• Handling agility
  • Rear-seat functionality
  • Convenience and safety features
  • Road noise
  • Nav system is best for directions, not maps

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for CX-5 in 2014

The 2014 Mazda CX-5 receives a 2.5-liter engine for the Touring and Grand Touring versions, while active braking for obstructions in low-speed driving is available in the highest trim grades...
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Vehicle Summary

It's difficult to make a compact sport-utility a sexy proposition, yet the Mazda CX-5 just might change your mind about the affordable, practical-size vehicles that have become a fixture on every street in America.

From the moment of its introduction as a 2012 model, the Mazda 5 CX-5 has met a superior standard for its utility, yet it's even more notable for the way its carlike package has been invested with the attributes long associated with Mazda sedans, notably handling agility, responsive acceleration, and even style.

Overview

A utility vehicle is best judged by its everyday practicality, which is why its silhouette recalls the shopping cart down at the big-box store. A vehicle like this is about the things it carries, not the way it looks. When you compare one against another, you consider the field of view from the driver's seat, the ease of ingress and egress from all four portals, the ability of the interior seats to flip, fold and slide according to your Saturday morning adventure, and a certain ease of driving combined with practical habits at the gas pump. The 2014 Mazda CX-5 gets high marks in all of the above and is fun to drive, as well.

Beneath the 2014 Mazda CX-5, you'll find the same architecture that has brought a new spirit of refinement to the Mazda 3 sedan. The 2014 Mazda CX-5 is available as a front-wheel-drive package (practical, fuel-efficient and affordable) or an all-wheel-drive vehicle, (all-weather, all-terrain mobility with a little less mpg and a little more cost).

There are three trim grades. Sport offers 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 155 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque, and the front-wheel-drive version delivers 26/35 mpg city/highway with a six-speed manual transmission or 26/32 mpg with the six-speed automatic. The all-wheel-drive Sport comes only with the six-speed automatic and gets 25/31 mpg. The Touring and Grand Touring trim levels come only with the upgraded 2.5-liter four-cylinder, and the front-wheel-drive versions get 25/32 mpg while the all-wheel-drive models get 25/30 mpg.

Within the cabin, you'll see that Mazda hasn't skimped on the details, as the fine driving position, supportive seats, and attractive style set apart the CX-5 from its competition. Just as important, the Mazda CX-5 drives like a car, not a minivan.

Key Competitors

  • Ford Escape
  • Honda CR-V
  • Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
  • Toyota RAV4

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