March 12, 2014
I've gone on about how I like the driving position in our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5, probably more than once. But now I've taken a real road trip in our small crossover. In light of this experience, I can only declare that the Mazda CX-5 has a superb driver seat for a vehicle in this price range.
March 11, 2014
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.
By a rounding error of horsepower and an entire bucket of torque, our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG is the most powerful car we've ever had in the long-term test fleet.
February 10, 2014
Very likely, I said something nice about the driving position in our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 about 15,000 miles ago. Well, I don't care. I'm going to talk about it again.
See, if push came to shove, I'm not sure I'd buy our CX-5 over a Honda CR-V. I really like the Honda's interior: The quality of the materials is great, there's storage everywhere, I like the simplicity of the controls, and I think it's quieter at highway speeds. But, but, the Mazda CX-5 has the better driving position, at least for me.
January 20, 2014
I've been driving our 2014 Mazda CX-5 for past two days. The first time I slid into the CX-5, I set the seat heaters immediately, of course.
December 09, 2013
At the end of the day, everybody likes small crossover SUVs. And I know this because our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 is rarely available when I want it. It wasn't like this with our 2010 Mazdaspeed 3 or our 2012 Mazda 3 hatchback (with the then-new 2.0-liter Skyactiv engine).
I got plenty of time in those cars, but the CX-5 has been signed out four nights out of five over the last 20,000 miles. Of course, I liked driving those Mazda 3s more than I like the CX-5, which sits up higher and simply isn't interested in cornering with the same immediacy.
December 02, 2013
It is a truth universally acknowledged that when it rains in Southern California, drivers lose their minds and anything they ever knew about driving. On a recent afternoon, the snarled traffic turned a usually easy 6-mile trip into an hour-long slog.
October 14, 2013
Last weekend I drove our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 to the Sierras for a day hike up Mt. Langley, the southernmost 14,000-foot peak in the California. The trip totaled almost 627 miles and climbed to 10,000 feet. As usual, the CX-5's comfort and dynamics were in balance. The crossover provided both easy cruising and the handling necessary for mountain road driving.
But the real story was the fuel consumption.
September 16, 2013
If our 2014 Mazda CX-5 didn't have such thick A-pillars, I would've gotten a clear shot of this neighbor who happens to have impeccable taste in sports cars. As for giving chase: Fuhgittaboutit. Gonzo.
September 12, 2013
We used our 2014 Mazda CX-5 to haul gear to and from the test track the other day, and were pleased to discover the air-conditioning system is fully capable to deal with a Southern California heat wave.
August 12, 2013
Last weekend our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 plowed through nearly 1,300 miles from Southern California to the Sierra Buttes East of Downieville and back. Just like the Wyoming trip the week before it never missed a beat.
August 1, 2013
Last week, I piled the miles on our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 driving it more than 2,500 miles to Wyoming where the roads are straight and empty.
July 25, 2013
In April I took a road trip with the family to Arizona. There are four of us and we absolutely filled the 2014 Mazda CX-5 with our stuff, including two bikes on the hitch-mounted rack. We have a one-year old who requires a Pack 'n Play collapsible crib. If you've never dealt with one before, those things are huge.
We needed a place to put it.
July 24, 2013
This is what the 2014 Mazda CX-5's driver's side sun visor looks like in its fully deployed position. There's full coverage to the side thanks to that pull-out plastic panel. It is excellent.
July 19, 2013
I think these are the best seats in any crossover utility vehicle. It's a bet I'm willing to take, too, because I'm about to drive our long-term Mazda CX-5 2,500 miles to Wyoming and back. They're supportive, soft enough and they even look good.
July 16, 2013
One of my favorite things about our 2014 Mazda CX-5 is the simple comfort of the crossover's front seats. Firm, but not too firm, just enough bolstering to hold me in place without squeezing. It's easy to settle in.
July 10, 2013
Like Donna D., I like me some seat heat. My occasionally sore back (due to a compressed lumbar disc/a workout/a run/old age) appreciates the soothing warmth that a heated seat brings to the back.
June 27, 2013
Rear-facing child seats represent a real challenge, mostly for the person who has to sit in front of them. Because they recline heavily, they eat into longitudinal space. And there's no exception in the CX-5.
June 21, 2013
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.
June 10, 2013
As luck would have it, I ended up with our long-term 2013 Mazda CX-5 for a weekend road trip down to San Diego to see my horrible baseball team play the somehow not as horrible Padres. Pleasantly, the drive down was the better part of the trip, as my wife and I took a scenic detour on California 79 through the old mining town of Julian.
The town itself is nice enough with a main street filled with shops, a great many of which sell pies for some reason. We skipped those and went for The Bailey Woodpit Barbecue instead. I'm not a BBQ aficionado by any means — I would direct you to the gentlemen driving the Grand National around Texas — but it made me happy.
May 15, 2013
How roomy is the 2014 Mazda CX-5? For quick comparison, here's how our CX-5 stacks up in front- and rear-legroom against the 2013 Honda CR-V:
April 1, 2013
This morning I installed this Britax convertible child seat in the CX-5 to see how much rear leg room the Mazda offers. Turns out, there's plenty. With the front passenger seat set in my preferred position (I'm 5'9" with a 32- to 34-inch inseam), there's ample leg room in the rear.
March 20, 2013
My body is still trying to get over the Spring-forward time change, and the dark mornings, but it does give me occasion to observe the nifty headlamps in the 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD. Click through to see the beams follow the corners on a foggy morning.
March 12, 2013
And now for everything not involving the dog. My vehicle choices for my weekend road trip from Los Angeles to Goodyear, Ariz., were the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5. Honestly, my first criterion for the weekend was "Which would be better for my still-problematic back?" A repeat of the Dart fiasco was not an option. A quick sit in both revealed they both seemed rather equal, so I went with the Mazda since I haven't driven it much yet. Plus, it could use a few hundred words devoted to its being in these early days.
March 8, 2013
This weekend a group of five of us went for a hike along a short segment of the Pacific Crest Trail. I say "short" because this trail stretches between Mexico and Canada.
Obviously, this is not a loop trail, and we did not care to cover the same ground in out-and-back fashion. So we needed a two-car strategy which put our 2014 Mazda CX-5 at one end of the segment we were tackling and my buddy's first-generation Toyota Sienna minivan at the other.
We decided to leave the minivan and the end of our route and have all five hikers cozy up in the CX-5 for the 20-minute drive to the starting point. Why not the other way around? Think about it. A bit more separation distance between the parties would be preferable after we finished the 9.5-mile hike, would it not?
We're all full size adults, but no one arrived at the roadside pull-off parking area (look carefully above) with any complaints. One friend, Cliff (a great hiker name, that) owns a 2012 Honda CR-V just like the one in our long-term fleet. I asked him how it was back there.