Seventeens Are Enough - 2014 Mazda CX-5 Long-Term Road Test

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

2014 Mazda CX-5: Seventeens Are Enough

June 21, 2013

2014 Mazda CX-5

The 19-inch wheels on our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring sure are pretty, but for me, the sacrifice in ride quality just isn't worth it.

I remember thinking the same thing almost two years ago when I drove a bunch of European-spec CX-5 prototypes. Those vehicles all had summer tires (because Europeans are willing to slap on a set of snow tires when the ground freezes, I'm told), but the ones with 19-inch wheels and tires were a little too harsh over bumps for my liking whereas the ones with 17s were acceptably compliant.

2014 Mazda CX-5

Here in the U.S. our Mazda CX-5s have all-season tires, so the trade-off in ride quality with these P225/55R19 99V Toyos is even less tolerable. If I'm not going to have much in the way of cornering grip anyway, then make mine a CX-5 Touring model with the 17-inch wheel/tire package. No, the wheels won't be as snazzy, but I've given up on being fashionable.

Erin Riches, Deputy Editor @ 9,856 miles


  • they could have met in the middle and gone with 18s. Also check out the price for new tires for that in 19"

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    I agree. 19s are overkill on many cars.

  • uthiker uthiker Posts:

    Well I for one like the 19's. I drove the touring before the GT and didn't find much difference in ride or noise. Coming from a Rav. 4 sport with 18's the CX5 GT ..better ride...less road noise and a lot better looking. Fashion be dammed I love the look. The 17's look tiny on CX5.

  • seppoboy seppoboy Posts:

    This whole obsession with looks has gone too far, in my opinion. Tires have a job to do, and many times the lower profile tires simply can't fulfill their role in the complete system of tire/wheel/suspension in an effective way. Unless the vehicle is a carefully tuned sports car, low profile tires are an expensive joke, prone to road hazard damage, rough riding, very expensive to replace, shorter treadlife, and kind of senseless given the other parameters of the vehicle and its suspension and steering. There were some very sweet-handling cars, with good ride and responsive steering, years ago before the ultra low profile trend. These days steering is mostly indifferent, and the supposed benefits are really misplaced.

  • cx7lover cx7lover Posts:

    These tires aren't even low profile. They're 55 series tires! The same goes for the 2014 MZ6 - they have 45 series tires which are low pro, but the sidewall height is no shorter than it was on the 2013 Mazda6 with 18 inch wheels and the ride is great and crashes LESS over hard bumps than a 2013 Altima with 16" steelies! I rented one and was appalled at how badly the suspension crashed, the MZ6 is obviously firmer but way more composed.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    I actually find a nice fat sidewall to be more visually appealing than rubber bands on huge clunky wheels.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    And even with the large-diameter wheel and tire combo of 19s with 55-series tires, that is a huge dead-cat space between the tires and the wheel lips on the fenders. They could put 22s with 60-series tires on it and it wouldn't fill that space.

  • legacygt legacygt Posts:

    I have a CX-9 and, even thought I wanted fog lights and turn indicators on the side mirrors, I chose the Touring that doesn't have those features, in order to avoid the 20" wheels that come on the Grand Touring. They ride bit harsher than the 18" wheels on the Sport and Touring models with no real benefit.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    Isn't it better to just take the 20s and sell them and buy 18s instead of doing without the fogs and turn signal indicators you wanted? They're just wheels and tires - they come right off.

  • s197gt s197gt Posts:

    thinking the same thing fordson1. i am sure the dealership would have been more than happy to swap some wheels off a lesser model.

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