In the last ten years, one of the most popular vehicles in the Mazda line-up is the CX-5, which has received a makeover for 2022. From when it first appeared on the motoring scen,e it has become a firm favourite in the compact SUV segment of the market. It was the first from the Japanese manufacturer to feature the company’s full suite of Skyactive technologies, using a rigid, lightweight platform combined with a series of power units and transmissions to reduce emissions and fuel consumption.
Down the years, I have driven a number of versions and recently I spent a week with a 2022 version. My test example was in Newground trim and featured a two litre 165PS engine in two wheel drive form with an emission rating of 153g/km. This trim is available both in N.I. and the ROI. For 2022, the CX-5 has been significantly updated and is the latest example of Mazda’s successive updates and refinements to every aspect of this popular SUV. In its latest guise a bold new look with an evolution of its award-winning Kodo Design; yet the designers have in no way strayed from the popular design lines of the CX-5. The front and rear bumper designs combine with new headlight and taillight clusters to give the new vehicle a distinctly more modern and sharper look. At the front a more three-dimensional and powerful grille design is combined with a new signature wing trim that no longer heads into the lamp cluster, while at the rear the new bumper shape and stronger taillight design sharpens the rear styling.
In the ROI, in company with Newground, there are Homura and GT Lux, so plenty of choice, while in N.I. five trim levels: SE-L, Newground (as tested), Sport, Sport Black and GT Sport and for the first time, individual model grades feature subtle styling differentiation to give customers the option of choosing a CX-5 with a unique character. The Newground features a slightly more rugged look with front and rear silver underguard trims matched to silver lower body side skirts, black door mirrors and chunky 19 inch black diamond cut alloy wheels. Subtle lime green accents in the grille are replicated inside with lime green air vent louver trims, while the black half leatherette seats have matching green piping. A nice touch- the boot even features a reversible waterproof cargo board, while the Newground can be specified in the new for 2022 model year, Zircon Sand Metallic paint colour; this one really stands out. During my time with the CX-5, I was quite content with the combination of the two litre engine, a slick six speed manual transmission, and two wheel drive. There is of course an automatic transmission on offer. Performance is adequate, certainly not sporting, but I have no doubt will satisfy the needs of most drivers. Rest to 100kph (62mph) in 10.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 201kph (125mph). Like most vehicles in this important and very popular segment of the market, the focus is on safety and the latest CX-5 features an updated range of i-Activsense safety systems standard across the range, which now includes Cruise & Traffic Support (CTS), this helps reduce driver fatigue by assisting with accelerator, brake pedal and steering operations when in traffic jams. Good news on the lighting, the front Adaptive LED Headlights (ALH) have also evolved to give finer control over light distribution.
My week drew one important conclusion, just how good an all rounder the Mazda CX-5 really is. Of course another important aspect is that of everyday use and this Mazda does fill the bill well. Re carrying ability, five can travel in comfort and there are 522 litres of boot space; fold the rear seats and you have 1,638 litres to play with.