2014 Mazda CX-5 Review

A bigger engine, a better crossover

2014 Mazda CX-5 Review

Launched last year with a 2.0-liter SkyActiv gas engine the Mazda CX-5 offered segment-leading highway fuel economy in a surprisingly family-friendly little utility vehicle. Still, loaded with cargo and kids, it quickly becomes clear that a little extra power could make for a more livable driving experience.


1. New 2.5L engine makes 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque.

2. Fuel economy is rated at 25/32 mpg for front-drive models and 24/30 mpg for the automatic.

3. Pricing starts at $26,660 in Touring trim.


Thankfully, a new 2.5-liter engine offers exactly that with 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. The 29 extra ponies and 35 more lb-ft should make a big difference when loaded up and was more than required during our first test.

While it’s not extremely athletic, power delivery is much improved. That’s all the sweeter when you realize the extra thrust doesn’t mean drinking much more gas. Front-wheel drive models come with an estimated 25 mpg around town and 32 on the highway, which is essentially identical to the 26/32 mpg rating for the front-drive automatic with the smaller engine.

The numbers dip a little with all-wheel drive, but not much. Efficiency slides to 24 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, again compared to an only slightly better 25/32 rating with the 2.0-liter.

Hubris is a common condition among automakers, and braggarts often fall the hardest. Mazda boasts easily about its SkyActiv technology, but in this case the bold words bear meaning. With the fuel economy ratings of several automakers having recently been called into question, after our drive we have no reason to doubt Mazda’s claims.


2014 Mazda CX 5 06

If there is a down side it’s that the six-speed stick isn’t available with the larger engine. Instead you’ll be assigned to the six-speed automatic. Truth be told, it doesn’t make a difference. Most buyers would make that choice on their own, with a small fraction of sales devoted to the manually minded – especially when it comes to crossovers.

Spend some time getting to know the automatic transmission and you’ll likely agree that it delivers a smooth, pleasing driving experience.

Similarly, the cornering feel is tactile and precise. Steering on uneven ground remains consistent and just like the less powerful 2.0-liter model, the 2.5-liter version is nothing if not fun to drive.

Better still, the larger engine won’t end up costing that extra arm and leg you’ve been saving for a rainy day.

There is no entry-level Sport trim for models equipped with the new 2.5-liter engine, meaning that at $26,660 for the Touring trim, it’s only about $2,000 more than a comparable 2.0-liter model.

True, pricing can run all the way up to $29,665 for the Grand Touring trim, though it comes with standard 19-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, rain sensing wipers, Bose speakers, heated seats, dual-zone climate control and more.


2014 Mazda CX-5 01

With only a year under its belt, the body receives no updates from last year, and doesn’t need them. Sharp lines run along the body and a new-ish version of the Mazda five-point grille carries over.

Last year when the CX-5 debuted, it was the only car in Mazda’s lineup under the brand’s KODO styling direction. Starting in January 2013, the all-new Mazda6 joined its ranks, with more to come in the future.


Just like the new Mazda6, the 2014 CX-5 gets a few new technology features. The most important of those is probably the Smart City Brake system that can slow the car at low speeds in anticipation of a crash.

It comes as part of the $1,485 tech package and uses a laser sensor mounted above the windshield to sense objects the car might hit. If you don’t react, the car will for you.


2014 Mazda CX-5 07Otherwise the cabin remains unchanged. Mazda’s interior quality remains on par with what brand stoics have come to expect: quality.

You won’t find the level of fancy in-car telematics that rivals offer and you also won’t find a center stack bristling with confusing options. Instead, it’s refreshingly simply with the same Tom Tom-based navigation system. If you so choose, downloadable voices like Homer Simpson can even direct you through the “dohs” of driving in unfamiliar territory.

An accent panel runs the width of the dashboard, and there are plenty of places to put your wallet, cell phone and snacks.


2014 Mazda CX-5 05

Mazda’s updated small crossover keeps everything that made it great during last year’s debut while addressing key complaints.
The larger 2.5-liter engine makes driving with kids and cargo a more reasonable proposition. With a reasonable price difference, minimally compromised fuel efficiency and added power, the 2.5-liter CX-5 is the option to take in most cases.

« Back

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.


2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked