2022 Mazda CX-5 Gets Standard AWD And Exterior Styling Updates Before Next-Gen Model Arrives: News

Mazda also included a few minor interior updates

2022 Mazda CX-5
The 2022 Mazda CX-5 keeps the current generation’s overall design and powertrains. (Images: Mazda)

Front-wheel drive is no longer an option for the 2022 Mazda CX-5.

As the automaker’s best-selling model and the face of its push toward more upmarket, premium ambitions, the 2022 Mazda CX-5 does see some thoughtful updates for the new model year. While this isn’t an entirely new generation — as I suspected (or hoped?) it might be when we saw some spy shots a few months back — there are a few important styling, tech and packaging updates for this updated model.

We’ve gotten used to the latest design over the past few years, so at first glance this may just look like another CX-5 until you spot the subtle changes. The front fascia has evolved ever so slightly, including the “signature wing” under the grille, as well as the grille being updated itself with a more three-dimensional pattern. New LED daytime running lights are a dead giveaway for the 2022 model, and so are the updated taillights. Finally, the lower fascia has also changed a bit, while the rest of the car’s profile remains intact before Mazda introduces a next-generation model in the next year or two.

Same options under the hood

Under the hood, the CX-5’s powertrain remains the same as before. Lower models in the lineup get a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter SkyActiv four-pot engine, while 2.5 Turbo (formerly the Grand Touring Reserve) and 2.5 Turbo Signature models get a turbocharged variant, as the name suggests. Unlike previous models, though, there’s a new “Mi-Drive” — Mazda’s Intelligent Drive Mode Select system — to tailor the driving experience more to your liking. Before, you got a simple “Sport” button, but that was it. A 6-speed automatic transmission still comes mated to either engine. The automaker also updated the suspension and stiffened the frame to improve noise and vibrations in the cabin.

This time around, though, power will make its way to all four wheels regardless of which trim you choose. All-wheel drive is now standard across the range, while Turbo models get a few more unique styling touches to set them apart. The 2.5 Turbo cars get gloss black trim and red accents throughout the interior for an “expressive vibe”, much like the 2021 CX-5 Carbon Edition. If you spring for the Signature, you’ll get body-color cladding (shown here), as well as Nappa leather and genuine woodgrain trim.

No pricing yet

The 2022 Mazda CX-5 will arrive this winter, but pricing is still a question mark at this point. Odds are Mazda won’t shift it much from the outgoing car’s $27,945 starting point (with destination charges) for the all-wheel drive version. Because front-wheel drive is no longer an option, however, you will see a fairly substantial price hike if you preferred to forego all-wheel drive before.

We should have more detailed information on price and the updated trim walk in the coming weeks.