An antidote of these acceleration ills is here by way of Mazda’s bigger, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, that occurs regular on 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, which is obtainable only with a six-speed auto, can still become particular using a six-speed manual.) Although bigger by half a liter, a latest 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 assured, but at the expense of a few mpg.
Our long-term 2013 CX-5 Touring AWD with the 2.0-liter and automatic has averaged a good 28 miles per gallon in mixed driving, although the 2014 2.5-liter test car returned only 21 mpg. Full disclosure: Approximately 40 percent of the mileage in your 2.5-liter test car was gathered in foot-to-the-floor, no-quarter-given driving from the backwoods of northern Michigan. More restraint in the accelerator could yield results nearer to the official EPA mixed amount of 26 mpg. Both engines are rated to tow nearly 2000 pounds, sufficient tugging power for personal watercraft and small cargo trailers.
However the numbers only tell an element 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 that the base car would best hold out for any wider opening. All the chassis goodness with the 2.0-liter CX-5 remains, and the linear response and feedback from the electrically assisted steering are arguably best in class. This can be a well-balanced, cogently damped package that follows through on turn-in with the routine predictability of a Michael Bay summer blockbuster.
However the braking components are far from exotic-single-pot calipers all over, 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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