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Old 02-12-2013, 01:49 PM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default The 2014 Mazda CX-5 returns with more Skyactiv power





Quote:
We rather enjoyed the 2013 Mazda CX-5 Touring we bought and tested last year. But there was one complaint: the super-efficient 2.0-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder engine was down on power at just 155 horses. Scratch that gripe off the list. Most 2014 CX-5s will come with a more-competitive 184-hp, 2.5-liter Skyactiv engine.

It's a mixed bag when automakers introduce a car and then make major changes just a year later. Improving products is great for the consumer, except for the poor guy who will regret buying that first-year car. And since Consumer Reports buys all of the cars that we test, we really hope to get more than a year's worth of data publishing out of a test vehicle. But sometimes quick changes mean that we need to write another check. The damage: $28,090 sticker price (we paid a bit less) for our Soul Red 2014 CX-5 Touring AWD with the moon roof/Bose audio package.

Now is a great time to be shopping for a fresh-off-the-shelf small SUV. The new Toyota RAV4 is currently on sale, the 2014 Subaru Forester goes in sale in a few short weeks, and now there's the updated CX-5. Compared to those revamped competitors, our CX-5 comes in at about $2,000 more than the 2014 Forester Premium with a CVT and about $1,200 more than the 2013 Toyota RAV4 XLE we bought. You gain some/lose some with the options. The CX-5 has blind-spot monitoring and that Bose stereo with voice commands; the Forester has a giant panoramic sunroof; and the RAV4 adds automatic climate control (lacking in the CX-5).

So this Mazda may be priced at a premium, but it also brings something less tangible to the class. With its nimble handling, the CX-5 is really fun-to-drive. Well-sculpted seats and a sports steering wheel suggest that the Mazda intends to make twisty back roads enjoyable, even if most small SUVs serve as suburban errand shuttles. Our tests will tell if the added power comes with a fuel-economy penalty.

There's quite a battle brewing to see which small SUV tops our Ratings. We'll see if the Honda CR-V still holds that position after the dust settles. (Or, thanks to Nemo, after the snow settles.) With a few more weeks of winter, we welcome the newly invigorated AWD CX-5 into our test fleet.
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Old 02-14-2013, 01:24 PM   #2
sen7inel
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Why no manual with the sweeter engine? Same goes for the XT...
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:41 PM   #3
kukabuka
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Doesn't seem worth offering a second engine choice when it is only 29hp more. Put a turbo in, then we'll talk.
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:51 AM   #4
arghx7
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Originally Posted by sen7inel View Post
Why no manual with the sweeter engine? Same goes for the XT...
Because they don't think enough people will buy it to justify the cost of certifying it.
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:49 PM   #5
53x12
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Originally Posted by arghx7 View Post
Because they don't think enough people will buy it to justify the cost of certifying it.
You need to certify the various transmission options? I thought they would only have to certify the engine. Hence why many companies are hesitant to bring over diesel engines to the States do to cost of certifying those engines and the perspective that Americans are hesitant to accept diesel cars.
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:22 PM   #6
subyski
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I can somewhat see why a 2.5L 6MT FWD is not offered, even though it's offered in the 6. As the 2.5L in the CX5 is the better matched engine while only taking a 1 mpg (city) penalty over the 2.0L, the 6MT now only exists in the 2.0L FWD for max mpg numbers and lowest MSRP or in other words, marketing. Mazda knows most buyers will opt for AT offerings anyways despite slightly lower mpgs but marketing 35 hwy mpg at the lowest MSRP says a lot.

I'm surprised that the Mazda6 doesn't get the 2.0L with the 6MT or 6AT geared for max mpg numbers but then again, that would be underpowered so I'm glad they didn't.

I personally would like to see the CX5 have an optional 2.5L 6MT AWD to compete with the Forester.

Last edited by subyski; 02-15-2013 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:38 AM   #7
arghx7
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Originally Posted by 53x12 View Post
You need to certify the various transmission options? I thought they would only have to certify the engine. Hence why many companies are hesitant to bring over diesel engines to the States do to cost of certifying those engines and the perspective that Americans are hesitant to accept diesel cars.
There's enough difference between a conventional manual and other types of transmissions (step A/T, dual clutch, CVT) that it will affect emissions & fuel economy. You drive the test cycles on the dyno differently. There's a shift schedule you follow. There's no torque converter lock up either.
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Old 02-16-2013, 06:16 PM   #8
Integra96
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I drove the 2.5L CX-5 a few days ago and came away very impressed. The addition of "only" 29 horsepower makes it an enjoyable drive. Mazda also did a great job with the chassis tuning - it just feels right and handles better than any crossover should.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:03 PM   #9
richde
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Originally Posted by arghx7 View Post
Because they don't think enough people will buy it to justify the cost of certifying it.
They don't "think" that, they know it.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:20 AM   #10
dbrier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Integra96 View Post
I drove the 2.5L CX-5 a few days ago and came away very impressed. The addition of "only" 29 horsepower makes it an enjoyable drive. Mazda also did a great job with the chassis tuning - it just feels right and handles better than any crossover should.
Same here, I drove one last weekend. It drives very well and has decent pick up for vehicle in this segment.
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