Mazda CX-5

Smartly-designed SUV ascends the ranks

Roseville, Calif.- It’s hardly a secret the Mazda CX-5 has ascended to the top echelon in its class.

The numbers tell the story for the compact SUV that is rising to a rung just below the class heavyweights – Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V.

Since arriving in 2012 with sales of 43,319, the CX-5 has seen increasing sales figures every year but one – and that was the first pandemic year (2020).

Sales of the CX-5 increased by just over 22,000 a year ago, when it reached an all-time high of 168,448. Although sales of the CX-5 remain below its major competitors, note that the RAV4 had decreased sales of approximately 22,000 a year ago.

New for 2022 is the CX-5 is getting standard all-wheel drive across all trim levels. Toyota has updated the front and rear styling,

A year ago, the Mazda CX-5 arrived with a few appealing new wrinkles. Most notable was the larger infotainment system and the debut of the Carbon Edition trim model. The latest version of the CX-5 remains part of the successful 2017 redesign.

Performance

Inside the CX-5

The Mazda SUV has an impressive turbocharged engine – a 2.5-liter, inline four-cylinder that generates 227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. We were totally impressed with the power-on-demand it delivered.

The turbo is the optional engine for the CX-5. It goes 0-60 mph in 6.6 seconds, but doesn’t deliver good fuel economy – 23-28 mpg.

The standard CX-5 engine is not nearly as powerful as the turbo model. It’s a 2.5-liter, inline four-cylinder that produces 187 horsepower and 186-pound feet of torque.

Freeway passing capability and climbing steep hills can be an issue for the standard CX-5 due to the underwhelming acceleration. It goes 0-60 mph in 8.7 seconds, yet is more fuel efficient than the turbo engine, getting 25-31 mpg.

The smartly-designed SUV receives high marks for its driving acumen because it handles like a well-behaved sedan. It features responsive steering, a smooth ride, and superb handling on challenging roads. It’s also quiet, with wind and tire noise only heard at highway speeds.

The safety package on all CX-5 models includes smart brake support, lane-keeping assist, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, radar cruise control with stop-and-go functions, advanced smart brake support with pedestrian detection, and rear cross-traffic alert.

AT A GLANCE – 2022 MAZDA CX-5

  • Performance: 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, 187 horsepower; turbocharged 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, 227 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate: 25-31 mpg; 23-28 mpg
  • Price estimate: $25,900 to $ $38,700
  • Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain 5 years/60,000 miles; roadside assistance 3 years/36,000; corrosion 5 years/unlimited

Trim Models

The CX-5 has eight trim models (Base, Select, Preferred, Carbon Edition, Premium, Premium Plus, Turbo, Turbo Signature). The Carbon Edition is painted gray, has red-leather seats and 19-inch black alloy wheels.

Interior

The interior gets mostly good mark, thanks to its upscale design and using quality materials. The new 10.25-inch display screen is fairly easy to use. The cabin is suited well for the driver, who has all controls within an easy reach. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard features.

While the CX-5 is spacious up front, the three rear passengers can feel very cramped, especially if it’s three adults. The cargo area is adequate, offering 30.9 cubic feet of space that expands to 59.3 cubes with the second row down.

For a variety of reasons, the 2022 Mazda CX-5 is a smart buy. It has inched its way up to being among the top small SUVs.