2022 Mazda CX-5

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2022 Mazda CX-5 Review: The Enthusiast Crossover

Competing in America's most competitive non-truck vehicle segment is no easy feat. Just ask the Mazda CX-5, a compact crossover that deserves to be one of the USA's bestsellers, and yet in 2020, could only sell 146,420 units while its chief rival, the Toyota RAV4, managed to sell over 430,000. But sales volumes don't determine a great car, and the CX-5 deserves to wear the tag of greatness. While it may lack the rear-seat and trunk space of more practical rivals like the Honda CR-V, it's arguably the most luxurious non-premium crossover around. More than that, it's a crossover built for those who still enjoy driving, with a keen chassis, great steering, and the ability to instill joy in the driver on even the shortest commutes. Aiding this are two 2.5-liter engines, one with a turbocharger equipped to develop 256 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque on premium fuel. Pair this with a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive and it's a recipe for success. Climb inside the luxurious leather-clad cabin and enjoy a feast for the senses, from luxurious materials to a stylish design and class-leading infotainment. In the world of compact crossovers, few do it better than the CX-5.

2022 Mazda CX-5 Changes: 🚙What’s the Difference vs the 2021 Mazda CX-5?

This year, the CX-5's styling has been subtly revised with smoother front surfacing, a new bumper with a more pronounced lower air intake, and restyled headlights, tail lights, and alloy wheels. There is also a new grille with a threedimensional mesh. The Signature trim's body cladding is now in body color. Mazda has dropped all 2WD derivatives, leaving the CX-5 as an all-AWD range. Other mechanical refinements include a slight power hike for the 2.5-liter turbocharged engine, which now produces 256 hp (up from 250) on premium fuel, as well as an automatic transmission retuned for better responsiveness and refinement. The suspension system has been further fettled to improve handling and reduce vibration. The trims have been renamed and the previous Grand Touring Reserve trim, for example, is just the Turbo; this trim also now gets black accents on the exterior and red accents inside. There have been minor changes to the interior too, most notably the more supportive, redesigned seats.

Pros and Cons

  • Stunning exterior design
  • Class-leading infotainment
  • The driver's compact crossover
  • Strong turbocharged engine
  • Loaded with standard features
  • Excellent safety rating
  • Smaller trunk than the competition
  • Lethargic standard engine
  • Rivals can tow more
  • Can get pricey for luxurious trims

Best Deals on CX-5

2022 Mazda CX-5 Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.5 S
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$26,250
2.5 S Select
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$28,250
2.5 S Preferred
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$29,950
2.5 S Carbon Edition
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$31,070
2.5 S Premium
2.5L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$32,660

CX-5 Exterior

The exterior styling of the Mazda CX-5 could easily rival that of far more expensive, luxury German counterparts. The Japanese SUV's elegant appearance is attributable to the design that relies on clean lines and a long-snouted design. The front end of the CX-5 boasts a set of redesigned new thin LED headlights that flank a large new gloss-black 3D-mesh-effect grille. The rear is home to equally slim LED taillights, and dual chrome-plated exhaust opening pokes out of the bottom right side. From the Touring model onwards, signature LED lighting, LED DRLs, LED fog lights, and adaptive front lighting are standard. Mazda has gifted even the base model with 17-inch multi-spoke wheels that make it appear far more expensive than it is and higher trims get a 19-inch set. The Carbon Edition is further differentiated by black alloy wheels, black mirror caps and window surrounds, and a black grille surround.

2022 Mazda CX-5 Front Angle View Mazda
2022 Mazda CX-5 Rear Angle View Mazda
2022 Mazda CX-5 Side Perspective Driving Mazda
See All 2022 Mazda CX-5 Exterior Photos

Dimensions

In terms of its dimensions, the CX-5 is smaller than the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. The Mazda has a 106.2-inch wheelbase and a length of 179.1 inches. It measures 83.3 inches in width with the mirrors included (72.6 inches without them), but the height is dependent on the trim. Most models measure 65.3 inches tall, while the two Turbo trims are 65.6 inches tall. All models have a ground clearance of 7.6 inches except the two Turbos, which are 7.9 inches. At its lightest, the CX-5 weighs 3,717 pounds while turbocharged models are the heaviest with a curb weight of 3,856 lbs.

  • Length 180.1 in
  • Wheelbase 106.2 in
  • Height 65.3 in
  • Max Width 72.6 in
  • Front Width 62.8 in
  • Rear Width 62.8 in
  • Curb Weight 3,717.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

There is a total of seven exterior colors to choose from for the CX-5, one down from last year. Of course, some of these are reserved for specific trims. The base Sport trim, for example, can only wear one of four shades: Eternal Blue Mica and Jet Black Mica at no cost, or premium options of Snowflake White Pearl ($395) and Soul Red Crystal ($595). The Carbon Edition models get exclusive access to one hue and one hue only, Polymetal Gray Metallic. The remainder of the trims get access to a broader color palette including Deep Crystal Blue Mica and Sonic Silver at no cost, or Machine Gray Metallic for an extra $595. The top-spec Signature trim does without Sonic Silver. The Polymetal Gray looks absolutely stunning, but we're also partial to Soul Red Crystal - a color that has become somewhat of a signature hue for Mazda.

  • Jet Black Mica
  • Eternal Blue Mica
  • Snowflake White Pearl Mica
  • Soul Red Crystal Metallic
  • Deep Crystal Blue Mica
  • Sonic Silver Metallic
  • Machine Gray Metallic
  • Polymetal Gray

CX-5 Performance

It might be easy to think of the Mazda CX-5 SUV as a family commuter, but Mazda's engineers clearly think of it as an SUV for those who have been forced to grow up but still enjoy driving. It has a communicative chassis, keen handling, suspension that doesn't flop all over the show, and crucially, a punchy turbocharged engine. Only the latter is compromised on cheaper models, but in these, the standard naturally aspirated 2.5-liter is still decent enough. It'll manage a 0 to 60 mph sprint in around the mid-eights, which is about standard for the segment. However, for performance few compacts can match, the 2.5T motor is the real gem, cutting that sprint down to the six-second region. Few, if any rivals in the segment aside from the Kia Sportage SX Turbo can compete with that. As for its top speed, that's not something you should be pursuing in a family crossover, so Mazda makes no claims in this regard.

Unlike many in this segment, a choice of FWD or AWD isn't available - the CX-5 comes only with AWD from this year. The maximum towing capacity remains pegged at just 2,000 lbs and this is some way behind segment leaders like the RAV4 that can tow up to 3,500 lbs in its optimal configuration.

2022 Mazda CX-5 Front View Driving Mazda
2022 Mazda CX-5 Side Angle Driving Mazda
2022 Mazda CX-5 Engine Mazda

Engine and Transmission

Mazda avails two engines for the CX-5 range, identical in displacement at 2.5 liters apiece, but with one key differentiator, turbocharging. The base engine does without forced induction, generating 187 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque, while, on premium fuel, the turbocharged variant available on the Carbon Edition, Grand Touring, Grand Touring Reserve, and Signature generates peak outputs of 256 hp and 320 lb-ft. Regardless of the engine choice, a six-speed automatic gearbox is the only available transmission. Last year we complained that this is the weak link here, as it could be slow to respond and gear changes weren't quite met with the same urgency as we'd like, so Mazda has retuned the transmission to be more responsive and respond more smoothly.

As for the engines themselves, both are decent, with ample pull and a decent desire to be revved out, but the turbo motor is by far the jewel of the two. It might not sound particularly sporty, but it pulls strongly and makes the bulk of its torque available across a decent engine speed range. Be it from standstill or when overtaking, there's more than enough grunt ready to be deployed, while the naturally aspirated motor is happy to be wrung out to achieve the necessary end result.

  • Engines
    2.5L Inline-4 Gas, 2.5L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmission
    6-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain
    AWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

There are more comfortable compact crossovers than the Mazda CX-5. However, while some rivals give you a spongy ride with an abundance of body roll around the corners, they'll never remind you why you loved driving to start with. The Mazda CX-5 is a crossover that will.

Independent suspension at all four corners is tuned to not roll as much as competitors might. This gives the CX-5 an excellent sense of connection with the driver, which is just as well since the steering is somewhat lacking in this department. The suspension isn't overly stiff, though, not to the point of shaking out your fillings, but it relies on quality damper tuning to filter out road imperfections without removing you from the driving experience - this year's subtle improvements have improved ride quality somewhat without sacrificing handling.

As alluded to, the steering isn't very communicative, but it responds quickly to inputs in a manner that sees the CX-5 change direction quickly, behaving more like a compact hatchback than a high-riding crossover. It'll still handle dirt though, and when the dirt ends and twisting roads beckon, you won't feel like you traded in your gearhead membership card the day you decided to start a family.

But if there's one area we weren't convinced of the CX-5's ability, it was in the way its brakes felt, particularly on the base model. Here, 11.7-inch vented discs sound ample, but there were a few times we didn't feel confident in the stopping power. The turbocharged configurations get larger 12.6-inch discs which do a far better job and instill a greater sense of confidence in the driver.

CX-5 Gas Mileage

With only two drivetrain configurations available this year, the CX-5's gas mileage figures depends on whether you go Turbo or not. The lightest sipper of the bunch is the AWD base CX-5 2.5 S with the naturally aspirated engine, returning EPA estimates of 24/30/26 mpg. The turbocharged AWD has figures of 22/27/24 mpg. In its most efficient guise, the CX-5's 14.8-gallon fuel tank will allow for 385 miles of range. The Turbo models, however, will only manage around 355 miles.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    15.3 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 24/30 mpg
* 2022 Mazda CX-5 2.5 S AWD

CX-5 Interior

If you want a premium look and feel in this corner of the market, no one is more capable of delivering than Mazda. The CX-5 boasts an interior swathed with more premium materials than you'd expect from an affordable SUV, but it also pairs this with ample space and a classy design. It may fall short on practicality compared to the segment's best offerings, but space for five is ample, the seats are comfortable, and the overall feel is one of luxury. The larger infotainment screen made standard last year also goes a long way toward making the CX-5 feel modern, especially when some rivals insist on selling base models with infotainment from the dark ages. The inside of the CX-5 is a great place to be, even on lower trim levels. Not many rivals can say the same.

2022 Mazda CX-5 Dashboard Mazda
2022 Mazda CX-5 Interior Wooden Trim Mazda
2022 Mazda CX-5 Gear Shifter Mazda
See All 2022 Mazda CX-5 Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

There's a reason that sedans are on the road to extinction and that's because crossovers like the CX-5 offer all the extra space you need without the added bulkiness that comes with a bona fide body-on-frame SUV. The Mazda has plenty of space to offer and has seating for up to five occupants. Front passengers will enjoy more legroom than those in the rear, but even taller adults will manage in the back seats with 39.6 inches of legroom and 39 inches of headspace. The seating is comfortable and supportive enough for daily trips to school and work, and comfort has been further improved for 2022 with the more supple suspension and redesigned, more comfortable seats.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 41.0 in
  • Front Head Room 39.7 in
  • Rear Leg Room 39.6 in
  • Rear Head Room 39.0 in

Interior Colors and Materials

An attestation to our earlier statement about premium materials, the base CX-5 2.5 S is the only trim to come with black cloth upholstery. The 2.5 S Select model offers the choice between Silk Beige or Black leatherette while the 2.5 S Preferred model gets genuine black leather upholstery - or Silk Beige leatherette. The 2.5 S Premium and S Premium Plus trims get leather - available in either Parchment or Black, while the 2.5 Turbo gets the black leather only. The Turbo Signature spec ups the ante significantly, however, with Caturra Brown Nappa leather and genuine layered wood trim inserts on the dash and doors. Reserved for the Carbon Edition are red leather seats and red stitching throughout the interior - although you can opt for black leather instead.

CX-5 Trunk and Cargo Space

If an automaker wants their crossover to sit at the top of shortlists, it'll need to offer a decent amount of practicality. Generous trunk space is a box that needs to be ticked, and while the CX-5's trunk isn't the most cavernous of its kind, it's certainly manageable. Behind the second row lies 30.9 cubic feet that will gladly swallow up school bags and luggage. But it falls miles behind the CR-V's cavernous 39.2 cubes and the RAV4's 37.6 cubes. Dropping the rear seats unlocks more space, but at 59.3 cubes, this is still more than 16 cubes shy of what you'll find in the Honda.

In-cabin storage is accommodating thanks to a large storage bin in the center console and deep door pockets. The glove compartment is also big enough to store a few small items and a small tray in front of the gearshift is perfectly sized for smartphones.

2022 Mazda CX-5 First Row Mazda
2022 Mazda CX-5 Interior Overview Mazda
2022 Mazda CX-5 Trunk Space Mazda

CX-5 Infotainment and Features

Features

Mazda has ensured that the CX-5 is well-laden with comfort and convenience features regardless of trim level. The entry-level S model gets remote keyless entry, push-button start, an electronic handbrake, a multifunction, manually tilting/telescoping steering wheel, and air conditioning. The driver's seat is six-way manually-adjustable and a leather-clad steering wheel and gear selector are standard. The S Select model welcomes keyless start, dual-zone climate control, a six-way power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, and rear air-conditioning vents. S Preferred trim adds a power sunroof, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, a six-way power-adjustable passenger seat, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The Carbon Edition shares the S Preferred's specifications. S Premium gains paddle shifters and more infotainment features. Ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and a head-up display are added to the S Premium Plus, while the Turbo is essentially an S Premium Plus with the turbocharged engine. The 2.5 Turbo Signature gets a frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror, traffic-sign recognition, wood trim, and a black cloth headliner.

In terms of driver-assists, the base model boasts traction control, hill launch assist, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. Adaptive cruise control with stop and go is also included with smart city braking, pedestrian monitoring, and collision warning. Lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist round off the list. Exclusive to the Signature are a 360-degree camera, front and rear parking sensors, traffic-jam assist, and reverse Smart City Brake.

Infotainment

For 2021, Mazda went all out on the CX-5's infotainment suite, equipping even the base model with a 10.25-inch display replete with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality. Mazda falters by only supplying four speakers in the S variant, but upgrades to six for the S Select, S Preferred, and S Carbon Edition, while every other trim gets a 10-speaker Bose system. As is to be expected, Bluetooth and dual front USB ports are standard, while from the S Select, dual rear USB charging ports are added and from the S Premium, SiriusXM satellite radio. The top-spec Turbo Signature also includes three year's worth of SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link for a fully connected experience, as well as navigation. The system looks classy and responds well to inputs via the rotary dial on the center console. The Bose sound system we tested wasn't stellar, however, but this small fault aside, the infotainment suite is one of the best in the segment.

CX-5 Problems and Reliability

The 2020 and 2021 models haven't been involved in any recalls in the US, and neither has the 2022 model as yet. This should come as a relief to those who are concerned about reliability ratings and J.D. Power's ratings of the Mazda CX-5 also point towards very good reliability with an overall score of 82 out of 100 and 81/100 for quality and reliability. The CX-5 does come with a three-year or 36,000-mile basic warranty as well as a five-year or 60,000-mile drivetrain warranty. Roadside assistance is also standard for three years or 36,000 miles.

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles

CX-5 Safety

It's unsurprising that reviews of the Mazda CX-5's safety are stellar, especially when you have a look at the list of standard driver-assist features. The NHTSA's review of the CX-5 resulted in a five-out-of-five-star overall rating. The IIHS also awarded the SUV a 2022 Top Safety Pick+ Award, the highest accolade it can give.

US NHTSA crash test result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Key Safety Features

One of the biggest advantages that the CX-5 boasts is its impressive suite of safety features included on all trims. The traditional bunch of features include dual-front, front-side and side impact airbags as well as a rearview camera, traction control, and hill-launch assist. The standard driver-assist tech on all models includes collision warning, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, pedestrian monitoring, and advanced smart city brake support. The Turbo Signature is the only trim that gets a standard 360-degree camera, front and rear parking sensors, automatic reverse city braking, driver-attention alert, traffic-sign recognition, and traffic-jam assist.

Verdict: 🏁Is the new Mazda CX-5 a Good SUV?

Many see compact crossovers as the proverbial river Styx, signifying the death of your passion for driving as you cross over from singledom to a family lifestyle. The CX-5 is a different breed of crossover, one that still lets you cling to your love of driving despite the inherent ability to ferry your family around. But not only is it involving to drive; it's also luxurious, spacious, and jam-packed with features, from the largest standard infotainment screen around to the plethora of standard safety features.

In its most potent form, the turbocharged engine and upgraded brakes make the CX-5 a standout in this segment, and the uppermost trims are borderline premium in their use of high-end materials. A Honda CR-V might be more practical, and a Toyota RAV4 more capable off-road or when needing to tow, but the CX-5 is a phenomenal blend that caters to the enthusiast, to the discerning buyer who craves something more than mere numbers on paper.

🚘What's the Price of the Mazda CX-5?

The price of the Mazda CX-5 is another bragging point for the Japanese automaker, as few, if any, can match the levels of comfort and luxury at this price point. The base price of the S starts at $25,900 while the S Select increases this to $27,900. The S Preferred costs $29,600 and the S Carbon Edition carries an MSRP of $30,720, while the S Premium bumps up the sticker to $32,310. The S Premium Plus is the most luxurious model with the standard engine and costs $33,950. The similarly equipped Turbo gets the 256-hp engine and retails for $36,400 while the range-topping Turbo Signature asks $38,650. Costs as mentioned above are exclusive of a $1,225 destination charge.

2022 Mazda CX-5 Models

The 2022 Mazda CX-5 lineup comprises eight trims: S, S Select, S Preferred, S Carbon Edition, S Premium, S Premium Plus, Turbo, and Turbo Signature. All the "S" trims are powered by the same 187-hp naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four cylinder engine and the "Turbo" trims get a turbocharged version of the same engine with 256 hp. All trims have a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive system in common, with no front-wheel-drive option available this year.

The base S has the 187-hp engine, 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, a roof spoiler, and access to four basic paint colors. It comes fully equipped, with remote keyless entry, push-button start, an electronic park brake, air conditioning, cloth upholstery, a six-way manually adjustable driver's seat (four-way manual adjustment for the passenger), a manually adjustable tilting/telescoping and leather-trimmed steering wheel, 12-volt power outlets, and a 4.6-inch driver-information display. The infotainment system has a 10.25-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Pandora internet radio integration, an auxiliary input jack, dual front USB audio ports, voice commands, HD Radio, Mazda Connected Services, and a four-speaker audio system. The safety spec includes six airbags, a backup camera, automatic high beams, rain-sensing wipers, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, hill-start assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic emergency forward city braking, lane-departure warning, and lane-keep assist.

For $2,000 more, S Select trim adds rear privacy glass, three additional paint colors, keyless start, dual-zone automatic climate control with rear-seat vents, leatherette upholstery, a six-way electrically adjustable driver's seat (and six-way manual adjustment for the passenger), heated front seats, dual rear USB charging ports, and a six-speaker audio system.

Next up is the S Preferred trim that additionally gains a power liftgate, a power moonroof, an eight-way electrically adjustable driver's seat (with six-way power adjustment for the passenger), leather upholstery, and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror with HomeLink.

The S Carbon Edition is based on the S Preferred trim but looks different on the outside by dint of its blacked-out exterior trim, including its mirrors, grille, roof wing, and 19-inch alloy wheels. It can only be had with the Polymetal Gray Metallic paint. Inside, it gets a black-only interior with extensive red stitching and exclusive access to red leather.

The S Premium builds on the S Preferred and additionally adds adaptive headlights, LED daytime running lights, 19-inch alloy wheels, paddle shifters, a seven-inch driver-information display, SiriusXM satellite radio, and a Bose 10-speaker audio system.

The S Premium Plus is the most luxurious trim with the standard engine and adds to the S Premium a windshield-wiper de-icer, automatically power-folding side mirrors, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and a head-up display.

Besides the 256-hp engine, the Turbo looks different on the outside thanks to its gloss-black grille and black lower fascias, wheel arches, rocker panels, and roof wing, and on the inside, it gains red stitching. Other than that, it shares its specifications with the S Premium Plus.

The flagship is the Turbo Signature and it loses the standard Turbo's blacked-out exterior trim in exchange for body-color trim, and adds several features, namely a frameless interior rear-view mirror, genuine wood trim, Nappa leather upholstery, a black cloth headliner, an extended 3-year SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link subscription, navigation, traffic-sign recognition, LEDs for its sun-visor and glove-box illumination, as well as for its dome light and map-reading lights, front and rear parking sensors, a surround-view camera, driver-attention alert, traffic-jam assist, and reverse Smart City Brake.

See All 2022 Mazda CX-5 Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

With eight complete trims, there's no need to offer an abundance of packages, so Mazda keeps it simple with only a few available options. Some items that can be added to all trims are all-weather floor mats for $125, a navigation system for $450, a frameless auto-dimming rear-view mirror with HomeLink for $325 (both the latter standard on the Turbo Signature), roof rails ($400) with cross bars (+$250), and an interior lighting kit for $300. None of last year's packages are available anymore and with eight finely grained trims, there will be a CX-5 in the lineup that is right for your requirements and pocket.

🚗What Mazda CX-5 Model Should I Buy?

With so many models to choose from, it's difficult to pick. Especially when all of them come well-laden with safety and comfort features. The top-spec Turbo Signature is the pick of the litter if you're after a true luxury SUV, but we understand that not everyone's budget permits going all out. For those on a tighter budget, the Turbo is a sublime middle ground that gets you the turbocharged engine and bigger brakes, but also a Bose sound system, and luxuries like leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, power moonroof, and USB ports for the whole family. At over $36,000, it's expensive though and it would have been nice to have access to the 256-hp engine at a lower price point. If you don't mind the standard engine, the S Premium Plus trim now offers you everything the Turbo does, but with the standard engine - and a saving of only $2,450. We would go for the Turbo if the budget permits.

2022 Mazda CX-5 Comparisons

Honda CR-V CarBuzz
Toyota RAV4 Toyota
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Mazda CX-5187 hp24/30 mpg$26,250
Honda CR-V 190 hp28/34 mpg$26,800
Toyota RAV4 203 hp25/33 mpg$26,975

2022 Mazda CX-5 vs Honda CR-V

It might be a Toyota that dominates the sales charts, but if you want a compact crossover that caters to the joy of driving, the Honda CR-V is the closest thing you'll get to the CX-5. It's not as pure a machine, though, and the softer suspension and abundance of cargo space - 8.3 cubic feet more than the CX-5 - make it more comfortable daily and more practical, too. But from a performance perspective, it falls short. A 1.5-liter turbo four-cylinder is more fuel efficient, but with only 190 hp on tap, it can't match the available 250 hp from the Mazda. However, Honda has an available 212-hp hybrid variant too, for which the CX-5 doesn't have a true rival. While the Honda has solid build quality and feels pretty high quality overall, the CX-5 completely outguns it, feeling more premium at every step of the way, particularly in its uppermost echelons. But even at a base level, the CX-5 packs in the value, with a larger infotainment suite and tons of safety. The CR-V is just as safe, and as we said, is more practical. On paper, the Honda makes the most sense for a family vehicle, but do you really want to settle for "makes sense", when you can have something that fulfills all your needs and brings a smile to your face in the process? In a heart vs head choice, we'd have the Mazda.

See Honda CR-V Review

2022 Mazda CX-5 vs Toyota RAV4

If you believe that sales reports determine how good a car is, you'll likely be of the opinion that the Toyota RAV4 is three times as good as the Mazda CX-5. You'd be stone-cold wrong. The RAV4 is the choice of the masses - reliable, spacious, comfy, safe, and even somewhat capable off-road. It'll even tow 1,500 pounds more than the CX-5. It is, for all intents and purposes, a great family crossover. But the Mazda is as good on many a front. It might not have the same cargo capacity, but interior space is just as generous and it's vastly more luxurious. The Toyota feels a little staid and outdated, although there can be no doubting it'll likely last a century without wearing. However, the infotainment feels outdated by comparison, and Mazda will give you way more feature in upper trims, making the CX-5 feel like a luxury SUV while the RAV4 is very much a utilitarian machine. The Toyota has less power than the available Turbo engine from Mazda but does have available hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants that compensate for this, being more economical, and in the case of the plug-in, more potent, too. But the kicker here is that a base RAV4 isn't as generously equipped as a base CX-5 and lacks AWD, yet the Mazda's starting MSRP of $25,900 undercuts the Toyota's $26,525 base price.

Ultimately, you need to decide whether you want practicality or luxury. If you plan on going off-road or towing regularly, the Toyota might be a better fit, but if you spend all your time on the streets, the CX-5 will bring you more joy.

See Toyota RAV4 Review

Mazda CX-5 Popular Comparisons

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