Ever since the Mazda CX-5 compact crossover was launched in 2012 it has been embraced with so much love and commercial success the world over. The original formula may have been established by others, but Mazda used their own distinctive engineering and design alchemy to create and set a new level for the segment.
It did not all happen at once, but even the untouchable Mazda CX-5 had, in our Philippine market, a short period of transitional time when improvements and equipment updates from Mazda had slowed while its retail prices climbed creating a perfect storm for the fierce competition to capitalize on with a deluge of affordable high-quality mobility alternatives, leading it to lose its tight grip as the very best in class, for a moment.
Globally released in 2022 and designated as 2023 models in many markets, the 2nd generation face-lifted Mazda CX-5 received significant improvements and updates without drastically increasing the retail price. Seen here in its very desirable new exterior color, Zircon Sand, which is dedicated to the new gasoline 2.5-liter Turbo AWD model where it particularly highlights the new redesigned signature Quad-LED headlights with High Beam Control, new elegant front and rear bumpers, new 3D textured front grille, purposeful looking dual rear exhausts, and new 19-inch alloys.
Looking through the new 10-spoke alloys you will discover that the front vented disc brakes have increased in size from 11.7-inches to 12.6-inches which is the first mechanical telltale that this new Mazda CX-5 is extra special. The potent direct injection intercooled turbo 2.5-liter engine has been around in our market since the 2nd generation 7-seater midsize crossover CX-9 was launched in 2017, and when the same engine was packaged in the CX-5 in many other markets beginning in 2019, the Mazda Philippines team chose to skip that powerplant and carried on instead with the 2.2-liter twin-turbodiesel, the popular naturally aspirated 2.5-liter, and the entry-level 2.0-liter engines. It was a very good decision. The 187 bhp 2.5-liter and 155 bhp 2.0-liter engines still soldier on today with the current body. The brilliant 2.2-liter turbodiesel has been dropped but will continue to sell while supplies last.
The patience to wait for the new Mazda CX-5 facelift rewards new buyers with an updated version of the 2.5-liter turbo combined with new gear ratios for the excellent 6-speed automatic transmission. Like the variable tuning of the first 2.5-liter turbo which produces power figures in tune with the fuel grade used (227 bhp @ 5000 rpm and 310 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm when regular 87 low octane unleaded fuel is used, and 250 bhp @ 5000 rpm when premium 93+ unleaded fuel is used), the new engine has been calibrated to produce more power and torque under the same principals. The new engine produces 256 bhp @ 5000 rpm and 320 lb-ft @ 2500 rpm when premium fuel is used, and drops that to 227 bhp and 310 lb-ft with low octane fuel.
The significantly stronger front brakes and astoundingly more powerful new engine would have already been profound upgrades but Mazda pressed forward with even more supporting equipment that affects daily driver applications. The suspension tuning was improved, frame rigidity was increased, more insulation was applied, the underside was reconfigured to further reduce road noise, more additional active and passive safety measures were added as well like the adaptive cruise control, the Smart City Brake Support (braking the vehicle to a full stop at low speeds from 4 km/h to 30 km/h when it senses an impending collision, the system is also active during slow maneuvers like parking) and the Smart Brake Support systems (performs a similar active role at mid to high speeds between 15 km/h to 145 km/h, it primes the brakes for maximum stopping power once it detects a potential collision, if the driver does not take evasive action such as braking or steering, the system automatically brakes the vehicle to a complete stop).
Now for new driver and passenger comforts, the magnificent Mazda CX-5 interior is a great place to build from. The new powered front seats have 3 levels of ventilation for both driver and passenger with additional support and padding that even conforms for an even better experience. All the seating surfaces are wrapped with high quality deep red Nappa leather that complements with the generous contrasting soft-to-the-touch surfaces, black cloth headliner, and genuine layered wood accents. It has additional USB charging points hidden in the center rear seat armrest. There is a very convenient wireless smartphone charger now too so the wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto applications will work stress-free through the updated 8-inch touchscreen infotainment unit that has sharper 360-degree camera coverage and continues to be powered by the brilliant 10-speaker Bose® audio system that sounds even better now thanks to the quieter cabin.
It also has other carried over kit and aftersales services that we all enjoy like a powered tailgate, moonroof, a HUD system, 7-inch instrument driver information display, and the standard setting 5-year free periodic maintenance/service plan. There are 8 exterior colors to choose from in the Mazda CX-5 range that includes the other special color, Polymetal Grey, that is also only available with the fantastic 2.5 Turbo AWD model for that extra oomph of distinction.
The 2022 Mazda CX-5 2.5T AWD is the very best compact crossover sold in the Philippines. It is so great now thanks to its comprehensive packaging and fabulous dynamic performance that the significantly more expensive compact crossovers from the European brands are humbled. It has once again set the standard.
Specification – 2022 Mazda CX-5 2.5T AWD
Location: Front, Transverse
Displacement: 2488 cc
Cylinder block: Cast Aluminum
Cylinder head: Cast Aluminum, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, Variable Valve Timing, S-VT with i-stop
Fuel Injection: Direct Injection Intercooled Turbo
Max power: 256 bhp @ 5000 rpm (227 bhp @ 5000 rpm with Regular Unleaded)
Max torque: 320 lb-ft @ 2500 rpm (310 lb-ft @2000 rpm with Regular Unleaded)
Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic with Manual Mode, Steering wheel paddleshifts, Primarily Front Wheel Driven with i-ACTIV AWD®
Front suspension: Independent MacPherson struts with coil springs, gas-pressurized shock absorbers, and anti-roll bar.
Rear suspension: Independent Multilink with coil springs, performance gas-pressurized shock absorbers and anti-roll bar.
Fuel Capacity: 58 liters (15.3 gallons)
Ground Clearance: 193 mm
Load Capacity: 872 liters with rear seat fixed, 1679 liters with the rear seats folded
L x W x H: 4575 mm x 1845 mm x 1680 mm
Wheelbase: 2700 mm
Brakes: Front 12.6-inch (320 mm) ventilated discs 2-piston calipers / Rear 11.9-inch (302 mm) solid discs with 1-piston calipers, Integrated Electronic Parking Brake, ABS, SKYACTIV-Vehicle Dynamics with G-Vectoring Control Plus, Brake Override System, EBD, Hill Start Assist. Mazda Intelligent Drive Select (Mi-Drive: Sport and Off-road modes), HUD Active Driving Display, i-ACTIVSENSE: Blind Spot Detection, Lane Change Assist, Rear Cross, Smart City Brake, Smart Brake, and Driver Attention Alert.
Wheels: 19”x 7J Bright Silver Multi-Spoke Alloys
Tires: P225/55R19 99V Toyo Proxes R46A
Weight: (kerb) 1712 kg. (3766 lbs.)
0-100 km/h (0-62 mph): 6.4 seconds
Top Speed (mph): 215 km/h (134 mph)
Fuel Mileage: 22 mpg City / 27 mpg Highway (8.6L/100 kms. Overall)
Price as tested: PhP 2,380,000.00
C! RATING 10/10
+The finest compact crossover in the market that just got even better. It is the most dynamic CX-5 ever.
–We want one badly.