2022 Mazda CX-5 GT SP Turbo review

2022-mazda-cx-5-gt-sp-turbo-review
  • Doors and Seats

    CarGenericIcon

    5 doors, 5 seats

  • Engine

    EngineIcon

    2.5T, 4 cyl.

  • Engine Power

    EnginePowerIcon

    170kW, 420Nm

  • Fuel

    FuelIcon

    Petrol (91) 8.2L/100KM

  • Manufacturer

    DrivetrainIcon

    4WD

  • Transmission

    TransmissionIcon

    6 Spd Auto

  • Warranty

    WarrantyIcon

    5 Yr, Unltd KMs

  • Ancap Safety

    AncapSafetyIcon

    5/5 star (2017)

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The second generation of the Mazda CX-5 is growing old, so does this CX-5 GT SP Turbo still offer an appealing package? Emma Notarfrancesco finds out.





  • Mazda has managed to keep this generation looking fresh with frequent updates
  • Equipped with ample standard features
  • Comfortable and refined drive

  • Not the most fuel-efficient SUV
  • Boot is small in comparison to the rest of the class
  • Infotainment would work better as a touchscreen

Is the Mazda CX-5 a good car?

The Mazda CX-5 has long been the brand’s best-selling vehicle and with good reason. The mid-size SUV is a standout in its line-up – it’s feature-packed, practical and, well, it’s an SUV. 

The one we tested was the 2022 Mazda CX-5 GT SP Turbo, which sits at the top end of the model line-up. There are 11 variants on offer with the prices ranging from $32,190 for the manual Maxx, up to $53,880 for the Akera diesel automatic. Both prices exclude on-roads. 

Our test vehicle has a starting price of $51,490 plus on-road costs and is finished in Soul Red Crystal – the only option costing an additional $695. This brings the total on-test cost price to $52,185 plus on-roads. 



The Mazda CX-5 competes in the ever popular medium SUV segment, rivalling the likes of the much sought after Toyota RAV4 and our 2022 Drive Car of the Year – the Kia Sportage

The RAV4 Hybrid Cruiser, while not matched in price ($48,750), is a similar trim but with a frugal hybrid instead of a punchy turbo engine. Kia’s Sportage starts at $49,370 for the range-topping GT-Line – both before on-road costs. 

The Mazda CX-5 is now in its second generation, and while this breed is fairly aged, Mazda has done a good job at keeping it fresh with frequent updates. 



Along with stylistic changes, the recent facelift was rather significant, giving the Mazda reshaped seats for added comfort plus improvements to the steering, suspension, noise and vibration levels.

This CX-5 is well equipped, with standard highlights consisting of hands-free power tailgate, leather upholstery, red contrast stitching, black headlining, gloss-black body cladding and wheel arches, 10.25-inch Mazda Connect infotainment display, cornering functionality for the headlights, 10-way driver and six-way passenger power-adjustable seats with driver’s seat memory, heated front seats, power tilting/sliding glass sunroof and a 10-speaker, 249-watt Bose sound system.

The new look of the CX-5 gives this SUV a real boost in its appearance, especially with its redressed front end and new headlights, which now have fog lights built in. The grille is simple yet effective with red accents embedded into the top right-hand side and metallic finish additions framing the sides. 



It also sports a fresh wheel design and new-look tail-lights, while the side remains pretty much untouched. For a sportier vibe, this particular spec includes gloss-black elements – on the wheel arches, mirror caps, window frames and back bumper. 

All in all, the CX-5 has managed to maintain a simple yet dapper appearance, which makes it appropriate for a broad market. 

Key details 2022 Mazda CX-5 GT SP Turbo
Price (MSRP) $51,490 plus on-road costs
Colour of test car Soul Red Crystal
Options Metallic paint – $695
Price as tested $52,185 plus on-road costs

$56,997 drive-away (Melbourne)
Rivals Toyota RAV4 | Kia Sportage | Volkswagen Tiguan

What’s the Mazda CX-5 like inside?

The cabin of the CX-5, just like its exterior, is simple yet polished and free of any clutter. New to this refreshed model are the leather upholstered seats, replacing the previous suede-look and leather combo trim, which are also heated and electric upfront. 

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Our test model’s interior was finished in black leather, but one real enhancement is the red stitching, which just makes the interior pop. In the way of materials, there are soft components on the doors and dash giving it a more premium edge, with very few hard plastics that catch the eye. 

There’s good-looking material on the dash and just enough glossy piano-black finishes throughout. The elements all come together seamlessly to make this cabin feel modern, but there are some bits and bobs that are becoming a little ancient, such as the buttons and dials.

Most importantly, it’s a well-built interior and gets a big tick for its ergonomic design. The storage is generous with ample additional room in the doors, extra large cupholders, a good-sized centre compartment, and an additional cubby up front where the wireless charging pad lives.

The rear packs the niceties you’d expect such as generous door bins, dedicated air vents, two USB ports, and a fold-down armrest that includes a tray and cupholders. 

Three adult passengers in the rear can be done, but like most SUVs of this size, it can be a bit of a squish. There’s decent space, though, in the way of leg, head and toe room for passengers.

The boot provides 442L of cargo space, down on its main rivals with the RAV4 boasting 580L and the Sportage offering 543L.



So, it’s not the largest, but it does add some nifty elements such as the luggage cover. Usually when I remove these covers, they get thrown in the back seat, but here you have the choice of clipping it to the boot opening, so as to remove the annoyance of finding a spot to put it. 

There’s also the handy underfloor allowing you to change the height of the boot to suit your items, a space-saver spare wheel, plus levers to fold the rear seats from the boot, so you don’t have to travel to the passenger door.

All in all, this interior is well equipped, comfortable, and has an abundance of practical space.

2022 Mazda CX-5 GT SP Turbo
Seats Five
Boot volume 442L seats up

1342L seats folded
Length 4575mm
Width 1845mm
Height 1680mm
Wheelbase 2700mm

How big is the screen inside the CX-5?

The higher grades of the CX-5 get a 10.25-inch infotainment system – not a touchscreen, but rather controlled via the rotary dial adjacent to the gear lever. As it’s not a touchscreen, it can make some actions difficult while on the go, such as accessing functions within the Apple CarPlay or Android Auto menus. 

Otherwise, the Mazda system is simple to navigate with large icons and clear graphics, and most day-to-day functions accessible via the steering wheel controls. 

My one real gripe was with the Bluetooth connectivity, as I often experienced some mishaps with the system stubbornly refusing to pair with my iPhone. Once linked, I didn’t incur any drop-outs, and thanks to the impeccable 10-speaker Bose stereo system, calls and music sound crisp.



The CX-5 contains inbuilt satellite navigation, wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with AM/FM/DAB+. As part of the revised models, all CX-5s also include a head-up display – a feature I personally tend to rely on quite a bit these days – and this grade also gets a wireless charger (offered from the middle of the range and up).

Is the Mazda CX-5 a safe car?

The Mazda CX-5 scored a five-star ANCAP safety rating when tested in 2017 and boasts a 10/10 result from How Safe is Your Car.

In the way of safety equipment, this CX-5 includes front and rear parking sensors, lane-departure warning with lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, front AEB with night-time pedestrian detection, rear AEB, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go, auto high-beam and tyre-pressure monitoring.

Alerts triggered by the lane-keep assist and lane-departure warning are thankfully unobtrusive, as you can often expect from these features. 

2022 Mazda CX-5 GT SP Turbo
ANCAP rating Five stars (tested 2017)
Safety report Link to ANCAP report

How much does the Mazda CX-5 cost to run?

If you’re shopping in the medium SUV class, it may not be the easiest task with a large variety to choose from. So how does this SUV stack up against a wide breadth of options? When the facelift occurred, prices increased across the range – some increasing up to $1300.

The top end of the range starts to get pricey, hitting the over $50K mark; however, this bunch of models boast generous standard equipment, still presenting a strong value proposition.



In fact, the CX-5 continues to be a favourite in the class sitting in second again last month behind the RAV4. It beats the likes of the Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage and Mitsubishi Outlander, selling 1947 units in May.

If the higher specifications are out of your price range, then the lower models in the range have ample standard highlights with the entry-grade Maxx offering a head-up display, rear parking sensors (with reversing camera), a comprehensive suite of safety, along with upgrades to the steering, suspension, noise and vibration. 

All Mazda CX-5s are supported by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty. Service intervals are at 12 months or 10,000km. You’re looking at $1875 for five years with capped-price servicing.

At a glance 2022 Mazda CX-5 GT SP Turbo
Warranty Five years / unlimited km
Service intervals 12 months or 10,000km
Servicing costs $1875 for five years’ capped-price servicing

Costs on top of the capped pricing include when it comes time to replace your brake fluid – recommended at the two-year mark ($72). Others in the five-year period include cabin air filter replacement ($83) and engine air filter ($99). Depending on the amount of kilometres you clock up, the next big expense is at 60,000km, whereby the spark plugs will need replacing ($341).

In the way of fuel, Mazda claims 8.2L per 100km. Our testing included a range of different conditions – highways, inner-city driving and varied drive modes. We returned a reading of 10.9L/100km, which is definitely higher than expected.

Fuel Useage Fuel Stats
Fuel cons. (claimed) 8.2L/100km
Fuel cons. (on test) 10.9L/100km
Fuel type 91-octane regular unleaded
Fuel tank size 58L

What’s the Mazda CX-5 like to drive?

The heavy lifting in this CX-5 is done by a 2.5-litre, four-cylinder turbo engine capable of 170kW and 420Nm and sending power to all four wheels through a six-speed automatic. If the more spirited engine isn’t your flavour, the GT SP is available with a non-turbo 2.5-litre engine, while other models in the CX-5 range offer the option of a 2.2-litre diesel, while the entry-level models comes with a 2.0-litre petrol (offered in a manual and automatic).



The engine in the GT SP turbo takes the everyday drive of this medium SUV to another level, not only ticking the comfort, box but making it fun and entertaining too. 

The assistance from that turbo means that power is on tap from the moment you move away from the traffic lights, able to remain composed through the rev-range, and offering up some pretty enjoyable acoustics too.

The new ‘Mi-Drive’ system (new to this generation) provides the option of four different modes – Normal, Sport, Off-road and Towing. We spent the majority of time in Normal, finding that it provided enough kick without the need of switching it into Sport mode. But, it’s always fun taking off in traffic with that extra bite and added sharpness in Sport mode.

Mazda can be applauded for the upgrade given to the steering in this edition of the CX-5 – it’s robust and direct, even though it has a bit of weight to it. The revised suspension in this refreshed model means the cabin noise has been reduced, but it didn’t take to bumps and rougher surfaces as well as anticipated. It doesn’t startle you, but it doesn’t glide over inconsistencies either.

Thankfully, it does indeed operate almost silently. Mazda continues to devote time and effort to reducing road and engine noise, and it shows inside the cabin. 

There’s little to fault with the Mazda CX-5 GT SP Turbo in the way of drivability. It’s a cosy everyday tourer, feels refined, and is also dynamically rewarding.



Key details 2022 Mazda CX-5 GT SP Turbo
Engine 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbo
Power 170kW @ 5000rpm
Torque 420Nm @ 2000rpm
Drive type All-wheel drive
Transmission Six-speed automatic
Power to weight ratio 98kW/t
Weight (kerb) 1730kg
Tow rating 2000kg braked, 750kg unbraked
Turning circle 11.0m

Should I buy the Mazda CX-5?

This Mazda CX-5 hits the nail on the head if you’re wanting an enjoyable, feature-packed and reliable drive. It’s not on the top of my list in the way of styling with brands like Hyundai and Kia providing fashionably handsome newcomers, but it still does the job in the looks department, and I’m keen to see what an all-new version will look like.

There’s a reason why this Mazda remains competitive in a saturated segment, so if you’re looking for a near-premium SUV, then this may be a good way to reward yourself.

Ratings Breakdown

2022 Mazda CX-5 GT SP Wagon

8.0/ 10

Interior Comfort & Packaging

Infotainment & Connectivity

Budget Direct

Insurance from

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Emma has been on our television screens for over a decade. Most of her time in the industry has been spent at racetracks reporting at major motorsport events in Australia – from TCR and Superbikes to Porsche Sprint Challenge and Supercars. Emma has also hosted various MotoGP and F1 events interviewing the likes of Daniel Ricciardo and Jack Miller. Having previously presented on an automotive show, she made her move to the Drive family in 2020. Fiercely proud of her Italian heritage, Emma is a coffee loving, stylish-black wearing resident of Melbourne.

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