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Mazda’s are known for their sporty traits, and such has been instilled in the CX-5 compact crossover from the brand. The unique style and attitude of the Mazda CX-5 has won many owners over, and the new 2022 model year brings a few updates starting with all trims now having all-wheel-drive as standard, the front and rear exterior gets minor styling updates, and the suspension system is slightly revised for a sportier feeling that I experienced during my week with the sporty crossover.
In its second generation, the 2022 Mazda CX-5 remains a respected contender in a crossover space that has become quite competitive over the past few years. Receiving a more powerful engine for the upper-level trims during the 2020 model year elevated the CX-5’s standing among the competition. The more powerful engine in the revised two top trims, the 2.5 Turbo and 2.5 Turbo Signature, is a 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with 256 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque using premium fuel. If you ever use regular fuel the engine output is decreased to about 227 horsepower. The power is slightly up from previous years of using the top-trim engine adding about 6 horsepower and 10 lb-ft of torque, which does well for the sporty character of the CX-5.
The engine is still mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission but does well with the gearing due to the engine having plentiful power throughout the RPM band. The ample torque of the engine is what I enjoy where there isn’t any noticeable turbo lag out of the hole and the engine carries through each gear with a substantial initial grunt to get the vehicle up to speed. Where the new 2022 Mazda CX-5 may turn some people off is through its latest suspension tuning where it resides more on the sporty size and the dampers and springs are a bit too stiff for my liking even though I enjoy a sporty-riding vehicle. Here, the suspension could have been a bit softer as there is some unwanted body bounciness from the stiff setup that may do well for Mazda brand loyalists but doesn’t move the needle for attracting buyers who want the decent power but not sacrifice overall ride quality.
Zero to 60 mph takes place in about 6.1 seconds making the 2022 Mazda CX-5 2.5 Turbo Signature. At times the Mazda CX-5 may feel faster than it really is but there’s still a respected level of performance over most of its direct competition that’s appreciated.
Fuel consumption is slightly down from competition, but you have to consider the extra power of the new 2022 Mazda CX-5 2.5 Turbo trims, which you can’t find in any direct competitors. I did notice a consistent fuel mileage easily matching the EPA estimated 22 mpg city and 27 mpg highway figures. EPA estimates combined is 24 mpg.
To match the sporty attitude of the new CX-5 2.5 Turbo Signature is a sporty interior that has a welcoming premium feel and attention to detail throughout. There’s a decent amount of soft-touch surfaces on the dashboard with an overall near-luxury feel. The accented colors of my test vehicle are also welcomed to fit the sporty theme. The only issue I find in the cabin is that the otherwise simplistic infotainment unit does not have a touchscreen feature but instead leaves you to use the central controller to navigate and control the system. Also, the audio system control sets and features can be a bit cumbersome to use as it sends you through what I think is an unnecessary learning curve. Such an issue could have been easily solved by allowing the screen to be a touchscreen unit, which it has been a few years ago allowing a touchscreen function when the vehicle is stopped.
The updated styling, revised suspension, and updated trim levels do well to keep things simple and… sporty – just the way Mazda intended and is well known for in all their vehicles. The pricing of the new 2022 Mazda CX-5 remains competitive but rises a few grand for the top two trims that include the more powerful engine starting at $36,400 for the 2.5 Turbo trim and $38,650 for the 2.5 Turbo Signature trim of my test vehicle.
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