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2014 Mazda CX-5 Review

The 2014 Mazda CX-5 is a blast to drive, with agile handling and feisty engines. This is also a sensible used SUV, with a roomy cabin and good fuel economy. 

Pros & Cons

  • Thrilling to drive
  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Roomy cabin
  • Confusing navigation system

New for 2014

  • New 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Low-speed pre-collision braking became available

Rankings & Awards

The 2014 Mazda CX-5's #2 ranking is based on its score within the 2014 Affordable Compact SUVs category. It was the winner of our 2014 Best Compact SUV for Families award and a finalist for our 2014 Best Compact SUV for the Money award. Currently the Mazda CX-5 has a score of 8.7 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 41 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 7.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2014 Mazda CX-5 Overview

Is the 2014 Mazda CX-5 a Good Used SUV?

The 2014 Mazda CX-5 is a very good SUV, and when it was new, it won our 2014 Best Compact SUV for Families award. Nimble handling and responsive steering make the CX-5 a joy to drive, and its spacious interior and excellent fuel economy are appealing for families and commuters. Its simple cabin may feel too plain for some, though, and the available navigation system is not particularly good.

One of the CX-5's standout qualities is its performance. This used compact SUV is more agile than most, and its responsive steering and well-controlled suspension will add zing to your daily driving routine. The base CX-5 Sport comes with a sufficiently powerful 2.0-liter engine, but if you want a little more fun, seek out a CX-5 Touring or CX-5 Grand Touring model. These come with a spicier 2.5-liter engine. It's paired with a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission, and it gets almost the same fuel economy as the smaller engine. With either engine, you'll get the same or better gas mileage than most used compact SUVs, with around 24-26 mpg in the city and 30-32 mpg on the highway. The 2014 CX-5 is available with front- or all-wheel drive.

Read more about CX-5 performance »

The 2014 Mazda CX-5 has room for five people, with cloth seats in the Sport and Touring trims and leather upholstery and heated front seats in the CX-5 Grand Touring. There's lots of room in both rows and the seats are comfortable. If you have car seats, there are three tether anchors and two sets of lower anchors in the back seat. Cargo space is typical for the class.

The interior of the 2014 Mazda CX-5 features high-quality materials that are soft to the touch. The controls are accessible and easy to use, and every model comes with a USB port and push-button start. Some CX-5's include Bluetooth, a color touch screen, a rearview camera, a Bose stereo, satellite radio, blind spot monitoring, and Mazda’s Smart City Brake Support system, which can automatically apply the brakes at low speeds if an obstacle is detected. Don't go out of your way to find one with the navigation system, though. It's cumbersome, and you're probably better off using your favorite navigation app on your smartphone instead.

Read more about CX-5 interior »

Used 2014 Mazda CX-5 Prices

Depending on the SUV's condition, mileage, features, and location, you can expect to pay between about $14,500 for a base CX-5 to almost $20,000 for an all-wheel-drive Grand Touring model. 

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2014 Mazda CX-5?

The 2014 CX-5 is a little more reliable than the average compact SUV, but there are a handful that are even more dependable. Among these are the 2014 Honda CR-V and 2014 GMC Terrain.

How Safe Is the CX-5?

In our rankings of 2014 used compact SUVs, the CX-5 has one of the highest safety ratings. It was named a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. No advanced safety technology comes standard in the base CX-5 Sport, but other trims come with a rearview camera and blind spot monitoring. IIHS notes that models with the Technology package, which includes Smart City Brake Support, provide an advanced level of front crash prevention.

See CX-5 safety scores »

Should I Consider Another Used CX-5?

The Mazda CX-5 was first launched for the 2013 model year, and while you can save some money by buying a 2013 CX-5, these aren't available with the 2.5-liter engine and aren't quite as reliable as the 2014 model year. If you can afford to spend a few thousand dollars more, you may want to consider a 2016 CX-5. These come standard with Bluetooth connectivity for phone and audio functions (all 2016.5 models also include a rearview camera), and advanced safety technology like adaptive cruise control is available in some trims.

Compare the 2013, 2014, and 2015 CX-5 »

Which Used CX-5 Model Is Right for Me?

The 2014 CX-5 comes in three different trims: Sport (base), Touring, and Grand Touring. For the best balance between features and price, look for a used CX-5 Touring. These come with the larger engine, a smooth-shifting automatic transmission, and either front- or all-wheel drive. You also get two extra speakers, Bluetooth, voice recognition for the infotainment system, and a power-adjustable driver's seat among the improvements.

If the unknown history of a used model worries you, consider buying a certified pre-owned CX-5. For each certified pre-owned vehicle, Mazda extends the original limited powertrain warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles and provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited vehicle warranty. To qualify as CPO, each vehicle must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Mazda warranty page carefully.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Mazda certified pre-owned program »

We Did the Research for You: 41 Pieces of Data Analyzed

We don't base our 2014 Mazda CX-5 review on personal opinion. Instead, our Best Cars team sourced more than 41 pieces of information to rank and review this used crossover SUV. Our analysis includes insights into CX-5 mpg, CX-5 configurations, and CX-5 specifications for the 2014 model year.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been delivering news for 84 years, and we've been ranking and reviewing cars for a decade. In order to ensure our car reviews are unbiased, our advertising team is separate from our car reviews team, and our writers and editors don't accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

2014 Mazda CX-5 and Other SUVS to Consider

Which Is Better: 2014 Mazda CX-5 or 2014 Honda CR-V?

The Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 are two of our highest-ranking used 2-row SUVs. Over the years, this pair has traded our Best Compact SUV for Families award back and forth, with a spacious cabin and polished handling among their shared attributes. If you want an SUV that's more athletic, you should pick the CX-5, as it's more agile and has a peppier engine. Shoppers wanting a smooth-riding SUV that's a good value should go with the CR-V. Goodies like a rearview camera and Bluetooth are standard, and when it was new, we named the CR-V the Best Compact SUV for Families.

Which Is Better: 2014 Mazda CX-5 or 2014 Hyundai Tucson?

A 2014 Hyundai Tucson will cost you about the same as a 2014 Mazda CX-5, but it doesn't quite match the Mazda's level of performance. The Tucson's acceleration is more leisurely, its engines are noisy when it's getting up to speed, and it uses more gas than the CX-5. Inside, the Tucson holds less cargo and has a smaller back seat. Unless you find a used Tucson that's priced below market value, you'll probably be happier with a CX-5.

Which Is Better: 2014 Mazda CX-5 or 2014 Subaru Forester?

The Subaru Forester was redesigned for 2014, and automotive critics were pleased with the result. With standard all-wheel drive and excellent on-road manners, it's a good pick if you live in an area that gets snow or ice storms. However, the Forester isn't as reliable as the 2014 CX-5, and its used car prices start about $3,000 higher than the CX-5's. Unless you need a compact SUV for off-roading, there's little need to spend the extra money.

Compare the CX-5, CR-V, and Tucson »

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CX-5 Shoppers Should Also Consider...

GMC Terrain 2014 2014 GMC Terrain

#1 in 2014 Affordable Compact SUVs

Volkswagen Tiguan 2014 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan

#2 in 2014 Affordable Compact SUVs

Honda CR-V 2014 2014 Honda CR-V

#4 in 2014 Affordable Compact SUVs

Chevrolet Equinox 2014 2014 Chevrolet Equinox

#5 in 2014 Affordable Compact SUVs

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