2022 Mazda CX-5 Compact Crossover Facelifted, FWD Dropped

We love the Mazda CX-5, an atypical compact crossover that prioritizes driving dynamics and design over the segment fundamentals. Being enthusiasts, those are our priorities as well. So it’s no surprise that for its facelift, the already premium-feeling 2022 Mazda CX-5 doesn’t fix what ain’t broke. There are some changes to the front and rear bumpers, as you’d expect for a nip/tuck sort of job. But there’s one more important powertrain change that you might want to know about if budget is your primary motivator.

No, the engine choices haven’t changed. There is still a 187-hp 2.5-liter non-turbo I-4 standard, and an optional (and gutsy) 2.5-liter turbo that makes 250 hp. But for 2022, all-wheel-drive is now standard, meaning there’s likely to be a significant price bump at the very bottom end of the lineup, as the entry-level front-drive model is no more. Last year, the CX-5 started at $26,545, and adding all-wheel-drive added $1,400 to the MSRP. Expect that extra cost to be baked into the ’22 CX-5’s entry price going forward, now that the feature is included.

While that price jump is significant on paper, we presume the FWD model is being dropped for lack of demand. If buyers were already willing to mostly pay the AWD premium, it’s a non-issue. And it is one more sign that we’re nearing AWD ubiquity in the crossover space.

Meanwhile, on the outside, the Mazda’s revised grille now blends into the headlights, giving the front end an attractive, brooding handsomeness. The fancy Turbo Signature trim adopts new 19-inch wheels and body-colored lower bumpers and fender trim, while the 2.5 Turbo trim gets contrasting gloss black accents and black 19-inch wheels, as well as a revised black leather interior with red contrasting stitching.

Pricing and more details will be available closer to the on-sale date, which will be winter 2021.

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