1st Road Trip - 2015 GT AWD

Pipemajor

Hoot Mon!
:
Minnesota
:
2017 CX-5 GT AWD
Purchased my CX-5 late May this year and use it primarily for my evening/weekend transport since the wife and I work together in an office 14 miles away and carpool in her Camry Hybrid.

With the promise of a splendid early fall weekend we decided to take the CX-5, which had less than 3,000 miles, on our first road trip. We knew the hybrid got better gas mileage but I simply wanted to stretch the legs on the CX-5 a bit so we headed up to Minnesota's famed North Shore drive to take in the foliage and sights along Lake Superior. We have a son attending college in Duluth and made arrangements to meet him for lunch on the trip out and again for dinner on our way back.

We fueled up before leaving the Twin Cities and mapped out a route on the Tom-Tom using mostly secondary roads which tend to be a bit more scenic. Our route took us north on HWY 65 to Mora, MN then east on HWY 23. It's 150 miles into Duluth - a major port city on the westernmost point on the Great Lakes. Compact SUVs are noted for tricky handling due to their short wheelbase and high center of gravity. The CX-5 is no exception but aspires quite a bit more confidence than it's peers in that class. Expansion joints and the 19" low profile tires jar the occupants much more noticeably than a typical boulevard cruiser. Yes, we felt the jolts but overall it was a pleasant drive at speeds mostly between 50 and 60mph. We had very little traffic to contend with which surprised me. Lost cellphone coverage about 40 miles out of Duluth but regained it as we approached the city limits. The Bose radio warned us our signal strength was low when we attempted to call our son ahead of arriving. We had the radio off. I still have a week or so of free Sirius XM reception but wanted the serenity of passing through the rural areas. Temperature was a comfortable 68 degrees which meant AC was off, windows up but moonroof tilted open. The MID display showed an astonishing 33.8mpg average but I've learned not to completely trust those numbers.

This was also the first time I've had a chance to engage the CX-5's cruise control. Our Camry Hybrid has the CC on a small stalk to the right of the steering wheel as well as buttons on the steering wheel. No separate stalk on the CX-5 - just the steering wheel buttons. I liked how the MID displayed your SET speed. The CX-5 6sp tranny did an excellent job upshifting or downshifting to accurately maintain set speed on the hills - much more accurate than on the Toyota with it's CVT.

After enjoying a lunch with our son at Duluth's Fitger's Brewery, we dropped him off and headed east on HWY 61 which is a scenic roadway bordering the north shore of Superior. Traffic volumes naturally picked up quite a bit and we found ourselves in stop/go conditions passing through the stoplights of Two Harbors. Just east of Two Harbors is Gooseberry State Park where a very picturesque series of waterfalls abounds. As soon as we turned into the park, we found ourselves in a virtual parking lot, clogged with throngs of other tourists who had the same idea. A couple of staff from the MN Dept of Natural Resources were advising the traffic that the normal parking lots were full and you'd have to detour down to a remote area of the park and wait for a shuttle bus. Both sides of the road were wall-to-wall parked cars. We decided this was a venue better suited to a mid-week trip so we turned back toward the highway and needed 15 minutes to crawl back to 61. We headed further east to Split Rock Lighthouse State Park. We were able to pull off at one of the overlook sites and got some distant pictures of the famed lighthouse. At this point the afternoon shadows were getting longer so we decided to head back westward to Duluth. Mr. Tom-Tom predicted we'd arrive there in time for dinner.

At that point, I somehow lost Bluetooth connectivity with my Samsung S4. If I attempted to reconnect, as soon as I hit Done on the menu screen it would say Cancelling Connection Request. My speed dial buttons were dimmed out and not available. I was still driving in moderately heavy traffic and couldn't mess around with the phone settings while driving. After arriving back in Duluth while stopped, I did manage to reload the entire phone directory appeared to have full Bluetooth functionality again. We fueled up after dinner. An even 250 miles on the trip meter and 6.904 gallons taken on computed to an astonishing 36.2mpg with the 2.5 liter engine. I've achieved a bit over 30mpg twice but 36? Keep in mind most all of this was cruising at 60mph and under. Once we left Duluth it was dark so we opted for the Interstate and it's 70mph speed limit. The MID display showed a more typical ~28mpg average at those higher speeds.

I found the Tom-Tom, MID display and factory cruise control were all highly accurate. I still find the Tom-Tom a bit more complex than the Garmin's I'm used to using and was perplexed how I managed to lose my phonebook and Bluetooth connectivity. All-in-all, it was a pleasant drive and the CX-5 offered better-than-expected economy while delivering acceptable comfort.

I look forward to additional road trips with the CX-5.
 

Panther

Zoomer not a Boomer
Contributor
:
2016 MAZDA CX-5 GT AWD with TECH PKG / i-ActivSense
Howdy Pipemajor,

Thanks so much for the great review on your First Roadtrip.
I'm so excited about getting a CX5 soon, so reading real time
driving reports are especially interesting reading.

Also, I've never been to that part of the Country up there, and
so was pleased to hear and looked at the map to see your route.

Look forward to hearing more of your thoughts as you get more
familiar with your new CX5.

Take Care,

CK
 

Kedis82ZE8

'15 CX-5 GT AWD, '12 GX 460, '07 G35x
Contributor
:
'15 CX-5 GT AWD
IMO... you are really gonna like your CX-5 when you get it.

I'm not surprised at all about the MPG results of PipeMajor. I can see in the lower speed and flat areas where the CX-5 can easily push into the 30's.

Howdy Pipemajor,

Thanks so much for the great review on your First Roadtrip.
I'm so excited about getting a CX5 soon, so reading real time
driving reports are especially interesting reading.

Also, I've never been to that part of the Country up there, and
so was pleased to hear and looked at the map to see your route.

Look forward to hearing more of your thoughts as you get more
familiar with your new CX5.

Take Care,

CK
 

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