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2015 Mazda CX-5 Touring Long-Term Update 4

Quick but Refined?

Kelly Pleskot
Jan 29, 2015
Photographers: Motor Trend Staff
After six months of driving the CX-5, we can confidently say it feels like one of the quickest small SUVs out there. Its healthy engine growl and immediate kick of power off the line give the CX-5 a sporty feel. Recently, we took the Mazda to the test track to find out if our perceptions were true on paper.
During our 0-60 run, the CX-5 clocked 7.8 seconds. Although that might not sound fast, it actually performed better than most of the front-wheel-drive, four-cylinder competition we've tested, and in many cases, the time disparity is enough to warrant consideration. Most recently, the 138-hp Chevrolet Trax took a full 9.0 seconds to hit 60 mph, and when we tested the current-gen Ford Escape with a 178-hp, 1.6-liter four-banger, we recorded 8.9 seconds. The current-gen 176-hp RAV4 XLE scooted to 60 in 8.4 seconds; the 182-hp 2014 Tucson made it in 8.2 seconds; and a pre-refresh 2012 CR-V did the deed in 8.7 seconds.
Photo 2/11   |   2015 Mazda CX 5 Engine
The slowest compact SUV we tested was the 2013 Kia Sportage at 9.3 seconds, thanks to a 176-hp, 2.4-liter four-banger that has since been updated with just a couple more horses. But which comparable SUV was able to match the CX-5's time? The Tiguan, which has 16 more hp than the CX-5.
So the CX-5 is fast, but how refined is it? I frequently take it for impromptu excursions on the unforgiving streets in the heart of Los Angeles. When I really pay attention, I can definitely feel the engine rock when going on and off the gas, and it's a little thrashier than other SUVs on the market. In the city, I can feel every shift of the transmission a little too vividly. On the other hand, it doesn't roll much for its height, and it is exceptionally stable during quick turns. And while driving at night, the CX-5's adaptive headlights move with every turn of the steering wheel to improve visibility on curvy roads. I don't find these lights distracting or overbearing on the eyes, unlike other systems. The feature isn't available even as an option on most competing models and is typically found on luxury vehicles. On our model, it is part of the $1,485 Technology package.

2015 Mazda CX-5 Touring
BASE PRICE $25,795
PRICE AS TESTED $30,425
VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
ENGINE 2.5L/184-hp/185-lb-ft DOHC 16-valve I-4
TRANSMISSION 6-speed automatic
WHEELBASE 106.3 in
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 178.7 x 72.4 x 65.7 in
0-60 MPH 7.8 sec
QUARTER MILE 16.0 sec @ 87.1 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 124 ft
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.77 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 28.6 sec @ 0.71 g (avg)
EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 25/32/27 mpg
ENERGY CONS., CITY/HWY 135/105 kW-hrs/100 miles
CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.70 lb/mile
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