First Drive: The 2022 Mazda CX-5 Easily Weathers the Storm

We’re just off to a rocky start with the Mazda CX-5 and we’re impressed. We’ve spent about four hours with the 2022 Mazda CX-5 so far, and we have a week to learn more about it. Based on our first ride, we can confirm that it handles heavy rain, thunder, and lightning with aplomb.

How does the 2022 Mazda CX-5 perform?

The 2022 Mazda CX-5 is a sporty and capable subcompact SUV. However, people may not know that it comes standard all-wheel drive across the lineup. We already found this to be useful.

After picking up the Mazda CX-5 near Charlotte, NC, it was time to drive it down I-26 to Asheville, NC. They’ve been busy widening I-26, so it’s usually a mess with construction zones going on for miles.

However, severe thunderstorm warnings with perfect tornado conditions added to our trip. Heavy rain, strong winds and standing water on the road had an impact. The i-Activ AWD system maintained control in slippery conditions.

Around steep climbs and mountain switchbacks, the CX-5 felt stable and confident. We switched from Sport mode to Normal mode mainly because we stayed under the speed limit. The brakes are strong but not too aggressive, even when traffic stops suddenly on the interstate.

We had a honda sedan coming at us head-on, but the forward collision prevention system worked well to avoid an accident. We were able to get off the trail, safely. Also, the sedan stopped on the shoulder when it could.

How much horsepower does the 2022 CX-5 have?

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The 2022 Mazda CX-5’s base engine is an optional 2.5-liter four-cylinder with 187 hp and 186 pound-feet of torque. This is an adequate amount of power. But the fun really ramps up with the available 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 256 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque.

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With the turbo engine, the CX-5 can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 6.6 seconds. It has responsive handling and precise steering for improved control. Optional steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters allow for even more precise control.

Mazda Intelligent Drive Select (Mi-Drive) allows you to select the most suitable driving modes for certain conditions. The CX-5’s drive modes consist of Normal, Sport, and Off-Road. Normal mode is best for fuel economy, and Sport mode improves acceleration and response times.

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We haven’t tried the Off-Road mode yet, but we’ll see how it compares to the Mazda CX-50, which allows you to disable traction control. Both SUVs ride on different platforms with unique suspension tuning.

Is the Mazda CX-5 comfortable?

Soul Red Crystal Metallic 2022 Mazda CX-5 parked along a curb

Yes, so far the 2022 Mazda CX-5 has been extremely comfortable. The leather seats are big and supportive, with tons of power controls to find the best driving position. Our rear ends have experienced no fatigue in these seats.

We started with the climate controls on full blast because it was humid and muggy. The air conditioning works quickly to relieve the heat and the ventilated seats are strong. After about an hour and a half, it was time to heat up.

The CX-5 has a smooth ride over road imperfections and hardly any body roll in corners. But there is some perceptible wind and road noise at higher speeds. Perhaps the SUV is quieter outside of massive storms.

We have more to learn about the CX-5 and the sunny days ahead. Stay tuned for a full review covering the good and the bad.

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