Mazda CX-5 Problems
No car is perfect, but we've gathered everything relating to the Mazda CX-5 reliability here to help you decide if it's a smart buy.
Which mid-size, diesel SUV should I buy?
Mazda’s SUV range (CX-5 and CX-8) are popular with their owners and have a good reputation in the trade. Crucially, they’re also available with a turbo-diesel engine, so they fit your criteria on that basis. We’d also suggest you take a good look at the South Korean brands’ offerings (Hyundai and Kia) as these are also highly rated by the trade and those companies have been involved with small-capacity diesel engines for decades, so the technology is pretty well sorted.
It’s interesting that you’ve had a good run from your Holden Captiva as that is far from the experience of many owners and former owners of this particular vehicle. As the Captiva ages it is very likely to start giving trouble, so the best advice is to trade up to a newer vehicle sooner rather than later.
Will the stop/start function damage the turbo in my Mazda CX-5?
The advice to always idle a hot turbocharged engine down was based on a period in time when turbochargers didn’t have the water-cooled bearings they do now. With modern turbos such as the one in your Mazda, the bearing shouldn’t get hot enough to need idling down (cooling gradually while the engine idles, pumping oil through the turbo bearing).
That said, I would imagine that the Mazda’s engine management software incorporates a line of code that will not allow the stop/start function to operate if the engine was at a high enough temperature that anything (turbo included) might be damaged by shutting the engine down suddenly. That same logic also ensures that the stop/start is disabled if the battery is low on charge, if the air-conditioner is running flat out or any other condition exists that requires the engine to be running. If you’re still concerned, you could always disable the stop/start function manually when you come to a stop after a drive and manually idle the engine for a minute or two before shutting it off. I appreciate mechanical sympathy, and so, obviously, do you, Steven.
How can I replace a damaged compliance plate?
Given that it’s just a small piece of stamped aluminium, a car’s compliance plate is a big deal as it confirms that the vehicle to which it’s attached meets all relevant rules and regulations to be used on the street. The laws vary from State to State, but in WA right now, it seems that replacing a damaged compliance plate with a new one is not permitted. Instead, what you may have to do is to apply for an exemption to have a compliance plate fitted to that particular vehicle.
According to the WA authorities (who I contacted about this) “If a vehicle’s original compliance plate is destroyed or lost, it cannot be replaced, however the vehicle owner can apply…for an exemption from having to fit a compliance plate”. There’s a process to be followed including having the car inspected and, if the vehicle is deemed to qualify for the exemption, a note will be made on its registration record to reflect the fact that it doesn’t require a physical compliance plate. This inspection will confirm that the vehicle is legal and hasn’t been stolen or written-off.
My concern is that it’s something you’re going to have to explain to a buyer when you sell the car on. Even though a car with this exemption is perfectly legal and shouldn’t present any insurance hassles, some buyers might be leery of a car without a compliance plate. For that reason, I’d be doing everything I could to preserve the original compliance plate. Unless there was a fire that melted it, even a bent and buckled compliance plate may be able to be straightened and left attached to the car. That would certainly be my preference.
What may have caused my Mazda CX-5 to suddenly stall?
There are literally hundreds of things that could have caused the engine to suddenly stop. It could be anything from an electrical failure to a broken crankshaft to a seized torque-converter to an empty fuel tank. And practically anything in between. The dash lights illuminating when the engine stopped is actually quite normal, as the lights are trying to warn you that something’s wrong (in case you hadn’t noticed).
The fact that it won’t restart is no real clue, either, as you haven’t told me whether the engine turns over and won’t fire, or won’t turn over on the starter at all.
Is a 4WD necessary for travelling through regional Queensland?
It sounds like you don't really need a big, heavy and expensive 4WD for the type of vehicle you require. Maybe ample ground clearance would be an advantage, but otherwise, as all the driving is on sealed or some dirt roads, a good front-drive (2WD) medium-sized SUV should suffice. This type of vehicle is typically more stable at speed as there isn't a high centre of gravity to contend with - a big safety plus. And while all-wheel-drive might be useful driving out of ruts, on sand or in snow, if none of the these apply, the 2WD's stability and traction control system ought to be enough.
As a result, we recommend the latest-model (from May 2019-onwards) Toyota RAV4 GX or GXL. It is an exceptionally practical, roomy and robust SUV, with a high level of standard safety features, and big comfy seating. Its 2.0-litre engine is strong, smooth and economical. And you won't have a problem finding somewhere for it to be serviced.
If AWD is deemed essential, then the base Subaru Forester 2.5i is another great choice. Lots of ground clearance, a gutsy 2.5L engine and a soft, relaxing ride. Nowadays Subaru has increased its service intervals from six to 12 months, taking away one of the hassles of running these well-engineered Japanese SUVs.
Finally, the Mazda CX-5 AWD is recommended as well, for it too has a well-sorted AWD system. This is quite a sporty number, with plenty of higher-speed power for effortless overtaking, as well as responsive handling.
All three SUVs mentioned retail at well under $40,000, and all are enjoyable, capable and reliable choices.
What is the best family SUV for around $20000?
While the Mitsubishi Outlander is spacious, reliable and easy to drive, our experience testing it against rival medium SUVs have found it to be noisy and a little too firm riding to be truly comfortable and relaxing. At your price point, there are better alternatives out there.
Have you considered a Mazda CX-5? In petrol or diesel, we have found it to be a superior and more economical proposition, and is definitely quieter and more refined. Plus, the Mazda's all-wheel-drive system is more sophisticated and better at dealing with loose surfaces like sand.
A late-model (post 2014) S5-series Subaru Forester 2.5i petrol is far more economical than the earlier iterations, since it switched to a more efficient CVT continuously variable transmission. And there's also the 2.0D turbo-diesel which is economical. This, too, is a fine SUV on-road or for light off-road driving.
Finally, the Nissan X-Trail diesel is a roomy and capable choice, especially from 2017, when it received a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel to replace the older 1.6L unit.
What car should I buy now that my Mazda 6 doesn't suit my needs?
If you’re happy with the Mazda 6 wagon – and it sounds like you are - then there’s a good case for sticking with the Mazda brand. And if that’s the case, the next thing to consider is which model and body style. Given your requirement for a car that is easier to get in and out of, I reckon a mid-sized SUV might make the most sense since it’s footprint will be similar to the Mazda 6 you have now, but it sits you higher and more upright. On that basis, the Mazda CX-5 seems the natural choice.
If you go for the petrol-engined Touring model, you’ll get all-wheel-drive for extra grip and safety as well as keyless entry and start where you can open the vehicle and start the engine without even taking the key from your pocket. Very convenient. If you can afford a little more, the GT model gets you the powered front seats you need and these even have a memory function that will automatically adjust them to either your or your husband’s preferred settings as a one-button job. Again, very convenient. The GT model also get a powered tailgate which was also on your must-have list. About the only thing missing is the full-sized spare wheel, and all Mazda CX-5s use a space-saver spare. But be honest, are you going to change a flat tyre yourself, or call roadside assistance? And when was the last time you experienced a flat tyre anyway?
Why does my Mazda CX-5 2013 have an excessive amount of condensation?
Clearly water is getting into the car and causing your problem, so the trick is to find where it’s getting in. For start, have a feel around the seats and carpets to see if you can feel a damp patch. That will help narrow down the entry point. So will locking the car up on a warm day and noting which windows fog up.
Once you’ve done that you can start looking closely at all the rubber seals around the windows and doors as these are a likely culprit. Believe it or not, even a simple leaf or twig stuck to the rubber sealing surface can allow rainwater in, and any little nick or tear in the rubber can do likewise. It might sound basic, but are all the windows closing properly? Does the car have a sunroof, as these are notorious for letting water in even when they’re closed?
If you can find a volunteer, have them sit in the car while you take a garden hose to it. If the leak is a bad one, they might be able to spot it. Other times, though, the car needs to be moving for the water to be forced or even sucked in.
You should also check the level of coolant in your radiator or overflow bottle. If the heater matrix inside the car is leaking coolant, you’ll get the same symptoms over time. The clue there is that if the heater is leaking, the level in the radiator will fall.
When do new car prices drop?
It would be a brave person to make any sort of predictions based on the Coronavirus. Suffice to say that as consumer confidence falls (and it must be at some kind of 100-year low right now) people tend to keep their powder dry and their cash to themselves. On that basis, I’d imagine you’d be welcomed with open arms (figuratively) at any sort of new-car dealership right now.
Whether that will make too much difference on the price of a new vehicle is up to the dealership in question, but if you can afford it, now is probably a very good time to shop for a brand-new car. Assuming lock-down laws allow you to drive it anyway. And don’t presume that the end of the crisis will see the end of cheaper cars; the damage being done to the economy will takes years or even decades to undo.
RECALL: Thousands of Mazda CX-5 SUVs might not illuminate properly
Mazda Australia has recalled 7,443 CX-5 SUVs that may not light up as intendedRead More