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2014 Mazda CX-5 Review & Test Drive

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2014 Mazda CX5 Beauty Right Done Small

‘A FASTER ZOOM ZOOM CX-5’

For the 2014 model year Mazda holds up to its famous ‘Zoom Zoom’ philosophy by increasing the size, horsepower and torque of its best-selling CX-5 sport utility vehicle.  The new inline four-cylinder engine now generates a healthier 184hp at 5,700 rpm and 185 lb.ft. of torque at just 3,250 rpm.  This all-aluminum, DOHC engine features advanced direct injection, S-VT variable valve timing on the intake and exhaust.  It also features a high 13:1 compression ratio and a uniquely crafted 4-2-1 exhaust system with dual exhaust outlets.  This new SKYACTIV-G 2.5 engine still maintains the fuel economy threshold of 25 mpg/city and 32 mpg/highway.  The engine is paired with a SKYACTIV Drive six-speed automatic sport-tuned (short shift strokes) transmission with sequential shifting to get you moving quickly.  Standard dynamic stability control and traction control help to minimize torque steer when launching quickly, or when accelerating to pass slower moving traffic on the highway.  This new powertrain is a seamless combination of power coming through as you need it.

2014 Mazda CX5 Engine Done Small

The new 2014 CX-5 Grand Touring rides and handles like an upscale sport sedan with its fully independent sport-tuned suspension and rigid body structure using lightweight, high-tensile steel.  Up front is a MacPherson strut setup with coil springs, twin-tube shocks and a stabilizer bar.  The rear features a multi-link setup with coil springs, twin-tube shocks and a stabilizer bar.  The industry is changing over to electric power steering and the Mazda’s system benefits from a strut tower brace over the engine that gives you quick, precise response to your steering inputs as you easily maneuver around slow city traffic and when driving through curving roads.  The CX-5 also comes standard with Hill Launch Assist.

2014 Mazda CX5 Beauty Rear LA Done Small

Slowing down behind the wheel of the new 2014 CX-5 is easy with four-wheel, power assisted steel disc brakes.  Up front are 11.7 inch vented discs and 11.9 inch solid discs in the rear.  Each disc is clamped with single-piston calipers and your control during braking is enhanced with standard ABS, EBD and BA.

The new Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring rides on large, 19X7 inch aluminum alloy wheels wrapped with Toyo 225/55R19 inch A23 all-season performance tires for a smooth ride and excellent grip.

2014 Mazda CX5 Beauty Side LA Done Small

The exterior design mirrors its sporting mechanicals under the sheet metal with Mazda’s current design language known as KODO, or ‘Soul of Motion’.  KODO gets its inspiration from nature-in its most calm and most furious times.  My Soul Red Metallic painted CX-5 comes with a black contrasting full-length lower bodykit to lower its center of gravity enhancing its handling capabilities and gives the truck a more sporty appearance.  Its sculptured body is taut and compact yet muscular.  Shapely flared front and rear fenders hug the 19X7 inch wheels and tires projecting an aggressive look from the side and the black full-perimeter strip around the greenhouse further portrays an aggressive look.  No chrome bling here.

2014 Mazda CX5 Beauty Left Up Done Small

The front fascia features black trapezoidal grille patterns that add muscular depth while the new familial five-point ‘signature wing’ extends its striking chrome into the angular wraparound HID headlamps of the Grand Touring edition.  At the top of the flared fenders begins a pronounced crease, which curves and twistingly darts across the side panels, eventually readjusting to wrap itself around the new LED stylized taillamps.  All of this expression of motion in the sheet metal, the rounded surfaces befitted with edgy creases, are as much for finesse as they are for function.  The sharply raked A-pillars are matched by the angles of the fastback design of the C-pillar and rear window, topping a dynamic profile, which also gives all occupants one of the widest fields of view of any compact SUV in the segment.  CX-5’s exterior design was developed to create optimal airflow, making the overall shape as smooth as possible.  This not only helped it achieve high fuel economy, but also kept wind noise to a minimum.  All models equipped with the rear spoiler mounted up top of the liftgate not only aids in the CX-5’s already exceptional low aerodynamic drag (0.33), one of the lowest in its segment, but is also complements its aggressive looks.  The rear also features an aluminum step-up bumper top and dual, polished stainless steel exhaust tips.  Just one look and you know that this new CX-5 is a Mazda and ready to Zoom, Zoom, Zoom.

2014 Mazda CX5 Dashboard Done Small

The inside of my test CX-5 Grand Touring was loaded with the latest in luxury, convenient, infotainment and safety systems.  The front leather trimmed and 8-way power-adjustable/heated, sport bucket seats were comfortable and very supportive.  The rallye instrument cluster is easy to see and understand with its trip-computer readouts in the center of the 160mph speedometer.  The leather wrapped, tilt/telescopic steering wheel is the right size and adjusts for the perfect reach and angle.  You are surrounded by high-quality leather, aluminum chrome trim and black piano veneer.  The dual cockpit layout features a center console with dual cupholders, and a storage box with padded armrest.  The audio and dual-zone climate control buttons and switches are within easy reach of both the driver and passenger.  The rear 60/40 split bench seat features a pull-down center armrest with dual cupholders.  The split seats easily fold forward to a variety of seating and storage configurations by pulling a lever in the rear cargo hold.  Standard equipment in my test CX-5 Grand Touring SUV included five-passenger seating, power windows/door locks with driver side express up/down, remote keyless entry, push button start/stop, Bose AM-FM-CD with eight speakers HD radio, auxiliary jack for USB input, Bluetooth, iPod, 5.8 inch color touch screen display, rearview camera, power-remote/heated outside mirrors, self-dimming rearview mirror, dual illuminated vanity mirrors, grab handles above each door, carpeted floormats, foglamps, rear privacy glass, variable rain-sensing wipers/washers, rear wiper/washer, power moonroof, cruise-control and dual map lights.

2014 Mazda CX5 Front Seats Done Small

Standard safety features include 5-passenger 3-point safety belts with front pretensioners/load limiters, LATCH system for child seats, anti-theft engine immobilizer, tire pressure monitoring system, blind spot monitoring, advanced dual-stage front airbags, front side-impact airbags, front/rear side-curtain airbags, and SKYACTIVE Body-Ring safety structure.

2014 Mazda CX5 Rear Seats Done Small

My loaded CX-5 Grand Touring came with the following options-rear bumper guard, retractable cargo cover, Sirius satellite radio, navigation system, HID headlamps with auto leveling and adaptive turning, Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry System, HomeLink and Smart City Brake Support.

The new 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring sport utility vehicle lives up to the fabled Mazda name with aggressive looks, performance and power to back it up with the luxury, comfort, convenience, connectivity, infotainment, and safety systems inside that makes it one of the best all-around small sport utility vehicles on the market.

COPYRIGHT: 2013: HARVEY SCHWARTZ

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: $27,620.00-base Grand Touring/$29,865.00 as tested
  • Engine: SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter 4-cylinder DOHC 184 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm / 185 lb.ft. of torque @ 3,250 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 106.3 inches
  • Total length: 178.7 inches
  • Total width: 72.4 inches
  • Total height: 65.7 inches
  • Track: f/r-62.4/62.5 inches
  • Ground clearance: 8.5 inches
  • Headroom: f/r-40.1/39 inches
  • Legroom: f/r-41/39.3 inches
  • Turning circle: 36.7 ft.
  • EPA passenger volume: 103 cu.ft.
  • EPA Cargo volume: 34.1-behind rear seats, 65.4 cu.ft. behind the front row
  • Fuel tank: 14.8 gallons
  • Curb weight: 3,375 pounds
  • Towing: 2,000 pounds
  • EPA mileage: 25mpg/city, 32mpg/highway

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