2014 Mazda CX-5

Since its debut in 2013, the CX-5 impressed car lover with its assembly, fuel economy, styling, comfort and dynamics. The compact crossover is compelling, although its tepid power caused some indifference. Despite of this, we are hoping that the 2014 Mazda CX-5 will surpass its predecessor.

Crossovers like the 2014 Mazda CX-5 are a big part of the American vehicle market, due to the fact that they offer many interesting features, safety, a versatile layout and the parking footprint of a compact sedan. The CX-5 replaced the slightly larger CX-7 and the low-volume Mazda Tribute, aiming for the heart of the market. For 2014, the automaker decided to deal with the common complaint for the former model and add more power.

The 2014 Mazda CX-5 is powered by a new 2.5-liter four engine for the top two trims that offers 184 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque. The new engine has some interesting details and an undersquare design (89-mm bore, 100-mm stroke). The compression ratio is high at 13:1, but as its predecessor, the 2.5 requires regular unleaded fuel. Assembled on a line that has the capacity to accommodate four-cylinder engines ranging from 1.3 to 2.5 liters, the new engine has an unusual feature: the bore centers differ from one displacement to the other.

The 2014 Mazda CX-5 has an estimate of 8.3-to-8.4-seconds for 2.5 AWD models. Although this is not jaw-dropping, it is a great improvement from the previous model. The car’s responses are amplified and corner exits enhanced. Moreover, the 2.5 engine has top class EPA fuel-economy ratings: 25 city/32 highway for the front-wheel drive version and 24/30 for the all-wheel drive version.

Even if the 2014 Mazda CX-5 is impressive, there is a downside: the 2.5 engine is available only with six-speed automatic transmission. The 2.0 engine can be mated with a manual, but this arrangement is limited to the base Sport model. Drivers who want the 2.5 have to pay an extra $2000, but they should be aware of the fact that this engine is confined to the Touring and Grand Touring models with standard automatic. The mid-level Touring has some decent standard options, including a power driver’s seat, a split-folding rear seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a backup camera, blind-spot monitoring, Bluetooth, a premium audio system and fog lamps.

Besides the powerful engine, the 2014 Mazda CX-5 receives some small equipment and detail upgrades. The most notable one is Smart City Brake Support, a system which uses laser technology to prevent low speed collisions (maximum 19 mph) by hitting the breaks if the driver does not respond to the system warnings. Pricing for the 2.5-liter models opens with $25,410 for the Touring model. If you want the all-wheel drive, be prepared to pay at least $26,660.

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