2014 CX-5 New Owner Observations: Detailed Review (2.5L Touring AWD)

deepfriedsushi

Apex? Where?!
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95 Miata, 14 CX5 Touring FWD, 18 CX9 GT FWD
For the keyless entry with out the advanced system I got into the habit of putting my keys into my pocket with the buttons on the keyfob facing out. So when I approach the car and want to unlock, I feel where the key is from the outside of my pants and find the unlock button and press it. I do the same when leaving the car. That way, I don't even have to take out the key from my pocket!

The trick is to not look like you're touching yourself inappropriately when trying to find the button. (lol)
 
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For the keyless entry with out the advanced system I got into the habit of putting my keys into my pocket with the buttons on the keyfob facing out. So when I approach the car and want to unlock, I feel where the key is from the outside of my pants and find the unlock button and press it. I do the same when leaving the car. That way, I don't even have to take out the key from my pocket!

The trick is to not look like you're touching yourself inappropriately when trying to find the button. (lol)

I just reach into my pocket and go by feel for the buttons to avoid having to pull the fob out and put it back. Although if I fumble around for it too much i could give a bad impression too. With the Mazda emblem at the top of the fob it is pretty easy to find which button to push quickly. Which makes it easy to do things like put away an umbrella, take off a jacket or stow a parcel while getting into the car without having to mess with having a set of keys in one hand.

At first I did occasionally leave my keys in my pocket when getting in to start our other cars but only in the garage at home where I didn't have to unlock the doors as it quickly became second nature which fobs I needed to pull out of my pocket and which ones I leave there when getting in.

Although, Even with our other cars I don't tend to always pull the keys out of my pocket when I lock or unlock the car as most remotes are pretty easy to go by feel with. Especially if I'm heading to the back of the car to put in groceries or things like that.
 

nXt

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2014 CX-5 Touring FWD Tech Pkg
I can't believe people complain so much about the freaking keys.
How old are you people...

The regular fob should be of no issue. The ADVANCED Key system I would understand, requiring extra brain-power to figure out how many times to push the button on the door handle, etc.
 

b_scott

I love lamp
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2014 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD - Meteor Gray Mica
I can't believe people complain so much about the freaking keys.
How old are you people...

The regular fob should be of no issue. The ADVANCED Key system I would understand, requiring extra brain-power to figure out how many times to push the button on the door handle, etc.

I don't even own a car and do I-Go to rent hourly cars once a month maybe. The one near us is a Prius and has that - it took no time to get used to
 

nXt

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2014 CX-5 Touring FWD Tech Pkg
Seems like most of people's "complaints" is having to take the key fob out and put it back in your pocket. Well guess what, you don't have to.
If it's so troublesome, put a velcro on it and stick it on the start button! There you go, you can pretend like it's a real key you have to push against the start button!
Or you can simply put it on the dash, in the cubby hole, next to the shifter if you have to.
(shaking my head)
 
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2014.5 Mazda CX-5 Touring
It's not about brain power, one's reflexes need to be reconditioned. I've had a 2014 CX-5 Touring for a month.

Old process on my 2005 Mazda3 which I had for 175K miles. Unlock car with my FOB. The key is in my hand when I start with the key in the ignition: always use the FOB to lock and unlock: and never use the buttons inside on the arm rest. That way, I won't lock my keys if I accidentally set them on the passenger seat or if they fall out of my pocket while getting out. Of course the car is always turned off when I turn the key off and take my keys out. Lock with FOB.

The problem is I'm conditioned to the old way for so long that I mix old habits with new procedures. On two occasions, I've locked my key in the car (I carry the second set so I got back in.) On two more occasions, I've left the car running (in park)just about to walk away from it. The engine is very quiet and I'm tipped off when I can't get it to lock with the FOB (that's the old way I'd lock my Mazda 3). Both times were after I had turned off the radio, triggering my old conditioning that it means the car is off. (Of course, that's no longer true.)

What I'm going to do thanks to the constructive comments here: 1) Definitely still carry the second key with me all the time just in case and 2) leave the key in my pocket, even when unlocking. Make sure car is off and not just radio. Use lock buttons on inside car handle to lock. I do wish there was an option to program sounds so that there was ding-ding-ding if I opened the drivers door with the engine running in park.

I'll follow up in a couple of weeks. Many thanks to those who offer constructive ideas.
 
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CX-SV

Contributor
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2013 CX-5 GT AWD w/tech (Mar'12-Jul'14)
I have 3 vehicles with 3 different systems (Mazda advanced keyless, Lexus version of keyless, Mercedes key/remote), and I adapted easily. No prob switching cars and driving them back to back. I also rent cars, no prob.

Yes, I do touch my pocket to confirm I'm carrying device (remote or key) for car being driven and my iPhone in other pocket, no arrests so far.
 
great write-up. I've owned my FWD GT w/tech for a week and have some similar observations.

-the advanced keyless entry system: I'm already used to it and love it, though I'll always prefer a traditional key ignition rather than the push button. As someone else mentioned, I'm paranoid about that button getting stuck.

-transmission/engine: honestly this was always my biggest complain about the car and the only real reason I continued to shop around after driving the CX-5 initially. I've always driven manual transmissions as well, and just came out of a V6 accord coupe with a 6-speed. I'm used to wringing out the gears when I want to, so I was very frustrated initially with the CX-5's insistence on upshifting so early and often. I've gotten more used to it, though I still prefer to drive in 'manual' mode in my CX-5. In this mode, I actually find the engine to be sufficiently powerful, whereas full automatic mode makes it feel underpowered to me.

-handling: this is the car's single biggest asset IMO. Our other car is a BMW 3 series and honestly the Mazda is at least comparable, whereas no other cars in this class are. I loved every other thing about the new Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, but the handling in that car is disturbingly vague/numb and requires constant corrections.

-interior fit & finish: a poor man's BMW really, but that's not the worst thing. It looks nice enough and most things are as functional as they should be.

-stereo/navigation: honestly, the tom tom navi is pretty awful, but my wife and I knew this going in, so we're not too irritated. Everything else about the unit is acceptable without being great.

All in all I think it's a great little car and I feel like I made the right decision. It's great fun to drive. I'll always wish it had more power, and that the navi was more sophisticated, but every car has its issues.
 
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2013 CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Package (Sky Blue)
Programming the automatic transmission shift points is, like most aspects of configuring a car design, is an exercise in compromise. It would have been easy for Mazda to make the transmission to be more eager to shift up or down based upon subtle clues from the accelerator pedal but then you get a transmission that feels spastic, always changing gears at the wrong time, dropping down a gear and revving higher when the driver is just trying to cruise along in traffic and shifting into too high of a gear through a corner so it must then drop down again to accelerate out. Thankfully, the CX-5 does not lean towards this nature.

I think Mazda hit the right balance, when you want to accelerate you signal it by giving the pedal a good press. Otherwise it holds a higher gear and assumes you just want to maintain your current momentum. It is different from most other automatics but it doesn't take long to learn how to adjust so the car does what you intend. Just don't be shy with your right foot when you know you want to accelerate. I find that pushing the pedal down to a moderate level all at once will effect a gear change immediately while gradually easing the pedal to the same point will not cause any downshift. And I like the way the car automatically shifts to lower gears when slowing down. This often leaves the transmission in the perfect gear to ease on the accelerator out of the corner without needing to downshift further. But if you know you want a fast exit, just use the accelerator to tell it as much and it will almost seamlessly drop down another gear (or two depending upon your input). It doesn't hesitate for but a split second once you learn how to "talk" to it.

My CX-5 returns really excellent mileage and I don't baby the accelerator when I need to reach a new speed. Actually, I think I generally use less fuel when I accelerate at a higher rpm, more quickly, for a shorter distance compared to easing it to the same higher speed using lower rpm's and a higher gear over a longer distance. Of course flooring it and taking it all the way to redline will burn more fuel than either method. Moderation is key. In this sort of situation when the driver gradually eases on the accelerator and the transmission does not shift down, I do not believe it's because it's programmed to save fuel so much but, rather, the programming is conservative to avoid unwanted and awkward downshifts. Moving the pedal decisively will achieve the desired result.

I do not have a good feel whether the behavior I've observed is tied to a transmission that "learns" a drivers habits or not because I've never disconnected the battery to see if this would clear any potential "learning" and change the shift behavior. My guess is I could get in any 2.0L CX-5 and it would behave similarly.

Thank you for the pointers. I've been one to slowly press the pedal, waiting for it to grab a new gear, now I'll press it a little harder and faster. Nice comments about moderate acceleration until reaching cruising speed too - I've read articles that argue you can save more gas by reaching cruising speed a little quicker rather than slowly reaching that cruising speed.

To the Original Poster - thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. Reviews such as these provide guys and gals like myself with valuable information that, like you said, no salesman or brochure can provide. Keep up the detailed reporting!