Not so long ago Mazda and Ford cooperated much more and we were able to see many vehicles delivered by the Japanese car maker that was using similar or the same platform as some of the Ford vehicles. Things are changing and now 2014 Ford Escape and 2014 Mazda CX-5 are quite different vehicles of which we are delivering review and will be interesting for many drivers.
Both crossovers are entirely brand-new for the 2013 model year, the 2014 Ford Escape dropping nearly everything that can possibly tie it to the boxier-than-thou 2012 model in favor of something distinctly more European in design and execution. Underpinning the new Escape is Ford’s global C-segment platform, found in other places in the United States under the bodies of the Focus and C-Max.
Mazda, on the other hand, entered a various direction. Rather than obtaining the bones from its Mazda3 compact, the Japanese automaker produced an all-new platform that utilizes the complete suite of lightweight, fuel efficiency-minded Skyactiv technologies– stuff that will quickly spread to every brand-new model in the company’s lineup, the next of which being the shapely new 2014 Mazda6. The end result is a crossover that sizes up extremely perfectly to the 2014 Ford Escape while being a full 230 pounds lighter in this spec.
We picked to go with the front-wheel-drive volume models for both, and different reasons contributed to this decision. Many notably, price was a substantial element– you’ve no question heard about the reality that 2014 Escape models can retail as high as $37,000. Bigger-budget Ford offers 3 various four-cylinder engines in the 2014 Ford Escape– one normally aspirated, two turbocharged– while Mazda presently provides simply the one Skyactiv four-cylinder in the CX-5.
The Ford is 1.2 inches much shorter in length than the Mazda (178.1 inches versus 179.3) and trips on a 0.4-inch much shorter wheelbase (105.9 vs. 106.3). While the widths might be the same for the 2, it’s essential to note that the CX-5’s front and rear tracks are a full inch larger than the Ford’s– something that certainly assists with managing, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
In the metal, we found the Escape to be a far more good-looking devil from every angle. Even on the smaller sized 17-inch wheels, the 2014 Ford Escape has a good stance on the road, whereas the base wheels on the CX-5 virtually look two inches too little.
So, meet our 2014 Ford Escape: An SE model with an as-tested price of $27,860, including $825 for location. Under the hood is Ford’s 1.6-liter EcoBoost inline-four, good for 178 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 184 pound-feet of torque at 2,500 rpm, all which is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission.
In terms of choices, there aren’t numerous right here to talk about. SE models come basic with niceties like colored rear windows, foglights and the five-spoke, 17-inch alloy wheels seen right here. The only add-ons discovered on our automobile were the $1,570 MyFord Touch navigation/infotainment system and the rolls-off-the-tongue Equipment Group 201A ($450; cargo cover, roofing system rails and boundary alarm).
2014 Ford Escape Vs 2014 Mazda CX-5
For the Mazda, we selected a 2014 CX-5 Touring, likewise riding on (decidedly more regular) 17-inch alloy wheels and powered by a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated Skyactiv inline-four that pumps out 155 horse power at 6,000 rpm and 150 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm, also mated to a six-speed automobile ‘box. The as-tested price: $27,005, consisting of $795 for destination.
Again, we definitely choose the Ford’s design in almost every means, as particular aspects of the CX-5’s styling stand out as a bit odd to us. “The grille on the CX-5 looks outsized to me, and the front end too bluff, specifically from the dead-on front,” composes Executive Editor Chris Paukert. “I’m not sure which will use better over the long run, but for the moment, the Ford looks better to my eyes.” Exactly what’s even more, Touring models like our test automobile are only fitted with the smaller 17-inch alloys that leave huge spaces in the wheel wells, making the CX-5 look a bit awkward from most angles. If you want larger rollers, you need to choice up for the Grand Touring, where you’ll discover attractive 19-inchers at all four corners.
Our Mazda showed up packed with choices like a power moonroof; an innovation package that consists of things like auto-leveling HID headlamps, navigation and rain-sensing wipers; and an updated Bose audio system. (For exactly what it’s worth, the base stereo in our test Escape was among the worst modern systems this author has ever tested in terms of sound quality.).
Even with this longer devices list, a few of our editors took issue with the Mazda’s option product packaging. Paukert writes, “I discover the CX-5’s Byzantine trim and choice scheme to be aggravating. For example, short of the base Sport model, as a CX-5 purchaser you’re stuck with a necessary Blind Spot Monitoring system, which can be annoying. I’m not convinced it’s a function everybody desires.” “If you want satellite radio, you have actually pony up a costly $525 for the stand-alone Sirius option on Touring models, splurge for the full-house Grand Touring or get a dealer-installed aftermarket system. Exactly what’s up with that? That’s basic devices on a base $15k Hyundai Accent.”.
A lot of our discussions about the two crossovers’ interiors are direct reflections of how we feel about their outside designs. Generally, the Ford once again thrilled us with its even more stylish cabin– “the interior seems like more design muscle was flexed in its creation,” specifies Miersma.
But that isn’t really to say the CX-5 is anything even remotely bad. Miersma again: “Overall design makes the Mazda appear like a much older car, too; the cabin does not feel ‘unsightly’ even ‘plain.'” We did find the CX-5’s tech simple and easy to use, though far less quite than the often-finicky MyFord Touch system in the 2014 Ford Escape. The Ford’s bigger display screen (that does not consist of a backup camera in this spec, unlike the Mazda) is a visual treat to see, but even with the updated software, many of us had problems with the technology on board.
That said, both CUVs offer comfy, well-equipped interiors in their mid-grade trim levels. Everybody concurred that the Mazda felt roomier, in spite of the Escape’s rakish windshield that produces a more airy sensation to the front cabin. The numbers do not lie, though– the CX-5 boasts 103.8 cubic feet of general traveler volume whereas the 2014 Ford Escape makes due with 98.1. We found the rear seats in both to be comfy and spacious locations to spend time. Headroom equals in both vehicles, though the Mazda has an additional 2.5 inches of rear legroom. Cargo area in the CX-5 falls short of the Ford, however, even with the rear seats folded flat. The Mazda offers 65.4 cubic feet against a more capacious 68.1 in the Escape.
Escape Vs CX-5
There’s no question in our minds that the 2014 Ford Escape provides the much better engine. Various instrumented screening from other individual publications quotes 8.9-second 0-60 times for both CUVs, but the Mazda just feels slower off the line.
Still, we choose the smoother shifts and calmer behavior of the CX-5’s six-speed Skyactiv automatic transmission. The Escape’s six-speed automatic tends to hunt for gears and downshift when you truly only require a little torque thrust to increase rate, and even then, the changes aren’t always smooth. In the CX-5, there are plenty of times where you do not even observe the transmission doing its work, which is greatly valued.
This isn’t the only location where the Mazda earns high praise– it’s downright much better to drive, complete stop. The steering has a direct, linear feel with a solid on-center feel, whereas the Escape has minutes where its wheel feels overboosted and twitchy. Both crossovers use electric power steering, but Mazda indeed has the better formula for making its helm feel even more interesting. Pertaining to the2014 Ford Escape, Editor Miersma writes that “the steering is so numb and so light that, driven back-to-back with the Mazda, it feels almost difficult to make use of with confidence by comparison.” There’s likewise quite a bit of torque steer in the front-wheel-drive Escape under hard acceleration. Not cool.
In every other individual facet of driving, we continued to prefer the Mazda. Suspension setups on both are well-tuned for normal crossover driving, however the Mazda just feels more willing to be pushed. Even so, we never ever discovered the Escape to have anything short of a smooth, comfy ride, while still providing plenty of feedback to the motorist that’s in no way jarring.
A big credit to the Ford, however, is the truth that it’s quieter in terms of wind noise– by a significant amount, really. We also kept in mind that the Mazda was more prone to being blown around in heavy crosswinds. Intriguing note: regardless of its bigger track, the Mazda rides on P225/65-series tires whereas the Ford uses more robust 235/55-series rubbers, although the variation doesn’t seem to harm the Mazda’s handling any.
Talking on fuel effectiveness for a moment, both of these cars provide very decent numbers for the class, though we mustn’t forget that the base CX-5 Sport with the genuinely exceptional six-speed manual ‘box takes the best-in-class award for fuel efficiency. That said, the 2014 Ford Escape 1.6 L with front-wheel drive will net you 23 miles per gallon in the city and 33 on the freeway, while the CX-5 FWD Touring is rated at 26 and 32, respectively. And while you may think the two would balance out to the exact same sort of integrated rating, that isn’t always the case.
“I ‘d wager dollars to donuts that the Mazda’s normally aspirated Skyactiv 4 will return closer to EPA fuel economy numbers than the Ford’s EcoBoost for simply about every kind of motorist– turbo DI engines simply seem to have a harder time returning their advertised numbers,” Paukert suggests. While we didn’t perform any strict fuel economy screening, the Mazda had no issue returning highway fuel economy numbers around 31 mpg, while we never saw anything higher than 29 in the Escape.
If we were only to judge these two crossovers based on their driving characteristics, the Mazda would be the straight-out winner, no question. When you begin to consider what makes each of these vehicles a good choice for shoppers in the segment, the Escape becomes more and more appealing with each item we detail.
That in mind, choosing a winner isn’t as clean-cut as other individual comparisons. The Ford is more trendy both inside and out, however some of the Mazda’s materials are just plain better and it offers more space for guests. The 2014 Ford Escape has a more effective, more willing engine, but the Mazda counters by being lighter and using its power in a way that’s definitely more interesting out on the road.
And when it came time to vote for our preferred, every editor cast a tally for the Mazda. “As a motorist’s automobile, the CX-5 is the choice,” says Paukert, “however with its engaging styling and richer choice count (not to discuss a bigger dealer network and more generous roadside assistance service warranty arrangement), I can see why the everyday motorist would prefer the Escape.
The things that we have right here are 2 crossovers that provide a bunch of kit and caboodle for purchasers– one tailored more toward individuals seeking an auto as a stylish appliance, and the various other with a sharper concentrate on being a fulfilling vehicle to aviator. Mazda no more needs Ford to have a worthy competitor in this extremely competitive segment, however there’s no doubt in our minds that if the2014 Ford Escape took a few cues from its estranged brother, the outcome of this test would have been extremely different.