Life from the Slightly Speedier Lane
An antidote for such acceleration ills is here comprising of Mazda’s larger, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which comes common in the Touring and Grand Touring models for the 2014 model year. (The 2.0-liter carries on on the Sport trim and, unlike the 2.5, which is obtainable only with a six-speed auto, can still be specified having a six-speed manual.) Although bigger by half a liter, a new 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 make 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 solid 28 miles per gallon in mixed driving, nevertheless the 2014 2.5-liter test car returned only 21 mpg. Full disclosure: About 40 percent from the mileage in our 2.5-liter test car was gathered in foot-to-the-floor, no-quarter-given driving through the backwoods of northern Michigan. More restraint using the accelerator could yield results closer to the certified EPA mixed number of 26 mpg. Both engines are rated to tow up to 2000 pounds, adequate 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 when the base car would best wait for any wider opening. All the chassis goodness in the 2.0-liter CX-5 remains, as well as 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 with the routine predictability of an Michael Bay summer blockbuster.
Although the braking components are away 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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