Best Bet
  • (4.5) 156 reviews
  • Inventory Prices: $11,335–$21,327
  • Body Style: Sport Utility
  • Combined MPG: 26-29
  • Engine: 184-hp, 2.5-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel Drive
  • Seats: 5
2014 Mazda CX-5

Our Take on the Latest Model 2014 Mazda CX-5

What We Don't Like

  • Performance of 2.0-liter four-cylinder
  • Ride quality might be too firm for some
  • Available touch-screen is on the small side
  • TomTom-based navigation system's ease of use

Notable Features

  • New optional 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine
  • New low-speed collision-avoidance option
  • New optional integrated text messaging support
  • Manual or automatic transmission
  • FWD or AWD

2014 Mazda CX-5 Reviews

Cars.com Expert Reviews

With its newfound power, the 2014 Mazda CX-5 is the complete package for crossover-minded driving enthusiasts.

The CX-5 burst onto the small crossover market a little more than a year ago and established itself as one of the most fun-to-drive models in the class. It had everything going for it — except one thing: Its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine frequently felt weak. Mazda zeroed in on this shortcoming for the 2014 model year with a newly optional 2.5-liter four-cylinder that makes 19 percent more horsepower and 23 percent more torque.

The CX-5 sees a slight price increase for 2014, now starting at $21,990 for a base front-wheel-drive Sport model with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder (all prices include a $795 destination charge). The midlevel Touring trim adds the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and starts at $25,410 — a $420 increase over last year's Touring with the 2.0-liter engine. I drove a well-equipped all-wheel-drive Grand Touring version with an as-tested price of $31,890 (see the Monroney sticker). To see the CX-5's specs compared with the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4, click here.

What the CX-5 Needed
The new 2.5-liter four-cylinder transforms the CX-5 driving experience. While the base 2.0-liter feels burdened by the crossover's weight and produces leisurely acceleration, the 2.5-liter engine makes the CX-5 move out strongly and attack hills with purpose. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder completely vanquishes the sluggishness that accompanied the 2.0-liter. (For a full rundown on the 2.0-liter CX-5, check out our review of the 2013 model.)

Despite the 2.5-liter four-cylinder's significantly better performance in everyday driving, gas mileage hasn't taken much of a hit. EPA-estimated automatic-transmission gas mileage drops to 25/32 mpg city/highway with front-wheel drive (from 26/32 mpg with the 2.0-liter engine) and 24/30 mpg with all-wheel drive (from 25/31 mpg). Mazda still sells the front-wheel-drive CX-5 with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a six-speed manual transmission, which is rated at a frugal 26/35 mpg.

A responsive six-speed automatic transmission makes the most of the CX-5's newfound power. Part-throttle kickdowns happen immediately, and the transmission's refinement — especially its shift quality — is top notch.

Know What You're in For
The CX-5 remains one of the most engaging small crossovers thanks to good driving dynamics, precise feedback-rich steering and controlled body motions. Not everyone, though, will be a fan of the crossover's ride, which is unapologetically firm.

The firm suspension tuning, regardless of trim level, means you feel all the little aspects of whatever road surface you're driving on. Even on pothole-free roads like the ones in Austin, Texas, where I tested the CX-5, the ride was a little jostling, and the constant jitters may be too much for some shoppers. The overall emphasis is clearly on driving precision at the expense of comfort.

The Inside Stays Mostly the Same
Apart from the new engine, the 2014 CX-5 sees few other changes. Newly available features include Pandora internet radio integration and a system that can display and read incoming text messages from a compatible smartphone as well as reply with a preset response. The CX-5 can also have Mazda's Smart City Brake Support system for the first time, which is designed to avoid or lessen the severity of a low-speed collision by automatically applying the brakes if the driver fails to do so.

The crossover, however, didn't really need much in the way of interior changes. The cabin features nice materials, including a soft-touch dashboard and upper door trim surfaces and convincing metal-look accents. The front bucket seats are comfortable and have enough bolstering for aggressive driving. The backseat readily accommodates adults, and the backrest folds flat with the cargo floor when more utility is needed.

The one aspect of the cabin that lags behind the rest of the interior and the class in general is the available built-in navigation system. The screen measures only 5.8 inches and the TomTom-based operating system isn't intuitive.

Safety
The CX-5 earned a 2013 Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, representing top scores in the agency's moderate-overlap crash test, side-impact crash test, roof-strength test and rear-impact neck-protection assessment. Standard safety features include side-impact airbags for the front seats, side curtain airbags, antilock brakes and an electronic stability system. Besides the Smart City Brake Support system, a backup camera and a blind spot warning system are also optional.

For a full list of safety features check out the Features & Specs page. To see how well child-safety seats fit in the CX-5 visit our Car Seat Check.

CX-5 in the Market
The CX-5 is off to a strong start in the U.S., and the changes for 2014 make an already appealing small crossover even better. The segment is relentlessly competitive, but with the CX-5's newfound power, it can hang with the best of them.

Send Mike an email  


Consumer Reviews

(4.5)

Average based on 156 reviews

Write a Review

Love My Car

by L for Love My Car from Auburn CA on December 16, 2017

Still love my car! It still looks new, inside and out. No issues. Has had regular maintenance and 1 set of tires

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6 Trims Available

Photo of undefined
Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2014 Mazda CX-5 trim comparison will help you decide.
 

Mazda CX-5 Articles

2014 Mazda CX-5 Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

IIHS Ratings

Based on Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring

Front
G
Head Restraints and Seats
G
Moderate overlap front
G
Roof Strength
G
Side
G

IIHS Ratings

Based on Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring

G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor

Front

Chest
G
Head/Neck
G
Hip/thigh
G
Lower leg/foot
G
Overall evaluation
G
Retraints and dummy kinematics
G
Structure and safety cage
A

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
G
Overall Rear
G
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
G

Moderate overlap front

Chest
G
Head/Neck
G
Left Leg/Foot
G
Overall Front
G
Restraints
G
Right Leg/Foot
G
Structure/safety cage
G

Other

Roof Strength
G

Side

Driver Head Protection
G
Driver Head and Neck
G
Driver Pelvis/Leg
G
Driver Torso
G
Overall Side
G
Rear Passenger Head Protection
G
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
G
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
G
Rear Passenger Torso
G
Structure/safety cage
G
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers. IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests. IIHS also evaluates seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring

Overall
Overall Front
Overall Side
Overall Rollover Rating

NHTSA Ratings

Based on Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring

Overall
Overall Front
Overall Side
Overall Rollover Rating
Driver's
Passenger's
Side Barrier
Side Barrier Rating Driver
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat
Side Pole
Side Pole Barrier combined (Front)
Side Pole Barrier combined (Rear)
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA provides vehicle safety information such as front- and side-crash ratings and rollover ratings. Vehicles are rated using a star rating system from 1-5 stars, with 5 being the highest.

Recalls

There are currently 4 recalls for this car.


Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $2,200 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

Bumper-to-Bumper

36mo/36,000mi

Powertrain

60mo/60,000mi

Roadside Assistance Coverage

36mo/36,000mi

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained

Bumper-to-Bumper

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

Powertrain

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years