Life within the Gently Speedier Lane
An antidote of such acceleration ills has arrived in the form of Mazda’s larger, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which comes typical on the Touring and Grand Touring models for the 2014 model year. (The 2.0-liter carries on within the Sport trim and, unlike the 2.5, which is obtainable just with a six-speed auto, could be specific using 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 sure, 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 mpg in mixed driving, although the 2014 2.5-liter test car returned only 21 mpg. Full disclosure: Around 40 % in the mileage inside our 2.5-liter test car was accrued in foot-to-the-floor, no-quarter-given driving through the backwoods of northern Michigan. More restraint with the accelerator could yield results closer to the authorized EPA combined number of 26 mpg. Both engines are rated to tow about 2000 pounds, enough tugging power for private watercraft and small cargo trailers.
But the numbers only tell 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 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 with the 2.0-liter CX-5 remains, as well as the linear response and feedback with the electrically assisted steering are arguably finest in class. This is a well-balanced, cogently damped package that follows through on turn-in together with the routine predictability of an 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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