2022 Mazda CX-5 Evaluation: Count on Extra, Pay Much less

bulls eye

With its clean, contoured sheet steel and engaging proportions, the CX-5’s designers hit the bullseye. This is likely one of the prettiest small SUVs round, way more interesting than the robotic Honda CR-V, overly faceted hyundai tucson or blocky Toyota RAV4. The Ford Escape’s bodywork is equally clean, although it is nonetheless not as eye-catching as this Mazda, particularly when wearing non-compulsory Soul Pink Crystal Metallic paint ($595), the Japanese automaker’s signature hue.

Irrespective of the trim degree, the CX-5 comes commonplace with all-wheel drive, a brand new perk for 2022. Facilities like Android Auto and Apple Automotive Play, adaptive cruise management with stop-and-go functionality, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and LED headlamps with computerized excessive beams are all included at no further cost. This implies the CX-5 is not only a fairly face, it is a good worth, too. The massive motive to pay for the next trim degree, nevertheless, is due to what’s below the hood.

A torquetonic shift

A well-known and amenable 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine supplies the hustle within the CX-5 Turbo and Signature fashions, delivering both 227 horsepower when you fill the tank with 87-octane common gasoline or 256 hp when you spring for 93-octane premium. Whether or not you are a skinflint or spendy on the fuel pump, you get practically the identical quantity of torque, 310 pound-feet with common or 320 when burning premium.

Efficiency is rarely a difficulty within the turbocharged CX-5, which might hit 60 mph within the low-to-mid 6-second vary. Sadly, as potent because the engine could also be, it sounds and feels noticeably rougher than I keep in mind in different Mazdas. Additionally, regardless of this SUV’s sprinting skills, it is not notably succesful. The CX-5 Turbo can solely tow 2,000 kilos, the identical as a ford maverick hybrid, which produces method much less energy.

Regardless of an antiquated design with simply six ahead gears, this clean, responsive computerized transmission nonetheless helps ship admirable gasoline financial system. In line with the EPA, these CX-5 stickers at 22 mpg metropolis, 27 mpg freeway and 24 mpg mixed. In blended, principally interstate driving, I am averaging 27 mpg on the nostril, which is not too dangerous for an all-wheel-drive SUV with this a lot scoot.

The remainder of the CX-5’s driving dynamics are principally nice. The steering is properly dialed in, neither too mild nor artificially heavy. As you navigate corners, this SUV feels prefer it’s pivoting about an axis someplace close to its heart, feeling mild on its ft and unusually exact for a household car. The brake pedal is properly weighted as nicely, and the experience is clean with out ever feeling sloppy. The posh-like expertise continues even at freeway speeds, the place the inside stays good and quiet.

Nice cabin, awful infotainment system.

Craig Cole/CNET

Premium and happy with it

The CX-5’s greatest declare to fame is its luxurious car-rivaling inside. The cabin of this mass-market SUV is tastefully designed and fantastically constructed, with loads of upscale supplies and high-quality controls. The dashboard is elegantly easy, though the instrument cluster could take {that a} bit too far, wanting plain somewhat than premium. Different upscale appointments embody mushy plastics on the rear door panels, a rarity on this class of auto, in addition to a beautiful woven headliner. The local weather controls are mounted on the backside of the middle stack, and so they’re instantly intuitive. The standard mechanical shifter is reassuring due to its placement and slick motion.

Larger-end variations of the CX-5 characteristic a 10.3-inch display screen, which is vast, slender and set far again on the dashboard. As in different Mazdas, the infotainment system that lives in there’s a hateful affair, among the many most unintuitive you can see in any car at this time. The system is so dangerous, in actual fact, I have not even bothered setting any radio presets as a result of the method is so irritating. With myriad menus to rifle via, nothing is straightforward to get at, plus there is not any touchscreen, so that you’re compelled to make use of the management knob for the whole lot, and it is set a bit too far again on the middle console to make room for the shifter .

Fortunately, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are each commonplace, although you may nonetheless want a cable if you wish to use both smartphone-mirroring system, so plan accordingly. At the least a wi-fi charging pad is included in Turbo and Signature fashions, although you possibly can’t use CarPlay or Android Auto whereas charging, in fact.

This is likely one of the most upscale autos within the compact SUV class.

Craig Cole/CNET

This SUV’s entrance seats are snug sufficient, although the underside cushion would not angle sufficiently to correctly assist taller drivers’ thighs. Easing the sting, each entrance chairs are heated and ventilated, and the outboard rear positions additionally characteristic butt heaters. Passengers within the again have sufficient headroom and leg area, however rival SUVs are noticeably extra spacious. Annoyingly, this Mazda’s rear door openings are on the tight aspect, which makes it tough to get out and in of the car.

The CX-5 is an effective cargo hauler, simply not so good as a few of its major rivals. With the rear backrests folded down, there’s practically 60 cubic ft of cargo area. The cavernous Honda CR-V presents practically 76 cubes’ value of room, whereas the non-hybrid Ford Escape supplies 65 and alter. The Toyota RAV4 falls between these two fashions, clocking in at a whisker lower than 70.

Prime quality at a low worth

This 2022 Mazda CX-5 Turbo checks out for $38,670 together with $1,225 in vacation spot charges, making it fairly cheap, not less than by 2022 requirements the place the whole lot is dear. For a bit context, the entry-level S mannequin checks out for about $27,500 and the range-topping Signature trim goes for about $41,000. On each ends of the spectrum, these costs are akin to different compact SUVs, although the RAV4 and Escape can each be pushed a pair grand past the most costly CX-5, regardless of not feeling practically as particular.

Total, this Mazda utility car is fashionable, nice to drive and comes with a beautiful inside. When you can stay with the exasperating infotainment system and do not thoughts sacrificing a bit cargo area in comparison with competing SUVs, this can be a beautiful possibility. If Mazda have been aiming to ship a premium but reasonably priced car, it definitely hit the goal.

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