2014 Mazda CX-5 SUV Review & Ratings | Edmunds

2014 Mazda CX-5 SUV Review

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Edmunds Expert Review of the 2014 Mazda CX-5 SUV

  • A Edmunds Rating
  • In many ways, the 2014 Mazda CX-5 is quite a conventional compact crossover. However, its sharp styling and engaging driving experience set it apart from the pack.

  • Safety | Reliability | Rating Details
  • Pros

    Engaging driving experience; fuel-efficient engines; sharp styling.

  • Cons

    Mediocre electronics interface; subpar stereo sound quality.

  • What's New for 2014

    The Mazda CX-5 gets a welcome infusion of power for 2014 as the Touring and Grand Touring models get a bigger engine. Thankfully, fuel economy is barely affected. Other additions include the availability of a collision warning and assist system (Smart City Brake Support), as well as HD and Pandora radio services.


Reviews from owners of the 2014 Mazda CX-5 SUV

Average Consumer Rating (See all 80 reviews) | Write a Review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Cx-5 best suv in it's class

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Vehicle: 2014 Mazda CX-5 Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

Wife bought the 1st gen CX-5 GT AWD. I loved to drive it except it was slightly underpowered. When Mazda introduced the 2.5L 184 HP engine, I went and bought my own Touring AWD. Love this car. Agile and fast for it's class. Can take a turn like a sports car. Excellent gas mileage for a vehicle it's size. I've never gotten under 25MPG. Cargo room is plentiful. I've taken on some rough forest roads and the car performs like a rally car. BOSE stereo is excellent. The only negative I would give to the CX-5 is road noise. It's not 'bad' but seems like it could be quieter. I understand 2016 model has improved this. Installed my own factory Nav unit for $400.00. Took 10 minutes.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Excellent mechanically, terrible electronics.

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Vehicle: 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

After six months and 6000 miles we still really like the vehicle. The AWD handles mountain roads and snow storms superbly. The manual control, of the auto transmission, is the best I have used, - smooth, no jerks, which is necessary for downshifting on icy, steep roads. The electronics, navigation and Bluetooth, are, at best, antiquated and inadequate. The HVAC works, but, when the cabin is hot, you must manually turn up the fan control to max. The Cruise switches are dangerous with Cancel and Resume being next to each other, and the Resume the easiest to hit. Mileage is as represented.

1 of 11 people found this review helpful

Very disappointed

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Vehicle: 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

I bought my car in Oct 2013, and it was ok for about 5 months. I switched from a Toyota Highlander (which I absolutely LOVED) to save on gas. While I realized gas savings over the Highlander, I am not getting the gas mileage they promised. I average 26 mpg tops! On top of that, my vehicle had to be at the service center on 3 occasions, all for the same problem. My push button start would not work correctly. They still haven't fully fixed the problem. The other problems are road noise and no interior storage, and not enough cup holders, which made for a very long trip with my kids. All in all, while it has saved some $ on gas, I don't think I would not buy another Mazda again.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Happy so far

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Vehicle: 2014 Mazda CX-5 Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

After much online research (on edmunds and elsewhere) I decided on the CX-5 over the RAV-4 and the CR-V. I based this on horsepower, transmission, styling and fun-to-drive factors. Leased the vehicle in January, now have over 10K miles. Mostly use it for weekend trips and daily commute. My mileage is at 28 combined which is right about the sticker est.

Fantastic car - made 2 of my friends buy them!

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Vehicle: 2014 Mazda CX-5 Sport 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

Favorite car I have owned so far, and my first Mazda. I purchased it in Feb of 2014, I got the AWD Sport model since I wanted a lease payment under $300 a month - can't say enough good stuff about this car. I rented one for a weekend previously to see how it was, and took it through a foot of snow in upstate NY without a slip or slide. It was comfortable and a ton of fun to drive.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

Overly impressed!

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Vehicle: 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

I am really, really impressed so far. I switched over from an Infiniti G37 S because I wanted a bit more room with a new baby in the house. It also saved about $90 per month on car payments. I definitely miss the pick up on the G37 but in terms of technology (ease of use and device compatibility) and comfort, the CX-5 blows the G37 away. Few features that I miss are memory for the driver seat positions (not available) and power passenger seat (not available). But I can definitely live without those and overall the car is excellent. It handles well, tight steering, comfortable seats, surprisingly spacious for a crossover, and great gas mileage so far.


Full Expert Review: 2014 Mazda CX-5

What's New for 2014

The Mazda CX-5 gets a welcome infusion of power for 2014 as the Touring and Grand Touring models get a bigger engine. Thankfully, fuel economy is barely affected. Other additions include the availability of a collision warning and assist system (Smart City Brake Support), as well as HD and Pandora radio services.


The CX-5 has been a big success for Mazda, a company that so often struggles to get the attention of buyers more inclined to shop other brands. The CX-5's blend of good looks, generous feature content, ample space and carlike driving dynamics has apparently resonated with folks looking for a compact crossover SUV. If there was one area of possible improvement, it was under the hood.

The 2014 Mazda CX-5 addresses that issue. Last year's 2.0-liter "Skyactiv" four-cylinder that was strong in fuel economy but weak in power now lives on only in the base Sport model. The Touring and Grand Touring trims now come with a bigger version of that engine, which displaces 2.5 liters and puts out 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. Not only is that 29 and 35, respectively, more than the 2.0-liter, it's also one of the more potent non-turbo four-cylinder engines in the segment. Best of all, fuel economy takes only a tiny dip.

Beyond that, the CX-5's virtues go unchanged for 2014. It remains one of the most enjoyable little SUVs to drive, as Mazda once again proves that sensible doesn't need to equal boring. The CX-5's cabin isn't the most visually dynamic around, but it can be equipped with most of the bells and whistles we've come to expect from compact crossovers. Some of them are controlled by a touchscreen that's hardly a class-leading interface, but we think most will find the CX-5's controls to be simple and intuitive.

Of course, there are an awful lot of worthy competitors to consider. The Ford Escape offers available turbo power and a more appealing interior, the Honda CR-V is a more utilitarian choice, and the 2014 Subaru Forester boasts stronger credentials for off-road use. However, the 2014 Mazda CX-5 should be strongly considered. It may be quite conventional in concept, but it's certainly unique in its execution.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Mazda CX-5 is a five-passenger compact crossover SUV available in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trim levels.

The base Sport comes standard with 17-inch wheels, full power accessories, keyless entry, air-conditioning, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod interface. The Bluetooth Audio package adds Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a touchscreen interface, HD radio, Pandora Internet radio, automatic crash notification, SMS text message reading and audio system voice controls. Foglights are a stand-alone option.

The Touring gets the Sport's optional equipment plus a more powerful engine, a rearview camera, a blind-spot warning system, a six-way power driver seat, a 40/20/40-split-folding rear seat, upgraded cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a six-speaker sound system. The Moonroof and Bose Audio package adds a sunroof and a nine-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system.

The Grand Touring includes all of the above, plus 19-inch wheels, automatic headlights, automatic wipers, heated mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat, heated front seats and leather upholstery.

The Technology package available on both Touring and Grand Touring models tacks on the Smart City Brake Support System (see Safety section), automatic and adaptive bi-xenon headlights, an auto-dimming mirror, satellite radio and a TomTom-powered navigation system. The latter two items are available as stand-alone options. The Touring version of this package includes automatic wipers, while the Grand Touring version gets keyless ignition/entry.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2014 Mazda CX-5 Sport comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 155 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque. Buyers are offered the choice of front- or all-wheel drive. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, with a six-speed automatic as an option.

In Edmunds performance testing, an all-wheel-drive CX-5 with this engine went from zero to 60 mph in 9.7 seconds, which is average for a small crossover. The EPA's estimated fuel economy is 29 mpg combined (26 mpg city/32 mpg highway) with front-wheel drive and the automatic and 29 combined (26/35) with the manual. With all-wheel drive and the automatic transmission, estimates drop to 28 combined (25/31).

The CX-5 Touring and Grand Touring models get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine good for 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. The six-speed automatic transmission is standard. In Edmunds testing, a CX-5 with the 2.5-liter engine and all-wheel drive went from zero to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds, which is a fairly quick time for the class. Fuel economy ratings are 27 mpg combined (25/32) with front-wheel drive and 26 combined (24/30) with AWD.


Every 2014 Mazda CX-5 comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. An automatic crash notification feature is optional on the Sport and standard on the Touring and Grand Touring, which also get a blind-spot warning system.

The optional Smart City Brake Support system uses a laser sensor to detect stationary objects such as stopped cars or pedestrians in front of the vehicle at speeds up to 19 mph. If the driver fails to respond to a warning, the car can automatically apply the brakes.

In Edmunds brake testing, a CX-5 Grand Touring came to a stop from 60 mph in 121 feet, which is a bit better than average for the class.

In government crash testing, the CX-5 received a perfect five stars for overall crash safety, along with five stars for both front- and side-impact crash protection. In crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the CX-5 earned the highest possible rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, small-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests. Its seat/head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.

Interior Design and Special Features

The cockpit of the CX-5, regardless of trim level, is attractive, modern and functional. It's a mature (some might say demure) design, but at least it isn't swathed in poorly rendered fake wood or highly reflective chrome trim. Soft-touch surfaces are set off with the limited use of satin-finish metallic details, and the black gauges with white lettering are highly legible. The optional TomTom-sourced navigation system is satisfactory, but many competitor units are quicker, more intuitive and have better graphics. The audio system's touchscreen interface is similarly just OK.

The driving position and front seat comfort are both quite good. The rear seats are spacious (especially in terms of legroom) for the category and, while a bit flat to sit on, feature an innovative folding mechanism on the Touring and Grand Touring that lowers the seat bottom before folding the seatback on top to provide a near-flat load floor. With all seats occupied, there are 34 cubic feet of luggage space that grows to a competitive 65 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.

Driving Impressions

The way the 2014 Mazda CX-5 drives is a dynamic departure from the compact SUV segment's otherwise typical low standards. The brakes, suspension and steering are uncommonly capable, and in general the CX-5 is downright fun and confidence-inspiring on a curving road. On the open highway, the CX-5 isn't the quietest choice available, but it still rides comfortably.

The base engine offers competitive acceleration on paper, but in practice it always makes the CX-5 Sport feel a step behind its competitors. There is certainly a suitable amount of power, but we think the available 2.5-liter four-cylinder is a much better choice given its superior power and minuscule fuel economy penalty. Regardless of engine, the six-speed automatic shifts quickly and smoothly. We're also happy that Mazda offers a manual transmission on the Sport for those who enjoy having greater control of the driving experience (and better fuel economy to boot).

Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2014 Mazda CX-5 Suv in VA is:

$158.75 per month*

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