2014 Mazda CX-5: More Grip?
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?
I suspect this is something few small crossover owners will ever consider. The whole point of this kind of vehicle is versatility and all-weather capability. Summer-rated tires, with their poor performance in very cold or snowy conditions, would diminish that.
But here in Southern California (or anywhere else where snow is rare) the improved handling and shorter braking distances of summer tires could have a real, positive impact on daily driving (see our Tire Test story from a few years ago for proof). At least that'd be my thought if I owned our CX-5.
Alas, it doesn't seem like you can get summer tires that would match up to the CX-5's original-equipment wheel and tire sizes. I used Tire Rack to search for summer tires for a CX-5 and came up with nothing. There's actually very little tire selection in the Grand Touring's 225/55R19 size. Perhaps you could go with a non-OE size and come up with something, but that's beyond my easy tire-swap idea.
Having checked a few other small crossovers that compete with the Mazda CX-5 on Tire Rack, I now know that the CX-5 isn't alone. Summer tires, at least in the typical tire sizes automakers fit to these vehicles as original equipment, are quite rare.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 15,542 miles