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2015 Mazda CX-5 Touring Long-Term Update 7

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 6/15/2015 Motor Trend Staff, Megan Stewart

When you're going on a long road trip, you want to feel confident that your car won't break down. Cars are much sturdier than they were years ago, but overheating and popped tires might still be at the back of your mind. We planned two road trips nearly back-to-back, both with long, hot drives. First up was a 420-mile trek to San Francisco during a particularly hot weekend. Before we left, we made sure to double-check all our fluids and tires and had AAA on standby. We didn't expect anything to go wrong, but it never hurts to be overprepared.

The drive along the 5 freeway from Orange County, California, to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco isn't the most exciting, but it can show you what your car is made of. Our long-term 2015 Mazda CX-5 is the ideal road trip vehicle, as it not only offers plenty of room for luggage and passengers but also pretty good fuel economy for a crossover at an EPA-estimated 35 mpg highway. We've done the trip many times before, and the fewer stops, the better. With the CX-5's approximate 430-mile range, we wouldn't need to stop until we reached our destination.

MotorTend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTend Image However, once we reached the city, it was time to test out some of the steepest hills in San Francisco to see if the CX-5 was up to the challenge. Going up Columbus Street, which feels like you're driving completely vertical, the CX-5 didn't give us any reason to lose confidence. Thankfully, we hit all green lights and didn't need to stop. Going down, however, was another experience. We had to ride the brake pedal, and it felt like we would flip over, but of course we didn't. The CX-5 remained the sturdy, dependable vehicle we've come to love.

A short time after our return from Northern California, we set off once again, this time to Goodyear, Arizona. During the summer months, Arizona is one of the hottest places in the Southwest. Temperatures often hit 90 degrees or higher, and when you're driving for more than six hours in the blazing heat with the air-conditioning running full blast, it's easy for something to go wrong. We wanted to see if the 2015 Mazda CX-5 could keep up with the conditions.

MotorTend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTend Image We started our drive early in the morning to try to beat some of the midday heat, but as hour four rolled around, there was nothing we could do to escape it. To make sure the CX-5 didn't overheat, we alternated keeping the air-conditioning on low with the windows up when in slower traffic and turning it off to roll down all the windows when at higher speeds. We did notice, however, that when braking suddenly, the vehicle would downshift too much, hindering our acceleration back up to AC-replacing speed. We've had issues with this in the past, and it's one thing that continues to be a slight nuisance.

As we plan future road trips, the 2015 Mazda CX-5 will be at the top of our list because of its great passenger room, cargo space, and ability to manage the elements with ease. After our two most recent trips, we feel the CX-5 can handle whatever we decide to throw at it next.

MotorTend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTend Image More on our long-term 2015 Mazda CX-5 Touring:

2015 Mazda CX-5 Touring Long-Term Update 7

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