2nd Most Fuel-Efficient SUV - 2014 Mazda CX-5 Long-Term Road Test

2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD Long-Term Road Test

2014 Mazda CX-5: 2nd Most Fuel-Efficient SUV

September 26, 2013

2014 Mazda CX-5

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.

It was topped only by a hybrid, the Lexus RX 450h. The CX-5's ranking on this list is based on mileage for the 2WD model, which gets up to 29 mpg combined. With an AWD powertrain, that number drops to 28 mpg combined with the 2.0-liter engine and 26 mpg combined with a 2.5-liter engine like the one in our AWD CX-5. Our Top 10 list looks at the 2013 model, but the 2014 model has identical fuel economy.

Our real-world numbers fall slightly short of the 26 mpg EPA rating. We've been averaging about 24.8 mpg combined.

Other models that made the cut include the BMW X1, the Buick Encore, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid and the Ford Escape. Click here for the full list of 2013's most fuel-efficient crossovers and SUVs.

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @ 17,530 miles


  • metalmania metalmania Posts:

    I've gotten to the point where I only consider what the EPA ratings are as a ballpark figure. The only results I really pay attention to are long term tests like this to see what the real world fuel economy comes out to. I don't know what the EPA test cycle actually does (do they even actually drive and measure each vehicle or is it just a computer simulation?) but it clearly doesn't seem to reflect real world conditions. Obviously "your results may vary" is true and you can't pin down a number that will apply to everyone, but I don't think it would be too hard to take an example of each vehicle in each drivetrain configuration and actually drive it for measured periods of time in accurately modeled "city" and "highway" conditions and calculate the actual mpg. My definition of a "highway" test would be steady cruising at 60 mph on a relatively flat road/track for an hour. Start with a full tank and see how much was used at the end, calculate mpg. City would be speeds up to 35 mph with frequent stops, same thing - do it for an hour and see how much gas you used for the distance travelled. Everything else falls in between those numbers with expectations that mpg will likely be less in gridlock traffic, extreme weather conditions, higher speeds, towing, etc. I'm probably oversimplifying it, but that generally sounds to me like a fairly realistic test.

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    @metalmania: Head over to fueleconomy.gov and place your cursor on "About EPA Ratings". The two that will probably be of the most interest to you are "How Vehicles Are Tested" and "Detailed Test Information", and these will c

  • metalmania, based on your flat road at 60 mph I can get around 36-38 mpg out of a 2wd CX5 in those conditions. If I get in behind a large truck it will jump to over 40 --- combined ratings are probably the hardest to figure as everyone drives a different amount city/highway for their combined. --- and driving style has so much of an effect on the end mpg. Especially with the ones that are designed to be more efficient. It is easy to drop 10% in mpg just by regularly jumping lanes on the freeway where you have to punch the gas to get into the open spot. The higher the mpg the more that 10% is noticeable.

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