Earlier this year we took a trip out to Barcelona to test the new Mazda CX-5 ahead of its arrival to Ireland. This is a significantly updated version of Mazda’s stylish SUV that has now gone on sale in Mazda dealers nationwide. Mazda’s next generation of Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture has now been applied to the 2022 CX-5 making it not just sharper and better looking but also nicer on the road thanks to suspension and chassis upgrades. Road noise has also been greatly reduced, particularly when driving on loose surfaces such as gravel thanks to better sound deadening and slightly more suspension travel. For 2022 Mazda have also introduced the all-new Mi-Drive drive mode selection to the CX-5, which enables you to select the most appropriate drive mode with one touch of a switch. Our rural readers will also welcome the fact that i-Activ AWD has been fitted to some models, which allows you to select Off-Road Mode for challenging conditions.
So what are the significant styling changes Mazda have made to the 2022 CX-5? Well on approach you can most certainly see the nose is more striking than its predecessor. A more prominent three-dimensional grille looks sharp and both the front and rear light clusters have also been restyled. Three new model grades (Newground, Homura, GT LUX) incorporate subtle differences and a choice of new colours. In looking at the model grades more closely you will see the Newground features silver underguard-style trim to the front and rear bumpers and door garnishes. There are black door mirrors with lime green accents to the front grille and 19-inch black machine-cut alloy wheels. The interior combines suede upholstery with lime green stitching and air-conditioning louvres to match the exterior details. The Homura is perhaps a more sporty option with a gloss black finish to the front grille, signature wing, lower bumper sections, wheel arches, door garnishes, door mirrors and 19-inch alloy wheels. It looks more aggressive on the road and the front grille incorporates red accents that tie in nicely with the red stitching trims on the black leather seats, steering wheel, gearshift lever and door panels.
Finally if you like a little more luxury then perhaps the GT LUX is the vehicle for you. A single colour paint colour coding everything gives it’s a classy look! Bright silver 19-inch alloy wheels look great and the interior features luxurious Nappa leather and genuine wood grain detailing around the dash. Technology has also been upgraded considerably and the CX-5 now benefits from a wireless Qi phone-charging tray in the center console. The two-piece, reversible load-space floorboard and the tailgate sill are on the same level to make loading a trouble-free. Newground models also feature a floorboard with a water-resistant side for water sports equipment or perhaps your furry friend.
There are a variety of different engines paired with the different trim levels but we had the pleasure of driving the 184hp 2.2 Skyactive-D which is has plenty of low down torque and is very responsive. This to us is the perfect mile muncher and a vehicle capable of a long daily commute. There is also a 163hp 2.0 litre petrol (Skyactive-X), which is fantastic for driving around town. The standard 6-speed manual gearbox is a nice gearbox with a light clutch and short throw however we preferred the 6-speed automatic gearbox albeit at a €4,000 premium. Buyers can choose between two and four wheel drive.
Another strong point for Mazda is safety and the updated CX-5’s range of i-Activsense safety systems now includes Cruising & Traffic Support (CTS). CTS helps reduce driver fatigue by assisting with accelerator, brake pedal and steering operations when stuck in traffic jams. The front Adaptive LED Headlights (ALH) have also been enhanced to give better control over light distribution. The usual plethora of airbags is also on hand to every CX-5 occupant safe!
Prices kick off at €38,745 and rise into the €60k plus depending on the amount of spec optioned. For us the sweet spot is probably around mid €40’s for a Newground diesel specification. Mazda currently have a number of offers to include PCP and finance deals. Be sure to check in with your local dealer for the most recent pricing.
Mazda have appeared to play it safe with the new CX-5 and with a selection of updates and refinements they are confident the CX-5 can continue to hold its own in a very popular segment. Believe it of not the CX-5 is such a core model for Mazda that it makes up about 21% of the European annual sales. Even here in Ireland the CX-5 makes up 30% of Mazda sales, second only to the CX-30, which has been a runaway success for Mazda! With this sort of success it’s understandable that they didn’t totally reinvent the wheel with this one. By playing it safe and updating the vitals it should continue to stand the test of time. Our only worry is the fact that there isn’t a hybrid offering and we know by recent sales figures released, people of trending towards hybrid and electric power. We will continue to watch this space! For now our test was somewhat short-lived with the CX-5 in Barcelona but we will have a week-long test drive back home in the coming months to learn even more. Perhaps we will make use of the 506 litres of boot space on offer and take it on a road trip!
No hybrid offering