2014 Mazda CX-5 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Engaging driving experience
  • fuel-efficient engines
  • sharp styling.
  • Mediocre electronics interface
  • subpar stereo sound quality.
Other years
List Price Range
$10,163 - $24,990

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Edmunds' Expert Review

In many ways, the 2014 Mazda CX-5 is quite a conventional compact crossover. However, its sharp styling and engaging driving experience set it apart from the pack.

Notably, we picked the Mazda CX-5 as one of Edmunds' Best Used SUVs for 2014.

Vehicle overview

The CX-5 has been a big success for Mazda, a company that so often struggles to get the attention of buyers more inclined to shop other brands. The CX-5's blend of good looks, generous feature content, ample space and carlike driving dynamics has apparently resonated with folks looking for a compact crossover SUV. If there was one area of possible improvement, it was under the hood.

The 2014 Mazda CX-5 addresses that issue. Last year's 2.0-liter "Skyactiv" four-cylinder that was strong in fuel economy but weak in power now lives on only in the base Sport model. The Touring and Grand Touring trims now come with a bigger version of that engine, which displaces 2.5 liters and puts out 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. Not only is that 29 and 35, respectively, more than the 2.0-liter, it's also one of the more potent non-turbo four-cylinder engines in the segment. Best of all, fuel economy takes only a tiny dip.

Beyond that, the CX-5's virtues go unchanged for 2014. It remains one of the most enjoyable little SUVs to drive, as Mazda once again proves that sensible doesn't need to equal boring. The CX-5's cabin isn't the most visually dynamic around, but it can be equipped with most of the bells and whistles we've come to expect from compact crossovers. Some of them are controlled by a touchscreen that's hardly a class-leading interface, but we think most will find the CX-5's controls to be simple and intuitive.

Of course, there are an awful lot of worthy competitors to consider. The Ford Escape offers available turbo power and a more appealing interior, the Honda CR-V is a more utilitarian choice, and the 2014 Subaru Forester boasts stronger credentials for off-road use. However, the 2014 Mazda CX-5 should be strongly considered. It may be quite conventional in concept, but it's certainly unique in its execution.

Notably, we picked the 2014 Mazda CX-5 as one of Edmunds' Best Used Cars.

2014 Mazda CX-5 models

The 2014 Mazda CX-5 is a five-passenger compact crossover SUV available in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trim levels.

The base Sport comes standard with 17-inch wheels, full power accessories, keyless entry, air-conditioning, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod interface. The Bluetooth Audio package adds Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a touchscreen interface, HD radio, Pandora Internet radio, automatic crash notification, SMS text message reading and audio system voice controls. Foglights are a stand-alone option.

The Touring gets the Sport's optional equipment plus a more powerful engine, a rearview camera, a blind-spot warning system, a six-way power driver seat, a 40/20/40-split-folding rear seat, upgraded cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a six-speaker sound system. The Moonroof and Bose Audio package adds a sunroof and a nine-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system.

The Grand Touring includes all of the above, plus 19-inch wheels, automatic headlights, automatic wipers, heated mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat, heated front seats and leather upholstery.

The Technology package available on both Touring and Grand Touring models tacks on the Smart City Brake Support System (see Safety section), automatic and adaptive bi-xenon headlights, an auto-dimming mirror, satellite radio and a TomTom-powered navigation system. The latter two items are available as stand-alone options. The Touring version of this package includes automatic wipers, while the Grand Touring version gets keyless ignition/entry.

2014 Highlights

The Mazda CX-5 gets a welcome infusion of power for 2014 as the Touring and Grand Touring models get a bigger engine. Thankfully, fuel economy is barely affected. Other additions include the availability of a collision warning and assist system (Smart City Brake Support), as well as HD and Pandora radio services.

Performance & mpg

The 2014 Mazda CX-5 Sport comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 155 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque. Buyers are offered the choice of front- or all-wheel drive. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, with a six-speed automatic as an option.

In Edmunds performance testing, an all-wheel-drive CX-5 with this engine went from zero to 60 mph in 9.7 seconds, which is average for a small crossover. The EPA's estimated fuel economy is 29 mpg combined (26 mpg city/32 mpg highway) with front-wheel drive and the automatic and 29 mpg combined (26 mpg city/35 mpg highway) with the manual. With all-wheel drive and the automatic transmission, estimates drop to 28 mpg combined (25 mpg city/31 mpg highway).

The CX-5 Touring and Grand Touring models get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine good for 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. The six-speed automatic transmission is standard. In Edmunds testing, a CX-5 with the 2.5-liter engine and all-wheel drive went from zero to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds, which is a fairly quick time for the class. Fuel economy ratings are 27 mpg combined (25 mpg city/32 mpg highway) with front-wheel drive and 26 mpg combined (24 mpg city/30 mpg highway) with AWD.


Every 2014 Mazda CX-5 comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. An automatic crash notification feature is optional on the Sport and standard on the Touring and Grand Touring, which also get a blind-spot warning system.

The optional Smart City Brake Support system uses a laser sensor to detect stationary objects such as stopped cars or pedestrians in front of the vehicle at speeds up to 19 mph. If the driver fails to respond to a warning, the car can automatically apply the brakes.

In Edmunds brake testing, a CX-5 Grand Touring came to a stop from 60 mph in 121 feet, which is a bit better than average for the class.

In government crash testing, the CX-5 received a perfect five stars for overall crash safety, along with five stars for both front- and side-impact crash protection. In crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the CX-5 earned the highest possible rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, small-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests. Its seat/head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.


The way the 2014 Mazda CX-5 drives is a dynamic departure from the compact SUV segment's otherwise typical low standards. The brakes, suspension and steering are uncommonly capable, and in general the CX-5 is downright fun and confidence-inspiring on a curving road. On the open highway, the CX-5 isn't the quietest choice available, but it still rides comfortably.

The base engine offers competitive acceleration on paper, but in practice it always makes the CX-5 Sport feel a step behind its competitors. There is certainly a suitable amount of power, but we think the available 2.5-liter four-cylinder is a much better choice given its superior power and minuscule fuel economy penalty. Regardless of engine, the six-speed automatic shifts quickly and smoothly. We're also happy that Mazda offers a manual transmission on the Sport for those who enjoy having greater control of the driving experience (and better fuel economy to boot).


The cockpit of the CX-5, regardless of trim level, is attractive, modern and functional. It's a mature (some might say demure) design, but at least it isn't swathed in poorly rendered fake wood or highly reflective chrome trim. Soft-touch surfaces are set off with the limited use of satin-finish metallic details, and the black gauges with white lettering are highly legible. The optional TomTom-sourced navigation system is satisfactory, but many competitor units are quicker, more intuitive and have better graphics. The audio system's touchscreen interface is similarly just OK.

The driving position and front seat comfort are both quite good. The rear seats are spacious (especially in terms of legroom) for the category and, while a bit flat to sit on, feature an innovative folding mechanism on the Touring and Grand Touring that lowers the seat bottom before folding the seatback on top to provide a near-flat load floor. With all seats occupied, there are 34 cubic feet of luggage space that grows to a competitive 65 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2014 Mazda CX-5.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Overall good choice
Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
Traded in a '11 Ford Escape Limited AWD for the '14 Mazda CX-5 GT in Sep, 2013 so this is after 4 mo of use. Overall, a good vehicle. Pickup is good, comparable to the V6in the Escape. Mileage is better, though not as good as some on here indicate. In town averaging 23-24 mpg. However, in winter cold, mileage has dropped to 20-21 mpg. Use of remote start in bitter cold for 10 minutes, mileage drops to 18-19. Sound system is good, but not as good as the system in the '11 Escape. Some on here have complained about the Bluetooth connection. I have been using Pandora and the system works fine. Unlike satellite radio (ie Sirius), Pandora is coming through your cellphone first, then to the onboard
Excellent Car
Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
Have own our 2014 AWD GT for 3000 miles. Very happy with the car. Wanted to write a review cause it was the many reviews on Edmunds that eventually helped me select the CX-5 over the Forester. CX-5 (in my opinion) just handles better. Tracks real well, very stable. Soaks up more bumps and noise better than the Forester. Brakes well, handled very well in snow and rain. Forester - can't beat the wonderful and huge sunroof, visibility MUCH better - CX-5 needs more attention. Better heated seats on the Forester. Bottom line - Mazda offered better trade, finance, car better handling. Couldn't pass up - just more bang for the buck. Update 40k miles. Replaced stock tires in mid 30's k miles, otherwise no major maintenance besides oil change/filter/... Still very much enjoy the car. Like the auto braking on the new CX-5. The 2014 CX-5 monitors for collisions and moves brake pads closer if sees potential accident - should be more autonomous. gas mileage overall excellent but does suffer in the winter (around 24 mpg avg vs 28 mpg during summer). One note - AC cooling power is below other cars I have driven. Only front seat vents. AC takes lot longer to cool car; doesn't feel as cool inside as other family cars. Update - up to 75K miles. Had to get rear break pads replaced but otherwise car is humming along, still enjoying the ride. The lack of Apple smartphone integration is disappointing and the GPS Nav system is now 6 yrs old and dated. My plan is to trade her in for a new CX-5, just don't know when. No reason to trade her.
Excellent mechanically, terrible electronics.
Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
After six months and 6000 miles we still really like the vehicle. The AWD handles mountain roads and snow storms superbly. The manual control, of the auto transmission, is the best I have used, - smooth, no jerks, which is necessary for downshifting on icy, steep roads. The electronics, navigation and Bluetooth, are, at best, antiquated and inadequate. The HVAC works, but, when the cabin is hot, you must manually turn up the fan control to max. The Cruise switches are dangerous with Cancel and Resume being next to each other, and the Resume the easiest to hit. Mileage is as represented. After two years, my feelings remain constant. If anything, my patience with the poor performance of the Bluetooth, "Information" systems, and HVAC wears more thin. At the 30,000 mile mark. Our opinions and feelings remain constant. We haven't had any mechanical problems. After three years, at 45,000, the same. We did, however, put in sound dampening material, and really like the noise reduction. After four years and 55,000 miles pretty much the same. The heater core plugged up at 47k, fortunately Mazda covered it. Had it not, the charge would have been $1700!!. Five years and 65k. Only new thing to add is no significant mechanical problems! We have learned to ignore, or live with, the electronic short comings, and are very pleased the only new mechanic mechanical problem was a defective brake pedal switch. That cost $22 and 15 minutes to install. 67k, no change in my opinion. No additional mechanical problems. 74k opinion remains constant. Did have one more problem, the switch that sensed when the car was in park. Almost $400 to repair. Still, I believe it's a good car. 76,000, no changes in my review because there's no changes in the car. Good news, indeed.
Best Car I've Owned in a Very Long Time
Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
I purchased a 2014 GT/AWD 2.5 CX-5 in October 2013. I test drove Audi, Lexus, BMW and Infinity models of compact SUVs (with the intent to buy a luxury SUV), but this vehicle was the best bang for the buck overall. This vehicle felt comparable in handling and "fun to drive" with the Audi Q5. The size is great for (downtown) city driving (as about 90% of my driving is). I am getting great gas mileage, around 23-24 mpg city. It handles well in the snow, and feel like I have good traction when the road condition is less than perfect. I feel that it has good power to make it up the CO mountain roads. The trim level is good with just a few things needing improvement for the GT trim level.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover17.4%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2014 Mazda CX-5
More About This Model

"We'd love it even more with another 30 horsepower onboard, but the Mazda CX-5 is still a fun drive despite its meager engine power."

That's what we wrote after our 2013 Mazda CX-5 road test with the 2.0-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder engine. For 2014, Mazda has answered the call by giving Touring and Grand Touring versions of the 2014 Mazda CX-5 a new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 184 hp. That's exactly 29 more hp than the 2.0-liter engine, which remains standard on the 2014 CX-5 Sport.

Even more important is the new engine's extra 35 pound-feet of torque. We're driving a 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring around trendy Austin, Texas, where rush hour has become a competitive event as everyone makes a dash for their homes in the suburbs. Right away, that additional grunt helps us catch holes in traffic that would have been off limits in last year's CX-5.

CX-5 Gets Muscle From the Mazda 6
The new 2.5-liter four-cylinder also bears the name Skyactiv, since like the 2.0-liter, it's part of Mazda's new family of gasoline engines that use direct injection, high compression and low-friction materials to achieve solid performance and high fuel economy while running on plain old 87 octane fuel.

We already sampled a version of this engine in the 2014 Mazda 6, which is closely related to the CX-5 beneath the skin. Their common platform architecture was originally designed for the sedan, but it's a quirk of U.S. marketing that we got the SUV before we got the car.

In the Mazda 6, the 2.5-liter engine is offered with a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission, but if you want a manual in your 2014 CX-5, you'll have to drop back to the 2.0-liter Sport model, as the automatic is standard with the 2.5-liter engine. It's too bad, because the manual is startlingly good. However, Mazda officials tell us the take rate for the three-pedal CX-5 is a disappointing 7 percent.

Quick Enough With the Automatic
That's no criticism of the six-speed automatic, though. It's geared the same for both engines, and in our all-wheel-drive CX-5 2.5, it's perceptive and comes up with downshifts quickly when we need to pass.

You still won't be towing horse trailers with the 2014 Mazda CX-5 (indeed, towing capacity is unchanged at 2,000 pounds), but the extra torque is evident and appreciated in the Texas Hill Country.

Our non-certified digital wristwatch suggests a 0-60-mph time in the low 8-second range is within its grasp. That jibes with our seat-of-the-pants impression that the 2014 Mazda CX-5 2.5 is at least a second quicker than the 2013 CX-5 2.0, which ran a 9.7-second 0-60 (or 9.5 seconds with a foot of rollout) during Edmunds testing. For its part, Mazda claims the AWD CX-5 2.5 will run a 7.8-second 0-60, while the lighter front-drive version is reportedly capable of 7.2. If true, the 2014 CX-5 2.5 would be as quick as a 2.0-liter EcoBoost-equipped 2013 Ford Escape, but we won't know for sure until we test one.

Mazda still won't confirm that it's going to offer its even more potent 2.2-liter diesel engine in the U.S.-market CX-5, but we were mightily impressed by the diesel CX-5 prototypes we drove some months back, and that engine is already on sale in European CX-5s. The diesel will be offered in our Mazda 6 later this year.

Fuel Economy Still Class-Leading
Mileage is quite good on the 2014 Mazda CX-5 2.5, likely due in no small part to the 2.5-liter engine's lower torque peak. Its 185 lb-ft come together at just 3,250 rpm compared to a 4,000-rpm threshold for the 2.0-liter engine's 150 lb-ft. The upshot is that the bigger engine doesn't have to work as hard.

Even as our drive takes us down a series of winding roads, our actual mileage stays close to the 24 mpg city EPA rating for the CX-5 2.5 AWD. And we'd expect to come much closer to its 30 mpg highway rating during calm cruising on level highways. The combined rating is 26 mpg.

That's a pretty good number for a 3,500-pound crossover SUV, and indeed, EPA fuel economy ratings for the 2.0-liter and the 2.5-liter are quite close. An AWD automatic-equipped CX-5 with the 2.0-liter is rated 25 city/31 highway/28 combined mpg. In real-world driving conditions, that difference is likely to be a wash.

Meanwhile, the front-wheel-drive CX-5 2.5 is rated 25 city/32 highway/27 combined mpg, while its 2.0-liter equivalent is rated at 26 city/32 highway/29 combined.

For the moment, the Mazda leads the compact crossover class in fuel economy, as you'd have to step down to something smaller like the Buick Encore (28 mpg combined) or 2013 Nissan Juke (29 combined) to beat those numbers. Front-drive versions of the CR-V, Escape (with its 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine) and 2013 Toyota RAV4 are rated 26 mpg combined.

Collision Avoidance System Is New for 2014
Aside from the engine, Mazda is offering a new safety feature, SCBS (Smart City Brake Support) as part of the 2014 CX-5's Technology package. This package costs an additional $1,625 on our CX-5 Grand Touring. You can also get it for $1,485 on the Touring model, but you have to buy it in combination with the $1,130 Bose audio and moonroof package (these items are standard on the Grand Touring).

Basically, SCBS is a low-cost collision mitigation system that helps you avoid rear-ending other vehicles when you're traveling between 3 mph and 19 mph: in other words, when you're stuck in heavy traffic. Using a windshield-mounted laser sensor, SCBS can sense an obstacle and prime the brakes to shorten brake-caliper piston travel and minimize braking time when the driver hits the binders. If the driver doesn't brake, the SCBS brakes independently.

That Technology package also includes a TomTom-based navigation system, HID adaptive headlights, rain-sensing wipers and an auto-dimming mirror. It's a worthwhile upgrade for the headlights alone, though this option group, along with our test vehicle's $100 rear bumper guard, results in a bottom line of $30,695. If you don't care about the Grand Touring's leather upholstery, you could load up a CX-5 Touring model with the same options and land at $29,375.

On the other end of the spectrum, a base, manual-transmission CX-5 Sport starts at $21,990. If you're on a tight budget, that model is still worth considering, one reason being its inventory of standard equipment, ranging from push-button start to 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels with quiet-riding P225/65R17 Yokohama all-season tires. Of course, you can also get these tires on the Touring and then you won't have to go without the extra power.

Still the Athlete of the Small SUV Class
In contrast, the 225/55R19 Toyo tires on our 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring aren't as serene over Texas highways, and the crossover's ordinarily compliant ride occasionally becomes jarring over rough pavement. Still, it's tough to argue with the CX-5's impressive balance on roads with tight curves. It's easily one of the best-handling compact SUVs on the road today.

Inside, the front seats are reasonably comfortable and supportive, and rear seat room is reasonable for two adults, less reasonable for three. The rear cargo area, easily accessed through the large hatch, is a generous 34.1 cubic feet.

Instruments and controls aren't fancy but are intuitive and attractively designed. Bluetooth is standard in Touring and Grand Touring models (optional in Sport), and for 2014, Mazda has added SMS text-to-speech capability for MAP-enabled smartphones.

Horsepower Fixes Everything
There's no denying that the compact sport-ute segment is a tough league to play in, as it's filled with some of the best-selling vehicles in the country, including the CR-V, Escape, RAV4, Kia Sorento and the redesigned Hyundai Santa Fe Sport.

The 2013 Mazda CX-5 was a legitimate player in this class, too, offering a spacious interior, sporty handling and outstanding fuel economy. The trouble was that its 2.0-liter engine, although smooth and willing, felt taxed when accelerating up long grades, especially on the heavier all-wheel-drive model.

Now Mazda has addressed this issue, adding more power without dragging down the compact crossover's class-leading fuel economy. Understandably, company officials predict that the new 2.5-liter engine will be popular, with 70 percent of 2014 CX-5 buyers opting for either the Touring or Grand Touring.

And unless you require a third seat or serious towing capacity, the 2014 Mazda CX-5 2.5 may indeed be all the SUV you'll ever need. With loaded versions priced lower than a top-of-the-line CR-V or Escape, the 2.5-equipped CX-5 is a relative bargain among compact crossovers.

Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.

Used 2014 Mazda CX-5 Overview

The Used 2014 Mazda CX-5 is offered in the following submodels: CX-5 SUV. Available styles include Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Grand Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Sport 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 6A), Sport 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 6M), and Sport 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 6A). Pre-owned Mazda CX-5 models are available with a 2.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 184 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2014 Mazda CX-5 comes with front wheel drive, and all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2014 Mazda CX-5 comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2014 Mazda CX-5?

Price comparisons for Used 2014 Mazda CX-5 trim styles:

  • The Used 2014 Mazda CX-5 Touring is priced between $10,995 and$18,009 with odometer readings between 29459 and140546 miles.
  • The Used 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring is priced between $10,163 and$24,990 with odometer readings between 57595 and196871 miles.
  • The Used 2014 Mazda CX-5 Sport is priced between $12,990 and$14,998 with odometer readings between 76040 and101465 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2014 Mazda CX-5s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2014 Mazda CX-5 for sale near. There are currently 24 used and CPO 2014 CX-5s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $10,163 and mileage as low as 29459 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2014 Mazda CX-5.

Can't find a used 2014 Mazda CX-5s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mazda CX-5 for sale - 11 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $23,019.

Find a used Mazda for sale - 9 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $24,311.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mazda CX-5 for sale - 4 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $24,185.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mazda for sale - 1 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $8,935.

Should I lease or buy a 2014 Mazda CX-5?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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