Living in the Slightly Quicker Street
An antidote for these acceleration ills is here in the form of Mazda’s bigger, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which comes typical within the Touring and Grand Touring models for the 2014 model year. (The 2.0-liter carries on inside the Sport trim and, unlike the 2.5, which is offered just with a six-speed auto, may still be specific using a six-speed manual.) Although bigger by half a liter, the new 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 assured, but at the expense of some mpg.
Our long-term 2013 CX-5 Touring AWD with the 2.0-liter and automatic offers averaged a great 28 miles per gallon in mixed driving, however the 2014 2.5-liter test car returned only 21 mpg. Full disclosure: About 40 % of the mileage within our 2.5-liter test car was gathered in foot-to-the-floor, no-quarter-given driving through the backwoods of northern Michigan. More restraint in the accelerator could yield results nearer to the authorized EPA combined number of 26 mpg. Both engines are rated to tow up to 2000 pounds, adequate tugging power for individual watercraft and small cargo trailers.
Although the numbers only tell 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 bit of an instigator, cutting and running in traffic situations that 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 best in class. This is a well-balanced, cogently damped package that follows through on turn-in along with the routine predictability of a Michael Bay summer blockbuster.
However 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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