Road Trip Impressions - 2014 Mazda CX-5 Long-Term Road Test

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

2014 Mazda CX-5: Road Trip Impressions

March 12, 2013

2014 Mazda CX-5

I made my way from Los Angeles to Goodyear, Arizona, this past weekend in our Mazda CX-5. I've had plenty of time in our CR-V, so it would be interesting to see how Mazda's competitor stacks up over a long haul.

Like Honda's hugely popular SUV, the CX-5 feels like more of an urban runabout SUV. Its sharp steering, nimble handling and good sight lines make it well-suited to zipping through traffic, squeezing into parking spots and taking turns at higher-than-normal speeds just for the hell of it.

Having said that, it's also less suited to highway use. Compared to a Chevy Equinox or Ford Escape, the ride isn't as supple, there's considerably more wind noise (especially over 75) and it generally doesn't feel as substantial. I think this would be especially true if you are downsizing from a bigger family hauler.

The engine, as I wrote earlier, is certainly up to the task and can even feel spirited at times. I didn't have the urge to break out a whip to crack over the rear quarter panel as I do when driving the CR-V. Having said that, it's hard to ignore the allure of the Ford Escape's 2.0-liter turbo and the torquey jolt it provides.

Nevertheless, I strongly suspect the Mazda CX-5 achieved better fuel economy than the Ford would have. I got 27 mpg, versus 30 EPA Highway, but that's 331 miles of mostly uphill at 75-plus in pretty heavy wind. Tis not a recipe for thriftiness.

Stay tuned for future entries about the cargo space (a Pro) and the infotainment system touchscreen (a Con).

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 2,880 miles


  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    Most of the comparison seems to be between the Escape and Equinox. The Equinox isn't exactly a contender for sales, but the CR-V is. Could you provide more of a comparison in terms of ride and comfort between these two?

  • actually the equinox/terrain combo outsell them all, if you combine them. In December of 2012 Equinox was at 19551 and Terrain 11516 for 31067 and the CRV came in at 25733, escape at 20131 with the CX5 way down at 5956 in more with the tiguan, patriot and even well below the rogue at 11488

  • as for calling the audio system an 'infotainment system' I'd say that is a bit generous as it is more of a fancy radio.

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