2022 Mazda CX-5 2.0 Luxury (Sports) Review : Soul Glow
Singapore - The second generation Mazda CX-5 gets a middle-of-life refresh, which means that it is better equipped.
The compact SUV, which was launched in 2017 sported a more dynamic interpretation of the brand’s ‘Kodo’ design language, than the first gen car. Five years on, and with just a few visual tweaks, mostly with its lights, the CX-5 still looks the most modern among its Asian counterparts.
We are driving the range-topping Luxury-parentheses-Sports variant, which is fully-decked out in goodies, including blacked-out 19-inch wheels. The car here is coated in one of two available premium colours, Soul Red Crystal Metallic (one of my personal favourite coats of paint). The base Elegance and mid-tier Luxury models are fitted with smaller 17-inch wheels; which to us, are a good thing, since there is more sidewall for added comfort. Also remember, new tyres will come cheaper.
2022 Mazda CX-5 2.0 Luxury Sports - inside
If you were to get into any current-generation Mazda, the story is about the same all-around. Their cars are known to have interior quality, which is arguably the best among their Asian peers; and are even known to trump a good few (bread-and-butter) Conti makes. Mind you, we are not talking about luxury brands here, but the CX-5’s interior comes rather close to some. And then are also the little things, like extra soft cushioned door armrests, and even pleasantly dampened buttons on the dashboard.
Interestingly, for an SUV which is visually quite the “suit and tie”, the entry Elegance variant gets youthful green bezels around its air-conditioning vents, and matching piping on its leatherette seats… Oh yes, and a matching green grille accent.
For the infotainment, Mazda retained the same screen size, as-well-as at-large, its firmware. It comes equipped with both Apple Carplay and Android Auto, the former which is now offered with wireless connectivity. There is also a wireless mobile phone charger, which is standard across the CX-5 range. We like that the infotainment screen is placed at eye level, which means that you only need a quick glance to gather information while driving. Those who opt for mid-tier and range-topping cars, benefit from a premium 10-speaker BOSE audio system.
While the interior might come across as a little drab, which most Japanese cars tend to be, it is still a pleasant place to be in. Passenger comfort is arguably one of the best here.
Cargo room is also decent, boasting 438 litres. If you are the outdoorsy kind, the boot boards have a water-resistant underside, which can be flipped over, when needed.
2022 Mazda CX-5 2.0 Luxury Sports - inside
We were not surprised that Mazda here has reduced engine choices to just one, a natural-breathing 2.0 Skyactiv-G four-cylinder. Previously, there was a 2.5 litre, which was not as-popular, since the road tax would have been way-unfavourable. The 2.0 we have here is intended for efficiency, boasting a high compression ratio of 13:1. This is paired with a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission, powering just the front wheels.
As most SUVs are now force-fed, it is refreshing that the CX-5 takes off from the lights with a certain directness, and without that “wall” of torque a turbocharged engine would inherently provide. However, there is one major issue which Mazda needs to address. The engine gets overly vocal from anywhere above 3000rpm. Being a naturally aspirated engine, there are often times you would need to work it past that mark, when you want to milk its 165ps and 213Nm.
Engine noise aside, engineers have done well to ensure that the tall SUV carves challenging corners in its stride, easily putting softer-rolly cars like the Peugeot 3008 to shame. The suspension does have some firmness dialled in, and reveals itself over harsher surfaces. It does not come across as crashy, and is in-fact a notable improvement over the pre-facelift vehicle.
Mazda lists its official combined fuel figures at 7L/100km (14.3km/l), which is quite spot-on, as we did 7.1L/100km. Also quite impressively, we managed 5.6L/100km (18km/l) on the highway.
The CX-5 performs well for the most part - well… apart from the overtly vocal engine, when worked harder. It is also well-equipped, with a suite of active safety elements, branded as i-Activsense, which include Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Adaptive Front-Lighting System (AFS), and Advanced Smart City Brake Support (Advanced SCBS), which includes the ability to detect pedestrians at night.
There is plenty to love here in the CX-5. It is, however, offered in a time where competition is stiff, where today, buyers are spoilt for choice. Additionally, it also lacks in "modern" fuel-saving tech, like the stuff you can find in the Toyota RAV4 (full hybrid system), and Nissan Qashqai (MHEV).
PHOTOS Clifford Chow & Nazirul Hakim
2022 Mazda CX-5 2.0 Luxury (Sports)
Engine 1998cc, inline4
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Fuel Consumption 7/100km