The 2022 Mazda CX-5 made an early debut a few days ago in China when images of the local version were published by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) as part of the crossover's homologation process. Its North American cousin is being officially revealed today with essentially the same evolutionary design changes, which are not easily noticeable at a first glance.
Look closer and you'll see each headlight and taillight cluster now accommodates a pair of rectangular LED lights to give Mazda North America's best-selling vehicle a sharper look. The Zoom-Zoom designers have also tweaked the front grille by giving it a fancy 3D-like texture to replace the mesh design of the 2021 CX-5.
Gone is the Grand Touring Reserve model as it's being replaced for 2022 by the new 2.5 Turbo model. Mazda says the versions equipped with a turbocharged engine boast additional styling revisions to separate them from the naturally aspirated CX-5s. There are glossy black trim pieces on the outside along with red accents and stitching for the cabin.
Stepping up to the 2.5 Turbo Signature brings a more elegant design with body-colored wheel arches and alloy wheels finished in bright silver. Inside, Mazda has fitted posh materials including real woodgrain and Nappa leather to elevate the CX-5's near-luxury SUV status. There's also a new drive select switch dubbed Mi-Drive, along with redesigned seats said to deliver greater comfort.
There are more changes than meets the eye as the 2022 CX-5 benefits from a more responsive six-speed automatic transmission delivering smoother acceleration. Not only that, but the compact SUV now features a different suspension to better iron out vibrations and diminish road noise courtesy of a new dampening control structure and higher frame rigidity.
Another important update is all-wheel drive being made standard across the range. As a matter of fact, Mazda is offering AWD as standard equipment on all CX models going forward. From the subcompact CX-30 to the midsize CX-9, every single SUV sold by the company in North America will have an all-paw system even in the entry-level trim.
It's worth noting Mazda has already confirmed the next-generation CX-5 will be an entirely different vehicle by switching to a new rear-wheel-drive-based platform with inline-six engines. It's unclear when the new model will be revealed, but it will take a while to reach the US market considering the current model has just been updated.