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2014 Mazda CX-5 Behind the Wheel

2014 Mazda CX-5

The Mazda CX-5 has been an instant hit with demand outstripping supply from the day the new crossover was introduced.

Production has been increased three times to try to keep up and the CX-5 accounts for more than 15 per cent of the company’s global sales.

The CX-5 was the first Mazda to feature the full slate of the company’s new SkyActive technologies, including chassis, suspension, engine and transmission.

It brought hybrid-levels of fuel economy to the class while retaining the traditional Mazda fun-to-drive experience.

But the compact crossover class is one of the most important in the industry, one that is predicted to enjoy further growth as Americans discover what Canadians have known all along – compact vehicles can be fun and are no longer penalty boxes.

The compact CUV class has become one of the most competitive in the entire industry with major manufacturers introducing new entries every month. You snooze in this category and you loose.

For 2014, the CX-5 introduces Smart City Brake Support and gets a significant dose of steroids in the form of a second engine choice – a 2.5-litre version of the SkyActive four introduced with the CX-5 at the Los Angeles Auto Show last year.

The new engine offers 19 per cent more horsepower and 23 per cent more torque, addressing the only concerns raised about the 2.0-litre SkyActiv engine – a need for more power when carrying passengers or heavy cargo.

For 2014, the CX-5 continues to be available in GX, GS and GT trim levels. The base price remains the same. The GX comes with the 2.0-litre engine, six-speed manual transmission and front-wheel-drive. A six-speed automatic and all-wheel-drive are optional.

The GS comes with the new 2.5-litre engine and automatic transmission in either front or all-wheel-drive. The GT comes in only one configuration – a 2.5-litre engine driving all four wheels through the automatic transmission.

Standard equipment includes: remote keyless entry, push button ignition, heated mirrors, hill hold assist, cruise control, power windows and locks, cruise and audio controls on steering wheel, tilt and telescope steering wheel, and air conditioning.

Move up one step to the GS and you get the bigger engine, automatic transmission, power sun roof, blind-spot monitoring system, audio upgrade, automatic headlights, rear-view camera and display, heated seats and a power driver’s seat.

The new Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) system is included in a technology package available on the CX-5 GT. SCBS is designed to help prevent collisions at low speeds – 5-30 km/hr. It uses a laser positioned above the rear-view mirror to monitor the closing rate between the CX-5 and other objects, including oncoming vehicles.

Should it detect imminent contact the first step is to move the brake pads in closer proximity to the rotors to shorten brake activation time. If the driver does not take evasive action the brakes will automatically be applied.

The same technology package also includes an in-dash TomTom navigation system, automatic on/off, automatic levelling bi-xenon headlights with a pivoting adaptive system that turns the lights slightly in concert with the steering wheel and a six month subscription to satellite radio.

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