New 2022 Mazda CX-5 review

Rory White

07 Feb 2022

1/8
The Mazda CX-5 has been given a refresh for 2022. Is it still one of the best family SUVs? We've been finding out.

YesAuto Score:

81/ 100

This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car.

YesAuto’s exhaustive evaluation criteria considers every aspect of a car in terms of how it stacks up against rival models in the same class only. Below are the areas every car is judged and scored out of 10 on, each contributing to an overall score out of 100:

  • Interior quality and design
  • Interior tech
  • Interior space
  • Boot space
  • Engine performance
  • Engine economy
  • Ride and comfort
  • Handling
  • Driving and safety tech
  • Fit for purpose

Electric cars are scored out of 10 in the following areas instead of performance and economy:

  • Battery and motor
  • Range and charging

PROS:

+ Well equipped across the range

+ Interior quality is good

+ Fun to drive


CONS:

- Lack of EV or even PHEV version

- No wireless smartphone mirroring

- There are more spacious options


Verdict: The Mazda CX-5 remains a stylish choice that's great to drive and is decent value for money lower down the range. There are more spacious options, though, and you still can't buy an electrified CX-5 if you'd prefer one.


2022 Mazda CX-5: walking around it


The Mazda CX-5 has been around since 2012, and while it doesn't look hugely different from the car that appeared back then, that's no bad thing – it's still one of the best looking family SUVs on sale.


For 2022 it's had a refresh, including a new grille design, new front and rear bumpers, plus new headlight and taillight designs too. All this helps the CX-5 stand out next to cars like the VW Tiguan, Skoda Kodiaq and Peugeot 3008.


There are five different Mazda CX-5 trims for sale, called SE-L, Newground, Sport, Sport Black and GT Sport, each with its own distinct look.


Even the SE-L gets things like 17-inch alloy wheels and privacy glass, while Sport gets bigger 19-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels for a more visually aggressive stance.


New for 2022 is the Newground model, which is going for a rugged off-road look. It gets the same 19-inch wheels as the Sport, but black mirror caps, lime green exterior accents and silver front and rear under guards and side skirts.


Sport Black trim is also new for 2022. It gets unique black 19-inch alloys, gloss black wheel arches and bumpers and red accents on its grille. GT Sport cars get different 19-inch wheels again, but this time body-coloured bumpers and mouldings and a larger tailpipe.


2022 Mazda CX-5: sitting inside it


The Mazda CX-5 has been around since 2012 in the UK and its interior hasn't changed hugely in that time. However, it's still holding its own in 2022.


First of all the fit and finish remains great – everything you touch feels well built and the switches sturdy enough to go the distance. In terms of design, it doesn't have quite the pizzazz of a 3008's but it's more interesting than a Tiguan's effort.


As standard, the CX-5's interior is rather dark, with only the odd chrome trim piece breaking it all up. However, if you go for the Newground model you'll get lime green seat stitching and around the air vents, while Sport Black model swaps this for red instead.


The CX-5's seats are cloth as standard, but Newground switches them to faux leather and suede, while Sport grade ups that to leather. Range-topping GT Sport gets the finest Nappa leather seats as standard.


2022 Mazda CX-5: using the tech


The CX-5 gets a 10.25-inch widescreen infotainment system on top of its dashboard as standard. It's very easy to move through its menus using a rotary dial and menu shortcut buttons between the front seats, or it becomes a touchscreen when you're stationary – for safety.


If you don't like the way the system works for some reason, you can always make it look and work more like your smartphone via its standard Apple CarPlay or Android Auto smartphone mirroring. It's a shame, though, that this has to be done via a wire rather than wirelessly like the majority of the CX-5's competitor's now offer.


From Sport trim, the dials become digital, with a 7.0-inch display that looks great but isn't as configurable as the best dials from Skoda and VW. Still, you do get two USB connections in the front and two in the back on every trim.


Sport trim also introduced wireless charging for your smartphone and a more advanced 10-speaker Bose sound system that sounds superb.


2022 Mazda CX-5: getting stuff in it


The Mazda CX-5 Is perfectly spacious for a couple of adults in the front, the driver gets a decent driving position with lots of adjustment and from Sport trim both front seats get electric movement.


In the back, a couple of tall adults will sit comfortably with enough head and knee room, but seating three adults across the back will be tight.


The outside rear seats get standard Isofix points and the wide-opening rear doors make it easy to fit bulky child seats. The rear seats can also be tilted to a couple of positions for a more reclined seating position.


The rear seats can't be moved forward and back like in a Tiguan, Kodiaq and 3008, though, meaning they aren't quite as flexible. Plus, there's no option of a seven-seat CX-5 like some of its rivals. The fact the Mazda's rear seats split in a 40:20:40 configuration and fold flat is welcome though.


With the rear seatbacks in place, the CX-5's boot is quite a bit smaller than the one in a Tiguan, 3008 or Kodiaq, but will still handle a family's luggage very well and is a practical shape.


2022 Mazda CX-5: driving it


The Mazda CX-5 comes with petrol and diesel engine options, but if you're keen on exploring the advantages of plug-in hybrid or even full-electric power, then you'll have to look elsewhere.


The petrol options start with a 165hp 2.0-litre, which comes in either manual or automatic forms, but only in two-wheel drive. There's also a faster 194hp 2.5-litre petrol, but this comes as an automatic all-wheel-drive model only.


The diesels start with a 150hp 2.2-litre, which comes in manual and automatic forms, but only front-wheel drive. The punchier 184hp version of the same engine can have two or four of its wheels driven and manual or auto 'box.


Most people will be fine with the 165hp petrol, which feels fast enough for all types of road and will manage around 40mpg if driven carefully. If you're doing more motorway miles or often tow, you'll be better off with the 150hp diesel, which will get closer to 45mpg and have better low-down pull.


The higher-powered versions of both engines aren't really worth the extra outlay unless you really need the extra punch.


The high-powered diesel with an auto 'box and all-wheel-drive also feels heavier to drive. The CX-5 is noticeably nicer to drive in its lightest forms, such as the 165hp petrol, where it feels genuinely nimble of country roads for its size.


It's also a comfy motorway car, although a Tiguan is generally quieter at speed.


2022 Mazda CX-5: paying for it


For a full in-depth rundown on the CX-5's prices, specs and YesAuto deals, click here.


The Mazda CX-5 starts at a little over £28,000 for the 165hp petrol in SE-L trim and tops out at just less than £40,000 for the all-singing all-dancing 184hp diesel with an auto 'box and all-wheel drive in GT Sport guise.


That makes the CX-5 slightly cheaper than the equivalent Tiguan or Kodiaq when compared on price, and the Mazda's residual values are decent too.


Mazda also has a very good reliability record according to the latest surveys. It isn't right at the top like Toyota, but it and the CX-5 score very well versus rivals.


However, if you plan to buy a CX-5 as a company car, then unlike VW you can't get the CX-5 as a PHEV. That means it'll cost you more in the long-run company car tax month-to-month.


2022 Mazda CX-5: comparing it


The Volkswagen Tiguan is large inside than the CX-5 with more flexible seats, plus comes with the option of a seven-seat Allspace model. It isn't as easy on the eye, though and the CX-5 is more fun to drive while being just as comfy.


The Skoda Kodiaq is a much bigger car inside, again with the option to seat two more people if you need to. Its interior is pretty bland, mind, and once again it has a more relaxed driving style that just isn't as fun on the right road.


The Peugeot 3008 is a more striking car to look at on the outside and inside, but feels cheaper inside too is certainly not as agile to drive.


Compare these cars with the EV6 using YesAuto's car comparison tool here.


FAQs


Q: How much is a Mazda CX-5?

A: The Mazda CX-5 starts at a little over £28,000 for the 165hp petrol in SE-L trim and tops out at just less than £40,000 for the all-singing all-dancing 184hp diesel with an auto 'box and all-wheel drive in GT Sport guise.


Q: Is the Mazda CX-5 reliable?

A: Mazda has a very good reliability record according to the latest surveys. It isn't right at the top like Toyota, but it and the CX-5 score very well versus rivals.


Q: Is the Mazda CX-5 quiet?

A: The Mazda CX-5 is generally fairly hushed car on long journeys. The quietest model is the petrol rather than the diesel, though and a VW Tigaun is more hushed still at motorway speeds.


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Rory White

07 Feb 2022