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

We just had a stormy start with the Mazda CX-5, and we’re impressed. We’ve spent about four hours with the 2022 Mazda CX-5 so far and have a week to learn more about it. Based on our first drive, we can confirm that it masters heavy rain, thunder, and lightning with poise. 

How does the 2022 Mazda CX-5 perform? 

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

The 2022 Mazda CX-5 is a sporty and capable subcompact SUV. However, people may not know that it comes with standard all-wheel drive across the entire lineup. We already found this to be helpful. 

After picking the Mazda CX-5 up near Charlotte, NC, it was time to drive it up I-26 to Asheville, NC. They have been busy making I-26 wider, so it’s usually a mess with construction zones that last for miles. 

However, severe thunderstorm warnings with the perfect tornado conditions added to our journey. Heavy rain, high winds, and standing water on the road all had an impact. The i-Activ AWD system maintained control during slippery conditions. 

Around steep climbs and mountain curves, the CX-5 felt stable and confident. We switched from Sport to Normal mode because we primarily stayed under the speed limit. The brakes are strong but not too grabby, even when traffic comes to sudden stops on the interstate. 

We had a honda sedan coming at us head-on, but the front collision prevention system worked well to prevent an accident. We were able to steer out of the way, safely. Also, the sedan pulled over on the shoulder when it could. 

How much power does the 2022 CX-5 have? 

The base engine in the 2022 Mazda CX-5 is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder option with 187 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. This is an adequate amount of power. But the fun really increases with the available turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 256 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. 

With the turbo engine, the CX-5 can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 6.6 seconds. It has responsive handling and sharp steering to enhance control. The optional steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters allow for even more precise control. 

Mazda Intelligent Drive Select (Mi-Drive) enables you to select the most suitable driving modes for certain conditions. CX-5 driving modes consist of Normal, Sport, and Off-Road. Normal mode is the best for saving fuel, and Sport mode enhances the acceleration and response times. 

We haven’t tested the Off-Road mode yet, but we will see how it compares to the Mazda CX-50, which allows you to turn off traction control. Both SUVs ride on different platforms with unique suspension tuning. 

Is the Mazda CX-5 comfortable? 

Soul Red Crystal Metallic 2022 Mazda CX-5 parked by a sidewalk
2022 Mazda CX-5 | Mazda

Yes, so far, the 2022 Mazda CX-5 has been extremely comfortable. The leather seats are large and supportive, with tons of power controls for finding the best driving position. Our rear ends haven’t experienced fatigue in these seats. 

We started with the climate controls blasting AC because it was humid and muggy. The AC works quickly to relieve heat, and the ventilated seats are strong. After about an hour and a half, it was time to warm up. 

The CX-5 has a smooth ride over road imperfections and hardly any body roll around curves. But there is a bit of noticeable wind and road noise at higher speeds. Perhaps the SUV is quieter outside of massive storms. 

We have more to learn about the CX-5 and the sunny days ahead. Stay tuned for a full review that covers the good and the bad.

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