Living from the Slightly Speedier Street
An antidote for such acceleration ills has arrived by way of Mazda’s higher, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, that comes standard in the Touring and Grand Touring models for the 2014 model year. (The 2.0-liter goes on on the Sport trim and, unlike the 2.5, that is obtainable simply with a six-speed auto, can still become specific with a six-speed manual.) Although bigger by half a liter, a recent 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 cost of a bunch of mpg.
Our long-term 2013 CX-5 Touring AWD with the 2.0-liter and automatic has averaged a great 28 miles per gallon in mixed driving, although the 2014 2.5-liter test car returned only 21 mpg. Full disclosure: Approximately 40 % on the mileage inside 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 nearer to the official EPA combined number of 26 mpg. Both engines are rated to tow around 2000 pounds, adequate tugging power for private watercraft and small cargo trailers.
Although 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 little an instigator, cutting and running in traffic situations where the base car would best hold out for any wider opening. All the chassis goodness in the 2.0-liter CX-5 remains, plus the linear response and feedback with the electrically assisted steering are arguably finest in class. This can be a well-balanced, cogently damped package that follows through on turn-in with the routine predictability of the Michael Bay summer blockbuster.
Although the braking components are away from exotic-single-pot calipers all over, 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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