2022 Mazda CX-5: Standard All-Wheel Drive, Mild Styling Tweaks

The Mazda CX-5 is the brand’s best selling model in the U.S. Mazda

The increasing sameness of the crossover and SUV markets can be a daunting prospect for people who enjoy driving, but there are still a few bright spots for enthusiasts. Mazda has long been a brand whose family vehicles tread the line between sport and utility, and if the updates it has in store for the 2022 CX-5 are any indication, that tradition will continue.

The mild refresh for 2022 includes a mild styling refresh inside and out, a streamlining of the turbo model trim and standard all-wheel drive across the lineup.

New Turbo CX-5 Models

The Carbon Edition Turbo and CX-5 Grand Touring Edition Reserve are gone, replaced with two new trims: The CX-5 2.5 Turbo and CX-5 2.5 Turbo Signature.  Both turbo models further distinguish themselves from the rest of the CX-5 line with exclusive styling. The Turbo has unique gloss-black exterior trim and the Turbo Signature with paint-matched body cladding, bright silver finished wheels, woodgrain interior trim, and Nappa leather upholstery.

Carryover Engines, Standrd All-Wheel Drive

Standard for 2022, Mazda’s i-Activ AWD system not only provides increased traction in foul weather but is also tuned to heighten performance in everyday driving. Mazda

The 2.5-liter turbo four-cylinder engine is unchanged, rated at 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque when running on premium fuel. The base engine remains a 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. In addition, Mazda touts a more responsive six-speed automatic transmission, though no specifics on the tune are given.

Mazda’s i-Activ All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system, formerly a $1400 option, is now standard across the CX-5 lineup, as well as the rest of the CX lineup consisting of the CX-30, CX-5 and CX-9. (The CX-3 was discontinued at the end of 2021.)

Additional hardware teaks include improvements to the suspension dampening control structure and increased frame rigidity to help suppress unpleasant vibrations, reduce road noise and help to provide a quieter cabin and higher quality of ride comfort. In addition, the 2022 CX-5 also introduces Mazda intelligent Drive Select (Mi-Drive), the maker’s latest drive-mode system permitting the driver to select the vehicle’s performance via an in-cabin switch.

Freshened Styling Inside and Out

The exterior of the entire lineup has been massaged with new front- and rear-end designs. The hood line extends over a new three-dimensional textured grille, which creates a solid forward-leaning effect when the vehicle is viewed in profile. A new headlight design houses two rectangular LED lights, the taillights have been similarly restyled and new alloy wheel designs add some fresh perspective.

All 2022 CX-5 models will see interior refinements similar to the updates seen elsewhere in the Mazda catalog. In addition, the seats have been redesigned with better support and padding for stability and comfort.

The 2022 CX-5 will hit showrooms in the fourth quarter of 2021. Pricing will be announced closer to its on-sale date.

This is likely the last year for the second-generation CX-5 that debuted as a 2017 model. The third generation CX-5 would be a 2023 model arriving in calendar 2022. There are also reports of a CX-50 variant of the CX-5 with a six-cylinder engine and 48-volt hybrid technology that is longer, more coupe-like and intended to move Mazda further upmarket. While the subcompact CX-30 eventually replaced the CX-3, there may be room for both a compact SUV and compact SUV coupe given the CX-5 alone accounts for half of Mazda sales.