by James Raia of The Weekly Driver
2014 Mazda CX-5
Now in the second year of its debut generation, the 2014 The Mazda CX-5 continues the carmaker’s third-time’s-the-charm good fortune. The compact, five-passenger sport utility vehicle follows the not-to-successful Tribute and CX-7, and it’s proven popular in a crowded segment with its modern look, clean styling, efficiency and economy.
The Mazda CX-5 debuted as a 2013 model at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November 2012. For 2014, there are only minor tweaks to the car’s first year with increased horsepower in the top-two trims, a collision warning system option and advanced radio technology services.
The Weekly Driver Test Drive
One week after test-driving a high-tech, high-priced, ill-conceived BMW crossover, the 2014 Mazda CX-5 arrived just in time. I test drove the Grand Touring model, the most detailed of the three available trims.
The CX-5 was a refreshing change because unlike the BMW, Mazda offers a lot of features, comfort and logically smart technology without crossing into the land of accoutrement overload and high-tech wizardry.
In addition to a health offering of standard features, the CX-5 Grand Touring edition features 19-inch wheels, automatic headlights, automatic wipers, heated mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat, heated front seats and leather upholstery.
For 2014, the CX-5 Touring and Grand Touring models have power boosts with their 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engines now producing 184 horsepower, 29 horsepower more than last year. My weekly driver was front-wheel drive, but there’s also an all-wheel drive option. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard with the front-wheel drive calculated at 25 mpg (city), 32 mpg (highway) and 27 mpg (combined). The AWD option is EPA estimated at 24/30/26 mpg.
Comfortable, well-positioned, spacious front and rear seating.
Pull-down rear window screen should be the standard for other manufacturers. It’s sturdy, latches and unlatches with precision and remains out of the way against the window yet hide the cargo well.
Strong gas mileage averages for SUV segment.
Simple, intuitive dials, controls, buttons, etc.
With the rear seats folded, there’s 65 cubic feet of cargo space, which is more than sufficient for lots of stuff.
Good overall driver visibility.
The Tom-Tom navigation system isn’t bad. But it’s far from the best in industry, with lack of screen clarity quite noticeable.
The sound system is only adequate.
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Fiat and Mazda have officially inked the deal which will retool the MX-5 (aka the Miata) as Alfa Romeo’s next open-top sports car, expected to hit showrooms in 2015. The agreement was first mooted back in May 2012, and will see the as-yet-unnamed Alfa Romeo droptop eventually go on sale globally; meanwhile, Mazda will also offer its own version of the car, the next-gen MX-5.
Although the two cars “will be based on the architecture” of Mazda’s new Miata model, there will be some key differences in what ends up on sale. Beyond the differentiated styling – unconfirmed, though we’re hoping Alfa Romeo doesn’t stray too far from the delectable 2010 concept by Pininfarina, shown here, although we wouldn’t argue with a convertible version of last year’s Disco Volante concept either – each marque will slot in their choice of engine.
Both versions will be produced at Mazda’s Hiroshima plant in Japan, and feature rear-wheel drive and two seats. For the Japanese firm, it’s a chance to squeeze as much value as possible out of its new design and manufacturing investment, vital if the compact droptop is to be financially viable.
For Fiat, meanwhile, Alfa Romeo has been struggling for some time, and the deal means producing “a modern interpretation of the classic Alfa Romeo roadster” needn’t be quite so impractical. Initial plans to reintroduce the brand to the US market later this year have been delayed, however, with the Alfa Romeo 4C now not expected to debut in North America until sometime in 2014.
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By Tim Pollard (artist’s impressions by Christian Schulte)
The Fiat Group’s revelation in May 2012 that it would co-develop the next Alfa Romeo Spider alongside the Mazda MX-5 got everyone at CAR, and its digital audience, salivating. Today we can bring you the latest artist’s impressions showing how this Japanese-Italian fusion could look on the road.
This is perhaps one of the most exciting prospects for years: a project marrying Italian design flair and Alfa Romeo style with the Japanese reliability and back-to-basics MX-5 purity. It could be a marriage made in heaven – we’ll know for sure when we see this duo in 2015.
This is an artist’s impression, remember. None of us yet know exactly how the sports car twins will look, but the rules of jigsaw identification mean we can have a good stab at how they’ll turn out.
The MX-5 hasn’t deviated much over the years from the original 1989 recipe, and our sources at Mazda suggest the same evolutionary style will continue, pepped up with the latest ‘Kodo’ design language seen on the new 6 family car. That means a pointier front face and exaggerated Mazda grille, but the essential footprint of the 2015 MX-5 won’t change much.
This suggests the Alfa Spider won’t be wildly different. The hard points of the architecture will be shared, but each brand will be allowed the freedom to graft on their own grilles and corporate jewellery. Let’s hope they’re allowed more flexibility than the identikit Toyota GT86 and Subaru BRZ twins.
While details remain scant on the Spider/MX-5 project, a few nuggets have been announced already in the formal statement.
‘The study calls for both Mazda and Fiat to develop two differentiated, distinctly styled, iconic and brand-specific light weight, roadsters featuring rear-wheel drive,’ the companies have confirmed. ‘The Mazda and Alfa Romeo variants will each be powered by specific proprietary engines unique to each brand.
‘The project assumption is that both vehicles will be manufactured at Mazda’s Hiroshima, Japan, plant with production for Alfa Romeo envisaged starting in 2015.’
Each brand will stick with their own engines, and CAR understands the Spider will use the 1750TBi four-cylinder, tuned to produce more than 200bhp and mated to a seven-speed twin-clutch TCT transmission.
CAR understands the Italian roadster will stick with a folding soft-top, rather than use the MX-5′s folding hard top. Fingers crossed the rear-wheel drive purity of the Mazda comes as standard on the Alfa Romeo Spider.
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by Robert Thomas and Frank Ochal
Welcome to all of the many new members that have joined the club since the last magazine. Look for your name in “Meet the New Members”. Thanks to this issue’s contributors.
Thanks to this issue’s contributors.
Join us on Facebook at Mazda Club (www.mazdaclub.com/groups/mazdaclubusa) and follow us on Twitter at mazdaclub (www.twitter.com/mazdaclub). Classified ads will now appear in the OnlyWay, the eOnlyWay, on our website, on our message board and on Facebook and Twitter.
You are now able to pay for membership and store items using credit cards and or PayPal.
In addition to the items found in our regular club store, more store merchandise including tote bags, caps, sweat pants, shorts and other items can be found at our Fieldhouse Club Store located at www.fieldhouse.com/mazdaclub .
Technical Sections is now available in the club store. It contains a complete copy of all the Technical Sections, topics, questions and answers published in the OnlyWay from 1998 thru 2007. It is available on CD-Rom only for PC or Mac in pdf format. It is indexed by subject for easy reference and contains articles, topics, questions and answers and is available in the Club Store section of each OnlyWay and on the website at www.mazdaclub.com . Another item in the store is a copy of the past issues of the OnlyWay available on CD only for PC or Mac.
We have a club message board. You can access through the club website at www.mazdaclub.com or directly at http://board.mazdaclub.com . We have a members only section of the message board. You can use the user id and password on page 3 of each OnlyWay or you can get a personal id and password. To do so, register and then logon to the message board and send a message to us. This allows you to access the MEMBER ONLY QUESTION & ANSWER and UPKEEP & PERFORMANCE HINTS area. It also allows you to post items in the FOR SALE and WANTED sections as well as post photos in the MEMBER PHOTOS area. Club member access allows posting of items for sale and photos and access to the club Members Section. Also there is a now a Local Groups/Activities section. The club also now has a blog located at http://blog.mazdaclub.com . Members can publish or comment on the Blog by logging in as a member.
The Mazda Club has a photo gallery located at http://photos.mazdaclub.com . The same login is used for the gallery as the Message Board. Members can download photos to this gallery.
We now offer a 3 year membership or renewal rate which includes a free t-shirt or technical sections CD. And in response to many members we now have a 3 year eMembership for $50 which also includes a free t-shirt or tech CD. So save some money and get a free t-shirt or tech CD in the process! Remembers our website address is easier to get to. It is simply mazdaclub.com and our new general email address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
We have a “members only” section of the website. To access it you must use the USER ID and PASSWORD found on page 3 of this issue. In this section you can access the Only way, technical support contact info and access the spare parts lists received. Also now you can to create your own id and password for the members only section. Submit the form on the members only page to do this.
We send out an email newsletter in addition to the regular Only Way for members that have given us their email address. This is in addition to the Only Way and is not intended to replace it. So send us your email address if you have one. If you have not received an eOnlyWay by this time it is because we either do not have an email address for you or not the correct one. Do not worry if you do not have an email address as you will get all of the information sent in the eOnlyWay in the regular OnlyWay but it may be in a different format and at later date because of printing and mailing time.
Help spread the enjoyment of club membership. Tell other Mazda owners about our club and if they join have them put your name and address on the membership application. You will receive a $5 credit good towards renewal or membership for each member you recruit. See page 16.
We still are in need of additional people for our technical staff. If you think you would like to help your fellow members in this way, please contact us. It can be a great way to publicize your business while helping out your fellow Mazda Club members.
If you have a recommendation on service and body shops send it to us so that we can assist other members looking for help. Our database containing such information is still small and we need your input to make it a worthwhile service for our members.
Thanks for your support!
(top photo: Larry Velman’s Miata)
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The recently announced 2013 Mazda CX-5 has received critical acclaim from reviewers and drivers alike. The Mazda CX-5 has been completely revamped for the 2013 year, and recent advances in engine technology are utilized by the completely new platform of Mazda’s 2013 CX-5.
The small crossover has entered an extremely competitive market. Honda’s CRV and the Ford Escape have already received critical acclaim and the market is saturated with a host of options.
The 2013 Mazda CX-5, however, offers several new tricks that separate it away from its competition. The CX-5 features a Skyactic template, an elaborate set of features that boost fuel economy while simultaneously increasing driving and handling capabilities.
The new Skyactiv system is very effective. The car’s handling and driving abilities have been improved significantly over those of its competition. The four-wheel drive capabilities have improved drastically, and the car handles expertly in fast, tight corners.
The engine, however, does have its faults. The egine is significantly underpowered in comparison to its competition, and it lags 30 HP behind the C-RV’s 155 HP. The pure pleasure derived from driving a car with a more powerful engine and the safety benefits associated with a more powerful engine are counteracted by a terrific gas mileage. The gas mileage is reported to be the best in its class, with an expected 26/33 MPG city/highway.
The car also sports a host of interior features that add a sense of elegance and refinedness to the car. The detailed interior of the car seems well though out and is a major perk of the car. The back seats have three separate folding sections, which allows for more options for car cargo carrying capacity. The car has a built in GPS made by TomTom, a renowned manufacturer of GPS devices. The interior is lavish and well constructed.
The outside of the car has been equally well thought out. A new Kodo design has been implemented throughout the CX-5, and the attractive new design will soon spread to every Mazda model. The aggressive front styling gives the car a more compact and professional look. Mazda describes the design as looking like an animal up on its haunches, ready to pounce.
The handling of the car is terrific. Steering is responsive and smooth, and the general suspension gives the car a very nice feel. Despite its smaller engine, the Mazda CX-5 has terrific driving capabilities and only lags behind its competitors when it comes to raw horsepower.
The prices are not yet announced on the new 2013 Mazda CX-5. Estimates based off of announcements from Mazda have placed the car’s price at about $24,000. This will likely translate to a base price that is slightly less than many of the CX-5’s competitors. This price differentiation is also enunciated by the CX-5’s terrific fuel economy. The financial cost of maintaining the vehicle is significantly less than maintaining a similar vehicle.
Overall, the 2013 Mazda CX-5 is a very suitable car for those seeking a small crossover. The car offers many luxury options at a very reasonable price. Aggressive and attractive styling, coupled with excellent handling and terrific fuel economy, make the CX-5 a top choice for anyone interested in a small crossover. Those looking for a larger, more powerful engine or should check out the competition. The engine, however, is powerful enough to not detract from the superb driving experience and the Skyactic template is a major engineering accomplishment that vastly adds to the car’s allure. Those looking for an affordable, practical small crossover will be very pleased with the 2013 Mazda CX-5.
“Tips for driving in winter conditions
It’s that time of year again where the temperatures start to drop and we put our heating on to keep us snug and warm. It’s also the time of year when hundreds of car accidents happen, due to freezing conditions, icy roads and misty conditions. I you are a victim of an accident you should seek help from the experts in handling car accident claims as you may be entitled to compensation.
Driving in the winter can be very hazardous, so it is well worth thinking about ways you can drive safely on the roads and ensure that you and your family get home safely.
First of all, think about care and preparation of your vehicle. Like anything else, your car needs a little bit of TLC during the winter, otherwise you may end up suffering and stranded if you break down.
It’s worth getting your battery checked out. Winter is dark and gloomy, and it puts a strain on your electrical systems, such as your heaters (which let’s face it, we wouldn’t be without in the winter months) as well as your windscreen wipers and lights. Keep your electrical output to a minimum – avoid running anything for too long – turn your heaters down so they are at a comfortable temperature and turn off your rear window heater once the windows have cleared.
If you don’t use your car every day, it is a good idea to turn your car on and run the engine for a few minutes at the weekend. This will prevent seizing and limit the chance of your car not starting! If your car isn’t starting easily, try turning off all non-essential electricals (the radio, lights, windscreen wipers etc) and try to start the engine in short, five-second bursts, rather than constantly revving to try and get the engine to turn over. Leave 30 seconds between attempts to allow the engine to warm up and let the battery recover.”
Mazda Takeri Concept
Mazda Motor Corporation showcased the global premiere of the Mazda TAKERI next-generation midsize sedan concept car at the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show. The show also saw the Japanese debut of the new CX-5 crossover SUV outfitted with the complete range of Mazda’s breakthrough SkyActiv technology, as well as other new technologies and production models.
The Mazda TAKERI takes advantage of Mazda’s new design language, “KODO – Soul of Motion,” to bring a new level of strength and allure to sedan styling. The TAKERI features SkyActiv technology, including the efficient and powerful new SKYACTIV-D clean diesel engine, to deliver dynamic performance and a comfortable ride. The combination of SkyActiv technology and other technology features, such as i-stop, Mazda’s idling stop system, and a new regenerative braking system, enable the Mazda TAKERI to achieve exceptional fuel economy.
The regenerative braking system efficiently converts kinetic energy to electricity during deceleration, stores it in capacitors, and then uses it to power the vehicle’s electric equipment, thereby reducing load on the engine and saving fuel. The regenerative braking system represents Step Two of Mazda’s Building Block Strategy. After renewing existing technologies, such as engines and bodies, Step One of the Building Block Strategy is idling stop technology (i-stop), Step Two is regenerative braking technology, and Step Three is electric drive technology (hybrid, etc.).
There are several rumors flying around for these couple of years about the condition of Mazda MX-5 Miata. There are rumors that the new 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata will be produced and returned to the basic styling of its 1989 model, so the new 2013 model will be fuel efficient (more efficient than the previous one), lighter, and also cleaner.
But now there’s realistic and official news from the company about the new 2013 Mazda Mx-5 Miata. Based on the realistic source – and also the drawing from the manufacturers’ artists itself – the rumors about the new ride seems to be confirmed. With the roadster style, the company is working very hard on the aesthetic part.
On the outer side of the car, there will be oval front grille that goes along the line of the side car. It’s based on the smiling face grille – which is kind of cute styling. The headlights will be available in teardrop shape with slanting model. Based on the sketch, the 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata definitely goes back to its 1989 root. However, there’s a slight change on the machine area with the engine of Skyactive-G with 1.5 liter capacity, producing about 125 hp, along with 50 mpg system and also manual six speed transmissions. However, for American market, the engine will be available with 2.0 liter machine producing 145 hp.
The 2013 Mazda MX-5 Miata release date will be available around 2013 fall, with debut around March 2013 at Geneva Auto Show.
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2012 Mazda 5
The Mazda5 fills so many niches that you might call it a wagon; others would say van, while my summation is a mini-minivan with sporty overtones.
That’s not using several words where one would do, but to more adequately describe this fun-to-drive little runabout.
It is even a vision of the near future. Ford’s upcoming Grand C-Max will have a lot in common with the Mazda5 . And both can look at the new Focus and call it kinfolk.
Ford and Mazda have had a financial and manufacturing alliance since 1979. Ford once held a controlling interest in the Japanese auto maker, but in recent years has cut the stake to 3%.
Even if Mazda did soften the ride a bit for the new model year, the Mazda5 still has a sporty nature on back-country roads. With 157 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 163 pound-feet of torque from its inline 4, the Mazda moved out quickly from red lights and stop signs — a nice surprise. But try to merge onto a fast-moving interstate and the need for more grunt makes itself known.
From a dead stop to a 60mph takes less than 10 seconds with the aid of a fast-acting, five-speed automatic transmission. Yet a driver’s left to wonder, “What would this be like with a small turbo?”
No, that wouldn’t do much to help gas mileage, rated at 21-28 mpg by the EPA. It runs on regular unleaded and gave me 25 mpg overall.
When it comes to the comfort side of the equation, there should be few complaints. There’s plenty of room for a 6-foot-tall driver. The tachometer and speedometer are placed in twin pods right in front of the driver. Auxiliary information comes from a small window in the instrument pane, and a bigger one just above the central stack.
Auto writers have complained for some time that the center stack info window washes out on even at the hint of a sunny day because of its poor contrast. And still, only after sunset, or in the shade, will you see what you have been missing all day.
The two bucket seats that comprise the second-row seating are multi-adjustable to accommodate wee ones on up to budding basketball players. They also get to control their own ventilation via vents and buttons at the end of the center console.
Wide open, the sunroof generates only a little wind noise and thanks to the overall mini-minivan design, eats up very little headroom. More athletically inclined kids can select the third-row seat. It’s a great launchpad for harassing their older siblings. The sliding side doors are easy to open and third-row seats are quite firm.
With all three rows of seating up, storage space is limited to 5.6 cubic feet. You may be able to stash a case of beer back there, but it would be sitting on its side. A case of your favorite wine would require folding the third-row of seats, easily done via the rear hatch. That increases carrying capacity to 27 cubic feet. Folding the second row increases that to 55.4 cubic feet for serious hardware store visits.
Three models are offered, with our tested Grand Touring package topping the list. With only two small options, the test vehicle went out the door at $24,720 including transportation.
Interior materials were on the economy side of the ledger. Fit and finish were good.
For those who don’t need the space available in a large van or sport utility, the Mazda makes for a very wise choice. The price is right; it will haul a fair amount of stuff, is economical and has a “recommended” rating from Consumer Reports.
It won’t turn heads in the neighborhood, but will mark the owners as very smart consumers.