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

2014 Mazda CX-5: Will the Golden Retriever Fit?

November 29, 2013

2014 Mazda CX-5

My friend Catie is searching for a compact SUV to replace her long-serving Mazda 3 and narrowed her search to the Ford Escape and Mazda CX-5. Those would be the ones I'd consider, but as she hadn't done any dealer shopping yet, I decided to bring our long-term 2014 CX-5 over to have her sit in it and poke about.

Besides her desire to have something more distinctive than a Honda CR-V (not the only friend who's declared the class best-seller a less-than-cool no-go), she'll need her new car to be big enough for her golden retriever Paisley and a future child assumed to be in existence sometime within the life of the vehicle. We couldn't do anything about the latter, but I told her to grab Paisley and chuck her in the boot.

Paisley technically fit, but the CX-5's sloped glass and tiny rear quarter windows do not create what I'd consider a dog-friendly environment. Perhaps she'd be fine in a pinch, but as a long-term solution, the Mazda CX-5 doesn't look like it'll work.

I suggested that after initially checking out all the possibilities at dealers to see if she and her husband liked them (or even better, visit the L.A. Auto Show), bring Paisley back to literally size up the finalists. Yes, they'll let you do that.

Which compact crossover do you think would be the best for a big dog?

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 20,506 miles

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2014 Mazda CX-5 in VA is:

$159 per month*
* Explanation