By on April 26, 2014

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Two years ago, I declared my undying affection for the Mazda CX-5. The “Skyactiv philosophy” cute-ute was, I reckoned, pretty close to perfect. There was just one little problem: although the manual-transmission variant shone in venues as diverse as Laguna Seca and the back roads surrounding Monterey, the CX-5 struggled a bit when its two-liter powerplant was combined with an automatic transmission. So what, right? Obviously the stick-shift is the one to have.

Since most people don’t feel that way, however, Mazda has decided to address the power issue by making its 2.5L, 184-horsepower engine standard equipment in Touring trim and above. To check out what difference the bigger mill makes on the road, I drove a CX-5 nearly twelve hundred miles in the course of seventy-two hours.

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My trip took me from sunny Powell, Ohio to, um… is that Bangkok in the photo above? Perhaps it’s Kuala Lumpur, or Nairobi. Maybe this next shot will help.

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Yes? No? Maybe? The Pepsi-Cola sign should be helpful. Let’s see it from another angle:

citi

That’s Citi Field, home of the Mets. The CX-5 is, therefore, in the so-called “Iron Triangle” behind Citi, the unregulated, unpaved area where chop-shops and bootleg collision centers dominate the not-quite-urban landscape. The “Iron Triangle” is, I understand, not long for this world; too many people have their eyes on the real estate. You can read more about it on Slate. My six-foot-tall, unashamedly Dutch boon companion and professional urban planner, [name redacted], considers the area perhaps the most exciting part of New York. “It’s amazing, to see a place where nothing’s been done.” Then, referring to the city’s willful failure to provide the Iron Triangle with paved streets, city sewers, or electric lighting, she offered this: “Every Republican in this country should be dragged there to see what happens when you have little to no government involvement in daily life.”

One thing’s for certain: if you want to go off-roading within the five boroughs, this is your destination. The landscape abounds with foot-deep sinkholes, ruts, and crests created by the action of undrained rainwater across the dirt surface. Once or twice, I was able to get the Mazda to do some deliberate traction transfer to the rear wheels in order to get up a slippery hump. The locals, who avoid those areas as a matter of course, eyed me with suspicion. What kind of idiot would deliberately tackle stuff like that in a CUV?

The CX-5 is totally fine on rough surfaces, as long as you’re conscious of the ride height, but it was designed to operate on-road. A good thing, as I had a lot of road to cover during this trip, and I had to drive it all myself. I decided that I would deliberately compare this $26,215 four-cylinder car against the Grand Cherokee that won the Rental Grinders comparison a week ago. What do you lose for the $13,000 price gap to the JGC, and what, if anything, do you gain?

We all know that a transverse FWD platform pays dividends in all sorts of ways. Start with interior space utilization. The CX-5 is significantly smaller than the Grand Cherokee, losing half a foot in both length and wheelbase and four inches across the beam, but it doesn’t feel like it. All four passengers have at least as much usable room in the Mazda as in the Jeep, and cargo area was effectively identical. After the decidedly upscale interior and touch points of the Grand Cherokee, the CX-5 was functional at best — but nearly everything you touch feels acceptable for the segment. Some of it is a little over-designed, as with the turn signal and wiper switch that have J-shaped connectors to the steering column, but it’s all usable enough.

The Touring trim’s included center screen and stereo system are the easy equal of anything the Jeep or Ford Edge SEL have to offer; better, in fact, with more features and a more satisfying listening experience. The Bluetooth integration was a little frustrating; not only were phone conversations using my Samsung Galaxy S3 quite frustrating, the texting feature was completely useless.

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Yeah, don’t bother with that. It doesn’t work. On the positive side, track and artist information were clearly and correctly displayed when using my phone as an audio device, and the directional buttons for track selection were functional as well.

A good stereo is a requirement for a long drive, but a good ride and low interior noise don’t hurt matters. Here, the CX-5 shone, matching the bigger utes for ride and beating the Edge on noise suppression. It had the measure of its rivals on manueverability, as well, particularly on the surface streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn where moving aggressively to find and fill gaps isn’t an optional behavior.

So far, that’s all the behavior I expected from the little-ish Mazda based on previous experience. The questions I had revolved around the pairing of the 2.5L Skyactiv and the six-speed automatic. We can start with the good news: On the 560-mile trip from Powell to Williamsburg, the CX-5 displayed an average 30.1mpg consumption figure, showing 30.3mpg all the way to the Holland Tunnel. I drove for economy, avoiding strong starts or kickdown-intensive passing, but I did run 75-80mph wherever possible.

On the way back, however, there was a strong headwind and I frequently found myself summoning fifth gear for climbs. Against the wind, so to speak, the CX-5 couldn’t maintain 80mph without dropping out of top gear. At the end of the return trip, therefore, the score stood as you see here:

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Still not bad, right? And still about twenty percent better than what either the Edge or Grand Cherokee could manage. Make no mistake, though, the addition of the 2.5L didn’t make this CUV a rocketship. At best, it’s now quick enough to work with all traffic situations. If you want a fast vehicle in this segment, get the old V-6 RAV4, which fired off fifteen-second quarter-miles with no problem. This Mazda won’t come close to that.

It’s tempting to wish for a V-6 in this CUV, as well. But the CX-5 shines in large part because of the overall balance Mazda got from making it incompatible with a larger engine. Perhaps alone among its competitors, this is a vehicle of restraint and even taste. Just enough size, just enough motor, just enough features. At two-thirds of the price of the larger CUV competition, this vehicle offers a full share of their virtues, with some additional ones besides.

After two long days on the road, I remained convinced by the CX-5. It would really knock my socks off if Mazda could combine the six-speed manual with the bigger engine, but this Touring variant is more than good enough to see off the competition. The sticker price represents tremendous value and it continues to be recommended over the alternatives, from CR-V to Escape. If you really need more power, more curb appeal, and more off-road ability, you can choose the Grand Cherokee without regrets — but for the vast majority of buyers, this Five is enough.

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196 Comments on “Rental Review: 2014 Mazda CX-5 Touring AWD...”


  • avatar
    N8iveVA

    I took a CX5 Grand Touring and Escape with the 2.0T for test drives. Both FWD. I really like the design, especially exterior, of the Mazda over the Ford, but two things that seemed like small quibles would end up annoying the hell out of me in the long run. I have to have a sunroof and the CX5′s sunroof is tiny. Also the gas pedal is bottom mounted to the floor. I hated the way it felt. But then my buddy test drove it before me and never even noticed it.

    • 0 avatar
      cwallace

      So THAT’s why the pedal in my wife’s CX-9 drives me nuts! You’re right, it either isn’t even noticeable, or it’ll give you shin splints after an hour. Well spotted.

    • 0 avatar

      > Also the gas pedal is bottom mounted to the floor.

      Must be that racing heritage. Advantage here entirely lost w/o need to toe heel.

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      Agreed on the slit sunroof. It’s not just Mazda, either. With the steep rake of modern windshields, the small slit sunroof also sits further back, rendering it virtually useless. And to think that Mazda used to have fairly large sunroofs.

      Seems like Subaru is the only one left that makes a sunroof of a decent size and location.

      • 0 avatar
        Wheatridger

        Our (TTAC meme: “uncompetitive”) VW Tiguan came with a huge sunroof, approximately the size and shape of an Amtrak Sightseer lounge car window. Also a bottom-hinged gas pedal, which gives me no problems because you never have to press it very hard for very long.

        You can make a sunroof extend back into the roof as far as you want, but you do not want the opening to sit so far forward that it’s visible in your peripheral vision. That creates a huge distraction from the essential view of the windshield.

        • 0 avatar
          dolorean

          My ’08 Saturn Astra XR has the panoramic sunroof option. With all four windows down and the sunroof cracked, you get just a modicum of wind through the cabin at highways speeds. It’s a fantastic design.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I’m about *this* close to pulling the trigger on a CX-5 Sport Manual – not because I love it, but because it is one of the few remaining CUV with a manual transmission, and the rest are really horrible choices.

    The thing that holds me back is that, for some unknown reason, if you want a stick shift CX-5, Mazda only offers three (non) color choices…

    Black, gray, or another gray. The Sport Auto has more choices. Why, Mazda, why??

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      The cure to the lagging automatic transmission is torque, pure and simple. The Trifecta Tune transmission in my Encore AWD 1.4T, which never sees below 35+ mpg in highway speed limit cruising, is quite pleasant to drive in a very spirited matter. If you want to set the cruise at 90 mph and it will never shift down out of 6th gear on I-71 north of Columbus. I do love the manual trans for more direct input/feedback to the engine as I used to instruct performance driving and much prefer a manual when towing.

      My Buick Encore AWD matches or betters the CX-5 in Motor Trends performance tests and beats it with a lower figure-eight-time. The CX-5 AWD 2.0l accelerates at the same rate. Through Trifecta in the mix and the straight line stuff is game over for the zoom-zoom. I bought the Encore AWD for $24,000.

      • 0 avatar
        wmba

        You must have already received this month”s monetary honorarium from GM, Norm, to be in such fine fettle.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Yep, one of these days that poor little 1.4 is going to blow right through the hood of that mini-me Buick Enclave

      • 0 avatar
        djsyndrome

        Your Encore is also being actively sold by a company that has illustrated a decades long propensity for actively trying to kill its customers. Whoops.

        But since you’re so blithely into comparisons and crowing about your choice in vehicles: for $2k less than what *you* paid, my (4th gen) Forester is larger than your Encore, safer, has far more power, gets better mileage, doesn’t turn like a whale, has double the cargo space, is larger inside in every dimension, is only 15 lbs. heavier, doesn’t have the maintenance of a turbo…

        I’ll give you props on your longer warranty and double glove boxes, though. I’m jelly.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          Oh, like GM is the only company that is “actively trying to kill its customers” They all do at one point or another.

          Care for a little Pinto Flambe’ with your broad generalization

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            Mmmmmmmmmmmm “pinto flambe” and me with no Chianti in the house.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            >> Mmmmmmmmmmmm “pinto flambe” and me with no Chianti in the house.

            Good choice! Now, if it was Clydesdale, I’d say go with a good American Pilsner.

          • 0 avatar
            Zykotec

            I hate trying to sound all serious here, but I think the total ‘fiery death’-count of the Pinto was in the 20′s. Measured against 3 million cars built, that doesn’t really sound too bad, and statistically was no worse than any contemporary car…
            As for the magical Encore. It is a cramped mini CUV, that with serious hypermiling should manage 35, the European Opel Mokka is said (by Opel )to manage 35mpg average (journalists have not been able to match that claim), but not nearly for as long as most CRV’s…

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          The Encore AWD is a $12,000 discounted BMW X1:

          http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews/driven/1402-2013-buick-encore-awd-vs-bmw-x1-xdrive28i-comparison/?fullsite=true

          Her 2012 Forester doesn’t really compete, nor beat, with the Encore and after driving my girlfriend’s 2012 Forester it’s AWD rachets in the snow like 1990′s ABS and doesn’t propel while turning like my Encore AWD just digs in following the steering wheels input.

          The Forester doesn’t offer a front folding passenger seat like the Encore does which swallow a couple dozen 8ft-2×6′s. So we had to return with the Encore. With the front seat folded it is around 65 cu ft or 9 cu ft less than the Forester. The Encore has v ery roomy seating areas for all passengers but yet still has a large sedan like 18 cu ft cargo area.

          The Forester 2.5i in Motor Trend’s figure-eight handling test is almost a half of a second slower than the Encore AWD while braking 2 feet longer on smaller tires.

          http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/suvs/1304_2014_subaru_forester_limited_xt_first_test/?fullsite=true

          Encore AWD exceeds EPA Highway…in mcombined driving:

          http://www.motorweek.org/reviews/road_tests/2013_buick_encore

          http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/04/review-2013-buick-encore-video/

          • 0 avatar
            romanjetfighter

            Yeah, Encore is a cut-rate BMW that has worse steering, feels less solid, and competes on price. Congrats, it’s just like a Hyundai.

          • 0 avatar

            Okay Norm, that’s a bit of a stretch, on so many levels. The X1 is cheap (i.e. not $12k more), has more power (without any mods), and a superior platform (RWD). Also, superior resale value, very well regarded dynamics, more space, etc. etc. etc.

            Also, why is when a person says “I have an interest in a stick shift CUV” you seem to think the tiny, automatic-only Encore would be an ideal option.

            Can we please just stop with this? We get it. The Encore is marvellous. Write a review, get it published somewhere, give us all your sources and explain the Encore’s attributes, and just get this endless self-congratulatory/defensiveness on any article that has anything to do with CUVs/wagons/SUVs/Buicks/entry-lux/turbos/GM out of your system. Pleeease. I’ll read your review, I’ll take it seriously, I’ll consider the Encore with an open mind if we can just stop coming back to it all. The. Time.

      • 0 avatar
        threeer

        Just can’t warm up to a vehicle with a Buick badge that is something like 80% Korean content and 18% Chinese, and assembled in Korea. Plus, as mentioned below, the price differential between the Encore and the X1 isn’t necessarily $12,000. And if it was, I’d submit that the X1 was more than likely easily worth the extra $12,000. But that’s my opinion. Heck, my next vehicle is probably a Wrangler, so I’m not even in the target market of any of these!

    • 0 avatar
      alsorl

      Subaru Forester comes with a manual shift in the base and premium models. People are getting 28to30 mpg now with the new model. You can also get the base model for around $20,000 . This could be a great option next the Mazda cx-5 which I have heard the oil changes are cost a lot more then the norm due to all the underbody shielding of skyActive.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        MT got 21.9 mpg with manual trans 2.5 Forester. And a lowly 15.5 mpg with thre XT:

        http://www.motortrend.com/oftheyear/suv/1312_2014_suv_of_the_year_subaru_forester/?fullsite=true

      • 0 avatar
        TrnsprtrPL

        Since we are talking about the car I own I’ll jump in for some real world clarity. I own the ’13 Manual Sport. Picked up my CX-5 in FEB ’13 for 21,200 out the door (with some customer loyal discounts and the like). I currently average 35.0 in and around mileage and although I do not drive like I’m being chased I also don’t drive like granny (cruise control is my friend!) The 2.0 Liter engine does need to be revved from a stop if you actually want to keep up with traffic, or merge onto the highway but rarely have I anguished for more power. Hilly terrain is a different story but other than more frequent shifts power is adequate.

        As for the oil changes, DIY! I challenge you to find a vehicle that makes it any easier to change the oil. The hardest part is moving the plastic shielding out of the way (which after you figure out how to the first time, it really is quick and easy). After that the oil filter and plug are located right next to each other. You need to put full synth in there but you really should do that for all cars, Mazda will charge you about 80 bucks for a change but I just buy Royal Purple and a Purolator filter and <30 dollars later I have just changed my oil in 30 minutes.

        While I agree a Forester is a nice alternative (if you need AWD the comparison ends) I really don't see how you can grab one of them out the door for 20K that checks all the boxes the the Mazda can. The CX-5 has good value; a great gearbox; the interior doesn't look cheap; outstanding mileage; not the ugliest thing to look at (despite being gray); excellent utility (hauled a upright freezer in there, unbelievably) and is truly enjoyable to drive/own. After owning this car for 15 months I have no regrets at all, and have had zero problems at 15000 miles.

        One last thing I would like to add about Mazda. I truly appreciate a car company that offers a car that is a base model that a) doesn't look/feel like a base model b) will not nickel and dime me for the things I NEED in a car. This is fast becoming rare amongst companies who want to charge you +1500 dollars for the Suckers Delight package with Premium Sound because you want power windows/locks and keyless entry. Yes, I understand that car companies no longer will fully load a manual vehicle in today's market, but I appreciate the compromise from Mazda ensured that I didn't remind me I was driving a base model with garbage materials and “Hey this car is cheap!” branding on the outside. Bravo, Mazda!

        • 0 avatar
          Dave M.

          “I challenge you to find a vehicle that makes it any easier to change the oil.”

          My Outback has the filter ON TOP OF THE ENGINE! BOOM!

          I do envy you for DIY oil changes. I’m not mechanically inclined whatsoever, and just know I’ll screw the pooch exactly right to void a warranty.

          I’m still trying to figure out the reasons for synthetic oil to cost considerably more. As well as why the recommended replacement mileage is 6-7000 miles…

          Anyway, the CX-5 is a highly viable challenger to the CR-V and Forrester, and way better than the RAV-4.

          • 0 avatar
            TrnsprtrPL

            Your filter is on top of the engine, but where is the oil plug to drain the oil? having both in the same spot is easier (and having both underneath the engine prevents me from getting oil all over the engine bay).

            As for full synth oil, I suppose it may cost nearly double than regular oil, but in the long run you are really saving money. A quality oil filter with full synth will only need to be changed 10,000 miles, and even that is on the safe side. You can change it every 7,000 or so like Mazda says to but your going to feel like a dolt when you drain synthetic that still looks golden in color. Hell i know people that reuse other peoples synthetic to put in their beaters.

            Also, full syth doesn’t wear on your engine nearly as much as regular oil so you can rest assured you engine won’t blow up on account of dirty oil from the wear you oil is causing on your engine (see how that works?)

            Also I get about 1-2 mpg better mileage when I use Royal Purple 1-2 over 10,000 miles is a savings of > the price difference compared to even the cheapest oil so considering all of this the 18 dollars you paid for 5 quarts really isn’t getting you ahead in the long run.

            You should look into a DIY for your vehicle it really is easier than you think and the satisfaction you get knowing you have properly cared for a vital component of your vehicle is good for the soul.

        • 0 avatar
          cornellier

          Who doesn’t also love a company that supports Snowboarding and canoe/kayak here in Canada?

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      @eggsalad, back to your original point, and something that I’ve bloviated on in several rants over the years, is that Mazda in offering a sweet shifting zoom-zoom 6spd ONLY on the stripper Sport model, has it’s formula stuck in the ’80s along with New Coke. Ironically it’s Buick that seems to get that you offer the 6spd in the top model, ala Buick Regal GS and you can even find a couple on dealer lots in colors that actual people would want.

      My biggest grumble about the Sport Automatic in the CX-5 is the easy slip into manumatic mode at times without my noticing (having owned manuals for years, I have the tendency to rest my right hand on the shifter). Spent nearly five miles driving in fourth gear on the highway due to this.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “If you want a fast vehicle in this segment, get the old V-6 RAV4″

    Forester XT?

    • 0 avatar
      djsyndrome

      Subaru remains persona non grata at TTAC. Something about airborne ladyparts.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Nah the old EIC was more upset that ladies who liked ladies liked Subaru. (According to him anyway. I think he should have been sent on a weekend ride with Dykes on Trikes.)

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          He was just all butthurt from that time he got drunk and crashed a Subaru ralley and started hitting on all the entrants… Ouch!

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            I’m betting that he once thought he could “straighten out” some lesbian hottie, got nowhere and glued another chip on his shoulder to carry through life.

    • 0 avatar
      orangefruitbat

      Cross-shopped the CX5 vs the Forester XT. Liked the Mazda’s handling, balanced performance and the stick (which alas, is only available in FWD in Canada) – much better than the stick on the base Forester. But the Forester had much better visibility out the back, better cargo capacity and to my eyes, a nicer interior.

      Ultimately, we decided to go with the Forester, but move up to the XT. The turbo is nice and zippy, the suspension is better than the base Forester (about the same as the CX-5), but I did lose the stick.

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        First a Mazda outdoes something else in noise suppression, and now a Subaru is besting another vehicle in its class with its interior? My world is turning upside down!

      • 0 avatar
        alsorl

        But the XT requires premium fuel ? That is an extra cost added onto the 5mpg loss next to the normally aspirated boxer.

        • 0 avatar
          orangefruitbat

          Premium fuel is recommended but not required. So yes, it’s an added expense, but the base fuel economy was still pretty decent and not too far off the base model to make the extra 10% cost not too painful.

          Automatic transmission (City/Hwy) (L/100km)
          8.3/6.3 8.9 / 7.2
          Automatic transmission(City/Hwy) (Imperial MPG)
          34 / 45 32/39

          In actual practice, I’ve been getting around 9.8 l/100km doing about 90% city driving with a fairly light foot (only about 700 km into the break in period). Better than my old 2.5L Impreza.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        Ack! CVT! Congrats on the XT, especially the turbo. I hope the 2.0l doesn’t need topping off of the motor oil inbetween changes like the GF’s 2012 2.5l. The extended key to start to run times are of a concern on her car.

        • 0 avatar
          orangefruitbat

          Despite coming from a stick, I haven’t hated the CVT. I tend to use my paddle shifters to downshift, but it’s not the same. (I also forget to put the car into Sport mode). There’s plenty of power (albeit with a slight but noticeable turbo lag) – not really sporty, but more than enough for regular driving.

          Haven’t had the car long enough to comment on its oil consumption. The car requires synthetic, but the intervals between oil changes is “officially” 10K vs 5-6K on the regular model.

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      Escape 2.0T?

  • avatar

    > We all know that a transverse FWD platform pays dividends in all sorts of ways. Start with interior space utilization. The CX-5 is significantly smaller than the Grand Cherokee, losing half a foot in both length and wheelbase and four inches across the beam, but it doesn’t feel like it.

    This has little to do with engine layout as it does with corollaries of the cube-square law:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Square-cube_law#Biomechanics

    For the few inches gained the grand cherokee weights 1000lb more than the cx5 with the same sort of chassis which then requires greater than linearly proportionate cross-sectional strength.

    This is why even in nature creatures move from exo (unibody) to endo (BoF) skeletons as they increase in size.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Negative, Ghost Rider.

      The weight and space penalty from CX-5 to JGC is almost entirely due to the drivetrain layout. JGC has longitudinal engine with a larger and heavier block, longer hood, sturdier drivetrain components, a larger center tunnel, a passenger compartment that has to be set back to accommodate the transmission, and less room inside due to larger wheelwells.

      If what you were suggesting was strictly the culprit, then back then Dodge sold a unibody Ram van, the longest of the three available sizes would have been thousands of pounds heavier than the short one, which wasn’t the case.

      • 0 avatar

        > The weight and space penalty from CX-5 to JGC is almost entirely due to the drivetrain layout.

        No, the weight is simply a matter of math. Weight is dimensions cubed so even a modest increase in lineal size via enbiggen-ray makes for a much larger diff.

        Compare 1.1 to 1.1^3.

        > JGC has longitudinal engine with a larger and heavier block, longer hood, sturdier drivetrain components,

        Note JGC contends with that weight with linearly proportionate (to weight, 1.1^3, not lineal size) engine and other power components.

        The square-cube issue only makes this worse by the fact that the bigger car is structurally weaker, and therefore requires even more scaffolding to maintain the same strength.

        Of course they can just accept that their whale is going to be floppy, but Jeep likely thought otherwise.

        > If what you were suggesting was strictly the culprit, then back then Dodge sold a unibody Ram van, the longest of the three available sizes would have been thousands of pounds heavier than the short one, which wasn’t the case.

        1. Being longer is expansion in one direction, not three.

        2. Dodge likely didn’t care about maintaining structural strength as JGC probably does in relation to some Mazda CUV.

        • 0 avatar
          Jack Baruth

          I’m not arguing the square-cube law with you; I’m suggesting that the JGC’s weight penalty isn’t due to it.

          • 0 avatar

            > I’m suggesting that the JGC’s weight penalty isn’t due to it.

            The JGC’s weight penalty is due to its size per definition relationship between size and weight. Its space penalty is largely due to efforts to combat detrimental effects of weight per physical geometry (said law).

            This is the same for all larger cars. To maintain body strength requires more structure inside regardless of engine layout.

            A racer should be familiar with Chapman’s Lotuses which could get away with otherwise mediocrity due to size/weight benefit.

          • 0 avatar
            wmba

            Quite what the cube versus square law has to do with an empty structure can be debated. H beams with a wider web between flanges are much stronger than ones with lesser webs, because of their larger radius of gyration. The stressed material is better geometrically located.

            This isn’t a debate about why a horse splashes when dropped a hundred metres, and the mouse walks away.Their structures are completely full of bodily fluids and fully follow the surface area to volume law.

            London Routemaster buses weighed only 16,000 lbs even with a 2,000lb diesel engine and a 700lb transmission. They used a unibody because, yes indeed, large boxes are strong for their weight. Unless you fill them with fluid and crash them. That’s when the volume to surface area works against them.

            Jack’s analysis seems correct to me and doesn’t go off on some tangent that is not particularly applicable.

          • 0 avatar

            > Quite what the cube versus square law has to do with an empty structure can be debated.

            I recall you claim to be a mechanical engineer. This is your time to shine by figuring out that the underlying physical principle has nothing to do with biology and everything to do with inescapable physical geometry. Start by recalling that the cross-section of a shell is the same 2d connective area referenced.

            The interior space of the JGC is significantly explained by a likely higher floor, perhaps more tumblehome which further restricts this upper body area, etc, etc. In fact hip space which would supposedly be eaten into by “bigger central tunnel” is one of the few dimensions larger on the JGC.

            Easily marketable “layout” (or its “which wheel drive” cousin) is one of the many “common sense” misconceptions popular with those who read too many car magazines instead of studying the underlying causes.

            > London Routemaster buses weighed only 16,000 lbs even with a 2,000lb diesel engine and a 700lb transmission.

            I would also suggest reading what’s already been written, again if need be. Torsional rigidity of a bus is probably not what JGC designers had in mind.

          • 0 avatar

            > Quite what the cube versus square law has to do with an empty structure can be debated.

            ^ btw, it’s also worth pointing out the definitional cubic length-mass rule in 3-space still applies to air regardless of whether or not it’s surrounded by the quite 3D car (let’s assume the car exists for the sake of this argument).

            Your claim seems to be that in absence of anything, a vacuum is functionally equivalent to 0-space. Maybe you can explain where that argument goes.

          • 0 avatar
            319583076

            This is posted primarily in response to u mad scientist and wmba: I am a licensed structural engineer, you guys don’t seem to understand what you’re talking about. Don’t fret, I went to school for many years, went through essentially an appreticeship, and passed several hours of professional examinations prior to posting my Conclusion. Reading a wiki and understanding real engineering physics are two very different things. Cheers!

          • 0 avatar

            > This is posted primarily in response to u mad scientist and wmba: I am a licensed structural engineer, you guys don’t seem to understand what you’re talking about.

            Feel free to point out anything amiss. As I understand it, the basic rules of physical geometry are the same for structural engineers as everyone else in our proximate universe (though I guess you never know with some mechanical eng’s).

          • 0 avatar
            Wheatridger

            The square-cube law would be more applicable if our cars were solid, without hollow interiors, but…

          • 0 avatar

            > The square-cube law would be more applicable if our cars were solid, without hollow interiors

            The low density of air inside cars doesn’t make them geometrically any less 3-dimensional. In fact it’s unclear how this misconception even arises when the biomechanical example is specifically connective material such as bones.

            You may need to mull over this overnight, over the week, or consult with wmba above to whom this was explained in detail.

          • 0 avatar
            Zykotec

            I think someone is missing the point completely here. The weight penalty for the JGC is offcourse also because of its size, but it is mainly bigger than the Mazda (on the outside) because of its drivetrain layout…so in effect the layout is ,almost, the only reason for the extra weight.(engineering specifically for low weight has become one of Mazdas ‘things’ right now)

          • 0 avatar

            > but it is mainly bigger than the Mazda (on the outside) because of it’s drivetrain layout…so in effect the layout is ,almost, the only reason for the extra weight.

            No wonder the FF layout is so great. It takes several inches off the width and height and a foot off the length thereby saving ~1000lb.

            I wonder what else can be learned from reading car magazine press pack rewrites.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            To put this in perspective:

            http://www.edmunds.com/jeep/grand-cherokee/2014/features-specs.html

            http://www.edmunds.com/mazda/cx-5/2013/features-specs.html

            http://www.edmunds.com/mazda/cx-9/2013/features-specs.html

            The Jeep’s drivetrain layout means that if the CX-5 were just as wide, it would lack nothing in terms of interior space to the JGC… and cargo volume is only a tiny bit less.

            The CX9, which *is* apples to apples, has more seats, more cargo volume and more carrying capacity. Thanks to front wheel drive. And it’s over 200 lbs lighter. (probably a dozen or two could be attributed to the frame reinforcements added for offroading, but it’s still heavier and smaller inside.

            In the original context, the complaint was that the JGC is so large and heavy for the amount of interior space it has.

          • 0 avatar

            > The Jeep’s drivetrain layout means that if the CX-5 were just as wide, it would lack nothing in terms of interior space to the JGC… and cargo volume is only a tiny bit less.

            Sigh, if only Chrysler didn’t employ so many idiots who don’t read enough marketing lit, they’d know that numerous inches in each direction and a thousand pounds was on the table if only they used the right engine layout.

            If only these manufacturers would turn their eng arms in addition to the product planning dept over to automotive enthusiasts.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            Passenger volume / Cargo Volume:

            JGC – 105.4 cu.ft / 35.1 cu.ft
            Total – 140.5 cu.ft

            (similar weight)
            Explorer – 151.7 cu.ft / 21 cu.ft
            Total – 172.7 cu.ft

            (similar size)
            CX9 – 139.4 cu.ft / 17.2 cu.ft
            Total – 156.6 cu.ft

            (similar interior volume, 1000 lbs lighter)
            CX5 – 103.8 cu.ft / 34.1 cu.ft
            Total – 137.9 cu.ft

            -

            Jack’s post was all about space utilization as regards to weight. The JGC effectively weighs more for the interior volume inherent in the package. It’s the same size as the CX9 (but weighs over 200 lbs more) yet has less than 3 cubes more than the CX5 in the interior. (and they’re in places that don’t really matter)

            Strawman argument: It’s heavy because it’s big.

            Jack’s argument: It’s bigger and heavier relative to the interior volume because it’s based on a longitudinal drive platform.

          • 0 avatar

            Before we continue, let’s put your technical arguments into perspective:

            > And it’s over 200 lbs lighter. (probably a dozen or two could be attributed to the frame reinforcements added for offroading

            So the true difference between a JGC and mazda cuv are 10-20lb of “reinforcements”, which I guess demonstrates how dumb all other automakers are to not include offroading in their cars for basically free.

            If only they would hire auto m̶a̶g̶a̶z̶i̶n̶e̶ advertising readers to point these things out to them.

            > Jack’s post was all about space utilization as regards to weight. The JGC effectively weighs more for the interior volume inherent in the package. It’s the same size as the CX9 (but weighs over 200 lbs more) yet has less than 3 cubes more than the CX5 in the interior. (and they’re in places that don’t really matter)

            The CX9 was made to be a people carrier which makes a different set of compromises. If you made the same comparison again to a rwd van the point should be sufficiently clear. Moving some furniture around in the engine compartment (esp in such a high vehicle) changes little inside the cabin by the law of “happening somewhere else”. Unfortunately sufficiently clear is prolly too high of a bar here.

          • 0 avatar
            imag

            This thread deserves a caption.

            It appears that “trainwreck” has already been suggested. Until I see one better, that gets my vote.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            > Moving some furniture around in the engine compartment (esp in such a high vehicle) changes little inside the cabin by the law of “happening somewhere else”. Unfortunately sufficiently clear is prolly too high of a bar here.

            It should be sufficiently clear, from your very own argument on the square cube law, that a vehicle that *requires* a longer engine bay, would, of necessity, weigh more than a vehicle that doesn’t, given the same size body behind that bay. The larger transmission tunnel and rear differential, on the other hand, don’t happen “somewhere else”. They happen right underneath the passenger cabin, which means either you accept a smaller cabin or you make the vehicle higher or larger (taller) to maintain the same cabin space, which, in turn, affects weight even more.

            If you would like to talk vans, the UK Ford Transit actually comes in FWD, RWD and AWD, and the FWD one is nearly 200 kilograms lighter than the RWD one, with a nearly 200 kilogram higher load capacity (and a lower load floor. Exact same body style. Exact same engine.

            http://www.ford.co.uk/CommercialVehicles/Transit/Models-and-Prices

            Of course, the bigger you go, the less it matters, since you can effectively pack the entire cabin on top of the engine, which makes rear-engined buses possible. These carry many of the same advantages of front-wheel drive… namely, easier packaging and the elimination of the long prop-shaft and driveline losses, and more interior space… but the layout comes with its own set of problems.

          • 0 avatar

            > It should be sufficiently clear, from your very own argument on the square cube law, that a vehicle that *requires* a longer engine bay, would, of necessity, weigh more than a vehicle that doesn’t, given the same size body behind that bay.

            I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen an engine but a typical v6 isn’t much longer than wider. If you look at the hood length of the Passat as it transitioned from transverse to long back to cross again, the differences are marginal.

            But let’s assume its a couple inch anyway. Note the expansion is along 1 direction, not 3. Note the cube law implies 3, and 1 is less than 3.

            > The larger transmission tunnel and rear differential, on the other hand, don’t happen “somewhere else”. They happen right underneath the passenger cabin, which means either you accept a smaller cabin or you make the vehicle higher or larger (taller) to maintain the same cabin space, which, in turn, affects weight even more.

            Since we’re talking tall vehicles anyway, the effect is minimal. Even in the worse-case of the Passat, if you’ve ever been in one it doesn’t seem to be much of an issue.

            > If you would like to talk vans, the UK Ford Transit actually comes in FWD, RWD and AWD, and the FWD one is nearly 200 kilograms lighter than the RWD one, with a nearly 200 kilogram higher load capacity (and a lower load floor. Exact same body style. Exact same engine.

            If you google Ford Transit rather than simply assuming, first hit wiki page shows the RWD to be 2in wider.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Transit.

            As discussed, bigger vehicles weight more.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            > I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen an engine…

            I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen a transmission, but the differences are not marginal there.

            > But let’s assume its a couple inch anyway. Note the expansion is along 1 direction, not 3. Note the cube law implies 3, and 1 is less than 3.

            Expand one direction and what happens to the final number? Exactly.

            > Since we’re talking tall vehicles anyway, the effect is minimal. Even in the worse-case of the Passat, if you’ve ever been in one it doesn’t seem to be much of an issue.

            And the Paasat is rear wheel drive?

            > If you would like to talk vans, the UK Ford Transit actually comes in FWD, RWD and AWD, and the FWD one is nearly 200 kilograms lighter than the RWD one, with a nearly 200 kilogram higher load capacity (and a lower load floor. Exact same body style. Exact same engine.

            > If you google Ford Transit rather than simply assuming

            If you would actually look at the link I provided rather than actually assuming, there’s a PDF on the page giving the exact dimensions of the current Transit… and the body length and width are no different between FWD or RWD variants.

            Of course, if we’re assuming Wikipedia is more accurate than actual technical specifications from the manufacturer…

          • 0 avatar

            > I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen a transmission, but the differences are not marginal there.

            If they weren’t marginal then the passat or any other audi with short hoods wouldn’t be feasible. Perhaps it’s magic.

            > Expand one direction and what happens to the final number? Exactly.

            A fraction of expanding in 3 directions and nothing do with cube-squared? I guess your argument is better if numbers or words don’t matter.

            This is actually the result of me being somewhat charitable even though the passat shows no significant different. Lesson learned.

            > And the Paasat is rear wheel drive?

            The passat’s audi equivalent is awd, which has basically the same specs. If anything this places even more pressure on hood length since the engine has to be ahead of the front shafts, ie worst case scenario.

            The difference in weight to rwd is the driveshaft, which is actually some dozen pounds. The difference in weight between fwd and awd a4 is somewhat over 100lb. This includes the weight of another 2 extra diffs and halfshafts (the link to this bugs out the interface, so you’ll have to search for it).

            > If you would actually look at the link I provided rather than actually assuming, there’s a PDF on the page giving the exact dimensions of the current Transit

            This transit van looks like it was designed primarily for fwd with rwd was added as afterthought for some models. It incredibly weights even more in front with less mechanicals there, and I’m guessing the massive increase in the back isn’t due to a diff made out of uber-lead, but rather an extra section appended on to cover the diff.

            A rather odd example unless the argument is about converting a fwd van to rwd, unless the claim here is that rwd (the prefer choice of sports cars) adds 400lbs to a car.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            > If they weren’t marginal then the passat or any other audi with short hoods wouldn’t be feasible. Perhaps it’s magic.

            Again, is the platform rear wheel drive? Or, more concretely, is it built with the ability to put all of its torque to the rear wheels, with the driveshaft, rear differential and transmission layout this necessitates?

            > A fraction of expanding in 3 directions and nothing do with cube-squared? I guess your argument is better if numbers or words don’t matter.

            Let’s say: 3x3x3m cube, with a volume of 27 cu.m, surface area of 54 sq.m, versus a 3x3x4 cube, with a volume of 36 cu.m, surface area of 58 sq.m… that tiny numerical difference in outer area equals a big difference in interior volume taken up by engine and drivetrain components. Which weigh more than empty cabin space.

            > The passat’s audi equivalent is awd, which has basically the same specs. If anything this places even more pressure on hood length since the engine has to be ahead of the front shafts, ie worst case scenario.

            If both engines sit in the same length of engine bay, then that’s an advantage for the theoretical rear-wheel drive variant, as a transverse engine model will be carrying around a lot of useless space up front.

            > The difference in weight to rwd is the driveshaft, which is actually some dozen pounds. The difference in weight between fwd and awd a4 is somewhat over 100lb. This includes the weight of another 2 extra diffs and halfshafts (the link to this bugs out the interface, so you’ll have to search for it).

            Just copy paste the link. The interface handles it just fine, it just wont’ hyperlink it. So you’re saying that a theoretical rear wheel drive A4 would weigh nearly a hundred pounds more than a front-wheel drive one? This is ignoring, of course, that the rear differential and driveshafts of the quattro are not built to take 100% of the torque, considering this is a Haldex system.

            > This transit van looks like it was designed primarily for fwd with rwd was added as afterthought for some models.

            “Looks like” is a very vague claim. The original Transit was rear wheel drive. It’s only recently that front-wheel drive was added to the model range, which is still primarily rear-wheel drive.

            > It incredibly weights even more in front with less mechanicals there,

            A longitudinal transmission, again, is not a trivial item.

            > and I’m guessing the massive increase in the back isn’t due to a diff made out of uber-lead, but rather an extra section appended on to cover the diff.

            Unintended consequences. Either you put up with the compromised packaging by wrapping the cabin around the longer transmission packaging, larger differential and bigger tunnel, (which again, cost in weight) or you cover over it, adding even more weight. Longitudinal mount rear-drive sedans do the former, longitudinal mount rear-drive trucks and vans do the latter. Both carry weight and interior volume penalties, the difference is in degrees and where you take the bigger penalty.

            > A rather odd example unless the argument is about converting a fwd van to rwd,

            The Transit was designed from the get-go with multiple drivetrain layouts in mind… but since it started as a RWD, it’d be strange to say it was a FWD van converted to RWD.

            > unless the claim here is that rwd (the prefer choice of sports cars) adds 400lbs to a car.

            You asked about vans. I found a van. As for sports cars, yes, it either adds weight or limits interior space relative to the vehicle’s footprint, or both.

            Whether it is the preferred layout of sports cars isn’t quite relevant to the discussion of practical packaging, since front-engined rear-wheel drive sports cars tend to have cramped cabins wrapped around wide transmission tunnels.

          • 0 avatar

            > Again, is the platform rear wheel drive? Or, more concretely, is it built with the ability to put all of its torque to the rear wheels, with the driveshaft, rear differential and transmission layout this necessitates?

            It was the same platform as the A4, which is awd. Awd requires the same plumbing to the back as rwd.

            > Let’s say: 3x3x3m cube, with a volume of 27 cu.m, surface area of 54 sq.m, versus a 3x3x4 cube, with a volume of 36 cu.m,

            Now do it for a 4x4x4 cube.

            > surface area of 58 sq.m… that tiny numerical difference in outer area equals a big difference in interior volume taken up by engine and drivetrain components.

            Consider reading the cube-square page again, the “square” here has nothing to do “outer area”. See what it denotes in the reply to Big Al. Separately from this, whatever possible intrusion in the footspace by the transmission has zero effect on the rest of the volume inhabited by the human body per “not in this physical space” rule that continues to be ignored here.

            > If both engines sit in the same length of engine bay, then that’s an advantage for the theoretical rear-wheel drive variant, as a transverse engine model will be carrying around a lot of useless space up front.

            They’re on the same platform with same longitudinal engine mounting points for fwd or awd (or rwd if fwd stuff is removed). The engine is hard mounted ahead of the front axle for the awd, the worse possible scenario yet front length is fine.

            > Just copy paste the link. The interface handles it just fine, it just wont’ hyperlink it.

            I’m well aware of how computers work. The comment filtering system apparently matches the link as spam and removes the whole thing. This is the relevant line:

            2002 B6 curb weight
            3.0 = 3462 lbs (fwd), 3583 (quattro)

            Maybe it’ll make the trivial search easier.

            > So you’re saying that a theoretical rear wheel drive A4 would weigh nearly a hundred pounds more than a front-wheel drive one? This is ignoring, of course, that the rear differential and driveshafts of the quattro are not built to take 100% of the torque, considering this is a Haldex system.

            No, I’m saying the entire AWD extras of driveshaft, 2 extra diffs, half-shafts, etc, weigh a bit more than 100 extra. It shouldn’t take much figurin’ any rwd variant would be less. This shouldn’t be surprising given these components have discrete weights unlike “frame reinforcement”.

            > “Looks like” is a very vague claim. The original Transit was rear wheel drive. It’s only recently that front-wheel drive was added to the model range, which is still primarily rear-wheel drive.

            “Looks like” meaning the lower/smaller end ie. more popular models don’t come in rwd.

            > A longitudinal transmission, again, is not a trivial item.

            Rearranging the transmission bits in a different package doesn’t weigh much more. You’re not adding another transmission.

            > Unintended consequences. Either you put up with the compromised packaging by wrapping the cabin around the longer transmission packaging, larger differential and bigger tunnel, (which again, cost in weight) or you cover over it, adding even more weight.

            Well, evidently whatever they did was pretty ridiculous given AWD in passenger cars with even more compromises carry limited weight deficit.

            > You asked about vans. I found a van.

            I pointed out vans as an illustration of purpose.

            > As for sports cars, yes, it either adds weight or limits interior space relative to the vehicle’s footprint, or both.

            Sure, nobody said it did nothing, only that it’s a marginal difference or else no one would build small rwd race cars where both weight and packaging are paramount. An average driveshaft weighs maybe 30 lb. An diff cover probably weighs less.

            > Whether it is the preferred layout of sports cars isn’t quite relevant to the discussion of practical packaging, since front-engined rear-wheel drive sports cars tend to have cramped cabins wrapped around wide transmission tunnels.

            Good thing the JGC isn’t a Miata, which btw isn’t cramped due to rwd but because it’s tiny.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            > It was the same platform as the A4, which is awd. Awd requires the same plumbing to the back as rwd.

            In kind, but not in degree. The rear differential and driveshafts don’t have to be as bulky or as strong.

            > Now do it for a 4x4x4 cube.

            > Consider reading the cube-square page again, the “square” here has nothing to do “outer area”. See what it denotes in the reply to Big Al. Separately from this, whatever possible intrusion in the footspace by the transmission has zero effect on the rest of the volume inhabited by the human body per “not in this physical space” rule that continues to be ignored here.

            I did. And it mentioned the relation of surface area to volume, which I find pretty relevant to the vehicles in discussion. The cube-square can be a quick and dirty way to estimate how much sheet metal is required to enclose that space. Considering the cube as the interior volume (which weighs practically nothing, being air) and the square being the sheetmetal required for that volume, which doesn’t increase in mass as much per unit of interior volume generated. Otherwise, the front-wheel drive CX7 (which has larger exterior dimensions) should weigh more than the rear-wheel drive Durango (not built with 4WD), but it’s quite the opposite.

            In terms of packaging and weight efficiency, FWD is better.

            > Now let’s consider some real world examples, now.

            > They’re on the same platform with same longitudinal engine mounting points for fwd or awd (or rwd if fwd stuff is removed). The engine is hard mounted ahead of the front axle for the awd, the worse possible scenario yet front length is fine.

            Fine compared to what? How do we know it wouldn’t be lighter on a dedicated fwd platform? Mind you, a car made for both drivetrain orientations carries the compromises dictated by both. The compromise of hanging all the way forward of the front axle, as dictated by the transverse layout (though there are exceptions. The Toyota iQ comes to mind), and the compromise of a longer engine bay and larger transmission tunnel, as dictated by the longitudinal layout and the need for AWD.

            > 2002 B6 curb weight
            3.0 = 3462 lbs (fwd), 3583 (quattro)

            The shared B7 platform is already built with the compromises needed for awd… again, which doesn’t necessarily need the same level of hardware out back as a rwd-based awd system.

            > No, I’m saying the entire AWD extras of driveshaft, 2 extra diffs, half-shafts, etc, weigh a bit more than 100 extra. It shouldn’t take much figurin’ any rwd variant would be less. This shouldn’t be surprising given these components have discrete weights unlike “frame reinforcement”.

            You can’t ignore frame reinforcement, however you want to spin it. It doesn’t matter in this case, but only because the chassis is already built for AWD.

            However, you’re assuming quattro components are identical to dedicated rwd components. They are not. And a larger, beefier rwd differential will need stronger mounting points, which adds up.

            > “Looks like” meaning the lower/smaller end ie. more popular models don’t come in rwd.

            The platform is rwd based, with a full ladder frame, which allows them to offer it in cab-chassis form (not shown in this particular brochure). The weight difference is lower in bigger models (about 120 kg only), and represents weight savings found by rebuilding the rear chassis to take advantage of the lower floor in fwd versions rather than the other way around. This is similar to the weight savings found by not having to build around the larger hardware in a rear-drive based crossover/SUV.

            > Rearranging the transmission bits in a different package doesn’t weigh much more. You’re not adding another transmission.

            Different torque loads, different clutch, different box, different box packaging and bellhouse reinforcement, etcetera. Any weight or size added to any part of the mechanical package will affect weight and size for all supporting components.

            > Well, evidently whatever they did was pretty ridiculous given AWD in passenger cars with even more compromises carry limited weight deficit.

            Audi / VW, their bodies are set, and they don’t alter the basic floorpan for fwd variants, so there’s little reason to claim these as evidence of “limited weight deficit”.

            With a cargo van like this, it makes sense to alter the rear floorpan (which isn’t hard, it’s basically body-on-frame back there) to take advantage of the extra space.

            > I pointed out vans as an illustration of purpose.

            When you point out something to illustrate something, it makes sense to give concrete examples. There are other fwd “box” vans, such as the Transporter and the MB100, which, strangely, had a longitudinal midship mount ahead of the front axle (!)… but still maintained the low load floor and expansive interior space afforded by the layout… but it seemed fitting to cite one of the only cars on the market that is available in all three layouts.

            > Sure, nobody said it did nothing, only that it’s a marginal difference or else no one would build small rwd race cars where both weight and packaging are paramount. An average driveshaft weighs maybe 30 lb. An diff cover probably weighs less.

            Maybe and probably are pretty vague descriptors.

            Manufacturers will put up with the weight, packaging and performance penalty (older Miatas were slower than the Familia hatchbacks they shared motors with) versus a front-wheel drive layout, or even a midship layout, on sports cars for reasons other than weight. But if we’re talking race cars, modern purpose-built *race cars* are almost exclusively mid-engined, which eliminates the extra weight and complication of a front-engined rear wheel drive system.

            > Good thing the JGC isn’t a Miata, which btw isn’t cramped due to rwd but because it’s tiny.

            The Mazda2 is even tinier but it *isn’t* cramped. Again, sports cars are not really a good point of comparison. Especially since nobody currently markets similar rear-wheel drive and front-wheel drive sports cars in the same showroom. The closest you could possibly get is Honda, which built the K20 Integra Type R side-by-side with the S2000. And while the S2K was heavier and had less space, it was a purpose built two seater. The ITR was not. This helps neither of our cases, because it’s apples to oranges.

            Still, that’s straying pretty far afield. And it still doesn’t change the fact that a front-engined rear-wheel drive layout has very palpable disadvatanges in terms of weight and packaging versus a front-wheel drive one. Otherwise, BMW and Mercedes wouldn’t be building small fwd cars, where packaging inefficiencies are not as easy to hide as in bigger cars.

          • 0 avatar

            Let’s step back and consider the nature of our discussions. When someone understands a subject, they’re looking more for ways to explain it in digestible chunks, such as maybe with a simple link for illustration. This is different than looking for clues to “prove” some well implanted marketing claims.

            For example, I’m well aware that adding a driveshaft maybe adds some inches to the tunnel diameter, which is maybe a few pounds, but I’m also aware that in the context of FEA unibody design a slightly stronger tunnel is on the average balanced out with a bit of potential savings elsewhere. Compare this to heavily emphasize PR surrounding engine layout or other marketable distinctions which are the focus of press-packs because they’re easy for a salesman to point at X vs Y.

            On reasonably equally competent designs the differentiating factor tends to be basic inescapable rules of the universe such as cube-square. It’s why vehicles get heavy very fast as they grow unless structural strength is sacrificed. It makes for a sound *basis* to make comparisons on top. In that context, JGC is a premium suv (basically an american luxury car) where they’re less likely to make that compromise than a mainstream people carrier like the cx-9. This implies more internal reinforcement and such which potentially eat into space and have nothing to do with drive layout.

            Overall design goals molding fundamental limitations of reality generally have much more to do with end results than armchair marketneering from product brochures. It’s the sort of stuff that goes into internal arch docs which people who’ve never seen the inside of a development process are often unaware of.

            > Maybe and probably are pretty vague descriptors.

            As a protip for the future this is not something you as someone who’s obviously never seen the other side of a technical education want to point out. People in fields were being right matters often use qualifiers to maintain accuracy.

            I used maybe 30lb because it ranges from ~20 for a light vehicle like the 240sx and ~40 for a v8 mustang, and probably because I know how much diffs weigh and it’s unlikely the case takes up most of it.

          • 0 avatar

            A few other notes:

            > And it mentioned the relation of surface area to volume, which I find pretty relevant to the vehicles in discussion.

            Frankly I regret referring to physical geometry no matter how basic because it turns out nobody grasped it. Since you refuse to read what’s already been written to Al, the answer here is that the key point here is internal structure strength not surface dissipation.

            > Different torque loads, different clutch, different box, different box packaging and bellhouse reinforcement, etcetera. Any weight or size added to any part of the mechanical package will affect weight and size for all supporting components.

            The primary benefit of a transaxle is the integrated differential. Changing the direction of something doesn’t need bigger clutch, different gears, etc. Maybe you should go look up the casing weight after all. The cramped packaging is otherwise if anything a disadvantage.

            In any case, the fwd vw/audi’s are certainly transaxles, and it’s evident their weight benefit.

            > Audi / VW, their bodies are set, and they don’t alter the basic floorpan for fwd variants, so there’s little reason to claim these as evidence of “limited weight deficit”.

            Since it’s pretty obvious there’s not much in the drivetrain, your entire focus is on the chassis. Unfortunately there won’t be a lesson on physical geometry to calculate the extra metal due to a diff bump and marginally larger center tunnel, but those not delusioned by marketing rhetoric should be able to see it’s not much. After all, offroading only takes a few dozen lb in reinforcements.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            > those not delusioned by marketing rhetoric should be able to see it’s not big. After all, offroading only take a few dozen lb in reinforcements.

            Seriously?

            > In any case, the fwd vw/audi’s are certainly transaxles, and it’s evident their weight benefit.

            If you could find evidence of such, that would be quite swell. If not, that’s an empty claim.

            > JGC is a premium suv (basically an american luxury car) where they’re less likely to make that compromise than a mainstream people carrier like the cx-9.

            This assertion smacks of the marketing speak you accuse others of falling for. The JGC has premium aspirations, but so does the CX9. They compete in the same price bracket and the same market segment. While people who really want a JGC will not look at a CX9 (perceptions of off-road ability and whatnot), they do cover roughly the same segment.

            > This implies more internal reinforcement and such which potentially eat into space and have nothing to do with drive layout.

            Implies is not terribly concrete. The only additional reinforcements that anyone can prove are the additional frame reinforcements underneath, specifically for off-roading. And, as a reminder, I brought up the Durango because it is not an off-roader, and is a seven-seater (like the CX9) and weighs much more for similar interior volume.

            > Overall design goals molding fundamental limitations of reality generally have much more to do with end results than armchair marketneering from product brochures.

            So quantifying something as “luxury” and another similar thing as a “people carrier” isn’t marketeering?

            > It’s the sort of stuff that goes into internal arch docs which people who’ve never seen the inside of a development process are often unaware of.

            Sorry, how many cars have you engineered?

            > as someone who’s obviously never seen the other side of a technical education want to point out. People in fields were being right matters often use qualifiers to maintain accuracy.

            Oh, how I missed the misguided, underhanded, blowhard insults.

            Sorry. Getting bored again. No concrete technical data, accusations of vagueness from the vaguest person in the thread, and jabs that assume self-competence that doesn’t exist.

          • 0 avatar

            > This assertion smacks of the marketing speak you accuse others of falling for. The JGC has premium aspirations, but so does the CX9.

            I know it’s hard to believe that not everything has the same design characteristics, even the JGC and a CX9, so maybe google for “design” and perhaps someone will provide some clues here.

            > Implies is not terribly concrete. The only additional reinforcements that anyone can prove are the additional frame reinforcements underneath, specifically for off-roading.

            Those who’ve experienced traditional mercedes construction vs. econoboxes must be delusional. Unfortunately their design docs aren’t available to “prove” something to you, lol.

            > And, as a reminder, I brought up the Durango

            The Durango shares the jeep chassis.

            > So quantifying something as “luxury” and another similar thing as a “people carrier” isn’t marketeering?

            Yes, because it’s an actual design goal, and quite evident in Baruth’s own review of the JGC. I realize that’s hard to grasp for those who’ve evidently never designed anything.

            > Sorry. Getting bored again. No concrete technical data, accusations of vagueness from the vaguest person in the thread, and jabs that assume self-competence that doesn’t exist.

            It’s not really my fault you evidently lack any experience or competence at dealing with technical arguments, eg calculating cubes sizes already seems beyond reach much less car internals.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            > google for “design” and perhaps someone will provide some clues here.

            In other words, you would like to continue this one-sided conversation further by providing no backup for any arguments and instead sitting back and ridiculing and shooting down everything that doesn’t fit your worldview. I’ve seen this play out. No thanks.

            > Those who’ve experienced traditional mercedes construction vs. econoboxes must be delusional. Unfortunately their design docs aren’t available to “prove” something to you, lol.

            Please do tell the class how the world has stood still over the past few decades.

            > The Durango shares the jeep chassis.

            Uh… which is why I brought it up. Because that’s apples to apples in both size and space to the CX-9 and the Explorer.

            > Yes, because it’s an actual design goal, and quite evident in Baruth’s own review of the JGC. I realize that’s hard to grasp for those who’ve evidently never designed anything.

            So when Jeep says it, it’s a *design goal*, and when Mazda says it, it’s *marketing*. Gotcha. Didn’t realize there was a difference! Thank you for the erudite enlightenment.

            There’s no debate that the JGC is wonderfully luxurious (when fully loaded), but you seem to be under the assumption that the CX9 is a box on wheels, which it isn’t.

            > It’s not really my fault you evidently lack any experience or competence at dealing with technical arguments, eg calculating cubes sizes already seems beyond reach much less car internals.

            Sorry, show me the error in my math? Show me your math? Your citations? Oh, wait, that would invite counterargument, now, wouldn’t it?

          • 0 avatar

            > In other words, you would like to continue this one-sided conversation further by providing no backup for any arguments and instead sitting back and ridiculing and shooting down everything that doesn’t fit your worldview. I’ve seen this play out. No thanks.

            As I recall it took you approx a day last time to grasp some trivial arithmetic, which extrapolates to at least a week to figure out the difference between linear and cubic expansion, esp. with such a poor attitude. This simply *results* in a one-sided conversation, not as a matter of choice.

            As for evidence that design exists, let’s step back and do a brief design review of the previous A4/Passat platform above. Its most distinguishing feature is the fwd engine position which provides 2 main benefits:

            1. awd front shafts directly from the transmission instead of back across the engine pan.

            2. almost no intrusion into the cabin by said transmission

            This makes the car barely any different in fwd config compared to transverse, which is obvious enough at a glance at the internals/cutaways. It also makes it blatantly evident that packaging like bmw’s compromises some interior space below for the purpose of dynamics, but the same is trivially true if the same were done with a transverse mount. Biasing the transaxle design so the engine is to the rear of the axle has the same problems of pushing the front end forward and/or intruding on space, etc.

            Frankly, heads full of “features” & specs without any actual underlying structure and a recalcitrant mindset are are the reason why auto hobby discussions are stuck at a lowly level. As evidence, rather than gradually pondering what’s above and maybe learn or return with something thoughtful, your natural reaction will if it isn’t “common sense” in context of FWD/RWD PR then *I* need to get audi design docs, cut them into digestible chunks, draw pictures and spoon feed to “prove it”. That’s what grade school teachers do. If you want to be a peer, then act like one.

            > Sorry, show me the error in my math? Show me your math? Your citations? Oh, wait, that would invite counterargument, now, wouldn’t it?

            3^3 = 27
            3*3*4 = 36
            4*4*4 = 64

            Note the quite non-linear increase in volume and therefore mass, the difference between a “bigger” car vs a merely “longer” one. As repeated previously, the “square” is a 2d mathematical cross-section of connective material; there’s no surface characteristic at play here. Even Big Al understood this, so it’s very much in your interest not to be willfully confused by it.

            If it isn’t clear what’s said, ask questions. This isn’t a peer discussion where the reply is an opportunity to sh1tpost. Just because you don’t get it doesn’t mean I don’t either.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            > As I recall it took you approx a day last time to grasp some trivial arithmetic, which extrapolates to at least a week to figure out the difference between linear and cubic expansion, esp. with such a poor attitude. This simply *results* in a one-sided conversation, not as a matter of choice.

            My sincere apologies. I had several meetings (one technical, one marketing, one other) and a car review (more marketing than technical, admittedly. Not much of substance you can insert in a mere five hundred word review) to finsh, plus a very long commute between all of them. I don’t exist solely on the internet, you know.

            > As for evidence that design exists, let’s step back and do a brief design review of the previous A4/Passat platform above. Its most distinguishing feature is the fwd engine position which provides 2 main benefits:

            1. awd front shafts directly from the transmission instead of back across the engine pan.

            2. almost no intrusion into the cabin by said transmission

            > This makes the car barely any different in fwd config compared to transverse, which is obvious enough at a glance at the internals/cutaways.

            Again, the platform was built for longitudinal engines and all-wheel drive. Which means that even transverse engine examples carry enough engine bay length, transmission tunnel and extra space within the rear suspension area for the extra transmission and differential. Or should. Links to cutaways *would* be appreciated, if we could possibly continue this conversation in a civil manner.

            > It also makes it blatantly evident that packaging like bmw’s compromises some interior space below for the purpose of dynamics, but the same is trivially true if the same were done with a transverse mount. Biasing the transaxle design so the engine is to the rear of the axle has the same problems of pushing the front end forward and/or intruding on space, etc.

            The dynamics angle is, of course, true. But it’s also worth pointing out that this compromise is made necessary by traction issues that arise when the engine and cabin package are moved forward over the front axle to give similar space (in terms of length) to a front-wheel drive design. This all goes back to the relation between weight and packaging.

            > If you want to be a peer, then act like one.

            Ditto. Can we dispense with the underhanded jabs and insults and simply debate? Or is that too much to ask?

            > Note the quite non-linear increase in volume and therefore mass, the difference between a “bigger” car vs a merely “longer” one. As repeated previously, the “square” is a 2d mathematical cross-section of connective material; there’s no surface characteristic at play here.

            I posted that because you said an increase in one direction was trivial. This is in relation to the space taken up by the drivetrain. I countered it was not. And it continues not to be, when this incurs packaging issues and causes floor movement. It also shows how movements in one direction lead to large movements in terms of volume. And surfaces do play a part, however minimal, especially in a unibody design where the surfaces themselves form supporting structures. It may be an oversimplification, but trying to apply the cube-square law to automotive design is likewise such. With your original statement, you argued the link between volume and mass… what I’m pointing out is that there’s a stronger linke if that volume is filled with… stuff… than if it’s not.

            Cars are not built in a vacuum. Designs require compromise, and the compromises talked about in the original argument are ones of packaging and weight. In which case, the Grand Cherokee and Durango both carry that, to a large extent. I won’t argue that the reinforcement inherent in the Grand Cherokee plays a part, but there’s a reason vehicles in this class are going transverse. Marketing is involved, yes… in that it’s used to try to convince people that transverse crossovers are just as capable as their rear-wheel drive predecessors when it comes to truck-specific activities like towing and off-roading… a claim that’s debatable, to say the least, but which no doubt the new Cherokee will put to the test.

            What isn’t debatable is that there *are* compromises. They’re easier to hide in “luxury” vehicles, but this does not mean they’re not there.

            > If you don’t get it, ask questions. This isn’t a peer discussion where the reply is an opportunity to sh1tpost.

            Who’s shitposting? Here’s an idea, why don’t you stick to the facts, tone down the insults, and we can all have a nice, long, boring, argument that both of us will enjoy.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            > As I recall it took you approx a day last time to grasp some trivial arithmetic, which extrapolates to at least a week to figure out the difference between linear and cubic expansion, esp. with such a poor attitude. This simply *results* in a one-sided conversation, not as a matter of choice.

            My sincere apologies. I had several meetings (one technical, one marketing, one other) and a car review (more marketing than technical, admittedly. Not much of substance you can insert in a mere five hundred word review) to finsh, plus a very long commute between all of them. I don’t exist solely on the internet, you know.

            > As for evidence that design exists, let’s step back and do a brief design review of the previous A4/Passat platform above. Its most distinguishing feature is the fwd engine position which provides 2 main benefits:

            1. awd front shafts directly from the transmission instead of back across the engine pan.

            2. almost no intrusion into the cabin by said transmission

            > This makes the car barely any different in fwd config compared to transverse, which is obvious enough at a glance at the internals/cutaways.

            Again, the platform was built for longitudinal engines and all-wheel drive. Which means that even transverse engine examples carry enough engine bay length, transmission tunnel and extra space within the rear suspension area for the extra transmission and differential. Or should. Links to cutaways *would* be appreciated, if we could possibly continue this conversation in a civil manner.

            > It also makes it blatantly evident that packaging like bmw’s compromises some interior space below for the purpose of dynamics, but the same is trivially true if the same were done with a transverse mount. Biasing the transaxle design so the engine is to the rear of the axle has the same problems of pushing the front end forward and/or intruding on space, etc.

            The dynamics angle is, of course, true. But it’s also worth pointing out that this compromise is made necessary by traction issues that arise when the engine and cabin package are moved forward over the front axle to give similar space (in terms of length) to a front-wheel drive design. This all goes back to the relation between weight and packaging.

            > If you want to be a peer, then act like one.

            Ditto. Can we dispense with the underhanded jabs and insults and simply debate? Or is that too much to ask?

            > Note the quite non-linear increase in volume and therefore mass, the difference between a “bigger” car vs a merely “longer” one. As repeated previously, the “square” is a 2d mathematical cross-section of connective material; there’s no surface characteristic at play here.

            I posted that because you said an increase in one direction was trivial. This is in relation to the space taken up by the drivetrain. I countered it was not. And it continues not to be, when this incurs packaging issues and causes floor movement. It also shows how movements in one direction lead to large movements in terms of volume. And surfaces do play a part, however minimal, especially in a unibody design where the surfaces themselves form supporting structures. It may be an oversimplification, but trying to apply the cube-square law to automotive design is likewise such. With your original statement, you argued the link between volume and mass… what I’m pointing out is that there’s a stronger linke if that volume is filled with… stuff… than if it’s not.

            Cars are not built in a vacuum. Designs require compromise, and the compromises talked about in the original argument are ones of packaging and weight. In which case, the Grand Cherokee and Durango both carry that, to a large extent. I won’t argue that the reinforcement inherent in the Grand Cherokee plays a part, but there’s a reason vehicles in this class are going transverse. Marketing is involved, yes… in that it’s used to try to convince people that transverse crossovers are just as capable as their rear-wheel drive predecessors when it comes to truck-specific activities like towing and off-roading… a claim that’s debatable, to say the least, but which no doubt the new Cherokee will put to the test.

            What isn’t debatable is that there *are* compromises. They’re easier to hide in “luxury” vehicles, but this does not mean they’re not there.

            > If you don’t get it, ask questions. This isn’t a peer discussion where the reply is an opportunity to sh1tpost.

            Who’s ****posting? (sneaky, trying to trip me up on the swear filter) Here’s an idea, why don’t you stick to the facts, tone down the insults, and we can all have a nice, boring, argument.

          • 0 avatar

            > Again, the platform was built for longitudinal engines and all-wheel drive. Which means that even transverse engine examples carry enough engine bay length, transmission tunnel and extra space within the rear suspension area for the extra transmission and differential.

            Not sure where you’re getting anything about AWD. This pertains to how the engine is placed relative to the axle:
            http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7117/7857790660_d07221bd82_b.jpg

            (it’s a a6, but a4 is same)
            Ignore the transmission and note how forward the engine is relative to a bmw with more engine over the axle. It’s akin to a transverse layout:

            http://media.caranddriver.com/images/13q1/495953/volkswagen-crossblue-concept-hybrid-powertrain-cutaway-photo-496430-s-1280×782.jpg

            This why the cabin of a4/passat has minimal intrusion typical of FF despite a modest sized car. Also note the hood *still* isn’t elongated as you keep assuming *even though this config is the worst scenario for hood length*.

            I have no idea what you’re saying about the bmw, but the point there is that bmw moves the engine back for balance and sacrifice a bit of cabin intrusion. To repeat, you can *also* put the same transverse engine behind the axle and also get better balance in exchange for intrusion. On a large vehicle like the JGC, it’s a minimal issue simply because of the abundant forward space and high floor. IOW, the *design* matters more than “layout”.

            *Therefore*, it’s meaningless to speak of “cabin space is just due to rwd”, since it’s evidently possible for audi to make a rwd car with about as much intrusion as FF *as a matter of design*.

            > when this incurs packaging issues and causes floor movement. It also shows how movements in one direction lead to large movements in terms of volume

            Can you point to where it magically does this in the audi pic? A passat front end looks perfect normal length to me, and it’s unclear how an ostensibly *narrower and lower* package make for a taller and wider car.

            > And surfaces do play a part, however minimal, especially in a unibody design where the surfaces themselves form supporting structures.

            Christ.:

            1. The cube-square rule I’m using in this context by definition refers to the 2d cross-section, frankly I’ve long dropped it because the much easier cube-volume rule was already too hard.

            2. If you want to use some other variation of squares or whatever for something else, please go argue that with whoever you’re arguing that with.

            > It may be an oversimplification, but trying to apply the cube-square law to automotive design is likewise such. With your original statement, you argued the link between volume and mass…

            Also, the cube-square rule isn’t cube volume rule. Evidently they’re easy to conflate because everyone keep referring to the latter as the former. That’s why I dropped it (and nobody even noticed because they keep confusing the two), because geometry 101 is obviously way too hard.

            > what I’m pointing out is that there’s a stronger linke if that volume is filled with… stuff… than if it’s not.

            This is the same misconception several others had above you. The hollow is *completely irrelevant* to whether a car is a 3d object. If you shrink-ray a car to half its lineal size, it’ll *by definition* in our known universe weigh 1/8 as much, no matter how full or empty is it. I’m not kidding this is geometry 101.

            > In which case, the Grand Cherokee and Durango both carry that, to a large extent.

            Also, the point about the “premium” JGC (and Durango) is the *chassis*, which is literary complemented in every review. From TTAC’s durango:

            “Above all, it feels solid and precisely controlled the way premium European vehicles tend to. ”

            That solidity isn’t arbitrary luck, but rather a *design goal* which costs weight, which is why cars relatively light for their size aren’t just arbitrarily unlucky there. Unfortunately that’s not something easily marketable like layout, and thus something which auto hobbyists trivialize.

            > Who’s ****posting?

            Let’s be straight, if you told someone that 2×3=6, and they insist on going back and forth how it’s really =23 or maybe 5 or who knows what, don’t you dare disrespect me imma equal, is that sh1tposting or not? The calcs are literally honest to god geometry 101, which I *genuinely* didn’t think were going to be a problem.

          • 0 avatar
            niky

            > This why the cabin of a4/passat has minimal intrusion typical of FF despite a modest sized car. Also note the hood *still* isn’t elongated as you keep assuming *even though this config is the worst scenario for hood length*.

            Thank you. That’s better.

            There’s still the not inconsequential size of the transmission up front versus a transverse layout system with a rear power-take off. Also, four-cylinder cars have the engine hanging further forward than they would in a transverse layout, as so:

            http://www.roadandtrack.com/cm/roadandtrack/data/CT_2010-Acura-TL-SH-AWD-Tech-HPT-vs-2010-Audi-S4-Quattro-vs-2010-BMW-335i-vs-2010-Infiniti-G37S-Sport_data.pdf
            http://www.roadandtrack.com/cm/roadandtrack/data/CT_2005-Audi-A4-2.0-T-Quattro-vs-2005-Volvo-S40-T5-AWD_data.pdf

            > I have no idea what you’re saying about the bmw, but the point there is that bmw moves the engine back for balance and sacrifice a bit of cabin intrusion. To repeat, you can *also* put the same transverse engine behind the axle and also get better balance in exchange for intrusion. On a large vehicle like the JGC, it’s a minimal issue simply because of the abundant forward space and high floor. IOW, the *design* matters more than “layout”.

            See below.

            > *Therefore*, it’s meaningless to speak of “cabin space is just due to rwd”, since it’s evidently possible for audi to make a rwd car with about as much intrusion as FF *as a matter of design*.

            There’s the rub, the Audis we are talking about are not rear wheel drive cars. Can we stop pretending they are? Audi’s system makes for a much more frontward weight distribution than in similar dedicated rear wheel drive cars. This is workable, but not ideal.

            If you’d like to cite something longitudinal that can be used in a rear wheel drive fashion, Subaru’s

            > Can you point to where it magically does this in the audi pic? A passat front end looks perfect normal length to me, and it’s unclear how an ostensibly *narrower and lower* package make for a taller and wider car.

            Who said a longitudinal engine makes for a wider car? And lower? As seen in the first pic, the cylinder banks come closer to the hood than in a transverse layout, where the engine doesn’t push as far forward. But of course, different design parameters, so it’s difficult to compare.

            > This is the same misconception several others had above you. The hollow is *completely irrelevant* to whether a car is a 3d object. If you shrink-ray a car to half its lineal size, it’ll *by definition* in our known universe weigh 1/8 as much, no matter how full or empty is it. I’m not kidding this is geometry 101.

            The hollow is relevant in the case where we’re discussing design decisions regarding packaging. Increase the volume of car that is empty space, and weight goes up slowly. Increase the volume of car that is filled with oily bits, and weight goes up more quickly.

            > Also, the point about the “premium” JGC (and Durango) is the *chassis*, which is literary complemented in every review. From TTAC’s durango:

            > “Above all, it feels solid and precisely controlled the way premium European vehicles tend to. ”

            I’ve driven them, and yes they do feel quite solid. So do the CX-9 and Explorer, though the JGC is definitely better, one could argue as to how much better it is in those terms.

            > That solidity isn’t arbitrary luck, but rather a *design goal* which costs weight, which is why relatively lighter cars for their size aren’t just arbitrarily unlucky. Unfortunately that’s not something easily marketable like layout, and thus something which auto hobbyists trivialize.

            I honestly haven’t seen anyone here suggesting luck was involved in making design decisions.

            > Let’s be straight, if you told someone that 2×3=6, and they insist on going back and forth how it’s really =23 or maybe 5 or who knows what, don’t you dare disrespect me imma equal, is that sh1tposting or not? The calcs are literally geometry 101, which I *genuinely* *honestly* didn’t think was going to be a problem.

            You still haven’t shown incorrect math. Only argued about what’s relevant or not. If we could stick to that instead of sweary rants, that would be nice.

        • 0 avatar
          05lgt

          That’s the problem with applying vague principles to real world applications. Sometimes the small details matter more than not. The strength doesn’t have to detract from the interior space. The space is lost to the driveline layout as Jack tried to explain to you. The weight is almost completely due to the heavier duty suspension required to maintain the Jeep heritage off road ability. Steel is so strong for unit volume that skyscrapers can be built with internal or external load carrying based on other needs. Rules of thumb from biology just don’t apply here.

          • 0 avatar

            The relation between size and weight is a fundamental characteristic of time-space. The relation between weight and 2d supporting structure (such as unibody skin) is a matter of foundational physical geometry, of which biology is just one example, with cars being another.

            *Layout* does affect space somewhat, but that effect is again *by definition* still moving the furniture around within a conserved volume. For example, laying a non-cubic engine front-to-back only means more space to the sides for accessories instead of fore and aft. It doesn’t affect shoulder room, head room, etc, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            wmba

            “The relationship between size and weight is a fundamental characteristic of time-space.”

            In what gravitational field? Mass and size are related always? Is this a quote from science fiction?Jupiter is a gas giant planet with a lower density than a rocky one.

            The thing that separates know-it-all self-proclaimed scientists from practical men is that scientists never get that dull pang in your stomach when you have to put your professional stamp on a design that affects public safety. When things HAVE to be correct. When titillating the neurons for a jolly good what-if speculation is no longer just for fun.

            That’s why society leaves the Dr Sheldon Coopers of this world to wander about in labs rather than letting them loose to screw up in the real world because their vast intellect says something must be so based on “fundamental principles”, which they unfortunately do not fully comprehend, but can never admit to error.

          • 0 avatar

            > In what gravitational field? Mass and size are related always? Is this a quote from science fiction?Jupiter is a gas giant planet with a lower density than a rocky one. The thing that separates know-it-all self-proclaimed scientists from practical men

            In this case the practical men who know some science assume we’re on earth within our known universe talking about cars made of metal.

            If you want to argue about one car on jupiter compared to one here that’s beyond the scope of JGC vs Cx-5.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Hey, I got it, you’re Sid the Science Kid aren’t you?

          • 0 avatar

            > Hey, I got it, your Sid the Science Kid aren’t you?

            There’s some material here which you should be able to understand:

            http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/04/rental-review-2014-mazda-cx-5-touring-awd/#comment-3155866

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            TL;DR

          • 0 avatar

            > TL;DR

            Two paragraphs; let’s hope 9 words isn’t too much.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Huh?… sorry, what?

          • 0 avatar

            > Huh?… sorry, what?

            I said you’re just a little troll.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            No, just a little tired of intellectually self-impressed windbag show-offs

          • 0 avatar

            > No, just a little tired of intellectually self-impressed windbag show-offs

            No, this is just tall-poppy syndrome. It’s so common there’s even a term for it.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Yeah, and all the kids that picked on you were just jealous, right?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @u mad scientist
            I do think you need to hit the books.

            “The relation between size and weight is a fundamental characteristic of time-space. The relation between weight and 2d supporting structure (such as unibody skin) is a matter of foundational physical geometry, of which biology is just one example, with cars being another.”

            It isn’t two dimensional as you have stated.

            If it was two dimensional it wouldn’t have sufficient strength.

            As an example take a piece of sheetmetal (flat) it will only support and increase strength in a three dimensional object.

            To increase the strength of a piece of sheet metal it must be given three dimensional structure within itself, it then become 3 dimensional.

            If you look at any structure that is two dimensional it will only have strength in one direction.

            Show me an automotive panel or body part that isn’t three dimensional?

            Even the floor on the bed of a pickup is three dimensional, or it would collapse under it’s own weight.

            If you take trussing which is designed in two dimenions it provides strength in one dimension.

            If you require strength in two dimensions you will need to engineer in three dimensions.

            I thought you were smart?

          • 0 avatar

            > Yeah, and all the kids that picked on you were just jealous, right?

            I don’t live in your TV sitcom informed worldview.

          • 0 avatar

            > It isn’t two dimensional as you have stated.

            The cross-section akin to the biological bone structure example is 2D by definition.

            But credit to Big Al, a failed effort is at least commendable compared to out-and-proud ignorance.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @u mad scientist
            I’ll go down to Romper Room level for you this time.

            A piece of string extended is one dimension. What can it support?

            A piece of sheet metal is two dimensions what can it support?

            A piece of RHS is 3 dimensions, look at the difference.

            If you don’t have any support in three dimension no structure is viable.

          • 0 avatar

            Al, “engineer” is something you call yourself, not what others call you. It’s important to recognize the difference.

            The wiki link above is meant as an easy conceptual reference, not controversy over how geometry works.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @u mad scientist
            Give me an example at the molecular level of a self supporting 2 dimensional molecule?

          • 0 avatar

            > Give me an example at the molecular level of a self supporting 2 dimensional molecule?

            The “2d” here is an abstract concept of a strength bearing member’s *cross-section*, not meant to be taken as a literal 2d object.

            The cube-square idea isn’t that a unibody shell or anything is “2d”, but it’s speaking of the internal characteristics where a mathematical 2d plane intersects the object.

          • 0 avatar
            NoGoodNamesLeft

            I’ve read this site for years and have never felt an urge or need to post until reading your replies UMS. I really don’t know why I kept reading either; that’s the funny part. I suppose it was a lot like watching a train hit a school bus. It’s terrible and you know that the result is going to be a massive tragedy, but for some reason, you just have to witness the horror. I don’t care if you are or are not an engineer. Hell, you can be a cross-dressing rodeo clown and it doesn’t change the fact that you have typed thousands of words of pure rubbish. Make it stop, U Mad!

          • 0 avatar

            > I don’t care if you are or are not an engineer.

            Just curious, are you making these judgments knowing what the words mean or no? The appropriate reply here depends on the answer to this.

          • 0 avatar
            Dave M.

            I was told there would be no math.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    This could be a nice fit if we ever replace our Pilot, but is the Mazda myth just a myth? Have they fixed that, would it last ten years in the NJ salt belt? The tiny sunroof would be a negative as well.

    • 0 avatar
      Feds

      I kept a Protege5 in Ontario from 2003 to 2013. Get it oil sprayed annually.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Mazda has been called (AB podcast)to be sold or gobbled up by somebody. The record 94 year history high in sales for Mazada just primes the pump even more as Mazda has no depth or cutting edge tech. Sort of like other Japanese makers because putting torqueless motorcycle-like high compression engines in passenger cars just to match EPA numbers is not fulfilling zoom-zoom.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    Is this the first time a Mazda has been favorably compared to anything in terms of noise suppression?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      The old 929 was pretty quiet, too :)

      • 0 avatar
        MK

        I’m sure she’s tall, fit and hopefully attractive but only the most clueless ideologue could take a trip to Queens and use it as an occasion to complain about Republicans.

        Seriously?

        • 0 avatar
          Kaosaur

          Not really. It’s especially apt because generally Queens and the suburb counties surrounding the five boroughs swing _heavily_ Republican.

          So while clamoring for less government, they ignore a massive urban blight sitting right under their own nose caused by less government.

          The pictures of Corona park should sting some too. A once beautiful park is neglected, falling apart and dangerous.

          New York City lets all of the places where poor people live rot and decay and do nothing to serve those communities or their history until prices push property development to them. Then those communities are replaced with different ones (and different people).

          Fun history lesson: I grew up across the street from this place: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hell's_Kitchen,_Manhattan#Windermere

          Other fun, less related new york facts: Before the Parkways opened up Long Island to people from the City and forced the insolated south shore towns to interact with outsiders, New York, specifically in Long Island, had the third largest block of membership in the KKK. Sadly the Klan still has a huge presence in Suffolk, but hooray progress!

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            That’s a…bizarre assertion. Here’s Obama’s share of the vote in those counties:

            Queens: 79.08%
            Nassau: 53.28%
            Suffolk: 51.17%
            Westchester: 61.99%

            Given that, I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that you think the Great Society and other misguided big government programs are the solution to, and not the cause of, places like the Bronx.

            But I do agree with you on one point — all those rich, white, Democrat New Yorkers sure talk a good game about their love for the poor, but they sure don’t want them sharing their air. (Other than in their kitchens, of course.)

          • 0 avatar

            > Given that, I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that you think the Great Society and other misguided big government programs are the solution to, and not the cause of, places like the Bronx.

            Government programs are generally design to oppose, not support redlining and such. Recall segregation was not ended by popular vote, though there are some who’ve tried to revise history by claiming their separate but equal culture was a gubmint program.

          • 0 avatar

            ^ also, here’s a state-level political map of NY. Funny you had such trouble finding it given it’s first page of a google search.

            http://mattstil.es/images/nysenate-party.png

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            Your obsession with racism continues, I see.

          • 0 avatar

            > Your obsession with racism continues, I see.

            Just because some contend to this day that separate but equal and such isn’t racist doesn’t mean they’re right.

          • 0 avatar
            Kaosaur

            > Your obsession with racism continues, I see.

            If anyone has any doubt as to whether rampant, systemic racism still exists in this country, they need only make a trip to Suffolk County or Howard Beach. I’ve been all over this country, including the “Deep South” (and I now live in the South). Suffolk County is many times over the most racist place I’ve ever been in my life. Two words: Levittown and Freeport.

          • 0 avatar
            MK

            I’m sorry but I just want to make sure I’m clear, are you really claiming that Queens “swings heavily Republican”?

            If so there’s really no need to continue.

            Fun fact: I grew up here http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huntsville,_Alabama. Cool huh?

            Other not fun, completely irrelevant an totally unrelated fact: Africans were brought into Alabama as slaves to pick cotton crops and this fact indirectly led to secession and the Civil War. We probably had the KKK runnign around killing people too. i dont know, ive never known a slave or a KKK member so i dont spend much time thinking about it.

          • 0 avatar

            > If anyone has any doubt as to whether rampant, systemic racism still exists in this country

            See, Kaosaur, if it weren’t fer that damn gubmint, nobody would discriminate because that’s against the free market prescribed by god hisself.

            People literally believe that’s in their Bible; not even kidding.

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            You know, the inability to distinguish between fiction and reality is a classic sign of schizophrenia. It might be worth a trip out of Mom’s basement to get the ol’ noggin checked out.

          • 0 avatar

            > You know, the inability to distinguish between fiction and reality is a classic sign of schizophrenia.

            Again, redlining and segregation forcibly ended by dictat rather than vote are very much matters of reality despite the subsequently popular claims they’re fiction.

            But I can see why people do it.

          • 0 avatar
            Kaosaur

            MK: I know it’s easy to believe the fantasy that New York City and the rest of the Tri-State is some pinko liberal paradise but the facts on the ground are anything but.

            Local politics are ugly and conservative talk radio is the dominant political language. Yes, there is a strong liberal base in the unions and minority communities but that power structure has been in a long decline since the end of Tammany Hall. There is a lot of money from outside coming in to support conservative media and nearly everywhere outside of the Big Apple ’till you hit New England is super conservative.

            I guess I only have living there some 30-odd years and being involved in local politics to go on, though.

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            It sounds like you have a lot emotionally invested in seeing “your team” as the noble underdogs. Perhaps that’s influencing your perspective just a little bit.

          • 0 avatar

            > It sounds like you have a lot emotionally invested in seeing “your team” as the noble underdogs.

            I thought the victims of reverse-discrimination were the real underdogs.

          • 0 avatar
            Kaosaur

            Not even. I was raised in a pretty conservative house, I have a friend who is a local councilman(D) who I worked with because I know he’s one of the good guys and knew him for 10 years. I have other friends who work or have even chaired other parties. I don’t have a side, I’m interested in people and policies that can make a difference.

            Politically I’m totally on the fringes and won’t find love from either major party. I can’t stand Obama’s policies on privacy/security issues and I didn’t vote for him in either election, but I’m not one of those people spewing from the mouth about how he’s ruining America or some such.

            Administratively, New York is actually lucky. Only centrists can get elected to any of the important offices in the City..except for Mayor, which always has a good chance of going Conservative in any election. The problems tend to be from appointments, especially in the city agencies that are nearly-autonomous and above oversight, like the Parks Department (the legacy of Robert Moses).

          • 0 avatar
            MK

            Kaosar, I sorry man but you’ve been drinking the koolaid too long.

            I get it, you and jacks Dutch gal hate republicans, Im not one so i don’t give a sh1t but at least be factually correct and intellectually honest with yourself. The current state of the “iron triangle” has nothing to do with Republican decisionmaking in Queens.

            FFS YOU somehow Godwin’d the “KKK” into this conversation…… W.T.F.
            Then you throw in the convenient tropes of “conservative talk radio” and “outside influences”. Grasping at straws homie.

            I didn’t live there for 30 yrs so I had to look up some facts about Queens since you made me curious that perhaps i had missed something, please excuse my use of Wikipedia:
            “The Democratic Party holds most public offices. Sixty-three percent of registered Queens voters are Democrats. Local party platforms center on affordable housing, education and economic development. Controversial political issues in Queens include development, noise, and the cost of housing.”

            Yeah that sounds like a real bastion of conservatism!

            Idle curiosity, you mentioned you were involved in politics there for 30 yrs, what was your party affiliation?

            Have a great weekend !

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            I stand corrected — that explains it nicely. But usually “I don’t have a side” means “don’t touch my free stuff”.

          • 0 avatar

            > Then you throw in the convenient tropes of “conservative talk radio” and “outside influences”. Grasping at straws homie.

            I see how this works. When racism becomes too embarrassing, just pretend that’s a fiction. When conservatism becomes too embarrassing, just pretend that’s a fiction, too.

            > But usually “I don’t have a side” means “don’t touch my free stuff”.

            No, “independent” in this country mostly means “conservatism in this country is too embarrassing so I need a different label to create distance while still voting for it”. This is borne by the reality of registration stats.

          • 0 avatar
            Kaosaur

            > “The Democratic Party holds most public offices. Sixty-three percent of registered Queens voters are Democrats. Local party platforms center on affordable housing, education and economic development. Controversial political issues in Queens include development, noise, and the cost of housing.”

            Declining. Also laughable. Affordable housing is not happening in queens. Economic Development (read: Gentrification) is. Some affordable housing projects were started in queens along 21st Street in Astoria (an area which used to and in parts still does look like the Iron Triangle). Most of them ran out of funding and are unfinished. Plenty more are mostly vacant. Zoning and the parking requirements to build new property make it _impossible_ to do affordable housing projects in Queens. Changing the zoning regulations has been blocked at every turn.

            You can read what you want about the area but without context and local knowledge you will be easily misled by bs.

          • 0 avatar
            MK

            Oh sweet! Now the scientist wants in on the fun!

            Lets at least make an attempt to stay on track here, ok kids?

            Simple question at the heart of my initial statement, are you two really attempting to claim that the state of disrepair in the iron triangle of Queens is the fault of Republican lawmakers?

            Please remember that points will be deducted for claims of racism in this borough since none other than our reliable crowd sourced and edited Wikipedia states
            “The demographics of Queens, the second-most populous borough in New York City, are among the most diverse demographics in the United States. No racial or ethnic group holds a majority in the borough.”

            I wait with baited breath to see what else is revealed about this most fascinating locale and the fantastical imaginations of the “B&B”.

          • 0 avatar

            > Simple question at the heart of my initial statement, are you two really attempting to claim that the state of disrepair in the iron triangle of Queens is the fault of Republican lawmakers?

            The story of many northern inner cities of one of the underclass leaving separate but equal to where there are at least some jobs, only to meet the less formalized equality of redlining & such. The constituents of such areas may vote for Democrats, but they’re economically doomed from the start by larger social forces.

            Detroit is the prototypical case, where folks like Romney live in outer communities with legally-unenforceable but valiant nonetheless white-only covenants or such. Money begets money, and poverty much the same. The only marginal surprise here is the success of tooling poor-ish white folk to accept the Romney’s rather than those they’re in the same *class* with as their own.

            The causes with NYC are somewhat more complex due to other social dynamics but the fundamentals are similar.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “I see how this works. When racism becomes too embarrassing, just pretend that’s a fiction. When conservatism becomes too embarrassing, just pretend that’s a fiction, too.”

            I find it curious someone so concerned about racism finds it acceptable to do some misspelled religious bashing in an earlier post as shown below.

            “See, Kaosaur, if it weren’t fer that damn gubmint, nobody would discriminate because that’s against the free market prescribed by god hisself.

            People literally believe that’s in their Bible; not even kidding.”

          • 0 avatar

            > acceptable to do some misspelled religious bashing in an earlier post as shown below.

            Accepting free market jesus as personal savior is not really the same thing as innate genetics, even if the saved often believe otherwise.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Both are regarding hatred or dislike of something whether they be genetics, culture, or beliefs. You can’t be ok with bashing one and not the others, and not be a hypocrite.

          • 0 avatar
            MK

            Lol, scientist! Thank you for answering the question not asked while conveniently avoiding the one that was!

            Bonus points for bringing in “Romney” and “poor-ish white folk” ….when most people wouldve went with “poor white trash” but unfortunately your effort was still not as good as kaosaur Godwining the thread with the “KKK” reference.

            I’m sorry you were unable to answer the simple question being posed without resorting to distraction and obfuscation but it simply proves the adage that there are none so blind as those who will not see.

            You have a fantastic weekend my forum friend !

            Haha!

          • 0 avatar

            > Both are regarding hatred or dislike of something whether they be genetics, culture, or beliefs. You can’t be ok with bashing one and not the others, and not be a hypocrite.

            So the argument is basically being born black is akin to embracing some wacky idea.

            Let’s just say that mocking such an argument is different than mocking someone for being black.

          • 0 avatar

            > Thank you for answering the question not asked while conveniently avoiding the one that was!

            Your question was answered as well as could be in a couple paragraphs.

            Sometimes when answering questions, it’s helpful to use less adulterated examples to illustrate the underlying mechanism.

            For example, if your question is the total of two apple and two apples, it’s fitting to point to 2+2= in an addition table. Hope that clears things up.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Why is it ok to mock someone at all?

            You basically argue person A did not choose to be this ethnicity so it is wrong to hate/mock them, but person B did choose this believe or culture and therefore is open to attack, with free choice being the reasoning. The choices of others do not give you license to demean them. If you truly believe choice does then you are a hypocrite and a fool.

          • 0 avatar

            > The choices of others do not give you license to demean them. If you truly believe choice does then you are a hypocrite and a fool.

            I can see how those who want to use “hypocrite” or other words so poorly without consequence also want to equate it to mocking someone for their race.

          • 0 avatar
            George B

            Kaosaur, I think you misunderstand where people across the political spectrum agree and disagree.

            Almost everyone agrees to some basic level of government services where taxes are collected to pay for streets and police. Even rural areas with volunteer fire departments and minimal government have enough government for 1) roads and 2) some level of law enforcement. Support for good roads and opposition to vandalism is almost universal.

            Where the political left and right diverge strongly is in the area of rob Peter to pay Paul income redistribution. The Left is strongly for income redistribution and the right is strongly against it. In terms of transportation, the left likes to divert fuel excise taxes to public transportation and the right wants it spent on roads and bridges.

            The Republican party came into being over the issue of abolition of slavery. The KKK was not associated with Republicans. The people who supported Jim Crow De jur racial discrimination more than 50 years ago, Southern Democrats, aren’t a big force in the Republican party. By 2014 they’ve mostly died of old age.

          • 0 avatar
            MK

            Yes yes, very complicated and multifactorial question, harumph harumph!

            not enough space to respond properly,cough cough.

            2+2 and all that don’tcha know!?

            First rule of holes etc etc.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Perhaps I’m mistaken you are not a hypocrite, you are just a fool. One full of hatred at that.

          • 0 avatar
            Jack Baruth

            Everybody take a break on this for a bit, okay?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            In this particular instance, you don’t have much of a case for blaming the Republicans.

            There are two basic issues here. For one, this is a prime location in an area without other land. That invariably means that nothing is going to happen without grandiose plans to replace what’s there. That invariably makes for a long process as everyone chips in his two cents about what gets built there to replace the blight.

            On the downside, the redevelopment is going to take a lot of money for both eminent domain and environmental remediation. That can take time and effort to get together, and the developers will be expecting government to help with that.

            The city isn’t motivated to improve the area during the interim, as it doesn’t want to spend money on infrastructure that’s mostly going to get ripped out if the place is redeveloped as it envisions.

            Improving the area would also raise the property values, which only increases the cost of buying the land for the redevelopment project.

            And they certainly don’t want the junkyard operators to get too comfortable; they want them to leave. Keeping it blighted helps to make the case for the new project, as it will surely be much nicer than what’s there now.

            So ironically, the fact that it’s prime land is precisely the reason that it takes so long to clean it up. If the land was less desirable, then the city would probably pave the streets every once in awhile and otherwise leave it be, instead of neglecting it on purpose.

        • 0 avatar
          Kaosaur

          George B> In practice this isn’t true. Both parties do income redistribution on a massive scale in the form of subsidies. The difference is in the fleecer and fleeced.

          Republicans have voted overwhelmingly in favor of farm subsidies, cattle subsidies, crude oil subsidies, viagara/cialis subsidies (but not condoms or baby formula, of course), energy subsidies, private corporation subsidies (tax cuts), etc. The voting records are available for anybody to check.

          There are no real fiscal conservatives in elected office.

          edit: Jack> sorry, okay i’ll break. just saw this after post and I”m drunk after celebrating a birthday. Consider the discussion closed as far as I’m concerned.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        http://www.curbsideclassic.com/curbside-classics-asian/curbside-classic-1991-mazda-929s-its-as-big-as-a-cadillac/

        And the 929 was as BIG AS A CADILLAC! :P

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I love me some 80s/90s Japanese luxury.

          • 0 avatar
            raresleeper

            The 929 was a cold whammy bammy.

            They could take quite a bit of abuse, as well.

            As far as the last generations go- the ones that turned to the Millenia (if I recall correctly) couldn’t take quite the amount of sh*t that the boxy 9′s did.

            Yes.. they were rather gigantic. Oddly.

            BUT… I believe 929′s were RWD, whereas the Millenias were FWD (BOOOO).

            Hmm…

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Never driven 929 but when the odd one came up in the yard or the block I was always checking it out. The 929 and Cressida were probably my favorites of the rough period 80s/90s, quickly followed by LS400 and Legend. I loved both generations of Legend coupe, would love to have another one again but they like 929 and Cressida are slim pickens now-a-days. In ’98 one of my friend’s dad’s had a Milennia new (I think a 97), and got rid of it in a year or so because he felt is was such a POS. Ended up with a ’98 Sebring JXI of all things, and used his business’ ’97 Taurus wagon for any sort of other work.

  • avatar
    IndianaDriver

    Where is the engine temperature gauge in the photo of the dashboard display? Is Mazda using a dummy light for engine temperature now?

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      I believe all their new cars use idiot lights for temperature that use the blue/(off)/flashing red/solid red system.

      Considering that I’ve heard manufacturers abandoned real gauges and replaced them with an analog needle that did the same thing as the idiot light, I doubt people are really losing much. Personally, I use a ScanGaugeII and coolant temperature is one of the parameters I display.

      • 0 avatar
        npaladin2000

        Not “all” yet, but Subaru and Mazda have definitely replaced their temperature gauges with lights. The Koreans still use gauges, but they use the digital multi-segment ones. Chevy and Ford still use regular temperature gauges. Not sure about anyone else.

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    I like that Jack judges a vehicle with its intended purpose in mind. Too few reviewers do that.

  • avatar
    redav

    For all the complaints about CAFE (and many of those complaints are valid), look at those mpg numbers Jack got in a CUV with AWD & decent power. That’s better than a lot of underpowered economy compacts from 10-15 yrs ago. I’m thoroughly happy with how cars have improved.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    I’ve just read my May ’14 issue of Consumer Reports, and in it, they were praising the Maza 3 (however, Subaru Impreza Premium still dominates the compact segment, per CR, if you must know). They were head over heels with the Skyactiv in it.

    Impressive mileage, I believe. 28.8. My GLK barely pulls off 23 mpg unless I hypermile the snot out of it.

    SkyActiv Technology, and Mazda in general, is growing on me….

    And I must say I was blown away by the ride quality of the last fully loaded CX-9 I was in.

    I have heard mixed reviews of the interface and controls in the Mazdas.

    Nice review, by the way, Jack.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Let’s say you live near Citi Field and need a muffler installed. How do you choose from the 200 muffler shops in the same square mile?

  • avatar
    SC5door

    “The Touring trim’s included center screen and stereo system are the easy equal of anything the Jeep or Ford Edge SEL have to offer; better, in fact, with more features and a more satisfying listening experience. ”

    That tiny screen is equal to the 8.4 Uconnect? Sorry, don’t believe that.

  • avatar
    xtoyota

    After reading all the comments…… I’m tired of all the Political crap and arguing over stuff not related about tested cars.
    Politics and Religion should be banned from this forum PERIOD.
    Lets just talk about cars and keep the children off this site.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      You have a point. However, “political” is a broad definition.

      As a site — as a community — we are only now recovering from the administration of an individual who was bound and determined that the only acceptable opinion on a topic was the one that he held himself. I’m anxious not to repeat that mistake.

      • 0 avatar
        MK

        Good point jack, while in my personal day to day life im as “live and let live” as you can get, on my own websites my admin style is slightly to the right of Attila the Hun.

        Thx for the opportunity to engage in…. Lets call it “healthy debate” for lack of a better term! :-)

        Btw, if your ever in MEM let me know,the drinks are on me at Boscos or the Saucer.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        “Everybody take a break on this for a bit, okay?”

        Hey Jack, maybe there can be two comments links, on-topic and off-topic. Then the off-topic blow-hards can extinguish themselves after their self-aggrandizing foreplay….

        /wait..which link would this comment fall under??

      • 0 avatar
        GiddyHitch

        “bound and determined” – I see what you did there.

    • 0 avatar
      alsorl

      Word ! Because most of these couch potatoes don’t understand nor care that there opinions show there underlying racist views towards there country or fellow man.

    • 0 avatar
      lando

      Umm… it was red meat thrown at the feet of political inclined readers on this site by the author of the article. And it drove a bunch of activity. If you often read comments on TTAC, political conversations rarely spontaneously erupt. If you didn’t expect a shot at Republicans for issues in deep blue area to go unanswered, you haven’t spent much time in the US.

  • avatar
    Vance Torino

    1.) Has Mazda cured the rust disease yet?
    Nice cars! But only the Sprinters rust worse.

    2.) Air resistance is Huge.
    When I drive the ’13 Prius to Marysville from the Short North, it’s usually 10mpg better heading back east into town.

    3,) Statuesque Dutch chicks in Columbus?!!! #CBJ

    • 0 avatar
      TTACFanatic

      Re: Rust Issues?

      Hard to tell at this point as nothing these days rusts that quick. A saving grace for at least the CX-5 is that in CUV styling it is acceptable to have plastic cladding around wheel arches, which is where more recent Mazda’s have had issues.

    • 0 avatar
      This Is Dawg

      In response to #2: I’ve got a 2014 6, and on a Dallas to Santa Fe roadtip I managed 28.8 mpg westbound and 33 eastbound. Wind is a bitch. Also, if the Cx-5 is like the 6, mpgs suffer for stepping above 60mph. I’ve made 3 hour trips at the speed limit where I get 35 mpg.

  • avatar
    George B

    Jack, my girlfriend wants a CUV and the CX-5 is probably a good fit for her needs. How would 75-80mph highway fuel economy and acceleration for the FWD version compare to the AWD version you drove? I don’t have a good feel for how the delta in EPA ratings changes at the >70mph actual highway speed.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I honestly couldn’t say; the time I had with the 2.0 FWD automatic and manual was on back roads and a racetrack. I can’t imagine it would be too much better, since you’d be grabbing fifth even more often. For the 2.5 FWD, it would have to be better… maybe 1mpg?

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      As Jack mentions and another CUV comparison done by MT or C&D said that at 80 mph cruise control setting the car would down shift on hills or heavy winds. Obviously this consumes more fuel. A test drive would answer your concerns.

      Most AWD systems on the CUVs are add on and only marginally effect fuel economy vs FWD versions. At 60 mph cc set for my 118 mile commute I could see almost 40 mpg(90% Hwy) on a not so broken-in Encore AWD.

  • avatar

    The best powerplant by far is the diesel, heaps of torque, quite revvy, smooth and light due to the use of aluminium and a reasonable amount of power (173)

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Considering the extra cost of the diesel option, my 2013 Buick Encore AWD that has seen 39+ mpg on a tankful of gasoline would give the diesel a run for the money. Add in diesel noise levels and the slowness of highway speed merging, the Trifecta Tune Encore that has run with V8 Silverados and Scion TC would be the ulimate choice.

      • 0 avatar

        You are kidding right, the diesel CX5 has more than twice the torque of your Encore and 25% more power. In addition it has a economy rating of 41mpg combined

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          If you want to compare diesels the Opel Mokka, Buick Encore, does offer a diesel that sees 55 mpg Imperial and adds AWD:

          Acording to the usual EU testing regime, the 130hp turbodiesel fitted in the Mokka is good for 55.4mpg combined and 134g/km CO2 – even with the four-wheel drive system of our test car.

          http://cars.uk.msn.com/reviews/vauxhall-mokka-se-17-cdti-4×4-review-2013-onwards

          The Encore is the most efficient AWD on the highway for a gasoline engine. This was already shown where reviewer had exceed EPA highway in combined driving. It is all that turbo-4 torque that overboost to 160 lb-ft, stock.

  • avatar
    dtremit

    Agree with most of your observations re: the CX-5 itself, but it seems odd to focus on comparisons with the Grand Cherokee and the (CX-9 platform-mate) Edge.

    Both Jeep and Ford make direct competitors to the CX-5, but those aren’t them.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    A friend of mine has a new CX-5 with the 18-inch wheels and I hate the way it rides. The ride stiffness is far more than should be expected in any CUV. It makes the car feel nervous and unsettled on the road.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Stock wheels are either 17″ or 19″. Do you mean the 19″? I’ve heard consistent reviews say the larger wheels on all their models come with a ride quality penalty.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      A 225/55R19 shouldn’t be terribly harsh. I’d check the tire pressure.

      The CX-5 appears to have a lot of extra room in the wheel-wells for bigger tires. You could go up at least a size or two. There are currently a lot more tire options in 235/55R19 and 245/55R19 anyway.

      The 17″ wheels are better suited to the cratered roads around here.

  • avatar
    niky

    Aside from the predictable freight train of comments that happen when certain people get into arguments, the most disappointing thing about this review is that Jack never took the car to the track (yeah, the rental agreement probably frowns on that).

    Although, I have to say, the FWD CX-5 is much more entertaining in that venue. Quicker, lighter, easy to throw in and rotate when the need arises.

    I love the little trucklet, even if it doesn’t have the bombastic chops of a Forester.

  • avatar
    troyohchatter

    Great article but I think more needs to be said about the Skyactive transmission. First, the shifts, manual or auto mode, are “right now” quick. Furthermore, at least in the CX-5 I test drove, the engine is willing to downshift during braking which I thought was extremely cool.

    The best thing about the transmission was found at the very bottom of the throttle travel. See, I drove a 185HP CR-V. At 45MPH I floored it. The transmission grabbed a gear or so, but there was so much left. The EPA gearing that Honda put into the car said “Well, buddy, you wanted MPG, so we put 185HP in this vehicle, but you’ll never get to use it..”

    The Mazda does this until the very bottom of the throttle travel. There in is a microswitch. If the car is shut off you can hear it and if you pay attention, you can feel it. It’s like the old TH400 of days gone by. Engage that switch and the transmission says “Ok, let’s go!” and immediately grabs the lowest gear possible without exceeding redline. It then will proceed to pop off gears at redline. The rest of the time, admittedly, the drivetrain is balancing performance and economy. Extra points for this transmission, except for the multiplate clutch pack, being quite conventional. Due to the clutchpack design, the drivetrain stays in full lockup about 80% of the time, or essentially in all but idle, much like a CVT.

    One point about the manual. To the best of my knowledge, the only way you can get 4wd/manual is a Subaru. That’s ok though as the Mazda automatic seems pretty livable to me, better than most.

    • 0 avatar
      niky

      It’s quite satisfying to knock off manual downshifts under braking, feeling it bang down into the next gear without going all “THINK OF THE CHILDREN!” on you like most transmissions do, yes.

      I think Mazda’s term for the little button under the gas pedal is the “kickdown” switch… I love it, too.

  • avatar
    natrat

    If they send the diesel that would be really nice with low end grunt.

  • avatar

    The Mazda CX5 is simply a car that sets new standards. Though some may say a lot of negative things about the CX5, the fact that the engineers readjust the engine-gearbox map gives this car a lot to say under the hood. That’s just me though.


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