Life inside the Slightly Speedier Lane
An antidote of these acceleration ills is here by way of Mazda’s higher, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which arrives common on the Touring and Grand Touring models for the 2014 model year. (The 2.0-liter goes on inside the Sport trim and, unlike the 2.5, that is obtainable simply with a six-speed auto, could become specific with a six-speed manual.) Although bigger by half a liter, a latest mill bumps output by 29 horsepower and 35 lb-ft of torque. So lucky, 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 certain, but at the expense of some mpg.
Our long-term 2013 CX-5 Touring AWD with the 2.0-liter and automatic offers averaged a great 28 mpg in mixed driving, but the 2014 2.5-liter test car returned only 21 mpg. Full disclosure: About 40 % from the mileage in our 2.5-liter test car was built up in foot-to-the-floor, no-quarter-given driving from the backwoods of northern Michigan. More restraint in the accelerator could yield results closer to the certified EPA combined quantity of 26 mpg. Both engines are rated to tow about 2000 pounds, adequate tugging power for personal watercraft and small cargo trailers.
However the numbers only tell 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 little an instigator, cutting and running in traffic situations where the base car would best hold out for the wider opening. All the chassis goodness in the 2.0-liter CX-5 remains, and the linear response and feedback in the electrically assisted steering are arguably finest in class. This is a well-balanced, cogently damped package that follows through on turn-in 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.