We haven't heard or seen much about Mazda's mid-range CX-5 SUV. Earlier this year sketchy spy shots surfaced showing just glimpses of a camouflaged test vehicle. Beyond that, the last bit of CX-5 news came in July, when we reported on a new inline-six engine rumour for the next-generation model. Now, we have images allegedly showing a refreshed version for China, said to be coming for 2022.

The images were reportedly leaked by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, then picked up by the Korean website Autospy. It wouldn't be the first time we've seen photos of future vehicles slip through the cracks in the Chinese government, but these shots don't appear to show a next-gen CX-5. Looking closely, we see just minor changes both front and rear, indicative of a refresh.

Gallery: 2022 Mazda CX-5 Leaked Images

At the front, the lower fascia boasts a wider intake in the centre. The narrow plastic trim spanning the width of the bumper is gone, giving the CX-5 a frowning lower-lip effect. The headlights appear slightly smaller with L-shaped LED elements inside. The grille adopts a different mesh pattern, and the surround trim is both larger and smaller in some areas.

At the rear, there's also a tweaked fascia, but the changes are even slimmer. Reflectors at the edges of the lower bumper are smaller and more inboard. The lower section adopts a smoother look with simpler body lines, while further up, the taillights stretch further into the hatch. That means an entirely new rear hatch is coming, but aside from the taillights, the rest of the design appears the same.

If this is a next-generation model, Mazda is playing it very conservatively. With this particular vehicle allegedly popping up for the Chinese market, it's possible we could be looking at a companion model to a properly new CX-5, possibly called the CX-50. While the spy shots from earlier in the year weren't the greatest, they seemed to show more changes than what we see here. Then again, that could've been a next-generation model slated for 2023 or 2024, with this refresh holding station for just a year or two.

In any case, expect at least some changes for the CX-5 coming soon.