It’s tough to travel anywhere and not find yourself surrounded by families piled into their crossover heading to dinner, practice or the store. Not only that, unless you’ve got a trained eye, it may be difficult to discern which one is which.
Automakers have been working diligently to separate themselves from one another in that segment .
Japanese automaker Mazda shifted into the crossover market like everyone else about a decade ago and has managed to differentiate itself from the clutter of small, dodgeball-looking vehicles on the roads.
Mazda used to be the company famous for Zoom-zoom, but after a week in the 2022 CX-5, I can say was more impressed by the room-room.
The interior was spacious and comfortable while the new CX-5 offered plenty of performance from its turbocharged SkyActiv 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. All this comfort and performance isn’t worth much unless it comes in an attractive package, which it does. I can say it exceeded my expectations.
Mazda’s exterior design is unique enough to easily pick it out of busy mall parking lot on a Saturday. It’s a nice-looking vehicle, made better in the case of my tester with black alloy wheels to accent the Soul Red Crystal Metallic exterior.
Natually, that’s an extension of the brand’s Kodo design philosophy, which for 2022 model Mazda calls an “evolution of Minimalist aesthetic.” I’d say that simple design is an excellent balance between curves and flowing lines and a few hard edges. It makes the car look … not sporty, but contemporary.
The interior is surprisingly roomy and immensely comfortable. I’m a big round man and sometimes have to contort myself to get into smaller vehicle. Not so with the CX-5. The all-black interior included black leather seats — heated front and rear — with red piping, carrying the exterior color scheme into the cabin.
Now that’s not to say it’s a dog. The CX-5 is powered by the SkyActiv-G 2.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder putting out 227 horsepower using 6 speed transmission. It’s not a racecar by any means, but it’s plenty of power. Also, you’re not going to track this car, but it handles curves and corners with less body roll than I expected — not sporty, but spirited.
Safety and Technology
The infotainment system is a mixed bag. The 10 and a quarter inch center mounted display is crisp and clear. However, it’s controlled by what is essentially a mouse. Not a fan. It requires multiple steps to do anything and I found it irritating.
However, the volume knob is located down near the armrest and I so love that. Easy to use, to reaching toward the screen. Love it. It comes with all the requisite safety tech, like lane-keep assist, rear cross-traffic alerts and the like.
I have to say I was a bit skeptical about the CX-5 when it showed up, but it only took a couple of trips to become a big fan. Now the important part: it’s a fully loaded crossover with room for five for a sticker price of $38,670. That’s bang for the buck and where you call it Zoom Zoom or room room, Mazda’s always been good value for the money — and that’s still the case.