Life from the Gently Faster Lane
An antidote of these acceleration ills has arrived by way of Mazda’s larger, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, that comes regular on the Touring and Grand Touring models in the 2014 model year. (The 2.0-liter carries on within the Sport trim and, unlike the 2.5, which is obtainable simply with a six-speed auto, could be 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 certain, 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, nevertheless the 2014 2.5-liter test car returned only 21 mpg. Full disclosure: Approximately 40 percent 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 official EPA mixed number of 26 mpg. Both engines are rated to tow around 2000 pounds, adequate tugging power for private 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 in which 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. 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 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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