Review of the new 2022 Mazda CX-5 GT SP

Mazda CX-5 is the Australian’s favorite, even if he’s not the newest kid in the area. We tested the slightly updated model to see how it performs.

VALUE

Mazda CX-5 the range starts at around $36,000 and goes up to almost $60,000.

Buyers can choose between front- or all-wheel drive, and three engines are available: two petrols – one turbocharged and one non-turbo – and a diesel unit.

We’re testing the GT SP trim, the second rung of the CX-5, with a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive, priced at around $56,000.

It’s an expensive ride that costs about the same as a top shelf. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid but cheaper than turbocharged gasoline Volkswagen Tiguan.

You get one of the most beautiful family SUVs out there with LED head and tail lights, a rear spoiler and a sunroof.

The 10.25-inch digital screen is controlled by a rotary switch and is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A Bose stereo system, wireless charging cradle, Bluetooth connectivity and built-in sat-nav enhance the driving experience.

Mazda covers its vehicles with a standard five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty, and its limited-price service program is reasonable at $1,875 over five years.

COMFORT

The interior of the CX-5 Akera is a luxurious space with soft leather upholstery and soft-touch surfaces.

Heated, supportive, electronically adjustable seats provide excellent forward visibility, while the adjustable steering wheel provides a comfortable setting for all shapes and sizes.

The center console houses easy-to-use air conditioning controls, while the steering wheel buttons feature other vital infotainment and safety features.

Rotary controls for the infotainment screen keep your eyes on the road compared to a touch screen, but it takes longer and is awkward to use.

The instrument cluster is a mixture of analog dials and a small, low-resolution digital information screen that feels subpar compared to the all-digital instrument displays found on competitors.

USB ports are missing, only two in the front and none in the second row, but the wireless charging pad wins back some points.

The trunk is small compared to the competition, but more than enough to hold a week’s store or a few overnight bags. The hands-free power tailgate makes access easy.

The well-chosen suspension smooths out road bumps, and on the road it’s very quiet compared to Mazdas of the past.

SAFETY

Mazda doesn’t skimp on safety.

The CX-5 will automatically brake if it detects a potential vehicle collision.

An array of sensors will let you know if a vehicle is in your blind spot and will sound an alarm if a vehicle is approaching from the side while you are reversing.

Multiple safety systems work in unison to keep you centered in your lane, even automatically jerking the steering wheel back to put you back in place if it catches you wandering.

DRIVING

A turbocharged petrol engine is nonsense.

It delivers smooth acceleration with just enough growl for easy overtaking and steep climbs.

This is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and an all-wheel drive clutch to deliver confidence in the law and transfer power to the ground without wheel slip.

The soft suspension provides a comfortable ride, but the trade-off is a bit of lean in corners.

The CX-5 is a great highway cruiser, providing a comfortable oasis on long trips.

Fuel use is a concern.

Mazda lists 8.2L/100km, but you’re more likely to see a number north of 10 if you spend most of your time in the city. Luckily, the CX-5 only requires cheaper unleaded gasoline.

ALTERNATIVES

Volkswagen Tiguan 162TSI Elegance from $60,500 per ride

Hacked engine with many technical features, but expensive.

Toyota RAV4 Edge Hybrid, cost around $57,500.

Not as sporty, but hybrid power delivers very low fuel consumption. Also cheaper.

kia sportage Gasoline GT-Line, trip cost about $54,000.

Well-equipped and cheaper than the competition, a dual-clutch car would be hard to live with.

VERDICT

A good-looking, great SUV with a premium feel that shows why it’s been a bestseller for years, but yearning for and in need of a tech infusion.

four stars

MAZDA CX-5 GT SP VITALS AWD

PRICE About $56,000 per trip

ENGINE 2.5 liter turbocharged petrol engine, 170 kW/420 Nm

WARRANTY/SERVICE five years/unlimited mileage, $1875 for five yearsrupees

SAFETY 6 airbags, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, driver attention warning

THIRST 8.2 l/100 km

SAVE Space saving

BAGGAGE 438 l

Originally published as Mazda CX-5 GT SP review