritizes style and handling over more familiar crossover traits like roominess.

What kind of car is the 2022 Mazda CX-5? What does it compare to?

The 2022 Mazda CX-5 is a five-seat compact crossover SUV with more spirited handling but tighter proportions than the Toyota RAV4, VW Tiguan, and Subaru Forester.

Is the 2022 Mazda CX-5 a good car?

Review continues below

The CX-5 eschews big and bold design flair for clean lines and confident curves. It handles well and comes well equipped, but the rear seats lean to the smaller side and the infotainment system is an exercise in frustration. It earns a TCC Rating of 6.7 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.

What’s new for the 2022 Mazda CX-5?

All-wheel drive comes standard on the CX-5 on all other Mazda crossover SUVs. 

The 2022 CX-5 wears new ends, new LED headlight designs, and new alloy wheel designs. It enhances the compact crossover’s appeal as one of the most attractive in the class, and that carries over inside to the clean horizontal layout of the dash. 

Mazda tweaked the 6-speed automatic to be more responsive, made the frame more rigid and stiffened the dampers on the front strut and multi-link rear suspension, but the compact crossover still has some lean in turns that’s endemic to higher-riding vehicles. Precise steering and taut handling better match the 227-hp turbo-4 than the overworked 187-hp 2.5-liter inline-4.

The CX-5’s alluring design proves that fashion comes as a sacrifice. It’s narrow inside, though the front seat riders shouldn’t notice with supportive frames and plush cushions to bolster sporty drives or road trips. Available wood trim and nappa leather contrast Mazda’s black-on-black base approach. Three seat belts in the back suggest three people can fit but they won’t like it. The 60/40-split rear seats serve a better purpose to expand cargo room. 

The CX-5 aces crash tests and Mazda equips it with automatic emergency braking to avoid crashes where possible. 

How much does the 2022 Mazda CX-5 cost?

Trim and price changes shake up the order this year, with S Select and S Preferred packages replacing the Touring trim; Turbo models replace the Grand Touring. 

The base Sport costs $27,125, including $1,225 for destination. It comes with a 10.3-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but the screen skips touching for a control knob. It might be easier to spin a roulette wheel and land on the desired number instead of your desired radio station. 

We prefer the S Preferred for $30,385 with its leather upholstery, power front seats, power liftgate, and sunroof. The turbo-4 is limited to the top of the lineup, peaking with the Turbo Signature for $39,875. 

Where is the 2022 Mazda CX-5 made?

In Hiroshima, Japan.

8

2022 Mazda CX-5

Styling

Pert styling and a fuss-free interior grace the CX-5.

Is the Mazda CX-5 a good-looking car?

There’s an unassuming confidence to the design of the CX-5. Mazda doesn’t slap on a bold grille or brash angles to stand out in this crowded class, yet its cuts and curves look as good as when it was last redesigned for 2017. It earns two points for its body and one for its interior for an 8. 

The long nose and short tail work to give it a sporty profile over rounded wheel arches. Changes to the ends introduce slimmer LED headlights spreading their illuminated wings from a grille recessed by the hood. It’d be hard to spot the changes without a side-by-side comparison, but the CX-5 looks smart and handsome. 

The cabin continues with conservative confidence. The dash sits low and the hood dips lower for a commanding view of the road. The lack of ornamentation or fuss keeps eyes on the road, even with the standard 10.3-inch display screen mounted on the dash. The wing-like feeling carries over to the dash with horizontal vents residing over climate dials. Wood trim and soft nappa leather warm up the interior more than stoic black finishes. The mechanical shifter and infotainment dial take up console space that other automakers have used for cupholders and wireless smartphone chargers.

Review continues below

6

2022 Mazda CX-5

Performance

The CX-5 handles better than its ilk, but its base engine yawns.

The Mazda CX-5 earns a 6 for performance due to its good handling characteristics and precise steering. 

How fast is the Mazda CX-5?

The base 2.5-liter inline-4 goes from 0-60 mph in under nine seconds. Making 187 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque, it’s not fast and the engine gets buzzy as it climbs the rev range. The 6-speed automatic transmission almost feels archaic as rivals employ a few more gears for better economy and responsiveness. The advantage, however, is staying within the power band more often for ready and willing passing moves. 

Turbo models get a turbo-4 that makes 227 hp and 310 lb-ft, but suffers from some lag at the start. A Sport mode delays shift points and makes for a more responsive pedal feel, and it’s more spirited but still not quick. Mazda estimates 0-60 mph times in the mid-seven-second range.

Is the Mazda CX-5 4WD?

All-wheel drive comes standard this year, but the system favors the front axle. Half of the torque can be sent to the rear wheels when the fronts slip. It’s more for all-weather grip than off-road potential. A new Off-road mode is limited by only 7.5 inches of ground clearance. That’s at least an inch short of Subarus. 

Instead, the CX-5 excels on pavement. The meaty steering wheel affirms the precise output and returns good feedback, turning the winding road into something fun. The damping feels firm enough to push it more than other crossovers, yet it doesn’t shudder backs and butts during longer trips. The 17-inch wheels lack the sensitivity of the available 19-inch wheels, making the former better for drivers who prefer comfort above all else.

Review continues below

7

2022 Mazda CX-5

Comfort & Quality

Mazda puts the driver and front passenger first; the back seat’s small.

Supportive front seats and a versatile cargo hold furnish the 2022 CX-5 for crossover duty, though the rear seats don’t measure up to rivals. It’s a 7.

Up front it’s all good in the five-seat CX-5, with bolstered bucket seats that do double duty by hugging the riders when the crossover tries to hug the road, and providing enough support over long distances to ease fatigue. Optional power adjustment and seat heaters and coolers come with a higher price. All CX-5s sit higher and have a broad tall windshield similar to Subaru for expansive views of the road. 

In back, only 2.5 people can fit comfortably, despite leg room of nearly 40 inches. Narrow door openings and narrow width pinches hips and shoulders, while a flat bench seat flattens rear ends. The 60/40-split rear seats fold flat to expand cargo room from 31 to about 60 cubic feet. 

Mazda finishes most CX-5s with black-on-black formal wear that’s conservative in the right ways. Climb the price ladder and Mazda mixes in leather upholstery, wood trim, and chrome-like accents.

Review continues below
8

2022 Mazda CX-5

Safety

The CX-5 withstands crashes well, and it helps avoid them.

How safe is the Mazda CX-5?

The Mazda CX-5 aced its crash tests, with a five-star rating from the NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS. That earns it two points, and tack on another for standard automatic emergency braking, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitors. It’s an 8 here.

The optional surround-view camera system and head-up display are offered only on top Turbo models, and the congested cargo area limits rearward vision.

Review continues below
6

2022 Mazda CX-5

Features

The CX-5’s good feature set offsets its increasing price.

Mazda packages standard AWD and a good bundle of safety and convenience features for $27,125. That earns it two points but the cumbersome infotainment system costs it a point. It’s a 6.  

Every CX-5 comes with a basic 3-year/36,000-mile new car warranty. 

Which Mazda CX-5 should I buy?

The base CX-5 Sport has cloth upholstery, a power driver seat, and a 10.3-inch screen with baked-in Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Mazda believes it’s safer to use a dial and buttons in the console than to reach forward and activate a touchscreen,  but the setup requires so much fiddling that it’s equally unsafe. It’s best to set the presets and any other dynamic content while parked, and be limited to those functions. The dial works well for navigation, and flicking through smartphone icons. 

For just over $30,000, the S Preferred suits the CX-5 best with leather upholstery, power front seats, power liftgate, and a sunroof. 

How much is a fully loaded Mazda CX-5?

That would be the CX-5 Turbo ($37,625) and CX-5 Turbo Signature ($39,875) powered by the 2.5-liter turbo-4. Both ride on 19-inch alloy wheels and get a head-up display, cooled front seats, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel. The Signature adds nappa leather upholstery, wood and chrome trim, ambient lighting, navigation, a surround-view camera system, parking sensors, and distinct design cues outside.

Review continues below
5

2022 Mazda CX-5

Fuel Economy

The CX-5 has average fuel economy.

Is the Mazda CX-5 good on gas?

The base CX-5 with standard all-wheel drive gets an EPA-rated 24 mpg city, 30 highway, 26 combined. It’s a 5. The Subaru Forester and its standard AWD system gets 29 mpg combined. With the turbo-4, the CX-5 gets 22/27/24 mpg. A transmission with more gears or an available hybrid would add some competitive appeal.

Review continues below
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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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$25,900
MSRP based on 2.5 S AWD
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6.7
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 8
Performance 6
Comfort & Quality 7
Safety 8
Features 6
Fuel Economy 5
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2022 Mazda CX-5 Pricing Insights

  • 2021 CX-5 in stock; 2022s coming soon
  • Lease: From $289/month
  • Rebates: Up to $1,000
  • Financing: From 0.9% APR
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