Mazda CX‑5: a world-class success story

Following the announcement of the enhanced 2022 CX‑5, Mazda Stories celebrates more than a decade of the vehicle’s automotive firsts, international accomplishments and special moments.

From concept to car

In 2010 when Mazda unveiled the Shinari—a four-door sports coupe concept—it also revealed its new “Kodo—Soul of Motion” design direction. The marque incorporated this styling into its next concept, the Minagi compact crossover SUV, which also brought Mazda’s suite of Skyactiv technologies to the public’s attention. The award-winning Mazda CX‑5 followed soon after, debuting at the September 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. Combining both Kodo and Skyactiv attributes, the vehicle set out a new blueprint for the company’s future.

Leading design

“Creating an SUV that would appeal globally was a difficult task,” recalls Masashi Nakayama, General Manager of Mazda’s Design Division, who styled the original CX‑5. “We set ourselves the challenge of bringing sporty design elements to the SUV, and in doing so created a whole new segment for the SUV market. We call this the ‘CX-5 segment’.”

The 2022 model shares the same design DNA as its predecessor, as Nakayama explains: “We didn’t want to change parts of the design that resonate with our customers, but instead deepen it to maintain its unique nature.” Takanori Tsubaki, Chief Designer of the enhanced CX‑5, emphasizes this point, adding, “We fitted elongated headlights and taillights to the car to assist with night-time safety.” Each lamp features a pair of horizontally spaced, rectangular LED lights that create powerful beams and the new design showcases a sleek, eye-catching aesthetic.

The CX‑5’s design credentials even extend to the paintwork—it was the first vehicle to feature Soul Red Crystal, a color that has become synonymous with Mazda.

Awards and international recognition

The CX‑5 is one of the bestselling Mazdas worldwide, holding the number-one spot in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Netherlands. It has won over 100 awards internationally, taking home 45 accolades in its launch year alone. The Mazda CX-5 has been named a 2021 Car and Driver 10Best winner—the fourth consecutive year it has won this title—and its safety credentials include winning a TOP SAFETY PICK from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety every year since it entered the market.

Other outstanding achievements include the Women’s World Car of the Year (WWCOTY) Family Car of the Year (2017) and two highly coveted awards for Best New Small Utility Vehicle (2018) and Best New Mid-Size Utility Vehicle (2019) from the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. In Europe, the CX‑5 was voted Best in Test in the Mid-Class SUV category for the Dutch Consumer Association’s annual Car Guide (2015), beating nine other competitors to the title.

The 2018 CX‑5 was a World Car of the Year Award top three finalist.

All-terrain accomplishments

From battling the elements in Chile to exploring Vietnam on and off the beaten track, the CX‑5 has proven it can handle any terrain. In 2019 a fleet of CX‑5s set off from the UK, traveling through ice and snow to reach Nordkapp, the northernmost point of mainland Europe. The CX‑5 has also crossed the world’s oldest and deepest lake—the frozen Lake Baikal in Siberia—becoming the first car manufacturer to achieve this feat. More recently, the CX‑5 excelled in a 62,000-mile endurance test conducted by German magazine Auto Bild, achieving one of the best marks ever awarded and earning a fourth-place spot in its all-time rankings.

The enhanced 2022 Mazda CX‑5

The 2022 Mazda CX‑5 comes with i‑Activ AWD as standard. Combining high-quality design and comfort, it is available in two enhanced models. The 2.5 Turbo pays tribute to the first-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata with its classic red accents. The striking model also features a gloss black grille and signature wing and lower bumper, paired with 19” black alloy wheels. The Mazda CX‑5 2.5 Turbo Signature’s design features a luxurious Nappa leather and wood interior, and its sleek exterior takes styling to new levels, showcasing a redesigned front grille, 19” alloy wheels and matching body-colored lower bumper and wheel arches. Since the CX-5 was first launched, its worldwide sales total more than three million, and the enhanced 2022 CX‑5 offers even more refinements to this internationally renowned vehicle. Discover more at

The Mazda CX‑5 2.5 Turbo.

The Mazda CX‑5 2.5 Turbo Signature and its luxurious interior.

Words Charlotte Briggs

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Which 2022 CX‑5 suits your lifestyle?

2.5 Turbo or 2.5 Turbo Signature?