Living within the Barely Speedier Lane
An antidote for such acceleration ills is here comprising of Mazda’s bigger, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which comes typical inside the Touring and Grand Touring models in the 2014 model year. (The 2.0-liter carries on inside the Sport trim and, unlike the 2.5, that is offered only with a six-speed auto, can still be specified 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 price of a few mpg.
Our long-term 2013 CX-5 Touring AWD with the 2.0-liter and automatic offers averaged a solid 28 miles per gallon in mixed driving, however the 2014 2.5-liter test car returned only 21 mpg. Full disclosure: About 40 percent on the mileage within our 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 nearer to the authorized EPA combined quantity of 26 mpg. Both engines are rated to tow nearly 2000 pounds, sufficient tugging power for private watercraft and small cargo trailers.
However the numbers only tell a part 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 that the base car would best wait for a wider opening. All the chassis goodness in the 2.0-liter CX-5 remains, along with the linear response and feedback from the electrically assisted steering are arguably best in class. This is a well-balanced, cogently damped package that follows through on turn-in along with the routine predictability on the Michael Bay summer blockbuster.
However the 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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