2022 Mazda CX-5 adds style, loses front-wheel drive

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The changes are more evolutionary than revolutionary, but the CX-5 was already pretty cool.

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Mazdas offer a number of features that we, as enthusiasts, value highly. Take the Mazda CX-5 itself. On paper, it’s just another crossover with a four-cylinder engine, less-than-cutting-edge technology and a pretty face, but getting behind the wheel Shows that Mazda cares deeply about making their vehicles feel fun to drive. None of that changes with the updated 2022 CX-5, which Mazda announced on Tuesday.

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The most significant change for the 2022 CX-5 is Mazda’s decision to completely remove the front-wheel-rive variant and make all-wheel drive standard. It simplifies things for the customer and we suspect that a huge number of buyers went to AWD anyway. Other than that, the available powertrains – 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder and 2.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder – remain the same. Mazda also changed the exterior styling of the CX-5 to make it a bit cleaner. It’s not a dramatic change, but it keeps the CX-5 looking classy and we support that.

The interior is also different, with more styling touches to differentiate between the turbo and non-turbo trim levels. These include red accents and red stitching, and considering how well Mazda’s interiors have felt over the years, we doubt it’ll be a good look. The seats have also been redesigned for better comfort and support.

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Also new for 2022 is the revamp of Mazda’s Mi-Drive selectable drive mode and a six-speed automatic transmission. The latter is still likely to be a weak point compared to eight- and nine-speed auto competitors, but we’ll reserve judgment until we get some seat time. In the end, Mazda tweaked the suspension and increased chassis stiffness, both of which should help the CX-5 hang on to its reputation as one of the more fun and engaging crossovers to drive.

The 2022 CX-5 should hit Mazda dealers later this year and pricing will be announced closer to that time.

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