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Mazda CX-5 2022 review

The Mazda CX-5 has undergone another nip and tuck, but is it still up to the job?
EXPERT RATING
7.5
Mazda's CX-5 has undergone a little nip and tuck for the 2022 model year, but is that enough to keep up with Toyota RAV4, Subaru Forester and Kia Sportage? We put the new model to the test to find out.

Let's get this out of the way early: Mazda's new CX-5 isn't actually all that new.

Instead, the brand has given its popular SUV a little nip and tuck to keep it fresh in the face of the stiff competition that prowls the mid-size segment in Australia.

But has it done enough to stay relevant in Australia's biggest new-car segment? Let's find out, shall we?

 

Mazda CX-5 2022: Akera (awd)
Safety rating
Engine Type2.2L turbo
Fuel TypeDiesel
Fuel Efficiency6L/100km
Seating5 seats
Price from$52,680

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?   8/10

There has been some juggling of the CX-5 range for 2022, which has now resulted in five trim levels, four engine options, two fuel types and two transmissions offered across the CX-5 range, with prices spanning $32,190 for the entry level Maxx manual – or $2k more for the automatic – and $53,680 for the top-spec Akera auto. And to save you doing the math, that means prices are up somewhere between $800 and $1300 across most of the range. 

The Maxx cars deliver things like 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, black cloth seats, an 8.0-inch central screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a six-speaker stereo and leather on the steering wheel and shifter.

The 8.0-inch media screen features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The 8.0-inch media screen features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Maxx Sport models than add LED fog lamps, dual-zone climate, sat nav and hidden USB charge points in the pull-down seat divider in the back.

Next up is the Touring, which will give you keyless entry, a wireless charger for you mobile, front parking sensor and a neat boot floor which can be reversed when you’re carrying muddy gear for easier cleaning.

New for this update is the Touring Active, which seeks to up the style a bit with 17-inch alloys finished in a grey metallic, gloss-black side mirrors and Maztex seats with fluoro-green accents in the cabin and on the body work.

The Akera adds adaptive LED headlights. The Akera adds adaptive LED headlights.

Still with me? Don’t worry, we’re almost there. Next comes the sporty-looking GT SP, which adds 19-inch alloys, a cool looking gloss-black treatment to the mirrors and grille, a black interior trim, a sunroof and powered boot, heated front seats, and a 10-speaker Bose stereo. You also get Mazda’s clever Adaptive Front-Lighting system, which turn with the vehicle to ensure the road ahead is always illuminated when cornering.

Finally, there’s the top-tier Akera, with it silver 19-inch alloys, ventilated Nappa leather front seats, adaptive LED headlights, and a second 7.0-inch screen.

The Akera wears 19-inch alloy wheels. The Akera wears 19-inch alloy wheels.

Mazda CX-5 2022 Price List:

VariantTransmissionCost
Maxx 2.0-litre petrol FWDManual$32,190 (+$800)
Maxx 2.0-litre petrol FWDAutomatic$34,190 (+$800)
Maxx Sport 2.5-litre petrol FWDAutomatic$37,990 (+$1300)
Maxx Sport 2.5-litre petrol AWDAutomatic$40,490 (+$800)
Touring 2.5-litre petrol AWDAutomatic$42,390 (+$900)
Touring Active 2.5-litre petrol AWDAutomatic$42,680
Touring Active 2.2-litre turbo-diesel AWDAutomatic$45,680
GT SP 2.5-litre turbo-petrol AWDAutomatic$48,790 (+$1100)
Akera 2.5-litre petrol AWDAutomatic$50,680 (+$1100)
Akera 2.5-litre turbo-petrol AWDAutomatic$53,680 (+$1100)
Akera 2.2-litre turbo-diesel AWDAutomatic$53,180 (+$1100)

Is there anything interesting about its design?   8/10

Short answer? If you like the outgoing CX-5, you're going to like this one, too. And if you don't? Well you're bang out of luck.

Me? I'm in the former camp. The CX-5 was, and thus still is, a handsome and understated offering in the mid-size SUV space, somehow managing too look smaller, sportier and a little more polished than some of its key rivals.

The CX-5 is a handsome SUV. The CX-5 is a handsome SUV.

This is the Where's Wally of design updates, though. You'll find the changes in a new-look grille, which has a new textured design that's intended to look and feel more three-dimensional.

The lights, front and rear, have been tweaked to better match the incoming the CX-60, too. Oh, and there's some body-coloured or gloss-black – depending on the trim – elements, too.

The Mazda CX-5 range stretches 4550mm in length. The Mazda CX-5 range stretches 4550mm in length.

We also welcome a new trim level, the Touring Active, which includes some bright green grille and interior elements, and a new colour in Zircon Sand.

Inside, it's largely business as usual, too. There's new and more supportive seat materials, and wireless charging across some grades, but that's it really.

The CX-5's interior design is ageing like a fine wine. The CX-5's interior design is ageing like a fine wine.

Still, I'd argue the CX-5's cabin is ageing like a fine wine rather than a glass of milk, and it still fills plenty polished and premium inside – even if the tech offering (led by the 8.0-inch central screen which is crying out to be made touch sensitive) is starting to feel a little off the pace.

How practical is the space inside?   7/10

The Mazda CX-5 range stretches 4550mm in length, 1840mm in width and around 1680mm in height. It rides on a 2700mm wheelbase, and has been pretty cleverly packaged to deliver enough cabin and boot space to satisfy most people.

Speaking of which, the (auto-opening in some trims) boot opens to reveal a usable, though not massive, 438 litres with the rear seats in place, and that number swells to 1340 litres with the back pews folded flat, with both those numbers measured in VDA.

  • The CX-5 offers 438 litres of cargo capacity. The CX-5 offers 438 litres of cargo capacity.
  • Boot space grows to 1340 litres with the rear seats folded. Boot space grows to 1340 litres with the rear seats folded.

Backseat riders will find enough leg and headroom to stay happy, especially if they're my height, 175cm, or less. But the way the centre console and rear tunnel cut into the middle seat's leg room means its pretty much ruled out for adult riders.

There's enough leg and headroom for backseat passengers. There's enough leg and headroom for backseat passengers.

I do love the pull-down divider's hidden USB charge points and twin cupholders in all but the base model, and the rear-sear air vents.

Elsewhere, you'll find the usual accompaniment of bottle and cup holders, as well as twin ISOFIX attachment points, one in each window seat in the back.

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?   7/10

There are four engines on offer here, and we’ll pop the details down below. But what you really need to know is that the pick of the bunch is the punchy 2.5-litre turbo, which is such a good fit for this vehicle. It pairs exclusively with a six-speed automatic and AWD, and it's a peach.

The 2.5-litre turbo makes 170kW/420Nm. The 2.5-litre turbo makes 170kW/420Nm.

Elsewhere, you’ve got a choice of petrol or diesel, manual or automatic, and two- or all-wheel drive. Choices, choices, choices. There are plenty of them here. 

Mazda CX-5 2022 engine options:

2.0L PetrolPower: 115kW @ 6000rpmTorque: 200Nm @ 4000rpDriven wheels: FWDFuel use: 6.9L/100km (combined)
2.5L PetrolPower: 140kW @ 6000rpmTorque: 252Nm @ 400rpmDriven wheels: FWD/AWDFuel use: 7.2L-7.4L/100km (combined)
2.5L Turbo-petrolPower: 170kW @ 5000rpmTorque: 420Nm @ 2000rpmDriven wheels: AWDFuel use: 8.2L/100km (combined)
2.2L Turbo-dieselPower: 140kW @ 4500rpmTorque: 450Nm @ 2000rpmDriven wheels: AWDFuel use: 5.7L/100km (combined)

How much fuel does it consume?   7/10

Non-turbo vehicles are equipped with a 56-litre tank, while the turbocharged models nab and extra two litres for 58 in total. There’s no electrification on offer in the CX-5 family, and with petrol prices increasingly horrific these days, that’s also something that weighs on your mind. 

The good news is that petrol-powered examples of the CX-5 run on the cheapest 91RON fuel. The bad news is that with no electrification on offer (like hybrid or PHEV), and fuel prices reaching skyward everyday, there's no real way to mitigate those costs.

We were putting the 2.5-litre, turbocharged models to harder work than they would normally be subjected to, but we also retuned fuel use figures north of 10.0L/100km. And on today's prices, that means $21 every 100km.

What's it like to drive?   8/10

Who says that buying a family SUV means waving goodbye to any sense of driver enjoyment from behind the wheel? 

Mazda has done a stellar job of making the updated CX-5 feel connected to the road below it, sit nice and flat through corners, and – with the right drivetrain equipped – deliver enough lusty grunt for easy overtaking or simply shortening the distance between bends.

I can report the new CX-5 is mostly quiet and comfortable. I can report the new CX-5 is mostly quiet and comfortable.

It's no performance car, and nor is it trying to be, but it's also not some big and boat-like SUV that tips and rolls through bends and disconnects the driver from the experience.

Instead, it sits somewhere in the middle of those two polls, offering a firm-ish but comfortable enough ride in town, and a sense of athleticism when you're outside the city limits. 

The CX-5 isn't big and boat-like SUV. The CX-5 isn't big and boat-like SUV.

One of the focuses for Mazda this time around was on the NVH (how much of the outside world enters the cabin when you're the road), and while I can't offer up a direct comparison with the outgoing model – it's been too long since I've driven one – I can report that this new car is mostly quiet and comfortable, even at speed, with very acceptable levels of wind and road noise in the cabin.

That sense of smoothness is helped along by really predictable steering, and a fairly seamless gearshift from an automatic 'box that swaps its cogs quickly and without much fuss. 

The updated CX-5 feels connected to the road. The updated CX-5 feels connected to the road.

So, more of the same really from the CX-5. But to be fair, that's not a bad thing here.

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

5 years / unlimited km warranty

ANCAP Safety Rating

ANCAP logo

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?   8/10

Even the cheapest Mazda CX-5 gets blind spot monitoring, a driver attention alert, forward collision warning with AEB front and rear, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, active cruise, a reverse camera, rear parking sensors and rear cross-traffic alert.

All CX-5s have blind spot monitoring. All CX-5s have blind spot monitoring.

Springing for the Touring Active adds front parking sensors and a head-up display with traffic sign recognition, while the GT SP adds Mazda's Adaptive Front-Lighting.

The entire CX-5 range wears a five-star ANCAP safety rating, but was last tested back in 2017.

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?   7/10

The Mazda CX-5 is covered by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty - which is about middle of the road by today’s standard. You also get capped price servicing, and a trip to the dealership will be required every 10,000kms.

You can expect to pay around $350 for each of the first five services. 

Verdict

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. That's clearly Mazda's approach to the CX-5, which is no longer the newest kid on the block, but remains a strong option in the segment.

The cabin tech and the lack of electrification options certainly carbon-dates it, but the drive experience and style are still very much up to the job.

Note: CarsGuide attended this event as a guest of the manufacturer, with meals provided.

Pricing guides

$42,535
Based on Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP)
Lowest Price
$31,390
Highest Price
$53,680

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Akera (awd) 2.2L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $52,680 2022 Mazda CX-5 2022 Akera (awd) Pricing and Specs
Akera Turbo (awd) 2.5L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $52,180 2022 Mazda CX-5 2022 Akera Turbo (awd) Pricing and Specs
GT (awd) 2.2L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $50,290 2022 Mazda CX-5 2022 GT (awd) Pricing and Specs
GT SP (awd) 2.5L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $47,790 2022 Mazda CX-5 2022 GT SP (awd) Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7.5
Price and features8
Design8
Practicality7
Engine & trans7
Fuel consumption7
Driving8
Safety8
Ownership7
Andrew Chesterton
Contributing Journalist

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