Saturday, 22 June 2024

2022 Mazda CX-5 is a classy, sporty compact SUV  Featured

Posted On Sunday, 25 September 2022 22:12 Written by
Rate this item
(1 Vote)
With near-luxury design, the Mazda CX-5 has a lot to offer that its rival compact SUVs do not. With near-luxury design, the Mazda CX-5 has a lot to offer that its rival compact SUVs do not. Photo courtesy of Mazda

When it comes to sporty compact SUVs, Mazda has no shortage of offerings for potential customers — all providing the rare SUV combination of driving enjoyment and vehicle utility.

In addition to their long-standing CX-5, Mazda recently introduced the CX-50 — a more off-road inspired offering with higher ground clearance.

For the 2022 CX-5, Mazda has made all-wheel drive standard, improved engine options, made minor exterior design changes, and also upgraded the suspension.

I recently tested out the 2022 CX-5, and I’m back with a full report on how it measures up to its competition both outside and inside the Mazda lineup.


The 2022 CX-5 features a bold, but classy exterior design, with an expressive nose in line with Mazda’s design architecture. Mazda has also made some minor adjustments to the design of the CX-5’s bumpers and headlights for 2022.

The CX-5 is also a bit taller than the CX-50, thus offering a better view of the road. Lengthwise, it’s a bit shorter than the CX-50, making it a better choice for city dwellers who need to fit into tight parking spaces.

The CX-5 features wheels between 17 and 19 inches, depending on the trim level. My vehicle had 19-inch alloy wheels.

Other features include rain-sensing windshield wipers, heated power mirrors with turn lamps, auto-fold door mirrors, a power moonroof, a power rear liftgate, plus LED headlights and taillights.

Moving to the interior of the CX-5, this is where Mazda’s lineup shines. Among nonluxury vehicles, they provide arguably the most high-end and comfortable experience in the industry. If you showed the interior to someone and didn’t name the brand, they very likely would think it was a luxury vehicle.

All materials are top-notch, plush and nothing feels cheap. The leather seating is especially welcoming for all five passengers, and there’s some sharp wood trim plus ambient interior lighting offered.

Cargo space in the CX-5 is about average for the segment, coming in at 30.8 cubic feet behind the rear seats, 59.3 cubic feet with the rear seats down. As with all compact SUVs, rear passengers will likely be a bit cramped unless they are shorter adults or children. But if you carry passengers often, choosing the CX-5 is a better option than the CX-50.

Other amenities include a power driver seat with lumbar, driver seat memory, heated front and rear seats, ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel and a leather steering wheel with audio and cruise controls.


The thrill of the ride is something I rarely talk about in relation to an SUV, but Mazda is the rare brand that brings that enjoyment to everyone with all of their vehicles.

Two engines are offered. I tested the higher-end option, a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that boasts 227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. Mazda says that if you use 93 octane fuel, those numbers grow to 256 horsepower and 320 pound-feet.

The base engine is a 2.5-liter four cylinder non-turbo with 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet.

Both engines are paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission, and all CX-5 models feature all-wheel drive, another advantage on much of the competition.

Zero-to-60 time in the CX-5 comes in at just over 6 seconds, not bad for an SUV.

Towing capacity for the CX-5 is just 2,000 pounds, so don’t plan on pulling much. (Moving to the CX-50 will get you 3,500 pound capability)

I would highly recommend opting for a CX-5 with the upgraded turbo engine. My test vehicle drove tremendously well, whether on the main streets or on more curvy roads. Mazda goes against the grain and delivers a high quality driving experience that is unparalleled among its SUV competition in the non luxury realm.

Handling is tremendous handling, braking is immediate, and it sportily handles turns better than the competition. Drive modes include Sport, Normal and Off-Road, though I wouldn’t recommend any serious off-roading the CX-5 (the CX-50’s increased ground clearance make it the better choice in this realm). 

And for 2022, upgrades to the suspension help lessen road noise intrusions.


If we’re talking tech, the Mazda had an impressive system in place for driver entertainment.

At the center is a 10.25-inch color display, which is easy to use via the center control dial for most commands. Voice commands also worked very well for navigation, music and phone calls.

Navigation system worked very well, always getting me where I needed to go without issue, and directions can even be projected onto the head-up display to keep your eyes on the road. The navigation system also features traffic sign recognition technology.

Other tech features included a wireless phone charger, booming 10-speaker Bose sound system, Bluetooth connectivity, multiple USB slots, three free months of satellite radio, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

For those seeking one of the safest vehicles for their family, the CX-5 delivers with its five-star government safety rating. This is due to an ample amount of safety features being included, some standard and others only on higher trim levels.

Among the features included on every CX-5 model are: Forward collision mitigation, which warns the driver and can apply the brakes if it senses an impending collision; Blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, which helps in lane-changing and parking situations; and lane departure mitigation, which can steer vehicle back into your lane.

Some people might find these systems to be a bit oversensitive, but in my view that’s better than the alternative.

Also helpful is the adaptive cruise control, which keeps you a certain distance behind other drivers.

Other features enhancing safety in the CX-5 are Dynamic Stability Control, Traction Control, tire pressure monitoring, and a bevy of airbags.

On higher trim levels, you can get features like the 360-degree camera system, which is extremely helpful in parking situations, and rear automatic braking, which can stop the CX-5 if you are about to back up into another object or vehicle.

All in all, the CX-5 is a fully stocked SUV in the area of safety.


The official fuel mileage numbers on the 2022 Mazda CX-5 with the turbo engine are 22 city/27 highway24 Combined. On the non-turbo base engine, the official numbers are 24 city and 30 highway.

In my real-world testing, I averaged 21 mpg in the CX-5. These numbers are a bit behind several of the top compact SUV competitors, but that’s somewhat expected since it offers a more sporty ride than most rivals. On this point, it’ll come down to what you find more important — fuel economy or ride quality. 


The 2022 Mazda CX-5 that I tested was priced at $38,650; and its base price starts about $27K. Trim levels include S, Select, Preferred, Carbon Edition, Premium, Premium Plus, Turbo and Turbo Signature.

This is decent pricing considering the quality of the drive, though some other models do have slightly lower price ranges. In the end, though, the difference isn’t enough to be a deciding factor for most people.

In terms of warranties, the CX-5 comes with a 60 month/60K mile powertrain warranty, and a 36 month/36K mile bumper to bumper warranty.


The 2022 Mazda CX-5 is a strong vehicle option for families who like Mazda’s design style and sharp driving style in a compact SUV, but don’t need the more off-road friendly nature of the CX-50.

With its near-luxury styling and enough room to hold your family and cargo comfortably, the 2022 CX-5 is definitely worth a test-drive for buyers in the compact SUV class.

=== can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page. Follow AutoTechReviews on Instagram at @Autotechreviews. Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2022 Mazda CX-5
  • Price as tested: $38,650 (starts at $27K)
  • Best feature: Upscale interior, Mazda drive quality
  • Rating: 4 out of five stars  
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Compact SUV buyers seeking an attractive, fun and safe ride
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

Search Reviews by Make

AutoTechReviews  is your home for In-depth reviews of the latest cars, trucks, and SUVs; information on all the emerging vehicle technology; and breaking news from the world of NASCAR and other motorsports.