March 18, 2014
With the exception of its cheapo floor mats, our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 generally makes the grade for interior quality. Its materials are mostly up to par, and everything's put together with convincing precision.
That said, I managed to dislodge this plastic trim piece in the driver footwell. How did this happen? Oh, I caught my right foot on the lower edge of it while excitedly getting out of the CX-5 to take a photo.
Sans trim piece, this was the scene in the Mazda's foot well.
March 12, 2014
I've gone on about how I like the driving position in our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5, probably more than once. But now I've taken a real road trip in our small crossover. In light of this experience, I can only declare that the Mazda CX-5 has a superb driver seat for a vehicle in this price range.
March 11, 2014
Before my road trip in our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD, I prepared myself for the reality that it might not be as comfortable and quiet over the long haul as the current-generation Honda CR-V, which I once drove to Phoenix and back.
More than 900 miles later, though, I'm happy to report the Mazda CX-5 is no less comfy and, to my ears anyway, it's just as quiet. (Although, "quiet" is always a relative thing when you're driving a budget-friendly compact crossover SUV.)
March 4, 2014
This is our final fuel economy update for our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD, and it includes the tanks from my 930-mile road trip to Northern California. With a 70-mph speed limit on most of Interstates 5 and 580, I didn't improve much on the CX-5's lifetime average, which edged up to 25.2 mpg.
If you're keeping score at home, that's still short of the small crossover's 26 mpg EPA combined rating.
March 3, 2014
I already knew I liked the six-speed automatic transmission in our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring before my road trip to Healdsburg, California, and back. But 932 miles on the road gives you plenty of time to think, and I'm pretty much in love with this transmission now. In fact, it's one of the top three reasons I might buy my own personal CX-5.
February 28, 2014
When the windshield on our 2014 Mazda CX-5 cracked, we figured it would be an easy fix. It turned out to be more difficult than expected.
February 25, 2014
Earlier this week, I promised commentary from my road trip in the 2014 Mazda CX-5. Here's the first installment, but it's not in chronological order. Rather, this is what happened at the very end of the road trip. As I was driving south on Interstate 15, a rock flew up and hit the CX-5's windshield, creating a star on the passenger side of the glass.
Within an hour, that star became a 12-inch-long crack.
February 24, 2014
It looked like our all-wheel-drive 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring might come and go without me ever getting to take a road trip in it. Then, an opportunity to drive to Healdsburg in northern Sonoma County, California, presented itself and I knew exactly which vehicle I wanted.
In short, it was a great trip, and I'll be sharing thoughts from the road over the next few days. On the return leg, our CX-5 hit 25,000 miles in a thirsty citrus orchard near Firebaugh, California.
February 12, 2014
Donna DeRosa talked about the Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) system freaking out on the 2014 Mazda CX-5 when she neared our office parking garage gate back in July.
But I've one-upped her: My first weekend with the CX-5 (at 23,000-or-so miles, a testament to the car's popularity with the Edmunds editors) and SCBS got sassy with me out on the road.
February 11, 2014
I recently had the chance to drive our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 and really liked it for the most part. It is comfortable, has great styling and good visibility. But its infotainment screen was a bit disappointing.
The screen is small and as my colleague James Riswick pointed out, the navigation system is rudimentary. Plus, I've already seen what Mazda will eventually replace it with — and it's much better.
February 10, 2014
Very likely, I said something nice about the driving position in our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 about 15,000 miles ago. Well, I don't care. I'm going to talk about it again.
See, if push came to shove, I'm not sure I'd buy our CX-5 over a Honda CR-V. I really like the Honda's interior: The quality of the materials is great, there's storage everywhere, I like the simplicity of the controls, and I think it's quieter at highway speeds. But, but, the Mazda CX-5 has the better driving position, at least for me.
February 5, 2014
This isn't the first time we've used our 2014 Mazda CX-5 to haul tires, and with a month left in our long-term road test, it might not be the last.
February 4, 2014
Our 2014 Mazda CX-5 logged 1,512 miles in January. Its average monthly fuel economy of 24.4 mpg was just shy of the crossover's lifetime average of 25.1 mpg. The CX-5's lifetime best fill remains 31.6 mpg.
Our worst fill of the month, 22.0 mpg, was considerably better than last month's 18.0 worst fill, which remains the CX-5's best worst fill (if that's a thing). Its best range remains unchanged at 372.6 miles.
January 20, 2014
I've been driving our 2014 Mazda CX-5 for past two days. The first time I slid into the CX-5, I set the seat heaters immediately, of course.
January 16, 2014
You know those situations where you need not full-throttle, but just some brisk acceleration to merge onto the freeway or get past a weaving, inattentive laggard?
Well, with today's fuel economy-calibrated electronic throttle/transmission controls, this expected action is increasingly rare. You typically have to floor it and then, sometimes after a brief hesitation, you'll get all she's got. An annoying all-or-nothing proposition. Thankfully, our 2014 Mazda CX-5 is not like that.
January 07, 2014
Our 2014 Mazda CX-5 logged 1,145 miles in December. Its average fuel economy of 23.5 mpg was shy of the crossover's lifetime average of 25.1 mpg. The CX-5's lifetime best fill remains 31.6 mpg, but we managed a worst-to-date fill of 18.0 mpg last month. Its best range remains unchanged at 372.6 miles.
December 20, 2013
How lucky was I to get our 2014 Mazda CX-5 for the night? Four big, bulky boxes' worth of lucky. With the back seats down, the Mazda CX-5 easily accommodated them. There was even a little bit of space to spare.
This time around, that vehicle is the 2014 Volkswagen Passat SEL.
December 13, 2013
Last year I managed to carry our Christmas tree is my old Acura Integra. That hatchback can hold anything. So, I figured our 2014 Mazda CX-5 would be even easier to accommodate a 6-foot tree with pre-installed stand.
December 12, 2013
Our 2014 Mazda CX-5 offered a lot to be grateful for during its time as my companion over the recent Thanksgiving break. The light holiday traffic gave me a chance to stretch its legs on the freeway.
December 10, 2013
I had such good things to say about the 2014 Mazda CX-5, and still do. But just as I was about to make out with the CX-5, I go and find this: vents that don't really, fully, completely shut. Such a buzzkill.
December 09, 2013
At the end of the day, everybody likes small crossover SUVs. And I know this because our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 is rarely available when I want it. It wasn't like this with our 2010 Mazdaspeed 3 or our 2012 Mazda 3 hatchback (with the then-new 2.0-liter Skyactiv engine).
I got plenty of time in those cars, but the CX-5 has been signed out four nights out of five over the last 20,000 miles. Of course, I liked driving those Mazda 3s more than I like the CX-5, which sits up higher and simply isn't interested in cornering with the same immediacy.
December 06, 2013
Our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD came out of the car wash today all neat and pretty, except for its nav screen. I wiped it down with a glasses cloth, and it was all better.
December 05, 2013
I think I insulted a parking lot in a former life. That's the only explanation I have for the bad airport parking-structure karma that I've been suffering.
December 03, 2013
Our 2014 Mazda CX-5 logged just over 1,000 miles traversing the highways and side streets of Southern California in November. Its average fuel economy of 24.6 mpg was just shy of the crossover's lifetime average of 25.2 mpg. The CX-5's lifetime best and worst fills currently stand at 31.6 and 20 mpg, respectively.
December 02, 2013
It is a truth universally acknowledged that when it rains in Southern California, drivers lose their minds and anything they ever knew about driving. On a recent afternoon, the snarled traffic turned a usually easy 6-mile trip into an hour-long slog.
November 29, 2013
My friend Catie is searching for a compact SUV to replace her long-serving Mazda 3 and narrowed her search to the Ford Escape and Mazda CX-5. Those would be the ones I'd consider, but as she hadn't done any dealer shopping yet, I decided to bring our long-term 2014 CX-5 over to have her sit in it and poke about.
Besides her desire to have something more distinctive than a Honda CR-V (not the only friend who's declared the class best-seller a less-than-cool no-go), she'll need her new car to be big enough for her golden retriever Paisley and a future child assumed to be in existence sometime within the life of the vehicle. We couldn't do anything about the latter, but I told her to grab Paisley and chuck her in the boot.
November 28, 2013
You may well be asking yourself how our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD found its way to the floor of the L.A. Auto Show.
It's not ours, of course. (Though ours was technically at the show, albeit in the parking lot.)
November 27, 2013
As Vincent Vega once said, it's the little differences. He was talking about his ability to get a beer at a movie theater in Amsterdam. I'm talking about our 2014 Mazda CX-5. It shows how just one or two thoughtful touches can show up other cars that claim "ultimate" performance.
November 12, 2013
That was quick. We're already at 20,000 miles and we've still got about three months left to enjoy the 2014 Mazda CX-5. One of us wrote it before and it bears repeating: The staff votes with the car board. And given our fondness for crossovers, you'd think we're all constantly shuttling two kids and a dog to soccer twice a week.
November 11, 2013
This isn't a fair post. This is apples to oranges, soap to ice cream, coals to Newcastle. Maybe that last one's out of context, but this remains a fairly useless post which in spite of itself presents, I think, a valid point.
The 2014 Mazda CX-5 is not a BMW X3. But I'd say it's just as good. Sure, the X3 might be stitched together better. It's quieter. The switchgear generally has a heft to it that we automotive writers wax about as feeling "substantial" and "buttoned-down." We're all suckers for the way Germans deploy mass and aluminum.
November 5, 2013
We drove our 2014 Mazda CX-5 1,791 miles last month, averaging 25.9 mpg, just one-tenth shy of what the EPA says the CX-5 should return in combined driving. Interesting note, however, is that all-wheel-drive CX-5 owners are reporting 26.7 combined mpg averages on the EPA's Web site.
October 30, 2013
I instinctively folded the backseat of our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5. The cargo was large, and the CX-5 is kinda small, so I folded the seats before I even started loading. It turned out to be unnecessary.
October 24, 2013
I always enjoy driving our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5. The engine is powerful enough to cope with Southern California traffic conditions. The six-speed automatic transmission is best in class for shift timing and smoothness. The ride is controlled, yet never harsh. The handling borders on sporty, and the steering is quicker and more accurate than any rival's.
Yes, I like our CX-5. But I'm not excited about it like I was when I drove a CX-5 prototype with a version of Mazda's 2.2-liter Skyactiv diesel four-cylinder with a six-speed manual gearbox.
October 21, 2013
Tuesday night I drove the 2014 Mazda CX-5 from Orange County to San Diego and back, a relatively flat 180-mile trip with speed averaging about 70 mph and minimal traffic. They were perfect conditions for evaluating highway fuel economy.
This, according to the CX-5's on-board computer, was the result. The EPA rates the CX-5 at 30 mpg on the highway.
October 15, 2013
Last weekend I took our 2014 Mazda CX-5 to the southern Sierra for a day hike up Mt. Langley. The trip meant driving up to about 10,000 feet with four adults loaded in the CX-5. It served us well.
October 14, 2013
Last weekend I drove our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 to the Sierras for a day hike up Mt. Langley, the southernmost 14,000-foot peak in the California. The trip totaled almost 627 miles and climbed to 10,000 feet. As usual, the CX-5's comfort and dynamics were in balance. The crossover provided both easy cruising and the handling necessary for mountain road driving.
But the real story was the fuel consumption.
October 10, 2013
It's not consistent, but occasionally when I turn on the 2014 Mazda CX-5's satellite radio 20 to 30 seconds pass before there's actually any sound. Based on the fact that the radio loses signal so easily, I think it's just poor reception.
October 8, 2013
Ever been on a freeway where the speed limit fluctuates, from 55 to 65 or 65 to 75 for no apparent reason? Sometimes those darn speed limit signs are few and far between, so knowing whether you're going 6 over or 16 over while cruising along can be tricky.
In one instance, you're pretty much safely under the radar, in the other you may find yourself running into it. Although I tend to just go with the flow in the #2 or #3 lanes, there are those rare times when traffic is sparse and you could be more, umm, visible.
October 7, 2013
We drove our 2014 Mazda CX-5 1,556 miles in September recording an average fuel economy of 23.7 mpg, which is 1 mpg lower than the CX-5's lifetime average of a 24.7 mpg. Neither its best (29.9 mpg) or worst (20.0 mpg) fills changed in September.
September 27, 2013
Our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 is, of course, a hatchback-compact-ute-crossover thing. That much is obvious, and it's among my favorites of the type.
But what about those looking for something in a sedan form factor? I recently had the opportunity to spend extended seat time in a 2014 Mazda 6 on the east coast, a car which at its core is underpinned by the same chassis as the CX-5. It's a CX-5 in a sedan wrapper.
At least, that was my expectation.
September 26, 2013
The 2014 Mazda CX-5 does a good job of giving drivers the best of all worlds. It's fun to pilot, with sharp handling, but it also acquits itself pretty nicely at the pump. Fuel efficiency is a key strength, and this Mazda's performance is frugal enough to land the CX-5 in the runner-up spot (tied with the Nissan Juke) on our list of 2013's most fuel-efficient crossovers and SUVs.
September 25, 2013
This was my first time in our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 and I decided to take it to the trailhead of Mt. Baldy in the San Gabriel Mountains. It's a demanding drive, climbing from sea level to about 6,000 feet. The last 15 miles is a steep climb with hairpin turns that require you to haul your speed down to about 10 mph. It was a good way to get to know this car.
Here are a few of my impressions of the drive.
September 24, 2013
When you're done with a long hike, it's nice to sit down and kick off your boots. The cargo area of the 2014 Mazda CX-5 is just the right height to perch on while you unlace your hiking boots, breathe a sigh of relief and slip into something comfortable.
September 18, 2013
Our 2014 Mazda CX-5 features a smart six-speed automatic, and it's about as close to a sixth sense as you'll find in a contemporary automatic. Its intuition and response to your next move — a passing maneuver, for example — is uncanny and its rev-matched downshifts characteristic of a car that should be smaller and closer to the ground. Mazda attributes this alchemy to a dual personality.
September 16, 2013
If our 2014 Mazda CX-5 didn't have such thick A-pillars, I would've gotten a clear shot of this neighbor who happens to have impeccable taste in sports cars. As for giving chase: Fuhgittaboutit. Gonzo.
September 12, 2013
We used our 2014 Mazda CX-5 to haul gear to and from the test track the other day, and were pleased to discover the air-conditioning system is fully capable to deal with a Southern California heat wave.
September 11, 2013
I tapped the starter button in our 2014 Mazda CX-5 and was greeted by this screen on the navigation system. It doesn't pop up each time, just this time. Despite the polite tone, I declined. Would you?
September 10, 2013
It's easy to convince yourself that you need something bigger than a compact SUV. Anyone with more than two kids can probably justify it without much trouble, but for everyone else, compact SUVs make perfect sense.
I drove our 2014 Mazda CX-5 over Labor Day weekend and found its size perfectly suited for all the boring stuff you end up dealing with when you have an extra day off. As you can see, some new additions to the yard fit without even trying and the seats are a snap to fold when you need serious cargo space.
September 9, 2013
I recently drove our 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring for a few days that bookended my recent trip to Germany. As I pulled into the garage on the final day I noticed the passenger side seat heater was on full blast. But it hadn't been me. I hadn't had a passenger ride shotgun at any point in the last few days.
How long had the seat heater been on like that? It had to date back to the previous driver, at least.
I'm not one that uses seat heaters much, and I dislike the ones that do not reset to OFF when the car is shut off and restarted at a later time. Our 2014 Mazda CX-5 could operate like that. Its seat heater button is a momentary switch. It does not latch on in any mechanical sense. It could work the way I prefer if it were programmed to operate that way.
My wife, who is an ardent seat heater fan and frequent user, actually agrees with me on this point. (Imagine that.) She hates climbing in to an already-hot seat in the full light of day. And leastways the CX-5's own owner's manual warns against the continued use of the seat heater in the hottest setting.
All I know is the Clif bar I had on the passenger seat was all melty. The water bottle I had there was too warm to drink. Our CX-5 was running current through its seat heater array for no good reason for hours on end.
September 6, 2013
Our 2014 Mazda CX-5 racked up another 3,000 miles in August to put it well over the 16,000 mile mark. Those miles were a little bit easier than last month's road trips as the overall average bumped up to 24.8 miles per gallon over its lifetime. Not bad considering that its official combined rating is 23 mpg.
September 3, 2013
On the face of it, a three-day stint in an airport parking garage seems like nothing less than a vote of no-confidence for a long-term test car. But that's not how it works.
August 30, 2013
Modern driver-side floor mats are held in place by a pair of clips, snaps, hooks or Velcro pads. Our 2014 Mazda CX-5 has a couple of big plastic pegs that protrude up from the floor carpet where they stand ready to snap into big plastic grommets that sandwich the floor mat.
I know. This is gripping stuff.
August 27, 2013
A while back, editor Mark Takahashi wrote that while he's not planning on buying a small crossover SUV anytime soon (single, no kids), the2014 Mazda CX-5 is the one he'd pick if he had to choose. His premise was basically that the CX-5 is the best for him because of its fun-to-drive nature.
Well, my life is much more domesticated (boring?) than Mark's. I'm married and have two little kids. But we'd end up with the same small crossover; the CX-5 would be my pick, too.
August 22, 2013
I've got two little kids, so I'm often parking in congested lots, whether it be for school or activities. While I understand the desire (or need) for larger, three-row SUVs, I must say I prefer the parking ease of our 2014 Mazda CX-5.
August 20, 2013
Our 2014 Mazda CX-5 recently cleared 15,000 miles. As such, it was due for its 15,000-mile service. This essentially entails an oil change and tire rotation. The dealer also took care of a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) that was out on the vehicle.
August 19, 2013
Drive a 2014 Mazda CX-5 like ours and you'll probably think that its 2.5-liter engine is nice and gets the job done. That's true, at least in the grand scheme of things. But if you really think about it, this mill (and its six-speed automatic) deserves more praise than that. I'd argue that this is the best engine in its class.
August 16, 2013
The 2014 Mazda CX-5 is one of the sportiest small crossover SUVs available in terms of handling feel. Yet I had a thought recently: What if you wanted to make it even sportier by replacing standard Toyo all-season tires with grippier summer-rated tires?
August 14, 2013
Last weekend I pushed our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 through the 15,000-mile barrier on my long haul to Northern California and back. Since the 10,000-mile update we've driven the CUV to Wyoming and back, hauling bikes on a hitch-mounted rack the whole way.
August 12, 2013
Last weekend our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 plowed through nearly 1,300 miles from Southern California to the Sierra Buttes East of Downieville and back. Just like the Wyoming trip the week before it never missed a beat.
August 6, 2013
It was well below this photo's 8,400-foot altitude that I began to notice a genuine reduction in the 2014 Mazda CX-5's power. No surprise, really. Without a turbo creating its own atmosphere such a power loss is expected. In fact, at this elevation, our 2.5-liter CX-5 felt a lot like last year's 2.0-liter CX-5 does at sea level.
August 2, 2013
During the month of July, our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD traveled 3,479 miles across California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Wyoming. In that time it used 153.9 gallons of gasoline including a mix of 91, 88 and 87 octane. Higher octane was used in hotter climates where temps were regularly above 100 degrees.
August 1, 2013
Last week, I piled the miles on our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 driving it more than 2,500 miles to Wyoming where the roads are straight and empty.
July 25, 2013
In April I took a road trip with the family to Arizona. There are four of us and we absolutely filled the 2014 Mazda CX-5 with our stuff, including two bikes on the hitch-mounted rack. We have a one-year old who requires a Pack 'n Play collapsible crib. If you've never dealt with one before, those things are huge.
We needed a place to put it.
July 24, 2013
This is what the 2014 Mazda CX-5's driver's side sun visor looks like in its fully deployed position. There's full coverage to the side thanks to that pull-out plastic panel. It is excellent.
July 23, 2013
I can appreciate the convenience of keyless ignition. But finding the CX-5's start button removes at least some of that convenience. From where I sit, it's almost completely covered by the windshield wiper stalk.
July 22, 2013
If you haven't checked-out Magrath's SUV comparison test you really should. Go ahead, I'll wait.
You're back? Great. Here's my take. Admittedly, my personal opinion on SUVs varies from nearly everybody else.
July 19, 2013
I think these are the best seats in any crossover utility vehicle. It's a bet I'm willing to take, too, because I'm about to drive our long-term Mazda CX-5 2,500 miles to Wyoming and back. They're supportive, soft enough and they even look good.
July 18, 2013
Mazda hasn't given up on its zoom-zoom philosophy. In fact, the automaker uses the first page of the CX-5's owner's manual to remind buyers of the importance of zoom-zoom.
July 17, 2013
No, I don't want to help you, and stop trying to talk me into it.
July 15, 2013
Our 2014 Mazda CX-5 recently found itself embroiled in a comparison test against two of the best crossovers in the segment, the 2012 Honda CR-V and the all-new, 2013 Toyota RAV4.
July 16, 2013
One of my favorite things about our 2014 Mazda CX-5 is the simple comfort of the crossover's front seats. Firm, but not too firm, just enough bolstering to hold me in place without squeezing. It's easy to settle in.