2017 saw Company Car & Van attend the launch of the face lifted Mazda CX-5 & five years on, Mazda have updated it again. It was always one of our favourite SUV’s, coming as it does with rock solid build quality & fun drivability, that’s sorely lacking in many of it’s competitors. However, things have moved on & with no electric or PHEV versions, this is the last hurrah for Mazda’s best seller.
Enhanced driving dynamics, new styling, a stronger grade differentiation, improvements to on-board packaging & an expanded range of safety features are all offer on the upgraded CX-5.
The front of the 2022 CX-5 features a new three-dimensional grille & signature wing design. Both front & rear lamp clusters have also been restyled & a new exterior colour, Zircon Sand, added. It is though, unmistakably a Mazda.
Intelligent Drive select (Mi-Drive), which enables the driver to select a drive mode with one touch of a switch is now offered. The suspension & seats have also been improved & all models now benefit from a wireless Qi phone charging tray. Fixtures & fittings are as expected, very, very good & this is a solidly built piece of kit.
The CX-5 line-up features five trim levels: SE-L, Newground, Sport, Sport Black & GT Sport. With a petrol 165ps 2WD manual or auto, a 150ps 2WD manual diesel or 184ps manual or auto & the engine we tried, a 194ps AWD petrol auto.
All cars get SatNav, privacy glass, auto lights& wipers, LED headlights, climate control & full parking sensors.
Newground features black door mirrors, lime green accents to the front grille, 17” silver or 19” black machine-cut alloys, suede upholstery with lime green stitching
Sport Black boasts a gloss black finish to the front grille, signature wing, lower bumper sections, wheel arches, door garnishes & door mirrors, 19” black alloys, red stitching trims the black leather seats, steering wheel, gear shift lever & door panels.
GT Sport features brilliant gloss paint silver 19” alloys, Nappa leather & woodgrain.
The updated CX-5’s range of i-Activsense safety systems now includes Cruising & Traffic Support (CTS).
Enter the car & the internal proportions are impressive. There’s loads of headroom all around & plenty of room for 3 averaged sized adults in the back. Storage come sin the form of a decent glove box, door pockets & twin cup holders.
The boot has a 506-litre volume with the seats in place & loaded to the roof with the seats down there’s a huge 1,620 litres of luggage space. The two-piece, reversible loadspace floorboard & the tailgate sill are on the same level to aid loading. Newground models also feature a floorboard with a water-resistant side for wet or dirty items.
The AWD CX-5 offers CO2 emissions of 182g/km & a combined fuel economy of 38.7mpg. Our mostly motorway driving saw us return 35.2 mpg.
Entertainment & tech
Although all models feature Apple Car Play & Android Auto, the infotainment is operated by a central controller, meaning there’s no touchscreen. Call me old-fashioned, but we are all so used to touching our smart phones & tablets, it’s frustrating when you go to the screen & then realise that you can’t touch it to select a function. Don’t get me wrong, it all works perfectly well, with clear graphics & easy to understand menus. It just feels slow & cumbersome compared to rivals.
Mazda spoiled us, by loaning us the range topping 194ps petrol auto, which was a brilliant motorway cruiser. Handy, as we did a 400 mile motorway drive over the Jubilee Weekend. This versions comfortable, quiet & refined at motorway speeds & with adaptive cruise control, a cinch to handle.
However, the AWD versions feels heavy & a bit cumbersome in town or city. The auto box groans a bit too, as it struggles to shift the heaviest CX-5 with much gusto. Having driven the smaller 165ps petrol & the 150ps diesel version previously, we’d choose both of these over the 194ps engine. And ,if we are being brutally honest the diesel is the better of the two. Here’s why.
The 165ps petrol unit comes with a top speed of 125 mph & a 0-62 mph time of 10.2 seconds. Emissions are 149g/km & the claimed economy for the combined cycle is 44.1 mpg. Not only is the diesel quicker, `0-62mph takes 9.4 seconds, with a top speed of 127mph, it offers better emissions, 132g/km & returns better combined fuel economy as well, 50.4mpg. A real conundrum in this diesel hating world.
The Mazda CX-5 offers good practicality & boot space, brilliant build quality & it’s fun to drive.
Its starting to show it’s age especially the annoying infotainment set-up. No plug-in or full-electric version mean company car drivers will not see any tax benefits from any version.
We loved the CX-5 in 2012 & the 2017 update was even better. However, although Mazda are electrifying their range, the excellent MX-30 will soon be joined by the CX-60 which includes a plug-in, the CX-5 feels like yesterdays news. Yes it still looks brilliant, it handles well, is very practical & comes well built, but the lack of an EV or plug-in is a stumbling block, especially when our favourite engine is a diesel.
Mid table 3/5