Going and stopping

The CX-5 follows the Mazda3 compact car in getting the automaker's  new SkyActiv engine: a 155-horsepower, direct-injection four-cylinder  whose efficiency helps the Mazda3 eke out 40 mpg highway. Mazda tweaked  this version for more low-end power, but the tiny engine still  putter-putters more than zoom-zooms. The stick shift makes the most of  it, with short, precise throws and a light clutch that's better than  most SUV manuals. You'll want to keep the revs high to get much out of  the CX-5's four-banger.

( Ian Merritt/ Cars.com photo / December 2, 2011 )

The CX-5 follows the Mazda3 compact car in getting the automaker's new SkyActiv engine: a 155-horsepower, direct-injection four-cylinder whose efficiency helps the Mazda3 eke out 40 mpg highway. Mazda tweaked this version for more low-end power, but the tiny engine still putter-putters more than zoom-zooms. The stick shift makes the most of it, with short, precise throws and a light clutch that's better than most SUV manuals. You'll want to keep the revs high to get much out of the CX-5's four-banger.

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