First Drive: 2014 Mazda CX 5 mazda first drives
2014 Mazda CX-5. Click image to enlarge

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Manufacturer’s Website
Mazda Canada

Review and photos by Jonathan Yarkony

Photo Gallery:
2014 Mazda CX-5

Austin, Texas – As an added bonus on our recent Mazda6 First Drive, Mazda allowed us some time in the newly empowered 2014 CX-5 with the 2.5L SkyActiv-G engine. Aside from that engine option, little has changed with the 2014 CX-5 lineup, but that one change turns the CX-5 from a practical, miserly and underpowered crossover SUV into a competitively powered but still practical and miserly ute.

Odds are, anyone looking at an engine upgrade isn’t concerned with the absolute lowest efficiency, but the 2.5L four-cylinder adds only about half a L/100 km to the equivalent city rating of the 2.0L engine (from 8.0 to 8.5 for the AWD automatic), and almost nothing to the equivalent highway consumption (6.4 to 6.6), at least on paper. If the 2.5 can live up to that rating, or even come close, only the thriftiest shoppers will have any reason to avoid the engine upgrade, more likely for the price of entry than the fuel savings – it’s really a win-win.

Well, there will be the rare bird who wants his or her crossover with a stick shift, but that’s hardly the customer that will sway marketing and product planning decisions. That one is stuck with the 2.0 as the 2.5 is paired only with the six-speed automatic in the CX-5. Also note that the 2.0 is available only in GX trim, although you can spec it with AWD, but you must select the automatic first for $1,200, then another $1,700 for the Convenience Package before being able to shell out $2,000 for the AWD (ouch!). The only trim with the manual transmission is the $22,995 base FWD GX.

First Drive: 2014 Mazda CX 5 mazda first drives First Drive: 2014 Mazda CX 5 mazda first drives
2014 Mazda CX-5. Click image to enlarge

At that price, the CX-5 isn’t exactly a penalty box, but you don’t get what you don’t pay for. The GX trim includes 17-inch ‘styled’ steel wheels, heated door mirrors, A/C, steering wheel mounted cruise and audio controls, USB and auxiliary input jacks for the AM/FM/CD stereo and keyless entry and other standard fare like traction and stability control, power windows, and ABS disc brakes. You can add that Convenience Package that adds alloy wheels (also 17 inches), Bluetooth, steering wheel controls, tinted glass, colour display screen, and HD radio for $1,700.

The leap from GX to GS is a steep one, base MSRP rising to $28,650, though that includes the automatic transmission, and $30,650 with AWD. The GS trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels, rain-sensing wipers, power moonroof, back-up camera, fog lights, six-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats and, of course, the 2.5L SkyActiv-G.

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