February 11, 2014
I recently had the chance to drive our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 and really liked it for the most part. It is comfortable, has great styling and good visibility. But its infotainment screen was a bit disappointing.
The screen is small and as my colleague James Riswick pointed out, the navigation system is rudimentary. Plus, I've already seen what Mazda will eventually replace it with — and it's much better.
December 06, 2013
Our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD came out of the car wash today all neat and pretty, except for its nav screen. I wiped it down with a glasses cloth, and it was all better.
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.
November 27, 2013
As Vincent Vega once said, it's the little differences. He was talking about his ability to get a beer at a movie theater in Amsterdam. I'm talking about our 2014 Mazda CX-5. It shows how just one or two thoughtful touches can show up other cars that claim "ultimate" performance.
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.
October 8, 2013
Ever been on a freeway where the speed limit fluctuates, from 55 to 65 or 65 to 75 for no apparent reason? Sometimes those darn speed limit signs are few and far between, so knowing whether you're going 6 over or 16 over while cruising along can be tricky.
In one instance, you're pretty much safely under the radar, in the other you may find yourself running into it. Although I tend to just go with the flow in the #2 or #3 lanes, there are those rare times when traffic is sparse and you could be more, umm, visible.
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?
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 17, 2013
No, I don't want to help you, and stop trying to talk me into it.
June 25, 2013
Our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD has passed the 10,000-mile mark.
June 18, 2013
Due to a long road trip and some other obligations, our 2014 Mazda CX-5 missed its first scheduled service appointment. Shame, but not the end of the world. Had we not waited, we might not have noticed that there's a new Mazda dealership / service center right here in Santa Monica, Santa Monica Auto Group. (For those of you not here in SoCal, Mazda's had an iffy history of dealerships in L.A. They have solid outposts in the Valley, Long Beach and the IE, but nobody who lives on the West Side or Mid-City is going to go any of those places. Ever.)
The car was going in for two things: 1) an oil change and 2) to address the stereo issues we've been having.
June 17, 2013
Just the other day we told you about the intermittent iPod, today it's done something even stranger.
June 13, 2013
The iPod interface in our 2014 Mazda CX-5 isn't working correctly. That is to say, it's working worse than normal.
June 11, 2013
The navigation system in the 2014 Mazda CX-5 is sourced from Tom Tom and is included in the $1,625 Technology package along with keyless start, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, an auto-dimming mirror, Homelink and the Smart City brake support system. That's excellent value when you consider the going rate for many navigation systems is $2,000.
May 17, 2013
Our long-term 2014 Mazda CX-5 has an in-dash CD player. But not every new car has one. There are so many alternate ways of listening to music that manufacturers may stop supplying them in their cars.
General Motors, for example, left the disc in its MyLink system out of the new Chevy Sonic and Spark. Instead you can connect with your smartphone. Kia will also be leaving out a CD player in the 2014 Soul because it doesn't fit the car's buying demographic.
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.
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.