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  • 2022 Mazda CX-5 review ($25,900 – $38,650)
  • Best Residual Value – J.D, Power, Top Safety Pick+ – IIHS 
  • Pros: Smooth ride, agile handling, standard AWD 
  • Cons: Limited cargo space, low towing capacity
2022 Mazda CX-5 review
2022 Mazda CX-5 | Allison Barfield – MotorBiscuit

It’s easy to understand why the 2022 Mazda CX-5 is one of the most popular subcompact SUVs available. After spending time behind the wheel, we know that it delivers on comfortable, convenient, and sporty performance. 

The CX-5 is one of the most satisfying options with agile handling, a smooth ride, and an optional turbocharged engine to take the boring out of daily driving. However, the base engine is a little lackluster. Also, it has limited cargo and passenger space. 

These aspects are easy to overlook because the CX-5 provides plenty of value with its price. Standard all-wheel drive, leather seats, soft-covered surfaces, an abundance of driver-assist features, and intelligent driving modes complete the package. 

2022 Mazda CX-5: What’s new? 

2022 Mazda CX-5 review
2022 Mazda CX-5 | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

The Mazda CX-5 is in its second generation, introduced in 2017. For 2022, all-wheel drive became standard across the entire lineup. This is a nice perk for those living in inclement weather areas. However, those who don’t need AWD may want a lower price. 

The CX-5 received a slight refresh in the front and rear that includes shaper lines for a more distinct look. The grille has a unique textured design for a more confident look and now extends to redesigned LED headlights. 

Best of all, the CX-5 gained slight suspension tweaks and enhanced power to improve its performance. The retuned transmission and suspension update provide more responsive handling, a quieter interior, and more control. With premium fuel, the turbo engine gains more power for a total of 256 hp. 

Which Mazda CX-5 trim is best? 

There are eight 2022 Mazda CX-5 trim levels: 

  • CX-5 2.5 S – $25,900 
  • CX-5 2.5 Select – $27,900 
  • CX-5 2.5 S Preferred – $29,160
  • CX-5 Carbo Edition – 30,720
  • CX-5 2.5 S Premium – $32,310 
  • CX-5 2.5 Premium Plus – 33,950 
  • CX-5 2.5 Turbo – $36,400 
  • CX-5 2.5 Turbo Signature – $38,650

The 2022 Mazda CX-5 2.5 Turbo provides access to the 256 hp engine, which is needed to make the most out of the CX-5’s sporty yet elegant nature. The extra speed corresponds best with its agile handling and driving modes. 

You get black-painted wheels and attractive gloss-black accents to set the exterior and interior apart with this trim. Plus, the interior features red accent stitching and red accents for a sportier vibe. 

Features like the head-up display and ventilated seats are included. Only move up in trim levels if you want upgraded leather upholstery, wood trim, ambient interior lighting, a 360-degree display, and a navigation system. 

How does the Mazda CX-5 drive? 

The 2022 Mazda CX-5 adapts to your personal driving moods thanks to the Mazda Intelligent Drive Select technology (Mi-Drive). It allows you to customize your experience based on various roads and surface conditions. 

However, we recommend skipping the standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 187 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. 

Upgrade to the turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine for 227 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. With 93 Octane fuel, these figures increase to 256 hp and 320 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. 

The Mazda CX-5 delivers instant power right off the line for an impressively fast acceleration. The CX-5 can go from 0 to 6 mph in about 8.7 seconds with the standard engine. It reaches 60 mph in about 6.6 seconds with the turbo. 

Thanks to direct, responsive handling and limited body roll, there is a sense of confidence and control around curves. The CX-5 corners well and has plenty of torque for powering through steep curves. 

Plus, the CX-5 has a tight turning radius and is extremely agile. You can whip it in and out of any parking space. Also, the parking sensors and 360-degree display make it easy to navigate through tight city areas. 

The Mazda CX-5 has a smooth suspension that absorbs most impacts pretty well, and the brakes are solid and predictable. Use Normal mode for a more relaxing and softer ride that helps save fuel. 

Switch to Sport mode if you want snapper response times and a faster acceleration. Once you switch to Sport mode, you can feel the suspension stiffen as response times tighten up. 

The tires also feel more connected to the road for a sense of increased control and more grip around curves. Use the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters for even more fun. 

We used the Off-Road mode on gravel and dirt roads. The suspension feels a little floatier in this mode, but it still has a smooth ride over rough patches and dips. This Mazda can get you to your campsite, but we wouldn’t push it too far off the pavement. 

The Mazda CX-5 gets an EPA-estimated 24 mpg in the city and up to 30 mpg on the highway. We averaged about 23.8 mpg during our week on mountain curves, flat country roads, and bustling downtown city areas. 

Is the 2022 Mazda CX-5 comfortable? 

Yes, the 2022 Mazda CX-5 makes comfort a priority. The seats were recently redesigned to include more support and padding, noticeable during longer drives. The large seats fit a variety of different shapes and sizes. 

The seats in the rear are well–padded too, and the backrest sits at a comfortable angle. But passengers in the rear may want more head and leg space. Fitting three adults in the back might be a squeeze. 

The Mazda CX-5 provides a smooth ride with almost no body roll. Passengers won’t get jostled on gravel roads. The interior is pretty quiet, but wind noise is slightly noticeable at higher speeds. 

In typical Mazda fashion, the climate controls are strong and responsive. It’s easy to heat or cool the cabin quickly. During hot and humid summer days, the ventilated seats provide instant relief. 

The Mazda CX-5 has a luxuriously crafted interior 

We’re serious, the 2022 Mazda CX-5 doesn’t skimp on value. The interior is well-crafted with high-quality materials such as Nappa leather seats, plush carpeted floors, pops of genuine wood, and attractive accent lighting. 

Every aspect of the Mazda, including the steering wheel, provides premium quality. The CX-5 doesn’t feel cheap. Also, for those who live in muddy areas, don’t worry. The carpeted floor mats are easy to remove and clean. 

The interior layout is well-planned and places everything you need within reach. It’s easy to adjust the driver’s seat for the perfect driving position. The passenger seat could benefit from more controls. 

Thanks to the large windshield, there’s plenty of visibility in the front, but the windows are narrow in the back. However, the rearview mirrors and optional 360-degree display clearly show everything around the vehicle. 

The Mazda CX-5 doesn’t have a panoramic sunroof, but it comes with a good sized option. The sunroof allows fresh air and natural light to enter the cabin. 

How is the 2022 Mazda CX-5’s tech? 

Mazda CX-5 rotary dial
Mazda CX-5 rotary dial | Mazda

The 2022 Mazda CX-5 feels advanced and up to date with the standard 10.3-inch infotainment display that’s primarily controlled by a rotary dial system. It only takes a few minutes to learn how to use a system. Sure it doesn’t have a touchscreen, but it doesn’t need it. 

Apple CarPlay and Android come standard, but we would like to see wireless connectivity added for these options. You can connect your devices via Bluetooth. Also, the steering wheel is loaded with buttons to control these systems. The voice recognition is easy-to-use and responsive too. 

The digital gauge cluster can be quickly customized to display different information, such as your fuel economy or what’s on the radio. Also, the head-up display with traffic sign recognition is crisp and clear. 

We are impressed by the optional 10-speaker Bose premium audio system. You can listen to your favorite tunes with an immersive experience. You can adjust the speakers for the driver or select surround sound for the entire vehicle. 

The safety systems seemed a bit sensitive. The forward collision warning and lane departure systems like to beep quite often. But the rear cross-traffic alert system did provide warnings about pedestrians in parking lots that were hard to see on the backup camera. 

Also, the live weather alerts can only be viewed when the vehicle is at a complete stop. This makes it difficult to look at the severe weather warnings while on the interstate or in heavy traffic. 

How much cargo space does the 2022 Mazda CX-5 have?

Cargo space is one of the areas where the Mazda CX-5 is a little lacking. It provides up to 30 cubic feet of room behind the rear seats with up to 59.3 cubes total. This is less space than rivals like the Toyota RAV4 have to offer. 

The center console feels narrow and limiting, and there aren’t many cubbies or trays for storing personal items. However, the cup holders are adequate, and the pockets in the door are pretty useful. 

It’s easy to fold the seats flat with the pull of a lever. Also, the cargo hold has a convenient liftover height for loading heavy items. The CX-5 can tow up to 2,000 lbs if you need more room. Also, the power liftgate is incredibly convenient. 

How safe is the Mazda CX-5? 

Front angle view of Soul Red Crystal Metallic 2022 Mazda CX-5
2022 Mazda CX-5 | Mazda

The 2022 Mazda CX-5 is one of the safest options you can buy. It has a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and it’s an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+. 

The CX-5 excelled in various crash simulations with an excellent ability to protect cash dummies. It received a ‘Good’ score in almost every section, which is the highest score possible. The CX-5 scored ‘Acceptable’ in one side crash impact. 

Also, the CX-5 received a Marginal rating for the seat belt reminders because the chime is too soft. It seemed loud enough to get our attention, though. 

It earned an Acceptable rating for the child seat restraints because they are too deep in the seats. But they are easy to find and attach. They also can’t be easily confused with other equipment. 

Standard safety features include: 

  • Forward collision warning 
  • Automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection 
  • Blindspot monitoring
  • Lane departure warning 
  • Lane-keeping assist 
  • Adaptive cruise control

How reliable is the Mazda CX-5? 

2022 Mazda CX-5 review
2022 Mazda CX-5 | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

The 2022 Mazda CX-5 has an above-average reliability ranking from Consumer Reports. The score is based on issues that owners reported on previous model years, and it looks like models before 2017 have the most complaints. 

Some of the most common problems reported on more previous model years include issues with the in-car electronics and paint. The engine, transmission, drive system, and fuel system have fewer complaints than rivals. 

The Mazda CX-5 can make it past 250,000 miles with proper care and maintenance. It can provide around 12 years of service on the road before needing a significant repair. 

It costs about $447 to maintain the Mazda CX-5 annually. This is great compared to the average yearly cost of about $573 to maintain smaller SUVs each year. Prices may vary depending on condition, age, and shop location. 

MotorBiscuit gives the Mazda CX-5 an expert rating of 8.2 out of 10 

The MotorBiscuit editors award the 2022 Mazda CX-5 with an overall rating of 8.2 out of 10. The Mazda CX-5 excels against the competition with a smooth ride, responsive handling, sporty advantages, and a luxurious interior. 

However, the CX-5 feels a little limited when it comes to passenger and cargo space. The aspects are easy to overlook when considering how much value comes standard. You get premium quality, all-wheel drive and access to the Mi-Drive system. 

Plus, the CX-5 is incredibly safe and reliable with a below-average cost of ownership. It’s a comfortable and engaging option for daily drivers and long trips. Just be sure to go for the available turbocharged engine. 


First Drive: The 2022 Mazda CX-5 Easily Weathers the Storm