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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.

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
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 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

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)

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2014 Mazda CX-5 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 194 Ratings for the 2013 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

Has been a great car.

By on Saturday, April 02, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "great gas mileage, fun to drive"

Cons: "quality of carpet & seats need to be upgraded"

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

"Other than some minor cosmetic issues with trim, it has been a very reliable and fun to drive vehicle. Has great get up and go and handles very well. A gasket around the drivers door has let loose and it hangs down. (Actually talked to another CX5 owner with the same problem.) Front passenger seat has upholstery fabric ends popping out of the side of the seat. Wish they offered more interior color options. Disappointed in the carpeting, as it seems like more of a heavy felt than carpet and is hard to remove dirt."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Everyday Fun for the Price

By on Thursday, March 31, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,226

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Drives great, Good Navigation & Easy Media Access"

Cons: "High engine noise on highways."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Drives and handles like German mid size SUV. Engine noise at high RPM is annoying especially at highway, have to increase the Stereo volume to avoid it (better than CR-V/Forester/Outback). Bose Stereo systems sounds like high quality fake Bose, still better than most but don't expect the best. Good for everyday drive to work and having occasional fun after a bad day at work. I get under normal mixed driving gas mileage average around 25.5MPG (with city 22 and Highway at 29), don't expect anything above 27.5MPG. Windshield cracks easily even with a small chip and requires iActive system calibration every time you replace the Windshield (one more annoying factor). Seating is surprisingly comfortable even on long drives, but not for your knees if you are taller than 6ft (have to stretch often). Breaking is really good and stops like a Sedan (Definitely better than Rav4 or Rogue). In a Nutshell - Overall I liked the vehicle with above said drawbacks. With my affordability I am compromised to what I really want."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Can't stand the ride

By on Sunday, March 13, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 900

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "zippy engine, nice radio and bluetooth sound"

Cons: "Stiff ride and highly uncomfortable front seats"

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

"The 18 inch wheels make for a very stiff ride, and that coupled with the most uncomfortable seat ever and a head restraint that pushes my head forward causing extreme neck pain cause me to HATE this car. I have only about 800 miles on it and I cannot get comfortable in the driver's seat and I'm trying to figure out how to unload it and get another car...maybe a CRV that has a smooth ride and comfortable driver's seat. I deeply regret buying this torture chamber."

8 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Very attractive elegant car!

By on Sunday, March 06, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 450

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, looks very beautiful and luxurious"

Cons: "none"

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

"Ever since I saw the Mazda CX-5 it was very beautiful and luxurious. The look reminds me of a BMW. I couldn't be happier for the purchase I have made! I received the AMD touring with the tan/sand cloth interior and titanium flash exterior!! Extremely gorgeous in all types of light! I would recommend this car to anyone looking for a compact crossover SUV. It is not big but not small either, its just perfect. The seats are very comfortable and the steering is firm but user friendly. The cabin noise is a lot better than I the reviews I have seen on youtube. I would recommend not taking the cons on youtube reviews very serious!The only way to see for yourself is to actually go to a car dealership and look at the car. You will be very surprised on how amazing this car is. The back seat leg room and space is more than enough for this kind of car."

8 people out of 8 found this review helpful

I hate this car. I want my Hummer back.

By on Wednesday, March 02, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
1/10

Cons: "Dog hair magnet and terrible at listening to music"

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

"I test drove many cars and when I bought one, I thought it had stuff in it. I didn't even get the window sticker so I could look. The dash board is made out of tires, and the upholstery is made of some fabric that dog hair is attracted to. The air conditioning doesn't get to the back seat. I hate it! I'd give anything to get my Hummer back. Maybe I should've bought a Subaru . More friendlly with dogs, less bumpy, and had a good sound system."

1 person out of 29 found this review helpful

2013 Mazda CX5 6 speed Manual

By on Friday, February 19, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

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
7/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "great mileage, fun and reliable"

Cons: "A bit of road noise in the base model interior"

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

"I have owned this car since July of 2012. I was looking for great mileage, good creature features and a manual transmission. I have been very very happy with this car. I average 7 liters per 100k, it is comfortable and very reliable. I live in the North and drive in all weather conditions. The manual transmission performs perfectly on ice and snow and is a ton of fun on dry pavement. The manual transmission is only available on the base model so no fun things like heated seats and extra noise dampening in the cab. Over all. I would recommend this vehicle."

8 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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