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2022 Mazda CX-5 gets significant updates, more horsepower

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The Mazda CX-5 is the Japanese automaker’s best-selling vehicle in America. Despite the introduction of two new SUVs, the MX-30 and the CX-50, Mazda remains committed to the CX-5 as an integral vehicle in the lineup.

We already knew the all-wheel-drive i-Activ system was becoming standard across the entire CX lineup, but now Mazda has released all the changes coming to the 2022 CX-5 and calls them “significant.”

Putting all the hyperbole and “PR speak” aside, the updates to the CX-5 do, in fact, seem significant and include new nomenclature for all the trims, more horsepower for the 2.5-liter turbo (yes, please!) and a $25k starting price.

Increased horsepower, with a caveat

Six extra horses may not seem like a lot, but with turbo-charged engines, every little bit of extra oomph matters. The 2022 CX-5 with the Skyactiv-G 2.5-liter turbo engine increases from 250 to 256. But, here’s the quirky thing: That increase and max horsepower is only with 93 octane fuel.

Mazda vehicles with the turbo engine recommend premium fuel for maximum performance. On standard fuel (87 octane), the horsepower for the 2022 CX-5 is expected to be 227 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. Mazda looks at this as a kind of dealer’s choice: Do you want max power or less money spent at the pump? The good news, however, is that the power curve stays basically the same up to about 4,000 RPM regardless of fuel, so maybe the choice is a fairly easy one?

Every Mazda CX-5 continues to have a six-speed automatic transmission equipped with manual mode and sport mode. Additionally, every CX-5 model will be equipped with G-Vectoring Control Plus and will now have the latest i-Activ AWD system as standard. The bigger news: Front-wheel drive is no longer available for any 2022 CX-5.

New trim names for 2022 CX-5

The CX-5 nomenclature will receive a simple, but thoughtful change throughout its model lineup as the crossover SUV continues to evolve alongside Mazda’s recently introduced vehicles. There will be eight trims spanning two engine options for the 2022 CX-5, with six getting the standard 2.5-liter engine. The new trim names will fall along the same distinction as the CX-30 and CX-50, and the Turbo trim will get two trim variants. Previously, the CX-5 Turbo was known as the Grand Touring Reserve trim.

The six standard engine trims are: 2.5 S ($25,900), 2.5 S Select ($27,900), 2.5 S Preferred ($29,160), 2.5 S Carbon Edition ($30,280), 2.5 S Premium ($32,310) and 2.5 S Premium Plus ($33,950). The two turbo engine trims are: CX-5 Turbo ($36,400) and CX-5 Turbo Signature ($38,650).

The turbos will have a different look with new design elements that include a gloss black front grille, signature wing, door mirrors, lower bumper, wheel arches and rocker molding.

The bottom line on the 2022 CX-5

When I wrote about the CX-50, I postulated what it might mean for the continuance of the CX-5. Despite the elimination of all other CX-single digit SUVs (and the addition of MX-30, CX-30, CX-50, CX-70 and CX-90), it appears the CX-5 will continue to exist in the lineup.

Since CX-5 is Mazda’s best-selling nameplate, it would be foolhardy for the automaker to force the five-passenger SUV out. Mazda does have some serious marketing work ahead of it to differentiate the CX-5 from the CX-50. But it does seems more clear the CX-5 is a family vehicle and daily driver, while the CX-50 is targeting the Subaru Wilderness crowd as more of adventuring crossover.

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Jimmy Dinsmore

Jimmy is News Editor for PickupTruckTalk with an expertise in new vehicles. He is also a Ford Mustang historian having authored the book Mustang by Design (available on Amazon). His second book, about the history of Ford's F-Series truck comes out next year.

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