Read Caroline’s Mazda CX-5 review for everything you need to know about buying Mazda’s popular mid-size SUV.

The Mazda CX-5 has been a great success for the Mazda brand since it was first launched. Now in its second generation, the CX-5 is still Mazda’s bestselling model in Ireland, ahead of the CX-30 and Mazda3.

Something about the Mazda CX-5’s stylish SUV looks and spacious cabin keep it in the sweet spot of the market. Mazda also has a knack of treating the CX-5 to regular updates, which keep our attention on this vehicle.

In 2022, the Mazda CX-5 received an update and in this review we’re going to take a closer look at what’s new. And more importantly, is the CX-5 still a good buy as a five-seat, mid-size SUV?

Pricing starts from €36,745, with a range of trim levels and engines available.

The Mazda CX-5 Homura on test for Changing Lanes
The Mazda CX-5 Homura on test for Changing Lanes

What’s new for the 2022 Mazda CX-5?

The Mazda CX-5 is one of the best-looking SUVs of its kind. It looks just as modern and stylish as it did when we first saw it at the European press launch in Barcelona in 2017.

Now in 2022, Mazda has added a little more distinct style to the CX-5. There are six trim levels available but some of the most notable in the latest series are the Newground, Homura and GT Lux.

However across the board all new CX-5s get a new grille and signature wing design, and new lights and bumpers. There’s also a new colour called Zircon Sand, but Soul Red Crystal and Polymetal Grey Metallic remain good options.

The Mazda CX-5 Newground starts from €38,745 and offers a more rugged ‘outdoors’ look to the CX-5’s elegant lines. It gets silver underguard-style treatment to the front and rear bumpers and door garnishes, black door mirrors, lime green accents to the front grille and 19-inch black machine-cut alloy wheels.

The CX-5 Homura has also returned (from €43,895) and it’s my pick of the range. It’s a sporty look for the CX-5 with gloss black finish to the front grille, signature wing, lower bumper sections, wheel arches, door garnishes and door mirrors.There are also 19-inch alloy wheels finished in black metallic paint, and the front grille incorporates red accents.

The GT Lux (from €44,640) has a unified, one-colour exterior, matched with silver 19-inch alloy wheels for a high-end finish.

The interior of the Mazda CX-5 Homura
The interior of the Mazda CX-5 Homura

Inside the CX-5

The interior of the CX-5 is one of the most upmarket of the family SUV class. While the design has clearly aged, there’s something timelessly classy about the Mazda’s cabin. Sure newer rivals have more impressive digital displays and touchscreens at this stage but everything works in the Mazda just fine.

Infotainment is provided via a 10.25-inch centre display, which supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A heads-up display is available too. The seats have also been revised for more comfort. New equipment includes a four camera, 360 degree monitor and wireless phone charging.

Homura models get black leather seats with red stitching, which also features on the steering wheel, gear shift lever and door panels.

The CX-5 will seat five with good sized footwells in the second row. It might be tight for three back there, but children will be fine. There is over 500 litres of boot space, which is competitive for the segment and a powered tailgate comes as standard on some versions. Split folding rear seats boost practicality, with switches in the boot to let the seats down automatically The two-piece, reversible load-space floorboard and the tailgate sill are on the same level to help with loading.

The CX-5 has been updated for 2022
The CX-5 has been updated for 2022

Driving the Mazda CX-5

The Mazda CX-5 engine line-up in Ireland is exclusively petrol and diesel. There’s no hybrid like what you will find in some of the rivals. The entry into the range is a naturally aspirated, 2.0-litre petrol engine with 165hp (‘Skyactiv-G’). Petrols are smooth and quiet but the performance can feel a bit uninspiring.

The 2.2-litre diesel with 150 hp in front wheel drive versions – and 184 hp in all wheel drive versions (‘Skyactiv-D’) – is more satisfying to drive because it has more torque and it offers the best economy of the range. Over a week of driving my average fuel consumption was 5.7 litres per 100 km.

It has plenty of power so it never gets too noisy under acceleration. The diesel CX-5 is certainly one of the best diesel SUVs in the segment for its refinement. Diesels start from €40,625.

6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic gearboxes are available depending on model. Even manuals are a breeze to drive, with the CX-5’s agile handling and well-weighted steering contributing to what is still one of the best SUVs to drive. There have now been further enhancements to the CX-5’s suspension and NVH (noise vibration harshness) performance.

Boot space in the Mazda CX-5
Boot space in the CX-5

Did you like it?

Equipment levels are high across the 2022 Mazda CX-5 range. Even the GS-L entry into the range gets 17-inch alloys, 10.25-inch colour screen display, keyless entry, cruise control, automatic air con, automatic lights and wipers, and parking sensors.

The GT adds black leather upholstery to the spec with power control and memory function, as well as 19-inch wheels, heated front seats and heated steering wheel. A powered tailgate and rear parking camera are available from GT Sport and above.

The Mazda CX-5 has definitely matured but it still stands out for its stunning good looks and upmarket interior. The cabin experience is no longer the most modern in the segment, but still feels ‘a cut above’ many competitors from the driver’s seat.

It’s subtle things like the way you are positioned in relation to the steering wheel and the controls, and the slick action of the manual gearbox, the refinement of the transmission. Things that last the test of time and make every drive a pleasure.

The CX-5 range now has more options than ever with some very distinct new offerings including the CX-5 Newground and the CX-5 Homura.

It’s easy to spend a lot of money on a CX-5 (looking at you Homura), which would be my pick of the range for a truly premium finish.

The Mazda CX-5 proposes a simple line-up of petrol and diesel engines. Hybrid has become a bit of a trend in this segment but it’s absent here. Diesel seems like the best buy in the CX-5 range, which might be against market trends but there is still something to be said for the efficiency and satisfying drive behind the wheel.

Of course, later this year Mazda will launch their first ever plug-in hybrid SUV, the new Mazda CX-60. But it will be larger than the CX-5 so this car remains very much a key part of Mazda’s line-up.

The Mazda CX-5 still has a lot to offer SUV buyers
The Mazda CX-5 has a lot to offer SUV buyers

Model tested: Mazda CX-5 Homura 2.2 Skyactiv-D
2.0-litre turbo diesel
Power: 150 hp
Torque: 380 Nm
Top speed:  204 km/h
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 9.9 seconds
CO2 emissions:
147 g/km
Motor Tax: 
€270 per year


Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes