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Does Mazda CX-5 Have All Wheel Drive? [Models And Trims Explored]

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The Mazda CX-5 has been a popular vehicle since its debut in 2013. However, if you live in a region where icy or slippery roads are common, then you may be wondering which trims and years have all-wheel drive available. Let's take a look at your options below.

The Mazda CX-5 currently has two generations to choose from. The following trims have all-wheel drive as an available option or come standard:

First Generation (2013-2016)

  • Sport (AWD Available)
  • Touring (AWD Available)
  • Grand Touring (AWD Available)

Second Generation (2017-2022)

  • 2017-2021 Sport (AWD Available)
  • 2017-2021 Touring (AWD Available)
  • 2017 Grand Select (AWD Available)
  • 2021 Carbon Edition (AWD Available)
  • 2017-2021 Grand Touring (AWD Available)
  • 2021 Carbon Edition Turbo (AWD Available)
  • 2019-2021 Grand Touring Reserve (Standard AWD)
  • 2019-2021 Signature (Standard AWD)
  • 2019 Signature Diesel (Standard AWD)
  • 2022 2.5 S Select (Standard AWD)
  • 2022 2.5 S Preferred (Standard AWD)
  • 2022 2.5 S Carbon Edition (Standard AWD)
  • 2022 2.5 S Premium (Standard AWD)
  • 2022 2.5 S Premium Plus (Standard AWD)
  • 2022 2.5 Turbo (Standard AWD)
  • 2022 2.5 Turbo Signature (Standard AWD)

As you can see, you have several options when it comes to choosing a Mazda CX-5 with all-wheel drive. In this article, we will discuss the Mazda CX-5 all-wheel drive and the differences in the years. In addition, we will answer other frequently asked questions about Mazda's all-wheel drive, so read on!

New Mazda CX-5 test drive in the city, Does Mazda CX-5 Have All Wheel Drive? [Models And Trims Explored]

Does The Mazda CX-5 Have All-Wheel Drive?

Yes, the Mazda CX-5 does have an all-wheel-drive option available. Mazda introduced the first generation of Mazda CX-5 in 2013 with a 2.0L four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive, with a choice of adding AWD for an extra cost.

However, due to the engine lacking more power than its competitors, Mazda launched the naturally aspirated 2.5 L engine in 2014.

While the engine changed, the I-Active all-wheel-drive system remained the same throughout the years. It wasn't until 2019 that Mazda made the AWD drivetrain a standard feature.

Additionally, consumers could also get the more powerful turbocharged engine with the all-wheel-drive being standard or an available option. The turbocharged engine was another addition to the 2019 model.

It isn't much different from the I-Active from the past until now. The main difference from the trims is whether or not it comes standard or as an available option. In addition, consumers will find different trim levels, and newer years will come with more technical features and more horsepower.

Choosing between the FWD or AWD trims ultimately depends on what you're looking for in a vehicle. For example, if you live in an area where icy or slippery roads are familiar, then the all-wheel-drive may be a better option.

However, if you don't need the extra traction and are looking for a more fuel-efficient option, front-wheel drive may be a better choice.

Mazda CX-5 in red metallic colour

How Does CX-5 AWD Work?

The Mazda CX-5 all-wheel-drive system is called the I-Active, and it is on all the time. Depending on the traction needed, it works by splitting power to the front and rear wheels.

Since it's an electronically controlled AWD system, the computer makes these decisions instantly. This quick response is what helps you get on the road faster, with less anxiety about slipping or sliding.

The I-Active AWD system regulates front/rear torque distribution depending on driving conditions and driver input. It can even transfer power from left to right wheels if needed, which helps you make those sharp turns without losing traction.

If you aren't used to an AWD system, you may find this a bit unusual initially.

Is A Mazda CX-5 Good In Snow?

Yes, a Mazda CX-5 AWD has a lot of benefits when it comes to winter weather. The I-Active system constantly monitors the road conditions to ensure the best traction possible.

Mazda CX-5 all-wheel drive is easy to use and highly reliable in any weather condition. In addition, the power that this vehicle provides gives you complete control while making those sharp turns on a slippery road.

Mazda CX-5 is a hot topic for winter driving and serves as a great option for those living in colder areas of the country.

Mazda knows how vital safety is, so they have ensured that your car provides you with enough traction on any surface by providing front and rear drive wheels.

Wheels of car parked near snowy road, close-up.

Is AWD Or FWD Better For Snow?

Depending on your area, you may find that FWD works better for your needs. However, an all-wheel-drive system in vehicles like the Mazda CX-5 provides extra traction and control no matter what type of surface you're on.

All-wheel drive will engage all four tires for traction, whereas front-wheel drive only engages the front two tires, which can cause slippage.

Having extra traction is always a plus if there is a lot of natural snow or a good amount of slush from yesterday's storm.

Winter driving can be difficult, but it's easy to get around in any weather condition with the I-Active all-wheel-drive system. If you live in an area that sees snow on the road year-round, this may be something to consider when looking for your next vehicle.

If you already own a front-wheel-drive vehicle and are moving to a region that sees more snow, then you may want to consider adding snow tires. Snow tires will give you the best possible traction when driving on snow and ice.

a senior man calling for help in full length during a snow storm.

Which Is Better Overall: AWD Or 4WD?

Many people compare all-wheel drive and four-wheel drive, but the two systems are very different. All-wheel drive (AWD) is a system that includes power transferring to the front and rear wheels as needed. 4WD, on the other hand, distributes power evenly from the front and rear tires.

Four-wheel drive (4WD) has controls that allow you to engage or disengage each wheel; often, 4WD is used for severe weather conditions.

Both four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive have their advantages, but AWD is a little better for daily driving because it provides a comfortable ride and more control on the road. That said, 4WD is more robust and can handle more power and abuse.

This means that a 4WD system can handle more rugged terrain and be more aggressive in low-traction situations. However, a 4WD system takes away some control from the driver because it transfers power to each wheel.

Do I Need Winter Tires With AWD?

Usually, you don't need winter tires if you have an all-wheel-drive vehicle. However, some winter tires will give you that extra traction on extremely icy or snowy roads.

Snow tires are helpful, especially when you're taking sharp turns since summer and all-season tires don't provide as much grip on slippery surfaces.

All-season tires will be more than enough if you are driving on normal roads with good conditions. However, when considering snow tires, you will need to determine what kind of driving you do.

If you frequently travel to your winter cabin or in harsh climates on Montana, North Dakota, or Minnesota highways, then snow tires may be worth it.

If you only drive on roads for short distances with light snowfall, then all-season tires are sufficient.

Can You Put Chains On A Mazda CX-5?

You can put chains on a Mazda CX-5 if you deem it necessary. This is helpful for when you're driving up steep hills since it keeps your tires from spinning.

If there is a lot of snow or ice on the roads, you may want to stick to using the chains only in desperate times.

When possible, you should always use snow tires when traveling in winter conditions; however, if you need to put chains on your Mazda CX-5, it's good to know that the car allows for this type of setup.

Asia, Russia, Siberia, Buryatia, Irkutsk Oblast, Lake Baikal - Mazda CX-5 II 2.5 SkyPassion AWD

To Wrap It All Up

Winter driving in a Mazda CX-5 can be easy, depending on where you live. The I-Active all-wheel-drive system gives you the control and traction to get yourself out of any tricky situation that winter may throw at you.

If you're in an area with heavy snowfall, then a set of snow tires is your best bet. However, you can always use chains in extreme situations when needed.

Luckily, if you're planning on moving to a place with more snowfall, then there are plenty of Mazda CX-5 vehicles for sale that will serve your needs well year-round.

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