2014 Mazda CX-5: Family Checklist

14CX5_main

The 2014 Mazda CX-5 has some tough competition in the compact crossover segment, especially against the redesigned 2013 Toyota RAV4 and 2013 Ford Escape, which both have snazzier interiors with lots of technology. However, the CX-5 shines in its driving experience.

The 2014 Mazda CX-5 and my family got along just fine, but in such a saturated segment, it didn't wow me in the same way as the RAV4 and Escape did.

Parents who love to drive will be won over by the CX-5 in a heartbeat. It is easily the best-handling compact crossover I've driven. For 2014, the CX-5 Touring and Grand Touring trims received a more powerful 184-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. With the new engine, it's got more pep than the RAV4's 176-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder, and it handles with precision.

14CX5

The CX-5's new four-cylinder gets an EPA-estimated 25/32 mpg city/highway and 27 mpg combined. Perhaps I got carried away with the Mazda because I averaged just more than 20 mpg for my week of city driving. While I wasn't thrilled with my fuel-economy numbers, I was pleased to find that my test car had the optional blind spot warning system as well as adaptive headlamps that swivel to follow your every turn.

14CX5_cargo

At 34.1 cubic feet, the CX-5's cargo area is a smaller than the RAV4 (38.4 cubic feet) and Escape (34.3). However, I was pleasantly surprised that I could pack quite a bit in it, including three folding tables and some grocery bags for a party. I didn't even have to fold the 40/20/40-split backseat. While I can't say a double-stroller would fit in the cargo area, my single stroller, yoga mat and workout equipment were easily stowed in back. I missed having a power liftgate, though; it isn't even an option.

14CX5_dash

Inside is where the CX-5 started falling short for me. The finishes are simple, and the materials feel cheap. My biggest beef was with the CX-5's unintuitive TomTom navigation and its 5.8-inch low-resolution screen. I learned to adapt to the navigation system, but it didn't come without challenges. I was never able to get the system to show real-time traffic information, a must-have for our Los Angeles-based family.

14CX5_legroom

2013 Mazda CX-5: Car Seat Check

My family had enough room in the CX-5, and comfort wasn't an issue. My daughter's forward-facing convertible fit easily in the second row. However, parents with kids in booster seats should be aware that the second row's seat belt buckles are deeply set in the seat cushion. They weren't a problem for me once I got my daughter's safety seat installed, but for families with kiddos buckling up on their own in boosters, be ready to assist.

14CX5_seatbelt

Overall, the CX-5 does have the potential to make a smaller family happy. However, unless you consider yourself a driving enthusiast, you may be underwhelmed by the CX-5 when comparing it against its more refined competitors.

Related
Research the 2014 Mazda CX-5
Read the 2014 Mazda CX-5 Expert Review
More Family News

Comments 

Danny

I agree that the others have snazzier interiors BUT the CX-5 has more in the way of technology than either of the other two listed and personally I think the CX-5 looks like a richer SUV. The RAV4 and Escape look more rugged.

Never been a fan of the crossover but this one looks nice.

thank you for being one of the few reviewers who has been honest about the interior materials looking and feeling cheap.

Danny

The interior materials looking and feeling cheap is odd because my Mazda 3 interior is 10X better than my wife's new Toyota Highlander or my brothers new Chevy Cruise RS. I know those are different cars than what were talking about, but I really think Mazda has some of the best quality materials on the interior.

guest

20.4 and 21.8mpg don't make 27mpg combined. Forget 32 even with FWD Sport manual. Maybe on a testing track in ideal situation. When you type cx5 in google one of the first links that come up is 35mpg WAWAWEEWA mazda this schmazda that. Are they fking serious? Why all this overinflated hype and mpg??? Why don't we all bend over and take it hard from mazda. Wait i think some of you already have.

cx5er

I have a 2013 CX5 and average 33 mpg in summer and ~30 mpg in winter. And, personally, I think the interior materials are very high quality for a car in ithis price range. The only thing I don't like about the car is the.headrests, which are uncomfortably positioned for my tastes.

Chris

Look at this review of the Mazda CX-5 /tThis reviewer must Drive Hard or with the brakes on.

http://autos.yahoo.com/news/2014-mazda-cx-5-2-5-liter-skyactiv-164256469.html

Post a Comment 

Please remember a few rules before posting comments:

  • If you don't want people to see your email address, simply type in the URL of your favorite website or leave the field empty.
  • Do not mention specific car dealers by name. Feel free to mention your city, state and brand.
  • Try to be civil to your fellow blog readers. This blog is not a fan or enthusiast forum, it is meant to help people during the car-buying process and during the time between purchases, so shoppers can keep a pulse on the market.
  • Stay on topic. We want to hear your opinions and thoughts, but please only comment about the specified topic in the blog post.
view posting rules

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In

Search Results

KickingTires Search Results for

Search Kicking Tires

KickingTires iPhone App
Ask.cars.com