Wyoming Road Trip Part 2, High-Altitude Performance - 2014 Mazda CX-5 Long-Term Road Test

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

2014 Mazda CX-5: Wyoming Road Trip Part 2, High-Altitude Performance

August 6, 2013

2014 Mazda CX-5

It was well below this photo's 8,400-foot altitude that I began to notice a genuine reduction in the 2014 Mazda CX-5's power. No surprise, really. Without a turbo creating its own atmosphere such a power loss is expected. In fact, at this elevation, our 2.5-liter CX-5 felt a lot like last year's 2.0-liter CX-5 does at sea level.

I never got in over my head, but passes required plenty of advanced planning. A friend of mine who caravanned with us for part of the trip was driving a 2.0T-powered Audi Q5 and his rig had far better power for passing.

Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor @ about 13,000 miles


  • 7driver 7driver Posts:

    HP loss is about 3% per 1000ft gain. Given that formula, it's interesting that you noticed the power loss at 8400ft instead of 5300ft (2.0L has 16% less HP than the 2.5L). I guess that speaks to the 2.5L's better delivery curve.

  • hmm, I've never heard a cute ute powered by a 4 cylinder motor called a rig before.. (i'm just jealous u got to go mountain biking while i'm at work)

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    "HP loss is about 3% per 1000ft gain." I'm surprised it is as little as that. I drove a 160hp Isuzu Rodeo up to Cedar Breaks one time and the poor thing was pretty much DOA in terms of throttle response. The deer up there had nothing to fear as I could not catch them.

  • 7driver 7driver Posts:

    @agentorange, the ~3%/1000ft figure assumes a standard lapse rate. It could have been that it was a hot/humid day in your Isuzu ("hot" being 59 degrees Fahrenheit minus 3.5 degrees/1000ft above sea level). To get a more accurate number, you'd ha

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    @7driver. In that case I was there on a "hot and high" day. :) Right now in Las Vegas the density altitude at the airport is reported as 5500 ft, while the physical elevation is about 2200 ft. So, another ~9% gone simply because of heat.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    And there is the fact that the Rodeo was gutless down at sea level - it's not like you were starting from a baseline of adequate performance with that thing.

  • craigo81 craigo81 Posts:

    The '14 and some '13s has a throttle kickdown switch that comes in handy for that kind of passing. If you push the pedal all the way, it can actually can go a little further and there will be a "click" you can feel. This drops the gears by 2 and zoom zoom you go...

  • explorerx4 explorerx4 Posts:

    I read the power loss was felt long before 8400 ft elevation.

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