Ride Quality Is Right on for a Road Trip - 2014 Mazda CX-5 Long-Term Road Test
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2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD Long-Term Road Test

2014 Mazda CX-5: Ride Quality Is Right on for a Road Trip

March 11, 2014

2014 Mazda CX-5

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.)

2014 Mazda CX-5

No, the Mazda CX-5 does not ride softly. It's not a plush ride. But it is almost always composed, and even over broken, truck-bludgeoned pavement, it was never harsh. This was really a pleasant surprise in light of the CX-5's adroit handling around the few turns along my route. I didn't feel like I was giving up anything in the way of comfort compared with the CR-V, yet I was still getting sharper steering and sportier handling. That's a pretty sweet deal.

The Mazda wasn't loud, either. There's probably nothing special about our CX-5 Grand Touring's P225/55R19 99V Toyo A23 all-season tires, but they haven't gotten significantly louder as they've aged. Either that or the CX-5 is better insulated from road noise than our long-term 2012 Mazda 3. Or both.

I actually noticed more wind noise than tire noise during my travels. Wind noise is of course a common issue on tall crossovers, and I remember complaining about it after my trip in our CR-V as well. It's noticeable in the Mazda, but it's not due to poor sealing around the doors or anything. It's probably just wind coming off the mirrors, and I can live with that.

Erin Riches, Deputy Editor @ 25,860 miles


Comments

  • I love the handling for around town and back highways. But find it a bit tiring on long bland stretches of freeway. Maybe loaded down with more people and gear it would stabilize it some. I also occasionally run into sections of road where the wheelbase must be hitting it just wrong as it will start to feel like it is porpoising, which is no fun at all. Granted it doesn't wear me out like our prior generation 3 will but on long stints on I5 I'd prefer a smoother sedan. I've added some extra sound deadening (rear hatch, fender wells, center console, front floor) to mine which helps even more but there isn't much that can be done about wind noise. In crosswinds it gets a lot worse. It is in no ways a bad road trip car but it doesn't call out to me with "lets go for a long drive" on weekends. I'd rate a rental Jetta higher for freeway road trip and a rental Dodge Magnum was probably the easiest to drive for 9 hours. A rental Terrain had a bit more road noise but a smoother ride, less wind noise and more comfortable seats.

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