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

2014 Mazda CX-5: Big-Mile Observations

August 12, 2013

2014 Mazda CX-5

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.

Since July 18 I've covered almost 5,000 miles behind the wheel of the CX-5. Here are some observations:

- Seat comfort is among the best, if not the best, in the segment.
- Power is adequate unless you're above 6,000 feet. Then it needs boost.
- The transmission is remarkable. It offers smooth shifts and disappears in normal driving but allows full engine braking control when it's needed, rev matching included.
- Cargo space and interior utility is excellent, particularly the three-way split folding rear seat.
- Handling is awesome. I outran an Infiniti M on California's Highway 49. Try that in a CR-V.

Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor @ about 15,000 miles


  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    That's a great shot. How were the trails up there? I'm more of a road bike guy, but I'm currently compiling information for a bucket list of sorts: mountains to climb before I die.

  • cwalton1 cwalton1 Posts:

    Dan, yeah the handling IS great. In fact, when I drove our first example down from Monterey (yes, after lapping "#MAZDA RACEWAY" at Laguna Seca), I outran a Ducati Sport 1000 -- then caught the attention of law enforcement. Wah-wah-waaaaaah. Chris Walton

  • emajor emajor Posts:

    "I outran an Infiniti M on California's Highway 49. Try that in a CR-V." Go talk to Riswick.

  • darthbimmer darthbimmer Posts:

    Josh, did you try the CX-5 on any of the 4x4 trails along the ridge or on the west side of Sierra Buttes? Specifically the ones that aren't passable by ordinary cars. @Quadricycle-- The view from the top of the buttes is stunning, especially toward the east, looking over the Gold Lakes Basin. There are established foot trails all the way up to the top, so a technical climb is not necessary. I am considering a return visit there this weekend.

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    @darthbimmer: Thanks for the reply. Did/do you do any biking around the region? It looks like a great place for a mix of road and mountain biking because of the views and terrain type. Personally, I prefer a road/decent trail to bike from base to top with

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    So in a relatively underpowered small SUV with at least one passenger, luggage, a hitch-receiver bike rack with a couple of bikes on it, you outran a powerful luxury/sport sedan...whose driver was really trying.

  • legacygt legacygt Posts:

    How great is this car? Seems like nothing but raves from the reviewers. Interesting to see the positive comment about the transmission. (I recall the Mazda3's transmission received some raves and some complaints when you had it.) We know how the comparison test went with the CR-V and the RAV4. Clearly the CX-5 is loved but I understand that the CR-V has some advantages that mean a lot in this segment. But, when it comes to actually driving, it sounds like the CX-5 is bets in class. I wonder how it would do outside of it's class. How does it stack up next to an RDX, Q5 or X3? I think it clearly would outshine a Tiguan.

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