Life inside the Gently Quicker Lane
An antidote for such acceleration ills is here by way of Mazda’s higher, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, that occurs standard within the Touring and Grand Touring models in the 2014 model year. (The 2.0-liter goes on inside the Sport trim and, unlike the 2.5, which is obtainable only with a six-speed auto, can still be specified having a six-speed manual.) Although bigger by half a liter, the recent mill bumps output by 29 horsepower and 35 lb-ft of torque. So endowed, our CX-5 cracked off a 7.6-second 0-to-60 time and knocked down the quarter in 15.8. Welcome improvements to be sure, but at the cost of a few mpg.
Our long-term 2013 CX-5 Touring AWD with the 2.0-liter and automatic has averaged a good 28 miles per gallon in mixed driving, nevertheless the 2014 2.5-liter test car returned only 21 mpg. Full disclosure: Around 40 % on the mileage in your 2.5-liter test car was gathered in foot-to-the-floor, no-quarter-given driving with the backwoods of northern Michigan. More restraint on the accelerator could yield results closer to the official EPA combined amount of 26 mpg. Both engines are rated to tow around 2000 pounds, sufficient tugging power for private watercraft and small cargo trailers.
However the numbers only tell an element of the story. Whereas the 155-hp, 2.0-liter CX-5 is a willing but weak companion, the 184-hp, 2.5-liter car is a bit of an instigator, cutting and running in traffic situations in which the base car would best wait for any wider opening. All the chassis goodness in the 2.0-liter CX-5 remains, and the linear response and feedback from the electrically assisted steering are arguably finest in class. This can be a well-balanced, cogently damped package that follows through on turn-in together with the routine predictability of a Michael Bay summer blockbuster.
Even though braking components are away from exotic-single-pot calipers all around, 11.7-inch vented front rotors and 11.9-inch solid rotors in back-Mazda has tuned the setup well, and our CX-5 2.5 stopped from 70 mph in 166 feet.
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