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2014 Mazda CX-5

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2014 Mazda CX-5 Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 8.3

The 2014 CX-5 is Mazda's impressive entry in the compact SUV segment, where it competes with veterans like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape. Introduced for 2013, the CX-5 is the first vehicle designed from the ground up using Mazda's Skyactiv technologies aimed at marrying efficiency and performance. The CX-5 offers both, along with value and advanced safety features. Fun-to-drive manners are seldom associated with SUVs, but the CX-5 has those, too. If there was one fly in the 2013 CX-5's ointment, it was modest power output. Mazda has addressed that for 2014 with an available engine that is more potent yet still fuel-thrifty. In the face of formidable rivals, the CX-5 endears with a scrappy nature akin to David vs. multiple Goliaths. That's why we named it one of the 10 Best SUVs Under $25,000 for 2014.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want a 5-passenger SUV that offers great looks, playful driving manners, impressive technology and good value, the 2014 Mazda CX-5 deserves a test-drive. That it boasts class-leading fuel economy of up to 35 mpg feels like icing on an already tasty cake.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Base versions of the CX-5 with the smaller engine still sacrifice power in return for increased fuel economy. And while the CX-5 has one of the best manual transmissions we've tested in an SUV, it's only available on the base, front-wheel-drive (FWD) version that is the most lacking in features.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 8.3
  • 8.3
  • 7.0
  • 9.2
  • 8.3
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#2

out of 11

Fuel Economy

#10

out of 11

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

8.8 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2014 Mazda CX-5 Low/wide front photo What's New for 2014

The biggest news for 2014 is the more powerful 2.5-liter engine in Touring and Grand Touring models of the Mazda CX-5. On the safety front, the CX-5 is available with Smart City Brake Support, which can automatically stop the car in lower-speed situations when a collision appears imminent.

Driving the CX-5
2014 Mazda CX-5 Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions 2014 Mazda CX-5 Sport models with the 2.0-liter engine have just adequate power and acceleration – not quite the Zoom-Zoom that Mazda prides itself on. Better is the 2.5-liter Skyactiv...

4-cylinder engine standard in Touring and Grand Touring models. Its higher horsepower and torque are just what the CX-5 needed. This more potent CX-5 still won't outgun a Kia Sportage turbo or Subaru Forester turbo, but it easily stays in step with rivals like the Honda CR-V and offers good off-the-line acceleration. Drivers willing to shift for themselves – and who won't mind a lack of creature comforts – will be rewarded with one of the best manual transmissions we've used in an SUV. With the short-throw 6-speed manual, the CX-5 is even more fun to drive, and this trim's lighter weight adds to its nimbleness. With a manual transmission this good, we wish it weren't restricted to the basest of CX-5 models.

SMART CITY BRAKE SUPPORT
Automatic braking systems are usually reserved for luxury cars, so it's refreshing to see one in a mid-$20,000 mainstream SUV. At speeds of 3 to 19 mph – as in heavy traffic with potential for driver distraction – the system automatically applies the brakes if its laser senses an impending collision.

SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY
The name may be marketing, but the results are real: zippy performance without penalty to fuel economy. More than just advanced engine technology, Skyactiv emphasizes lightweight materials, aerodynamic bodies and even improved vehicle structure integrity for improved safety.

2014 Mazda CX-5 Details
2014 Mazda CX-5 Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

Inside the 2014 Mazda CX-5 are two rows of seats that hold up to five passengers. Cloth is the standard seat fabric in Sport and Touring models, while top-line Grand Touring models are graced with well-bolstered leather. Rear legroom is generous and is comfortable for two adults. Behind the rear seat is a commendable 34.1 cubic feet of storage space, enough to hold plenty of groceries or several suitcases. That room nearly doubles with the seats folded, a task easily performed with a single button. Dash controls for setting audio and climate features are easy to find and use.

Exterior
2014 Mazda CX-5 photo

The CX-5 is the first Mazda to embody the automaker's "Kodo – Soul of Motion" styling. Fancy language aside, the 2014 CX-5 is defined curves that are both elegant and muscular. Viewed from the side, the CX-5 has a slightly forward stance that makes it appear athletic, ready to pounce. A standard rear roof spoiler and dual rear exhaust outlets add more visual cues to the CX-5's peppy nature. Even the base Sport model comes clad in 17-inch wheels, with Grand Touring models dressed in even larger 19-inch aluminum-alloys. An optional roof rack can add functionality for securing gear on all models.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2014 Mazda CX-5 is available in three trims: Sport, Touring and, at the top, Grand Touring. The base Sport version is well equipped with push-button start, 4-speaker AM/FM/CD/USB audio, cruise control and 17-inch wheels, but the Touring and Grand Touring models offer really impressive features for the money. The Touring model comes with the more powerful 2.5-liter engine, blind-spot monitoring, Bluetooth, 6-speaker audio with HD Radio, a rearview camera, and a 5.8-inch color display. Grand Touring models add leather, 9-speaker Bose audio, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and 19-inch alloy wheels. Stability/traction control, antilock brakes, and front, side and side-curtain airbags are all standard.

Optional Equipment

All CX-5 models except the base Sport version with manual transmission can be had with traction-enhancing all-wheel drive (AWD). Packages and options vary by trim. Sport models with automatic transmissions can get a Bluetooth package that includes HD and Pandora Internet radio, and a 5.8-inch color screen. The Smart City Brake Support system is available on Touring and Grand Touring models, as is navigation, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, high-intensity discharge headlights, and adaptive front lighting. Other options available on various models include front and rear parking sensors, a trailer hitch, and fog lights, keyless entry, and SiriusXM satellite radio.

Under the Hood
2014 Mazda CX-5 Engine photo

For 2014, two engine choices are offered in the Mazda CX-5 crossover SUV. Sport models feature Mazda's 155-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder mated to great-feeling a 6-speed manual transmission or a smooth 6-speed automatic. Touring and Grand Touring versions of the 2014 CX-5 come with a more powerful 2.5-liter 4-cylinder and the 6-speed automatic. All-wheel drive can be had in place of front-wheel drive on all models except a Sport with the manual transmission. Both CX-5 engines are advanced, using higher compression rates to literally squeeze the most energy out of gasoline. Thankfully, unlike other highly advanced engines, those in the 2014 CX-5 run on regular, 87-octane unleaded. Towing capacity is rated at a maximum of 2,000 pounds for all CX-5 models. No word yet on the chance of a diesel CX-5 coming to the U.S.

2.0-liter inline-4
155 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
150 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy:
26/35 mpg (manual transmission, FWD)
26/32 mpg (automatic, FWD)
25/31 mpg (automatic, AWD)

2.5-liter inline-4
184 horsepower @5,700 rpm
185 lb-ft of torque @ 3,250
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/32 mpg (FWD), 24/30 mpg (AWD)

Even on models with Mazda's new and more powerful engine, prices for the 2014 CX-5 have risen only a few hundred dollars compared to last year's model. A base CX-5 Sport with manual transmission opens just a hair under $22,000. With an automatic transmission, that price increases by $1,400. Mid-level Touring models start around $25,400, and top-line Grand Touring models open around $28,400 and reach into the low $30,000 range when loaded. Adding all-wheel drive to any of the trims costs $1,250. While the 2014 Mazda CX-5 isn't the least expensive in the segment, it offers a lot of value – and intangibles such as driving dynamics – for the money. Kia's Sportage and Hyundai's Tucson undercut the CX-5's base price by a couple thousand, while the CX-5's base price is in line with rivals such as Honda the CR-V and Ford Escape, and is slightly below the recently revamped Toyota RAV4. Before buying, check KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price below to see what others in your area are paying for the CX-5. The CX-5's residual value is expected to be good, but not quite as high as the CR-V, RAV4 and Tucson.

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2014 Mazda CX-5 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 108 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.7/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

Awesome Ride! Sweet Exterior! Fun to Drive!

By on Sunday, June 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,910

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Priced right! Fun to drive! Plenty of room!"

Cons: "Took a lot of time for 1st to 2nd gear break-in."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Purchased April 2012 the 2013 Model. I looked for 6 months before deciding on the Mazda CX5 and I'm glad I waited. Given that I keep my vehicles 12 or more years, I was pretty discerning in my selection. I was looking specifically for a manual transmission (hard to find these days) because they have fewer issues than manual transmissions overall(any maker). I'm not disappointed with Mazda. I traded a 2001 Toyota Corolla because I was looking for an SUV and this model fit the bill on every level. Gas mileage on my trip from CA to CO exceeded 35MPG even with the AC on in the middle of August. Around town and back and forth to work 22-25 MPG. Lots of compliments on the body design. Not the right fit for a growing family, but great for a family of 4. I've not experienced any paint pitting issues mentioned by some reviewers, but that might be a regional thing (snow/gravel/salt)."

16 people out of 28 found this review helpful

I Still love my mazda cx5

By on Thursday, June 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "fun to drive and fuel efficency"

Cons: "bit less power"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"its very practical car for your family or trip and its very very fuel efficency car that save alot of money on gas.next time i will buy new mazda 6 or 3 for sure."

9 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Great vehicle. Very pleased.

By on Saturday, May 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Value, ride, look and feel, safety features"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Looked at many SUV's. Really like RDX, but in the end bought the CX-5. FWD, Grand Touring model is a great vehicle. Solid feel, handles well, good gas mileage ( about 28 mpg), many nice features. I have owned Mazda's previously and they are very dependable. Overall just feel like I got a really nice vehicle for my money. Nice car inside and out!"

10 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Great car-chassis suv/crossover

By on Saturday, May 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "great gas mileage, good design"

Cons: "not much pep in first gear"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This car has been great for us this past year. The 3 way split backseat is handy, dash and steering wheel controls are nicely designed. The alt input, usb plugs and bluetooth were updgrades from my old truck. It is slow to cross roads from stop so don't pop in front of traffic, and it's a bit noisy on the highway. I'm sure to keep it light they put less insulation. But we picked it for mileage first, looks great, and does what we bought it to do. Baby seats fit, but sometimes we had to adjust the front seats forward a bit where we wouldn't otherwise. Might need a larger car later, but it's perfect for us now."

8 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Great all purpose vehicle and fun to drive

By on Monday, May 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Handling, gas mileage, reliability, looks"

Cons: "rear seat fold down issues, dust collecting dash"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I purchased the 2014 touring model at the end of 2014. I drive about 40000 miles per year with most of the miles on the highway. I was considering the CRV and the Ford Escape. I ruled the Escape out when my neighbor told me about 3 long recalls he had. The CRV didn't have the pep or road handling of the CX5 but the back laid down better than the CX5. The gas mileage rating was slightly better than the others and with more power it seemed like a good deal for my long trips and drives in the mountains. Actual mileage is significantly affected by speed around 32 at 65, 30-31 at 70 and around 35 at 55mph. This is likely because of the relatively high profile(wind resistance). When I make many short trips with startups I get about 25mpg. Reliability is great, handling amazing for an SUV and economy very good. I carry a lot of camping gear and it has great cargo space. I like the dark windows in the rear. It cloaks the stuff in the back a bit. The blind spot monitor is great and I like the backup camera, though an backup proximity alarm would be good. I put a rubber mat in the back and really don't notice the road noise people mention. A couple minor items is the top of the dash seems to be a dust magnet and is hard to clean. The passing visibility is ok but could be better. The ride is a bit hard over bumps because of the relatively tight suspension. The back seat cannot fold down when the front seat is fully back and the rear headrests are on. I will look at similar cars in another 2 years but there is a high probability I will buy another CX5"

25 people out of 27 found this review helpful

So Far, So Good!

By on Saturday, May 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,300

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Value for the money, fun to drive, good mileage"

Cons: "Rearward visiblity"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I knew I wanted to replace my 2011 Mini Cooper with an SUV. I did a lot of shopping/test driving of small SUVs, and eventually came to the conclusion that the CX-5 was the best value for the $$$. I bought a fully loaded AWD GT Tech package version. I bought the Mazda because it is not as common as the RAV4, CRV, Escape & Equinox. I felt that it handled better, looked better, and was overall more fun to drive. My mileage is spot on as to what the EPA estimates are. Also, the AWD system is top notch. It was put to good use over the tough winter of 2014."

14 people out of 15 found this review helpful

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