Living from the Gently Quicker Lane
An antidote of such acceleration ills is here in the form of Mazda’s higher, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, that comes regular within the Touring and Grand Touring models for the 2014 model year. (The 2.0-liter keeps on on the Sport trim and, unlike the 2.5, which is offered simply with a six-speed auto, may still be 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 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 thorough 28 mpg in mixed driving, although the 2014 2.5-liter test car returned only 21 mpg. Full disclosure: About 40 % with the mileage in our 2.5-liter test car was gathered in foot-to-the-floor, no-quarter-given driving in the backwoods of northern Michigan. More restraint with the accelerator could yield results nearer to the authorized EPA combined number of 26 mpg. Both engines are rated to tow around 2000 pounds, enough tugging power for individual watercraft and small cargo trailers.
Although 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 when the base car would best hold out for any wider opening. All the chassis goodness through the 2.0-liter CX-5 remains, and the linear response and feedback through 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.
Although the braking components are far 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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