2022 Mazda CX-5 Turbo – Sharper, Smoother Re-Driven Review

2022 Mazda CX-5 2.5T Turbo AWD: sharpened to the eye, softened at the seat updated speedy premium compact ute, as tested = $38.6k

BEST SELLER WITH SOUL:  After a long winter which imposed upon Spring,  Zoom Zoom driving spirit purists would like to boast of a front longitudinal engine, rear drive MX-5 roadster waiting for sufficient warmth to peak out of the garage. Yet this is a time when charging hard for curved road apexes and usefully carrying a clan’s wares are no longer mutually exclusive. For those common carriers who insist on much of the Miata’s Jinba Ittai year round a sharper yet smoother 2022 Mazda CX-5 2.5T Turbo AWD compact crossover utility steed returns to the Roadblazing.com corral for unison with editor riders.


2022 Mazda CX-5 2.5 T Turbo AWD Driving Hits:

2022 Mazda CX-5 2.5T Turbo AWD: 6 newfound horsepower makes this among the quickest volume AWD CUVs in the US, netting 23 combined MPG
  • 227 to 256 horsepower = +6 hp improvement (vs. 2019 CX-5 Turbo) to +44 net hp bump fueled with 91 AKI octane unleaded gasoline
  • 320 pound-feet = +129 pound-feet torque = 71% > standard atmospheric aspirated 2.5L Skyactiv G engine
  • 6-speed automatic torque converter planetary transaxle, while low on gear ring count to the competition, betters most on quick down-shifts for throttle braking capability
  • NEW FOR ’22: Mi-Drive Sport and Off-road drive modes
    2022 Mazda CX-5 2.5T Turbo AWD: new Mi Drive Sport & Offroad modes w/ colored speedometer
  • More energetic acceleration above 85 miles per hour @ 3500 rpm to redline vs. non-turbo 2.5L
  • 23 combined miles per gallon, 428 miles highway range
  • ABS torque vectoring and G-Vectoring standard
  • Taut fully independent suspension features revised bushings and damping rates, reducing harshness
  • Assembly with tight tolerances and premium materials knocks on door of entry luxury crossover SUVs

2022 Mazda CX-5 2.5T Turbo AWD Driving Misses:

  • Engine torque peak arrives early
  • At least two transaxle gears shy of the competition
  • Stiff springing makes for constant jitter on 19″ wheels
  • Steering wheel rotation emits slight squeak at low speeds
  • G-Vectoring does cut back on power in fast corners
  • -15% Combined fuel economy vs. naturally aspirated powertrain
  • Sewing machine engine idle sound

What It Has Got:

  • Pricing: from $27,475 (incl. destination) for a 6-speed automatic 2022 Mazda CX-5 2.5L S
    • As tested 2022 Mazda CX-5 2.5T Turbo AWD (formerly Grand Touring Reserve) trim = $38,670
  • Sensuous, sinewy, long-hooded, Kammback “Kodo” crossover SUV
    2022 Mazda CX-5 2.5T Turbo AWD: Soul Red Crystal Metallic hue contrasted by Turbo exclusive gloss black body cladding
  • Large wheel arches accommodates up to 17″ to 19″ inch wheels
  • NEW FOR ’22: Rectangular segmented lighting, w/ white LED “Angel Eyes” headlamps, thick link grille inserts, wider grille lower cradle, wider rear roof spoiler buttresses
    2022 Mazda CX-5 2.5T Turbo AWD: new deep link grille, w/ Turbo exclusive 4 red link segments and gloss black finish, wider lower cradle
  • Accommodates 4 adults generously & 34.1 (expandable to 65.4) cubic feet of belongings
    • Versatile 40/20/40% split folding 2nd Row seatbacks
  • Exquisite build, materials and control details levels
  • Comprehensive standard feature set
    • Keyless entry, push button ignition; 2-zone automatic climate control;
    • LED headlights & taillights, delay windshield wipers
    • 7.0″ TFT variable triple dial gauge cluster;
    • 10.25″ MazdaConnect 2nd generation LCD media display w/ remote dial Command controller
      2022 Mazda CX-5 2.5T Turbo AWD: gen. 2 iConnect remote dial controlled 10.25″ infotainment / native navigation
    • Android Auto, AppleCar Play and MirrorLink phone projection
  • Excellent safety features & ratings
    • IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus – **Only compact crossover SUV to earn the distinction**
  • Driver assist tech (standard)
    • Rear camera with predictive grid, Pedestrian & vehicle collision avoidance braking, blind spot & rear cross traffic warning, lane keep assist, fully adaptive cruise control; automatic high beam headlamps
    • Additional autonomous driver assistance (exclusive on Signature trim)
      • Traffic jam assist enhanced lane control steering assist, rear traffic collision avoidance braking; rear side traffic braking; 360° surround view cameras
  • 3 year / 36,000 miles bumper to bumper, 4 year / 50,000 miles powertrain warranties

What It Has Not (or Not Preferred):

  • Barely perceptible exterior cosmetic refresh
  • Front seat cushions short & narrow – Mazda 3 & CX-30 have better seat shapes!
  • Row 2 entry snags heads of taller adults
  • Front center armrest distant from console shift lever
  • 2nd Row seat heat controls & USB power ports = inside center armrest
  • Android Auto challenged to connect
  • Infotainment display loses touch control capability
  • Pod add-on steering wheel spoke switches
  • Traffic Jam Assist autonomous steering only operates to 40 mph
  • Volume brand warranty duration, scheduled maintenance not included

Standout Feature(s) on 2022 MAZDA CX-5 2.5T TURBO AWD :

  • Sporty black lattice grille, including Turbo distinct driver’s side red segment pattern
  • Gloss black lower air dam, wheel arch cladding, side skirts and rear spoiler buttresses, rear lower diffuser
  • 19″ inch black wheels
  • Heads Up Display w/ traffic sign recognition
    2022 Mazda CX-5 2.5T Turbo AWD: HUD, gauges and media screen display full adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and navigation cues
  • Native infotainment navigation map w/ TravelLink subscription
  • Auto dimming rear view mirror, Reverse power tilting side mirrors
  • Power folding side mirrors
  • Leather seating, red contrast stitching, heated & ventilated power front, w/ driver’s 2 position memory, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats
    2022 Mazda CX-5 2.5T Turbo AWD: driver entry
  • Aluminum trim & bezels, stitched folded simulated leather middle dash accents, 10.25″ TFT variable gauge cluster, unique 2-zone automatic climate control panel
  • Rain sensing windshield wipers; Adaptive steer LED headlamps; Power Moonroof; Reverse power tilting side mirrors
  • Comfort access & push button ignition

Roadblazing.com Says: Zoom Zoom brand’s best seller update sees sharper compact SUV look and matures MX-5 DNA, retaining volume prestige feel.


* * * * * * * * * * * *

WHAT: 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD 2- Row compact crossover sports activity vehicle.


Power: transverse variable nozzle turbocharged 2.5L DOHC 16V DI gas I-4 = 250 hp/ 310 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm. That’s a heady 68% more torque than found in Grand Touring and lesser trims, which retain the still sweet, naturally aspirated 2.5L Skyactiv-G engine, also available in front-wheel drive.

Drivetrain: 6-spd. torque converter planetary automatic transaxle + PTU to multi-plate wet clutch differential torque vectoring variable all-wheel drive.

NOTE: shorting the engine with 87 RON octane unleaded gasoline drops net horsepower to 227, while rated torque is unchanged.

WHAT (A) STYLING DIFFERENCE: 2nd Gen. Mazda CX-5 (KF) is built on thorough revision of Mk. 1 KE CX-5 platform; The 1″-inch clearance drop delivers a bolder stance.

2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD: Well before Brewer’s game tailgating activity commences at Miller Park, soon to be renamed American Family Park.

– A steep overhang exaggerates an already low dipping hood. The pentagonal grille widens with a thinning full dark lattice treatment. The lower grille chrome border unfolds into wider wings carrying sharply tweezed HID +LED DRL light assemblies. +1 Streamlined lower front fascia nixes former corner simulated air inlets;

– Lower door panel halves coke-bottle creasing, while the beltline adopts chrome character bar partly rising at D-pillar kink.

– The punched out liftgate speaks Kammback. Two-tone roof spoiler buttresses run up to liftgate side channels. Mid-liftgate adopts a split character line; Tweezed rear wrap-around light housings envelope an amber center flasher housing. A pentagonal crease at the lower liftgate extends to rear quarters. Larger rear quarters flowing to deeper painted bumper cover diminishes lower clad fascia. De-rigeur are split dual chrome exhaust tips.

WHY: Continued Kaizen for only volume Japanese brand sold in U.S. without a stand-alone luxury division.



An automotive enthusiast since an orange toy VW Beetle ended up in his playpen and following him everywhere, George Straton has been chief editor at ChicagoNow.com/Drive-He-Said automotive lifestyle blog since 2010. In 2017 George established Roadblazing.com, dedicated to accurate automotive reviews, news and road trip stories. George is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and the Phoenix Automotive Press Association. George also happens to be an attorney and Loyola University of Chicago Ramblers fan. Present ride: 2022 Mazda 3 Turbo AWD Hatchback.

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