2014 Mazda CX-5

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After taking a hit in 2011 and reporting huge losses, Mazda began to reshape an entirely new bloodline, starting with the CX-5. Last year it received an all new look and was the first Mazda designed wholly using the companies SkyActiv® efficiency philosophy.

Its sophisticated 2.0-liter 4-cylinder SkyActivc®-G engine delivers best in class EPA fuel economy at 26/35 mpg for the manual transmission, FWD and 26/32 mpg for the automatic transmission, FWD. All-wheel-drive is also available but expected fuel economy drops a notch to 25/31 mpg. Nonetheless, even if you had to have the AWD CX-5, its fuel economy ratings still trump its biggest rivals at the end of day.

The new Year brings with it a new available 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Power is increased to 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque with little effect to its estimated fuel economy. It is expected to return 25/32 with the front-wheel drive model and 24-30 with the all-wheel drive variant.

With a whole slew of good choices in the crossover segment like the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Kia Sportage and Toyota Rav4, you really can’t go wrong no matter which one you choose. None of these offer the compelling mix of courageous styling, an engaging driving experience and fuel-efficient engines quite like the Mazda CX-5 does though. This recipe makes the Mazda CX-5 a great option for those that seek an exciting yet thrifty crossover.

The 2014 Mazda CX-5 can be had in three trim levels- the Sport, Touring and Grand Touring that tops out just below 30 grand. No, the CX-5 doesn’t come with a mile long list of features and available creature comforts but in terms of usability and technology, it has the right amount in all the right places.

The well-equipped base Sport is the best deal of the bunch. It comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, push button start, cruise control and a 4-speaker sound system with a CD player, auxiliary audio jack and USB port. A Bluetooth® Audio package that includes Bluetooth® phone and audio connectivity, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, an upgraded sound system with HD radio and a 5.8-inch full color monitor is available.

Opting for the mid-level Touring CX-5 will add fog lamps, a six-way power adjustable driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, rear privacy glass and upgraded cloth upholstery and interior trims. Options include a moonroof and an upgraded nine-speaker Bose® surround sound system. It can also be ordered with the Touring Technology Package that includes an in-dash TomTom navigation system, rain-sensing wipers, an auto dimming rearview mirror with Homelink®, auto leveling Bi-Xenon HID headlights and an adaptive front lighting system.

The top-of-the-line Grand Touring gains standard equipment such as 19-inch alloy wheels, a moonroof, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, an eight-way power adjustable driver seat and the upgraded Bose® sound system as mentioned above. A Grand Touring Technology Package is available which will add the TomTom navigation system, adaptive Xenon headlights and an auto dimming rearview mirror.

Standard safety features include stability and traction control, antilock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist, a collapsible steering column, a foldaway brake pedal assembly, advanced front airbags, front side-impact airbags and side-impact air curtains. This year a collisions warning system is available. A blind spot monitoring system and rearview backup camera are standard on the Touring and Grand Touring while an antitheft perimeter alarm system is included with the available Technology Package.

 Styling; good fuel economy; exciting to drive

 Sound and navigation systems leave a bit to be desired for

 

Christine is a Contributing Editor at DriverPulse, a provider of online automotive editorial reviews and news. She is also an Account Manager and Head of Client Services for Nusani Media. She drinks a lot of coffee, loves to drive (manual, of course) and enjoys the company of her dog. She spends her free time exploring the great outdoors, painting and volunteering at her local animal shelter. Her passion for cars started at an early age. While most little girls were playing with dolls, she was playing with matchbox cars and watching her grandfather work on his prized Fords. She believes a vehicle should not only give you goosebumps while speeding around the circuit, its design should be purpose focused and elicit a pure emotional response. Her dream car, the Porsche Carrara GT, may not be easy to control however it is the perfect definition of form following function; mind blowing performance and beauty.

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