2014 Mazda CX-5 Review By

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By Michael Bernstein
Michigan Bureau
The Auto Channel

No need to check the calendar or queue Ryan Seacrest because this new year’s celebration is only at your local Mazda dealer’s showrooms and the party really begins when you pop the cork on this bottle of driving excitement.

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The 2014 CX-5 Grand Touring AWD is that bottle and can be described as sporty and aggressive in its styling but this look is not intimidating and allows the eye to flow across its line with ease.

Perched on 19” alloy wheels the cabin’s exterior features four doors and side panels that have a distinct creased line that flexed just enough muscle to admire the effect. The front doors and the rear hatch featured keyless touch pad entry. The keyless operation is extended to the ignition.

Just think in 10 years (or less) when that old tired, yet somehow fascinating and entertaining list of items that the new “next geners” never knew about or used makes the rounds, you can add car keys to it. Having grown accustom to key fobs, not having to insert a key to start a car really makes sense.

As anyone who has owned or driven a Mazda recently knows firsthand that the Japanese Automotive middle child has found its niche in today’s highly segmented marketplace by designing, developing and building vehicles that look, sound and feel fast. The CX-5 makes a similar New Year’s resolution in the first impressions it makes.

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Comfortably seated behind the wheel the view of the IP’s, displays and gauges was ideal and they were tightly arranged on the dash to expedite their use. The convex line of the dash creates soft angles that are more curves than lines. The concave door panels continue and contrast the look while extending it through-out the interior cabin. The steering wheel is compact, sporty yet luxuriously wrapped in leather and featured push button controls.

The optional TOMTOM branded navigation was positioned on the dash and was nicely paired with the enhanced sound system that drenched the cabin in the rich sound Bose Audio is famous for producing from your chose of sources-Satellite, HD Radio, Pandora, or your local AM/FM stations-that come with the infotainment system plus you can hook up your device de jour thru the USB or AUX ports. There is also a 12v outlet available to recharge or power it up as well.

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As previously mentioned the driver’s seat was very comfortable due in no part to the adjustability offered with the 8-way power seat and the rear bench seat was remarkably supportive. The driver’s comfort is also addressed by the power adjustable lumbar support. The passenger has the same leather trimmed sport seat that featured raised color coordinated stitching over the dense foam that is used in all seating surfaces.

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The 2014 Mazda CX-5 offers a new level of flexibility through the 40/20/40, split-fold rear seats that when in their upright

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and locked position is a bench that seats two “grown” men, but can be, at a push of a button, lowered to create a rather impressive storage area that is nearly “lay flat” in this configuration.

Back seat passengers’ upper bodies are afforded the VIP treatment, but your knees aren’t as lucky, especially if the front seats are all the way back.

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Time for the rubber to meet the road and as you push the accelerator the CX-5’s SKYACTIV 2.5L engine generates more than enough “zoom, zoom” to satisfy the needs of most sports enthusiasts and will exceed the causal driver’s expectations. The CX-5 comes equipped with Mazda’s SKYACTIV-DRIVE 6-speed sport automatic transmission to manage the 184 horsepower and 185 LB.-FT. torque at your disposal.

This power is balanced by the outstanding braking and suspension system that allows the CX-5 to hug the road and provide the driver the confidence that the vehicle will perform and react in a reliable and safe manner.

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Your safety and enjoyment of the road is greatly enhanced by the outstanding sight lines created by the uniquely shaped glass cut outs and window shapes that dissect the door and body panels.

A rear view back-up cam, heated seats, duel climate control and a host of safety features and technologies complete the package. The 2014 Mazda CX-5 is a fun to drive yet practical vehicle that is capable of raising heartbeats through its performance on the road, and not by the sight of a gas station receipt. That’s because this New Year’s model of the CX-5 provides a respected 26 mpg combined fuel economy.

The 2014 Mazda CX-5 has a base MSRP of $28,870 and adding the optional $1,025 “Grand Touring Tech Package” to the mix only pushes the sticker to $31,890. This makes the CX-5 one ball you don’t want to drop.

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