Pros: Excellent fuel economy; wonderfully nimble, sporty driving character for a Crossover; impressive cabin materials for the class and price point
Cons: Somewhat sluggish acceleration at low speeds with base engine; touchscreen graphics are a bit too small for easy legibility; no under-floor storage compartment in the rear cargo area
CG Says: Last year, the 2013 Mazda CX-5 garnered a Consumer Guide Best Buy award for its impressive fuel economy, fun-to-drive character, and all-around value. One of our few quibbles with the vehicle was its adequate-but-middling acceleration. Mazda addresses that issue for 2014 with a more-powerful 2.5-liter engine for Touring and Grand Touring models. We’re also impressed that the new 2.5 engine’s fuel-economy ratings are only 1-2 mpg less than the impressive figures earned by the 2.0. Any CX-5 feels sportier than its main rivals, with little penalty in ride quality or overall practicality. For 2014, the CX-5 remains a compact-SUV must-see.