Living within the Slightly Quicker Lane
An antidote for these acceleration ills has arrived comprising of Mazda’s larger, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which arrives standard in the Touring and Grand Touring models for the 2014 model year. (The 2.0-liter goes on within the Sport trim and, unlike the 2.5, that is available only with a six-speed auto, may still be particular with a six-speed manual.) Although bigger by half a liter, the recent mill bumps output by 29 horsepower and 35 lb-ft of torque. So lucky, 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 assured, but at the price of a few mpg.
Our long-term 2013 CX-5 Touring AWD with the 2.0-liter and automatic offers averaged a good 28 miles per gallon in mixed driving, but the 2014 2.5-liter test car returned only 21 mpg. Full disclosure: Around 40 % with the mileage inside 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 closer to the certified EPA mixed quantity of 26 mpg. Both engines are rated to tow about 2000 pounds, sufficient tugging power for individual watercraft and small cargo trailers.
But 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 little an instigator, cutting and running in traffic situations when the base car would best wait for the wider opening. All the chassis goodness with the 2.0-liter CX-5 remains, along with the linear response and feedback through the electrically assisted steering are arguably finest in class. This is a well-balanced, cogently damped package that follows through on turn-in with the routine predictability of a Michael Bay summer blockbuster.
Even though braking components are far 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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