Along with some welcome spec bumps for 2022, the Mazda CX-5 has received a revised visual package, an enhanced equipment list, and upgraded dynamics to stand it in good stead among its compact SUV rivals.
Expected in showrooms early next year, the CX-5 is set apart by its tweaked front fascia that features a more 3D-effect grille paired with a more pronounced chrome surround and new front bumper. You might not notice it right away, but the headlights have also been altered to suit.
Along its sides, the vehicle receives a little more refined definition with cleaner body lines while the rear sees the tail light clusters match the front illuminator design. Capping off the exterior refresh is a new wheel design and an off-white Zircon Sand body colour.
Under the skin, Mazda says that the evolved version of SkyActiv Vehicle Architecture delivers improvements to structural integrity while enabling improvements to ride comfort, suspension geometry, cabin noise isolation, and refinement even on rough surfaces.
Mazda has also introduced their Mi-Drive selector (also known as Mazda intelligent Drive Select) for the 2022 model year, letting drivers take more control over preset drive modes for different needs. While this should be standard across all variants, CX-5s equipped with the i-Activ all-wheel-drive system will also gain additional options for off-road traversal.
Interestingly, at least in Europe, the automaker has adopted a different trim and specification identifier scheme with the entry-level CX-5 being dubbed ‘Newground’. It’s differentiated from the outside by its silver finishes on the front and rear bumper, as well as black wing mirrors and lime green highlights on the front grille.
Going up a level we have the CX-5 Sport Black at the mid-tier with plenty of dark tones to match the variant's namesake, including the gloss black 19-inch wheels. Inside, this version gets a predictably sombre cabin with red contrast stitching.
The range-topping GT Sport returns us to more familiar territory with a uniform body colour, 19-inch alloys in a refreshingly bright silver, and a plusher cabin with Nappa leather upholstery and wood grain trim and a host of different customisation options depending on market.
Mazda has improved their i-Activsense driver aid suite as well for the 2022 CX-5, adding Cruising and Traffic Support (CTS) to its list of abilities, which intelligently assists in brake pedal and accelerator pedal operation to reduce driver fatigue.
Of course, the rest of the active safety features are present here, including Smart City Brake Support (AEB), Driver Attention Alert, Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, and Radar Cruise Control.
The selection of powertrains will be kept fairly static with the 2.0-litre naturally aspirated SkyActiv-G four-cylinder petrol remaining the staple of the 2022 range, producing 163hp and 213Nm. Accompanying it will be the 2.2-litre SkyActiv-D turbodiesel with 181hp and 445Nm.
The larger 2.5-litre SkyActiv-G will still see some action but might only appear in select markets where needed, but most regions will probably be itching to receive the beefy 2.5-litre turbocharged four-pot with 227hp and 420Nm, an engine that debuted in the much larger CX-9.
So far as that rumoured inline-6 engine and rear-drive platform, we'll have to wait a little longer.
Pricing is set to be rolled out later this year but we aren’t expecting a dramatic shift from the outgoing CX-5. Malaysian buyers will probably need to wait until 2022 for the refreshed SUV to appear in local showrooms, and of course we’ll keep an eye out for any developments on that front.