2022 Mazda CX-5 Review: Urban Transition

Lionel Kong
2022 Mazda CX-5 in Singapore CarBuyer

A cosmetic facelift gives Mazda’s mid-sized SUV a new look for the Singapore’s urban jungle

2022 Mazda CX-5 Luxury Sports

Launched: August 2022, Price S$194,888 with COE (August 2022)
Five-door, midsize crossover SUV, five seats
165hp, 2.0-litre petrol engine, VES B, 9.0L/100km


Good cabin materials

Drives well with good dynamics


Noisy engine note

Very small entertainment screen


This is the midlife update of the present Mazda CX-5. The medium-sized, five-seater SUV with a 2.0-litre petrol engine is still only in its second generation. The original CX-5 first appeared on sale in 2012, and that lasted five years until the next-gen model appeared in 2017. Now five years later the car has been given its customary midlife makeover. 

2022 Mazda CX-5 in Singapore CarBuyer

To keep the models relevant it’s customary for almost every carmaker to roll out a new version of a car around the midpoint of its lifecycle. This helps with the perceived newness of the product in the eyes of potential customers, and for those in the know, it also signals that the car has reached the halfway point of its production. Depending on economies, budgets, and sales popularity, a car’s production life cycle usually runs from four to eight years. 

2022 Mazda CX-5 rear view in Singapore CarBuyer

In the case of the Mazda CX-5, the changes are slight enough that the casual bystander will likely not notice much, but it does have reshaped front and rear bumpers, head and tail light units, and new wheel design options. It comes in three trim levels, starting with the basic Elegance trim, then the mid-range Luxury trim and then the top-spec, arguably ungrammatical, Luxury Sports trim.

2022 Mazda CX-5 interior in Singapore CarBuyer

The car seen here is the Luxury Sports version, and for a S$15k extra over the Elegance trim you get daytime running lights, red front intake grille accents, ventilated front seats, hands-free electric hatch, heads-up display, steering wheel-mounted sequential shifter paddles, and a 10-speaker Bose audio system along with a bunch of other smaller details. 

2022 Mazda CX-5 Bose speaker in Singapore CarBuyer

The seats in the Luxury and Luxury Sports variants are also covered in genuine leather, while the Elegance trim gets synthetic leatherette upholstery. 

2022 Mazda CX-5 engine in Singapore CarBuyer

A 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine powers the car through a six-speed automatic transmission. Despite its high riding stance, which itself is a nice look in these days of SUVs going lower and lower, the CX-5 is just front wheel driven and so is not capable of any serious off road driving.

2022 Mazda CX-5 in Singapore CarBuyer

Actually, it’s not very fast in a straight line either. The 100km/h dash is cleared in a rather leisurely 10.3 seconds, but at least the overall ability of the chassis is quite accomplished through corners, and the car is quite fun to hustle around when momentum is maintained.

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There’s no electric hybridisation of any sort in the powertrain. The new CX-5 is mechanically identical to the pre-facelift car and the 165 horsepower power output places this car into the pricier Category B COE space. Mazda trades on the fact that the engine uses high compression cylinders that operate at a ratio of 13:1, while most other internal combustion engines operate at much lower compressions.

The result is supposed to be a punchier midrange without the use of forced induction, while still returning pretty good fuel economy. A very reasonable 7.4L/100km is what we got after four days of driving and while the car’s chassis balance is sound and dynamic, the vocal engine buzz, typical of most Mazdas when driven hard, is a bit of an annoyance. 

2022 Mazda CX-5 in Singapore CarBuyer

The interior is a pleasant place to be in with soft touch surfaces at all contact points. It’s something that really lifts the feel of quality in the car, though the centre infotainment screen is a little small by current standards. It’s also a very monochrome kind of place to be in, with materials largely confined to blacks and grays.

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Active safety systems fitted as standard include the usual traction control and anti-lock brakes, along with blind spot monitors and rear cross traffic alert. 

2022 Mazda CX-5 screen in Singapore CarBuyer

It’s reasonably spacious for five occupants, and is similar in size withe Nissan Qashqai, which we think is its most logical alternative. Other cars in the same size and price range include the Hyundai Tucson and also the Toyota RAV4. The CX-5’s big marketing handicap is its lack of electrification, with not even a mild hybrid system plumbed to its powertrain. This does blunt its overall potential somewhat in Singapore, with rising petrol and COE prices really affecting people’s buying decisions.

2022 Mazda CX-5 boot in Singapore CarBuyer

Yet it is still an accomplished package, with good driving dynamics and a well-honed driving experience. It’s less of an appliance car than its competitors, and does look much more muscular than many of the competition, with Mazda’s bold design lines. 

2022 Mazda CX-5 in Singapore CarBuyer

Mazda CX-5 Luxury Sports

Drivetrain typePetrol engine
Engine1,998cc, inline 4
Power165hp at 6500rpm
Torque213Nm at 4000rpm
Gearbox6-speed automatic
0-100km/h10.3 seconds
Top Speed182km/h
VES Banding / modifierB / neutral
Fuel Efficiency7.0L/100km
AgentMazda Singapore
PriceS$194,888 with COE
Verdict:Comfortable and well-balanced to drive, but the vocal engine note put a slight damper on the whole package


cx-5 mazda SUV

About the Author

Lionel Kong

An old hand from the bad old days of crazy COEs, the straight-shooting, ex-CarBuyer editor is back in the four-wheeled world. Rumours that he went to another country to start a Judas Priest tribute band are unfounded.

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