February 24, 2014
It looked like our all-wheel-drive 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring might come and go without me ever getting to take a road trip in it. Then, an opportunity to drive to Healdsburg in northern Sonoma County, California, presented itself and I knew exactly which vehicle I wanted.
In short, it was a great trip, and I'll be sharing thoughts from the road over the next few days. On the return leg, our CX-5 hit 25,000 miles in a thirsty citrus orchard near Firebaugh, California.
February 12, 2014
Donna DeRosa talked about the Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) system freaking out on the 2014 Mazda CX-5 when she neared our office parking garage gate back in July.
But I've one-upped her: My first weekend with the CX-5 (at 23,000-or-so miles, a testament to the car's popularity with the Edmunds editors) and SCBS got sassy with me out on the road.
January 16, 2014
You know those situations where you need not full-throttle, but just some brisk acceleration to merge onto the freeway or get past a weaving, inattentive laggard?
Well, with today's fuel economy-calibrated electronic throttle/transmission controls, this expected action is increasingly rare. You typically have to floor it and then, sometimes after a brief hesitation, you'll get all she's got. An annoying all-or-nothing proposition. Thankfully, our 2014 Mazda CX-5 is not like that.
December 10, 2013
I had such good things to say about the 2014 Mazda CX-5, and still do. But just as I was about to make out with the CX-5, I go and find this: vents that don't really, fully, completely shut. Such a buzzkill.
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 05, 2013
I think I insulted a parking lot in a former life. That's the only explanation I have for the bad airport parking-structure karma that I've been suffering.
November 28, 2013
You may well be asking yourself how our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD found its way to the floor of the L.A. Auto Show.
It's not ours, of course. (Though ours was technically at the show, albeit in the parking lot.)
November 12, 2013
That was quick. We're already at 20,000 miles and we've still got about three months left to enjoy the 2014 Mazda CX-5. One of us wrote it before and it bears repeating: The staff votes with the car board. And given our fondness for crossovers, you'd think we're all constantly shuttling two kids and a dog to soccer twice a week.
October 24, 2013
I always enjoy driving our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5. The engine is powerful enough to cope with Southern California traffic conditions. The six-speed automatic transmission is best in class for shift timing and smoothness. The ride is controlled, yet never harsh. The handling borders on sporty, and the steering is quicker and more accurate than any rival's.
Yes, I like our CX-5. But I'm not excited about it like I was when I drove a CX-5 prototype with a version of Mazda's 2.2-liter Skyactiv diesel four-cylinder with a six-speed manual gearbox.
October 10, 2013
It's not consistent, but occasionally when I turn on the 2014 Mazda CX-5's satellite radio 20 to 30 seconds pass before there's actually any sound. Based on the fact that the radio loses signal so easily, I think it's just poor reception.
September 27, 2013
Our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 is, of course, a hatchback-compact-ute-crossover thing. That much is obvious, and it's among my favorites of the type.
But what about those looking for something in a sedan form factor? I recently had the opportunity to spend extended seat time in a 2014 Mazda 6 on the east coast, a car which at its core is underpinned by the same chassis as the CX-5. It's a CX-5 in a sedan wrapper.
At least, that was my expectation.
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 11, 2013
I tapped the starter button in our 2014 Mazda CX-5 and was greeted by this screen on the navigation system. It doesn't pop up each time, just this time. Despite the polite tone, I declined. Would you?
September 10, 2013
It's easy to convince yourself that you need something bigger than a compact SUV. Anyone with more than two kids can probably justify it without much trouble, but for everyone else, compact SUVs make perfect sense.
I drove our 2014 Mazda CX-5 over Labor Day weekend and found its size perfectly suited for all the boring stuff you end up dealing with when you have an extra day off. As you can see, some new additions to the yard fit without even trying and the seats are a snap to fold when you need serious cargo space.
September 9, 2013
I recently drove our 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring for a few days that bookended my recent trip to Germany. As I pulled into the garage on the final day I noticed the passenger side seat heater was on full blast. But it hadn't been me. I hadn't had a passenger ride shotgun at any point in the last few days.
How long had the seat heater been on like that? It had to date back to the previous driver, at least.
I'm not one that uses seat heaters much, and I dislike the ones that do not reset to OFF when the car is shut off and restarted at a later time. Our 2014 Mazda CX-5 could operate like that. Its seat heater button is a momentary switch. It does not latch on in any mechanical sense. It could work the way I prefer if it were programmed to operate that way.
My wife, who is an ardent seat heater fan and frequent user, actually agrees with me on this point. (Imagine that.) She hates climbing in to an already-hot seat in the full light of day. And leastways the CX-5's own owner's manual warns against the continued use of the seat heater in the hottest setting.
All I know is the Clif bar I had on the passenger seat was all melty. The water bottle I had there was too warm to drink. Our CX-5 was running current through its seat heater array for no good reason for hours on end.
September 3, 2013
On the face of it, a three-day stint in an airport parking garage seems like nothing less than a vote of no-confidence for a long-term test car. But that's not how it works.
August 27, 2013
A while back, editor Mark Takahashi wrote that while he's not planning on buying a small crossover SUV anytime soon (single, no kids), the2014 Mazda CX-5 is the one he'd pick if he had to choose. His premise was basically that the CX-5 is the best for him because of its fun-to-drive nature.
Well, my life is much more domesticated (boring?) than Mark's. I'm married and have two little kids. But we'd end up with the same small crossover; the CX-5 would be my pick, too.
August 22, 2013
I've got two little kids, so I'm often parking in congested lots, whether it be for school or activities. While I understand the desire (or need) for larger, three-row SUVs, I must say I prefer the parking ease of our 2014 Mazda CX-5.
August 14, 2013
Last weekend I pushed our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 through the 15,000-mile barrier on my long haul to Northern California and back. Since the 10,000-mile update we've driven the CUV to Wyoming and back, hauling bikes on a hitch-mounted rack the whole way.
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 23, 2013
I can appreciate the convenience of keyless ignition. But finding the CX-5's start button removes at least some of that convenience. From where I sit, it's almost completely covered by the windshield wiper stalk.
July 18, 2013
Mazda hasn't given up on its zoom-zoom philosophy. In fact, the automaker uses the first page of the CX-5's owner's manual to remind buyers of the importance of zoom-zoom.
July 17, 2013
No, I don't want to help you, and stop trying to talk me into it.
July 15, 2013
Our 2014 Mazda CX-5 recently found itself embroiled in a comparison test against two of the best crossovers in the segment, the 2012 Honda CR-V and the all-new, 2013 Toyota RAV4.
July 12, 2013
Does this look familiar to you? It doesn't to me. It's on the left side of the dashboard in our 2014 Mazda CX-5 just behind the turn signal stalk. It looks like some kind of infrared receptor along with a possible opening for a connector.
I flipped through the owner's manual and found no references to it. In fact, most of the diagrams didn't even show it was there. Seems odd that Mazda would use a relatively visible area of the dashboard for something that's not used by the driver. Could have put a change drawer there.
July 1, 2013
Who needs coffee when you have the Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) system?
As I was pulling into our underground garage at work this morning, and approached the parking security arm, our Mazda CX-5 screeched to a noisy halt. Jolt! Wake up.
June 25, 2013
Our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD has passed the 10,000-mile mark.
June 20, 2013
I like our 2014 Mazda CX-5 quite a bit. It steers and handles nicely — zoom, zoom, and all that — and it's got some style. And the new 2.5-liter engine gives it decent power.
Ours is the all-wheel drive version, so one would assume it's good for at least a little low-level off-roading.
But how much? To my mind, this question begs a series of follow-up questions, one of which is this: how much articulation can the suspension manage? I recently drove our Mazda CX-5 up a 20-degree RTI ramp to answer that one.
May 24, 2013
"It drives like a Mazda." These five words, as they pertain to our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5, are not just a compliment, they're a succinct description of its overall character and competence. They are to say, the action of the CX-5's various driving interfaces (steering, brakes, transmission and throttle) along with its suspension tuning coalesce into a spirited, precise and rewarding whole.
May 20, 2013
The 2014 Mazda CX-5 is a well-packaged crossover SUV. Even-so, there's no way to put two bikes, four people and a bunch of gear inside for a road trip. Our solution was the Mazda Accessories trailer hitch.
May 16, 2013
A few weeks ago we installed the Mazda Accessories trailer hitch on our CX-5. It was an easy two-hour process.
May 13, 2013
See those ridges in the surface of the speedometer? They don't need to be there. In fact, when there isn't direct sunlight shining on them like there is here, you don't even notice it. And that's exactly why I like the fact that they are there.
May 10, 2013
Relax. We don't really plan to tow anything with the CX-5, though its 2,000-pound tow capacity isn't the lowest in the class. Possibly you've noticed that several of us ride bikes. Thus, there's a constant need to haul bikes. And roof racks are a just-plain-bad idea reserved for those who relish the sound of carbon fiber failing as it encounters a territorial dispute with their garage door.
We will use a hitch rack. Just as soon as we have a hitch.
May 6, 2013
Last weekend I drove the Mazda CX-5 813 miles across the California and Nevada deserts. Possibly the most striking impression the Mazda made on me — short of being a well-mannered road vehicle, of course — is that it possesses highly effective windshield wipers and squirters.
April 26, 2013
Well, sort of. Last weekend I worked as a corner martial at the Long Beach Grand Prix. My local SCCA region, Cal Club, provides the corner workers (flaggers, emergency, starter, observers, etc.) for the event. How does this involve our 2014 Mazda CX-5 and the LBGP circuit?
The multi-level parking structure that normally serves the Long Beach Aquarium and the Pike marketplace is land-locked by the temporary street circuit and can't be reached by the public over the race weekend.
April 25, 2013
Our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 is the Grand Touring trim level and is equipped with the optional Technology package. Among well-known features like a navigation system and xenon headlights, the Technology also adds an unusual safety feature for this vehicle segment: Smart City Brake Support.
April 24, 2013
We've cleared 5,000 miles in our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5. The CX-5 has received a lot of positive commentary so far, and I suspect it will remain a popular and frequently used vehicle in our fleet for the remainder of its stay.
April 22, 2013
While we've got some pretty fantastic cars in our long-term fleet right now (e.g., Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG), I happen to really like our 2014 Mazda CX-5 for more mundane reasons. Mainly, it happens to suit my current lifestyle quite well.
April 19, 2013
It's here. The Mazda Accessories trailer hitch, that is. And right now it's in a big box in my garage. However, within a week we'll be doing the installation ourselves.
April 11, 2013
On a recent weekend a friend invited me to join him at an "airstrip attack." I had never heard of such a thing, but it's sort of like a high performance track day event but drag racing rather than road racing. It sounded interesting given the list of high-end cars entered, so I packed up Edmunds long-term Mazda CX-5 and headed out to the tiny town of Coalinga, Calif., where the event was half-mile races at the local airport.
While it would have been amusing to see a 184-horsepower Mazda CX-5 lineup against a 700-hp Ford GT, I wasn't actually driving or participating at this event. But the CX-5 proved to be an enjoyable companion on the drive and a useful support vehicle.
March 29, 2013
Now that cell phones are more or less banished from use on freeways in L.A., getting text messages is a bit more difficult. I always connect my phone with Bluetooth as soon as I get in a car so I can make and receive calls, but there aren't many cars that make it easy to get text messages.
In the case of the Mazda CX-5, I didn't have to do a thing. After hooking up my phone it automatically alerted me to an incoming text message. Since I was moving, it would only give me an alert with an option to have it read out loud. If you're stationary, it will display the message on the main screen. Of course, at that point you could just look at your phone so I'm not sure how much of a help it really is.
March 21, 2013
Wouldn't it be great if you could actually select the vehicle you'd like to drive with the push of a button? I discovered this navigation preference screen in our 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD. See what happens next after the break.
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 18, 2013
Oh, sure. You can tow anything behind a motor home if you load it onto a trailer. But serious RV aficionados consider that a huge hassle, and a two-wheel tow dolly isn't much better.
The ideal scenario is pictured above. A so-called "dinghy" vehicle rolls behind on its own four wheels, ready to be unhooked and driven on side trips while the motor home sits moored with its awnings unfurled and its sliders popped out in full relaxation mode. The extra towed weight, loading time and storage problem that a trailer or dolly represents puts an unwelcome damper on such proceedings.
So, can you flat tow a 2014 (or 2013) Mazda CX-5 behind a motor home?
The short answer is, "No."
A slightly longer answer appears on page 3-53 of the 2014 Mazda CX-5 owner's manual under the heading Recreational Towing.