Living within the Slightly Quicker Street
An antidote of these acceleration ills is here comprising of Mazda’s higher, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which occurs regular in the Touring and Grand Touring models in the 2014 model year. (The 2.0-liter keeps on inside the Sport trim and, unlike the 2.5, that is available just with a six-speed auto, could be specified having a six-speed manual.) Although bigger by half a liter, a recent mill bumps output by 29 horsepower and 35 lb-ft of torque. So endowed, our CX-5 cracked off a 7.6-second 0-to-60 time and knocked down the quarter in 15.8. Welcome improvements to be sure, but at the cost of a few mpg.
Our long-term 2013 CX-5 Touring AWD with the 2.0-liter and automatic has averaged a great 28 mpg in mixed driving, but the 2014 2.5-liter test car returned only 21 mpg. Full disclosure: Around 40 % with the mileage within our 2.5-liter test car was built up in foot-to-the-floor, no-quarter-given driving in the backwoods of northern Michigan. More restraint on the accelerator could yield results nearer to the official EPA combined amount of 26 mpg. Both engines are rated to tow up to 2000 pounds, sufficient tugging power for personal watercraft and small cargo trailers.
Nevertheless the numbers only tell a part of the story. Whereas the 155-hp, 2.0-liter CX-5 is a willing but weak companion, the 184-hp, 2.5-liter car is a bit of an instigator, cutting and running in traffic situations where the base car would best hold out for a wider opening. All the chassis goodness in the 2.0-liter CX-5 remains, and the linear response and feedback in the electrically assisted steering are arguably best in class. It is a well-balanced, cogently damped package that follows through on turn-in together with the routine predictability of a Michael Bay summer blockbuster.
However the braking components are away from exotic-single-pot calipers throughout, 11.7-inch vented front rotors and 11.9-inch solid rotors in back-Mazda has tuned the setup well, and our CX-5 2.5 stopped from 70 mph in 166 feet.
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