2014 Mazda CX-5
Sales of the Mazda CX-5 compact crossover more than doubled in 2013, following the introduction of a more powerful SkyActiv 2.5-liter four-cylinder for the top two trim levels.
The little CX-5 has certainly caught buyer attention since it replaced the CX-7 in the Mazda lineup about two years ago. In terms of overall market share earned versus the heavy hitters, this small SUV has been a runaway success in a way that still eludes the handsome Mazda6 midsize sedan.
On track to move 70,000-plus units this year in the U.S., the CX-5’s popularity shows the brilliance of Mazda’s entry into the exploding segment at the right time, with the right style and the right price. This five-seater offers all-wheel drive and sprint stats as low as 7.2 seconds to 60 mph for the latest engine and six-speed transmission combo.
The value-priced CX-5 Sport now comes standard with an extra gear ratio in its manual gearbox, but sees base pricing jump to $21,000 for the cheapest entry in the front or AWD range. Even with this price increase of about $1,000 versus last year, the CX-5’s 26 mpg city and 35 mpg highway numbers still make life very difficult for traditional economy cars like the Dodge Dart and Hyundai Elantra.
This means some really handsome, fresh and tasteful styling to wrap a roomy and practical five-seat cabin.
Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Mazda CX-5, with detailed information about the enhanced performance of the new 2.5-liter powerplant upgrade.
2014 Mazda CX-5
Transmission:5-Speed Manual (Auto Opt.)
Horsepower @ RPM:155 @ 6000
Torque @ RPM:150 @ 4000
Energy:Direct Gasoline Injection
0-60 time:8.9 sec.
Top Speed:122 mph
Layout:Front-engine, Front-drive (AWD Opt.)
What makes the CX-5 so handsome, especially versus the equally-sophisticated new styles from the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport and Hyundai Sante Fe Sport? The small crossover segment is lousy with brand-new competitors – all trying to lure sedan shoppers with the promise of AWD traction and lifestyle adventures outdoors.
As the TopGear TV boys joked on Sunday, the 30-plus mini SUV models available really can seem interchangeable to many eyes.
The design of the CX-5 blends sharp-angled shaping to the lights, grille and air vents with a soft and flowing theme for the sculpted fenders and rising panel swage lines. There is none of the somewhat vulgar exaggerated front fender flare as seen on the previous Mazda6, and the pointed-grille design strikes the perfect note. Its full-frame size matches the best luxury makes, while its vertical angle and inner detailing has a distinct touch of BMW.
As with the new 3 Beries BMW, the chrome grille edges flare outward into the pinched headlight graphics. The lights are sharply raked with a single projector beam lamp. This is halogen-powered until the top Grand Touring trim level, which brings bi-xenon lighting.
Even the missing fog lamps on the base Sport trim do not hurt the Mazda’s sharp appearance and planted stance. Also refined was the previous Mazda3-style smiling grille face, replaced by a more serious but still playful character.
All CX-5’s share extensive amounts of grey plastic for the lower sills and fenders, helping the cheapo trims feel just as stylish as the $30,000 ones.
In profile, the CX-5 is marked out by an upright windshield and long-looking hood, especially versus the latest RAV4’s raked glass and short, pointy nose. From the rear three-quarter angle, a set of slim and pinched taillights stands proud of the rear panels and gives some 3D feel to the vehicle design.
Large CX-5 letters look cool when paired with the gigantic “flying M” emblems on this generation of Mazda’s. The rear glasshouse is sharply tailored behind the back doors, which emphasizes the large flowing graphics that run up the sides of the car.
Everything about the back view of the CX-5 seems well-designed and satisfying. The creases and shut lines are all logical and the eye can trace over the structural lines in the diffuser, tailgate plate area and roof shape.
The same purity of exterior design is largely absent from the Toyota RAV4, whose new design direction brings funky creases and technical accents that are not as easy on the eye.
Both the Mazda and Toyota are available with a variety of eye-popping paint colors, but only the CX-5 still seems premium and interesting when painted white, grey and silver. In these basic colors, the interesting parts of the Toyota design can just disappear.
2014 Mazda CX-5 – Exterior Dimensions:
|Track - Front (in.)||62.5|
|Track - Rear (in.)||62.4|
|Weight (Pounds)||3415 2.0L (3532 2.5L)|
2014 Mazda CX-5 – Standard Exterior Features:
- Halogen headlights
- 17-inch alloy wheels
- Spoiler, rear roof fin
- Antenna, roof-mounted shark fin
- LED Brake light - high-mount, interior-type (top of rear window)
- Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
- Mirrors (Side) - driver & passenger electric remote control, body color with turn signal lamps
2014 Mazda CX-5 – Optional Exterior Features:
- Grand Touring Package: 19-inch Alloy Wheels, Power sliding-glass moonroof, Heated side mirrors, Rain-sensing windshield wipers
- Clear Film Front Paint Protection Package ($595)
- Clear Film Rear Bumper Top Protection ($75)
- Roof Rack Side Rails ($250)
- Remote Engine Start: A/T Only ($525)
- Fog Lights for Sport Model ($350)
- Rear Parking Sensors ($475)
- Rear Bumper Guard ($100)
- Trailer Hitch Receiver ($425)
- Wheel Locks ($55)
Based on the CX-5’s trim style and relatively light curb weight, the logical assumption would be that this crossover must be tiny inside. In fact, that is far from the truth and the CX-5 battles it out inch by inch with the larger Escape and CR-V for most roominess totals.
The front seats feel sporty and premium, thanks to a vertical dash face and wide center console with integrated armrest. There is plenty of room all around but the black trim that is standard on non-Sport CX-5’s is a bit dark for some moods.
The standard tan cloth helps to lighten the interior but still comes paired with the handsome jet-black dash and trim accents. The biggest change when moving up the trim levels is the standard automatic transmission that comes on all the AWD cars, plus as standard on the FWD Touring and Grand Touring.
Only the FWD CX-5 Sport benefits from the new six-speed box, which replaces the previous five-speed manual. The Sport’s auto box also grows to six ratios this year from five before.
The CX-5 has a wonderful steering wheel shape that pairs some silver spokes with a deep central boss and compact airbag. It looks great and helps establish the car’s sporty demeanor right from the first corner.
The CX-5 has great cargo stats and a standard folding back seat. The pricey trims trade a 60/40 split seatback for a 40/20/40 design that is better able to carry skis with four people on board.
2014 Mazda CX-5 – Interior Dimensions:
|Front Seating Capacity||2|
|Rear Seating Capacity||3|
|Headroom - Front (in.)||40.1|
|Headroom - Rear (in.)||39|
|Legroom - Front (in.)||41|
|Legroom - Rear (in.)||39.3|
|Shoulder Room - Front (in.)||57.5|
|Shoulder Room - Rear (in.)||55.5|
|Hip Room - Front (in.)||55.2|
|Hip Room - Rear (in.)||53.7|
|EPA Cargo Volume (cubic-feet)||34.1|
|EPA Cargo Volume - Seats Folded (cubic-feet)||64.8|
2014 Mazda CX-5 – Standard Interior Features:
- 5.8-inch color touch screen, Bluetooth-enabled connectivity, SIRIUS Satellite Radio with 4-month subscription, HD Radio Technology and Pandora integration (Touring and Grand Touring only)
- Push-button start
- Power windows with driver-side one-touch up/down feature
- Tilt / telescopic adjustable steering wheel
- 12V power outlets (2 Front / 1 Cargo area)
- Audio system Automatic Level Control (ALC)
- Audio auxiliary jack & USB connection ports
- Steering wheel-mounted audio & cruise controls
- Split fold-down second row
2014 Mazda CX-5 – Optional Interior Features:
- Sport trim Bluetooth Audio Package ($400)
- Touring trim Bose/Moonroof Package ($1,130): Bose Centerpoint 9-speaker Surround Sound System with AudioPilot
- Touring trim Technology Package - Requires Bose/Moonroof Pkg ($1,485): TomTom-based Navigation, Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry System, Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) system, rain-sensing wipers, bi-xenon HID headlmaps and auto-dimming rear-view mirror
- Grand Touring trim Technology Package ($1,625): TomTom-based Navigation, Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry System, Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) system, rain-sensing wipers, bi-xenon HID headlmaps and auto-dimming rear-view mirror
2014 Mazda CX-5 – Optional Interior Accessories:
- Cargo Mat, Carpet ($60)
- Cargo Net ($50)
- Cargo Tray ($75)
- Floor Mats, All-Weather ($100)
- Compass / Auto Dim Mirror w/ Homelink ($295)
- Retractable Cargo Cover ($200)
- Sirius Satellite Radio with 4-month Subscription ($525)
- Sport w/ Bluetooth Audio & Touring ($525)
- Door Sill Trim Plates ($125)
Drivetrain, Suspension and Brakes
There is a huge variety of performance across these various trim levels, with AWD typically adding almost a second to the 60-mph run and lopping a bit off the overall top speeds as well.
The figures are below, and show how much quicker the new 2.5-liter engine makes the CX-5 in daily driving. The larger engine is standard on Touring and GT trims, with 0-to-60 mph times of 7.2 seconds for the FWD cars and 7.9 seconds for the AWD models.
The speedier models suffer a big mpg loss on the highway, down to a still-good 30 mpg versus 35 for the base FWD manual. The base CX-5 is probably too slow for most eager drivers, however, and with AWD it saunters to 60 mph in boring 9.6 seconds.
2014 Mazda CX-5 – Mechanical Details:
|Trim Level||FWD CX-5 Sport||AWD CX-5 Sport||FWD CX-5 Touring/Grand Touring||AWD CX-5 Touring/Grand Touring|
|Engine Size and Type||2.0-liter 16-valve I-4 With Chain-Driven DOHC, Direct Injection And SkyActiv-G CVVT||2.0-liter 16-valve I-4 With Chain-Driven DOHC, Direct Injection And SkyActiv-G CVVT||2.5-liter 16-valve I-4 With Chain-Driven DOHC, Direct Injection And SkyActiv-G CVVT||2.5-liter 16-valve I-4 With Chain-Driven DOHC, Direct Injection And SkyActiv-G CVVT|
|Peak power (Horsepower)||155 @ 6000||155 @ 6000||184 @ 5700||184 @ 5700|
|Peak torque (Pound-feet)||150 @ 4000||150 @ 4000||185 @ 3250||185 @ 3250|
|Transmission||6-speed Manual, 6-Speed Automatic Opt.||6-speed Automatic||6-Speed Automatic||6-Speed Automatic|
|0-to-60 mph||8.9 seconds||9.6 seconds||7.2 seconds||7.8 seconds|
|Top Speed (mph)||122 mph||116 mph||126 mph||122 mph|
|EPA Fuel Economy MPG (City/Combined/Highway)||26/29/35 Manual, 26/29/32 Auto||25/28/31||25/27/32||24/26/30|
The CX-5 is a Top Safety Pick from IIHS and a five-star car from the NHTSA. Rarely, the CX-5 scores a perfect rating for all the NHTSA collision tests, and still ranks well with a four-star rollover safety rating as its only demerit.
The CX-5’s top trims include a backup camera and blind-spot assistance as standard, and a new active safety option appears in the 2014 Technology package: Smart City Brake Support. This radar-based system will automatically prevent a frontal collision by braking to a stop if it senses the driver is not aware of the stopped car ahead.
2014 Mazda CX-5 – Standard Safety Features:
- E911 auto emergency audio menu voice-command
- SKYACTIV-Body and SKYACTIV-Chassis: First mass-production vehicle to feature 1,800MPa ultra-high tensile steel
- Advanced dual front & front seat side airbags, plus side air curtains as well as rollover protection
- Side-impact door beams
- Hill Launch Assist
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
- Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) & Brake Assist
- Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)
- Traction Control System (TCS)
- Crushable brake pedal assembly
- Lower Anchors & Tethers for Children (LATCH)
- Rearview camera
- Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) system
- Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) system – opt.
2014 Mazda CX-5 – 2014 Prices:
|Mazda CX-5||2014 MSRP|
|CX-5 FWD Sport 2.0L - Manual||$21,195|
|CX-5 FWD Sport 2.0L - Auto||$22,595|
|CX-5 FWD Touring 2.5L- Auto||$24,615|
|CX-5 FWD Grand Touring 2.5L- Auto||$27,620|
|CX-5 AWD Sport 2.0L - Auto||$23,845|
|CX-5 AWD Touring 2.5L - Auto||$25,865|
|CX-5 AWD Grand Touring 2.5L- Auto||$28,870|
The new RAV4 is still a powerhouse in the sales arena, with a recent realignment to be a five-seater and four-banger exclusively, and leaving the seven-seater V-6 market to the larger Highlander.
The RAV4 shares its size and competition with the Ford Escape, but generally the Toyota and Mazda are much less premium and powerful than the top Escape Titanium specification.
The Sportage is also a handsome and crisply-styled crossover. It is a larger and wider car than the CX-5, with a cabin that has a number of extra features but feels less well-built than the CX-5 on the inside. The Sportage is scheduled for a slight refresh in mid 2014.
The CX-5 is the right car for the times, and the right blend of premium styling and crossover practicality mean it is the perfect sedan replacement.
On dealer lots and in leather-backed showroom chairs, consumers are far more excited about owning a frugal crossover with a high ride height and what they perceive is a more-premium image.
Unlike some base-trim competitors, the CX-5 is actually pretty respectable-looking even without the Touring and Grand Touring trim’s large central infotainment display. It comes standard wearing body-color bumpers and 17-inch alloy wheels; the budget CX-5 Sport is barely any missing style features from its pricier stable mates.
Economy and sporty manners were never the CX-5’s problem since its arrival two years ago, nor were there any complaints about its stunning efficiency.
Some grumbles did emerge about the dour and dark cockpits and a distinct lack of progress when drivers hit the gas. Just as quickly as it arrived, a larger engine and tech enhancements mean the CX-5 is finally at the top of its game.
Watch out, RAV4... the handsome, affordable and lively Mazda CX-5 is finally equipped to win serious sales volume from frugal crossover shoppers and people bored with normal sedans.
|Driving||B+||Tactile Electronic Power Steering Is Quick And Accurate|
|Performance||B||Larger Engine Still A SkyActiv Technical Marvel; And Quicker Of Course|
|Look||A-||Sporty Profile Hides Big Cabin; New Vertical Grille A Big Improvement|
|Value||A||$21,000 Performance-Car Secret With Snicky Six-Speed Manual|
|Overall||B+||Premium Styling And Fun Persona Help CX-5 Stand Tall Versus Sales Leaders|