Published on September 15th, 2021 | by Subhash Nair


Mazda CX-5 Facelifted For 2022 Model Year In US And China

The popular Mazda CX-5 SUV gets its most major redesign since the 2nd generation debuted in 2016.

It’s hard to believe, but the second generation Mazda CX-5 has been around since 2017 in Malaysia. Some minor upgrades, including the 2019 spec update along with the introduction of the 2.5-litre turbo engine option were all we’ve seen since the CX-5 was launched here 4 years ago. Today the brand shows the next evolution in the Mazda CX-5’s design and equipment, with both Mazda’s Chinese and North American subsidiaries releasing photos of the 2022 CX-5’s new exterior design. There are also specification upgrades for the model that have been disclosed, but these may not apply to any future update introduced in Malaysia.

New Mazda CX-5 design

The Mazda CX-5’s exterior design is noticeably different now. The front fascia has a new signature wing that extends outward from the front grille. The front grille has also been redesigned with a three-dimensional texture instead of the mesh surface of the current CX-5. character lines on the front and rear of the CX-5 has been minimised where possible for a cleaner look. Finally, there’s the headlight and taillight redesign. The new headlights feature a rectangular LED projector design for a look that’s reminiscent of recent Jaguar SUVs.

New all-aluminium wheel designs are also being introduced in varying finishes.

Depending on the trim level, the 2022 Mazda CX-5 Turbo will be finished either with gloss black lower cladding or body-colour matched cladding. The lower trim model gets the more athletic black parts along with red accents and stitching inside. A more upmarket “Turbo Signature” model is the one that gets the body-colour matched cladding along with bright silver finished wheels, as well as Nappa leather and genuine woodgrain on the interior.

Other tweaks to the CX-5 Formula

Besides the looks, Mazda have evolved the CX-5 in a number of ways. The 2022 model introduces a new Mi-Drive function, which stands for Mazda intelligent Drive Select. This allows the driver to select the most appropriate drive setting for throttle and gearbox responsiveness. The suspension has also been revised for better dampening, fewer vibrations and less road noise along with high ride comfort. The seats have also been redesigned for better occupant support.

2022 mazda cx-5 interior

Finally, there’s i-Activ AWD. It’s not been updated, but in the USA, Mazda are making it standard not just for the CX-5, but for all “Mazda CX” vehicles sold starting 2022.

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Here’s the press release with more information.


Mazda North American Operations announces major updates to the brand’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S., Mazda CX-5. The compelling crossover will continue to allure a wide range of customers with a greater sense of quality, both in sophisticated styling and refined driving dynamics. In addition to improvements to the 2022 CX-5, Mazda will make i-Activ all-wheel drive (AWD) standard across the entire CX lineup in the U.S. market, starting with the 2022 model year.

Mazda CX-5 has been adored by many since it debuted nearly a decade ago. It quickly earned recognition for combining outstanding design and quality craftsmanship with excellent performance and fuel efficiency. The award-winning CX-5 has continuously proven itself by earning many industry accolades over the years, such as being recognized by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) as a TOP SAFETY PICK award winner since the crossover first debuted. The vehicle introduced a more sophisticated level of Mazda’s Kodo design, featuring a “less is more” approach to beautiful styling. The 2022 CX-5 continues the car’s evolution with considerable improvements to the design and dynamic performance. These updates will help the established crossover continue to standout in its class, while also expressing a look and feel that is unified with Mazda’s latest generation vehicles.

The most recognizable change on all 2022 CX-5 models will be the refreshed exterior styling. Mazda designers focused on refining the front and rear ends, opting to minimize character lines in favor of reflective body surfaces that create a distinguished and elegant appearance. The front fascia adopts a new signature wing that extends outward from the front grille, which is also updated with a three-dimensional texture that replaces the outgoing mesh surface. The headlights and taillights receive significant design changes with each lamp featuring a pair of horizontally spaced, rectangular LED lights that create a sleek, eye-catching expression. All-new aluminum alloy wheels complete the transformation to help further the crossover’s urban and elegant appeal.

The 2022 CX-5 turbo models will receive additional styling enhancements that help further distinguish it from non-turbo models. The new 2.5 Turbo model, formerly Grand Touring Reserve, offers contemporary styling appealing for sport-minded enthusiasts. The exterior features gloss black finishes throughout to support an athletic look, while the interior is complemented with red accents and stitching. Altogether, creating an expressive vibe that encourages the CX-5 to be driven and enjoyed. Elevating to the 2.5 Turbo Signature model, thoughtful design changes were made to help make the CX-5 feel more elegant. The cladding on the exterior of this model adopts the same unified color scheme as the rest of the body and will be contrasted by bright silver finished wheels. The interior is appointed with premium quality materials such as Nappa leather and genuine woodgrain.

Complementing the new, elegant design, the driving dynamics and ride quality of the 2022 CX-5 have evolved with updates to the drive modes, seats, body, and suspension that were introduced in Mazda’s latest generation vehicles. The 2022 CX-5 introduces Mazda intelligent Drive Select (Mi-Drive), which enables the driver to select the most appropriate drive mode to optimize driving capability with one touch of a switch. Furthering Mazda’s human-centric philosophy, the seats are redesigned to help provide the driver and the vehicle’s occupants with greater stability to help create a natural and comfortable experience. The driver will appreciate smooth accelerations with a more responsive six-speed automatic transmission. Updates to the suspension include improvements to the dampening control structure and increased frame rigidity, which will help suppress unpleasant vibrations, reduce road noise, and help to provide a quieter cabin and higher quality of ride comfort. Overall, these enhancements will help the driver feel more connected to the enjoyable driving experience.


Mazda’s i-Activ AWD system is engineered to enhance performance and confidence, enabling the driver to enjoy the experience in various driving conditions. Providing i-Activ AWD as standard for all Mazda CX models, starting with the 2022 model year, supports the brand’s dedication to deliver unparalleled driving pleasure for all owners. While making i-Activ AWD newly standard emphasizes the enhanced driving dynamics Mazda customers value, it is part of the Mazda brand’s expansion into the premium space.

Engaging driving dynamics are engineered into every aspect of vehicle development to help create a connection between car and driver. Mazda’s unique i-Activ AWD system continuously monitors weight transfer, based on acceleration and cornering forces, and shifts power to the appropriate wheels, providing drivers a near instant response to inputs. By sharpening turn-in response and control based on vehicle speed, the i-Activ AWD system can help enhance the vehicle’s performance, while also providing additional safety in various road conditions.

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Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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