Mazda Ranked Highly by CR

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2019 CX-5 Signature
I need help deciding whether to get another Mazda with Cylinder Deactivation

I have a 19 CX-5 Touring (wife driving it) and the CD recall was completed in July/19. It drives fine since new.
I am in need of another car and currently considering the 2020 3 Base Hatchback or another 2019 CX-5 Touring.
Unfortunately, all Hatchback trims comes with CD and 2.5T engine is not an option for CX-5(out of my price range).
Nothing out there I want (the 3 sedan Select trim has no CD, but it is a sedan; CR-V with oil dilution issue; Rav4 noisy engine, loud on Hwy, comparably expensive).

In light of the recent Reliability ranking from CR that placed Mazda as #2, I can assume:

1. Perhaps CD/rocker arm issues are few and far in between, otherwise Mazda would not be ranked#2.
2. CD feature is used on many Mazda models including the 6, 3, CX-5 equipped with 2.5L NA - so if CD issue is big, it would have spread across 3 product lines and Mazda would not be ranked #2.
3. CR probably completed the survey by Oct 31 and the CD fix recall was officially out mid August. I think there are about 9 months worth of survey data to collect from 2019 owners - a good amount of time.

Are my assumptions correct that perhaps CD issue is rare?
Also, the rocker arm is part of the powertrain so the warranty is 5yr/60k - long enough that if there is a CD related issue, it would have shown within 5 yrs span?

What should I do? Thanks and looking forward for your inputs/feedback.
Go for another Mazda! I have driven a lot of CX-5s (2018 to 2019 and including the signature I own from mid 2018 to present and none of them had any issued related to cylinder deactivation. I think a user on this forum brought up the rocker arm issue and had his engine completely replaced.

I think some of the 2020 models will have engines with cylinder deactivation and some without.
 

sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
:
Canada
:
'18 CX-9 Signature
First, why are you considering a second vehicle that's exactly the same as the first? If it were me, I would try a different trim level or a different MY at least. You could use the wife's car for family/cargo/road trips and a different car for what I assume would be your daily driver/commuter car.

I would lease the brand new 3 and see what comes out of the inline 6 development (or electrification, if you're into that), then decide from there.

Are my assumptions correct that perhaps CD issue is rare?
Also, the rocker arm is part of the powertrain so the warranty is 5yr/60k - long enough that if there is a CD related issue, it would have shown within 5 yrs span?

What should I do? Thanks and looking forward for your inputs/feedback.

I would agree with your assumption. That said, I'm sure yrwei52 will chime in about CD (he hates it with a passion). He'll make some good points about CD technology in general being unproven and potentially causing long-term issues down the road for a very minor gain in mpg, and he won't be wrong. Mazda's CD is fairly new, so we don't know how different it is from the other brands that do have issues (if it is different at all).
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
I need help deciding whether to get another Mazda with Cylinder Deactivation

I have a 19 CX-5 Touring (wife driving it) and the CD recall was completed in July/19. It drives fine since new.
I am in need of another car and currently considering the 2020 3 Base Hatchback or another 2019 CX-5 Touring.
Unfortunately, all Hatchback trims comes with CD and 2.5T engine is not an option for CX-5(out of my price range).
Nothing out there I want (the 3 sedan Select trim has no CD, but it is a sedan; CR-V with oil dilution issue; Rav4 noisy engine, loud on Hwy, comparably expensive).

In light of the recent Reliability ranking from CR that placed Mazda as #2, I can assume:

1. Perhaps CD/rocker arm issues are few and far in between, otherwise Mazda would not be ranked#2.
2. CD feature is used on many Mazda models including the 6, 3, CX-5 equipped with 2.5L NA - so if CD issue is big, it would have spread across 3 product lines and Mazda would not be ranked #2.
3. CR probably completed the survey by Oct 31 and the CD fix recall was officially out mid August. I think there are about 9 months worth of survey data to collect from 2019 owners - a good amount of time.

Are my assumptions correct that perhaps CD issue is rare?
Also, the rocker arm is part of the powertrain so the warranty is 5yr/60k - long enough that if there is a CD related issue, it would have shown within 5 yrs span?

What should I do? Thanks and looking forward for your inputs/feedback.
First thing first, the survey by Consumer Reports were discussing here is predicted brand reliability. It based on previous years reliability data CR collected. Cylinder deactivation problem, particularly the falling rocker arm issue, was first exposed here by Go Hawks on 5/3/2019. A safety recall forced by NHTSA was issued on 6/27/2019. Those failures have not been collected by CR until the beginning of 2020, hence CR predicts high reliability on Mazda for 2020.

Also, before the recall, many CX-5 owners didnt know they have problem with fallen rocker arm. And those who suspected they have CD problem in early days had to fight with Mazda to have the engine replaced. In other words, the problem in early days was mostly hidden, and its hard to verify.

The design of cylinder deactivation is not new. GM had tried in 1980s and failed miserably. Others such as Honda have tried and the result was the class-action lawsuit. As I said before, the problem on cylinder deactivation is its design concept, the imbalance of thermal effect, and inefficiency of air compression on inactive cylinders, all of these cant be overcome. The fix of these on those vehicles currently with CD is to make activation and de-activation cycle short and frequent to average out the thermal effect, and activate the CD in much less time.

Ive said before, if you keep your new vehicle for short period of time, like 4~5 years with 50K miles and youd trade it in to get another new car, you dont have to worry too much about the CD, as new cylinder deactivation should be trouble-free during this period. Im concerned on CD is because I usually keep my car as long as I can and CDs long-term problems are proven.

Mazdas falling rocker arm on its CD system is a different story. Mazda uses hydraulic lifter to control the valve activation and deactivation. But they failed to design something to hold the rocker arms physically. Hence the rocker arm would be falling when the condition is meet. Until Mazda changes the design on hardware, using the software alone cant truly fix a hardware problem.

I dont mind to have 2 identical vehicles If theyre great cars. And I almost had 2 CX-5s until Mazda suddenly came out the cylinder deactivation in 2018.
 
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2017 Mazda CX-5 GT, 2016 Mazda6 iGT, 2014 Mazda3 sGT hatchback
Personally, I would avoid stuff like iStop, iEloop, CD (cylinder deactivation, etc.).
They don't save much fuel/$$$ in real world usage if you consider the extra cost to you.
For example, iStop and iEloop both require special battery (deep cycle?).
Just replaced mine on '16 Mazda6 GT. It costs $400-$500! No kidding.
Instead of $80 from Costco, you need dealer to program it. (due to iEloop)
In case you did not notice this, iEloop is no longer used in Mazda USA lineup.

iStop has the same issue on battery. Besides, it causes concerns from owners in many countries.
Many owners seek way to permanently turn it off.
Does the fuel it save pays for the new starter and extra-expensive battery?
iStop is not for sale in USA either.

CD? I would just get the turbo. Complex system costs money in the long run.
If I have a choice, I would avoid turbo also. I am old-school.
 
Last edited:
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Mazda 6s 2004, Nissan Leaf SL 2012
Speaking of reliability, I don't know how reliable CR is, they have Porche as #4 and Honda at #12. In general I think Mazda is making very reliable cars and the odds of getting a good one is high.

CR ratings are based on data from their subscribers. it is not CR that are doing the rating, though the compile and weight the responses.

Honda has had a lot of problems with fuel seeping into the oil of their 1.5L engines recently and that has caused problems. That may be a reason for their lower rating.
 

Chocolate

Harpy Eagle
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2019 CX-5 AWD
Personally, I would avoid stuff like iStop, iEloop, CD (cylinder deactivation, etc.).
They don't save much fuel/$$$ in real world usage if you consider the extra cost to you.
For example, iStop and iEloop both require special battery (deep cycle?).
Just replaced mine on '16 Mazda6 GT. It costs $400-$500! No kidding.
Instead of $80 from Costco, you need dealer to program it. (due to iEloop)
In case you did not notice this, iEloop is no longer used in Mazda USA lineup.

iStop has the same issue on battery. Besides, it causes concerns from owners in many countries.
Many owners seek way to permanently turn it off.
Does the fuel it save pays for the new starter and extra-expensive battery?
iStop is not for sale in USA either.

CD? I would just get the turbo. Complex system costs money in the long run.
If I have a choice, I would avoid turbo also. I am old-school.

Well said. It is inexplicable that Mazda didn't simply include a button or software menu to turn off cylinder deactivation. They are costing themselves potential customers, and for no reason. They can still get the EPA/equivalent credit for it.

It is logical that the more features, the more potential for problems there are. Wasn't aware that the battery on the Mazda6 needs to be AGM AND programmed by the dealer, that is a bad design. A bad, terrible, no good design that I hope Mazda won't reuse.
 

Tran7270

Mazzippy70
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Mazda CX-5 Touring
Thank you Yrwei52, Sm1ke, Googleplex, & Ceric for your inputs.

First thing first, the survey by Consumer Reports we*re discussing here is *predicted* brand reliability. It based on previous years* reliability data CR collected. Cylinder deactivation problem, particularly the falling rocker arm issue, was first exposed here by Go Hawks on 5/3/2019. A safety recall forced by NHTSA was issued on 6/27/2019. Those failures have not been collected by CR until the beginning of 2020, hence CR *predicts* high reliability on Mazda for 2020.

Yrwei52....I think you made a typo in your response - "Those failures have not been collected by CR until the beginning of 2020"(should be 2019). I think CR did the survey from owners/subcribers of 2019 model year for the predicted Reliability 2020 ranking. Also, there was an April 2019 CR Issue where they rated CX-5's reliability as "Excellent"(highest possible score) compared to rivals - CR must have collected data from 2018 for this April 2019 issue where we know CD was first introduced for 2018MY. Also, CR collected all defects/failures type including CD related failures. So it seems to be few car troubles reported across all models that lead to a ranking of #2. I am trying to come up with reasons to prove that CD is not a widespread problem or very low failure rate (though even if it is low I still worry about it)

So I went to the dealership this evening to check out the 2020 3 hatchback and the blind spots are significant due to the thick C-pillar and the low roof line. Sitting inside feel so claustrophobic and the black cloth roof(on all trim levels) make it even worst. So the hatch is off my list.

Now it comes down to either the 3 sedan(Select trim WITHOUT CD) or the CX-5 Touring(yes...the 2nd one).
1.The plan is to drive the sedan as a daily commuter car for 3 years then pass it to my son(he is ok with the sedan, thanks god) so I can buy time to see if the CD recall really fixes the issue.
2. Get the 2nd CX-5 Touring(different ext/int color of course) because I love the wife's car so much. The biggest factor in considering another CX-5 is because my local dealership is offering $4,800 off MSRP for 2019MY. I will also get another $750 off for loyalty(current Mazda owner) - really tempting. I figure the money I saved I will use it to buy powertrain warranty for up to 10 years(Yes...I am one of those that keep the car for long term). I will find out how much it will cost.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
Thank you Yrwei52, Sm1ke, Googleplex, & Ceric for your inputs.

Yrwei52....I think you made a typo in your response - "Those failures have not been collected by CR until the beginning of 2020"(should be 2019). I think CR did the survey from owners/subcribers of 2019 model year for the predicted Reliability 2020 ranking. Also, there was an April 2019 CR Issue where they rated CX-5's reliability as "Excellent"(highest possible score) compared to rivals - CR must have collected data from 2018 for this April 2019 issue where we know CD was first introduced for 2018MY. Also, CR collected all defects/failures type including CD related failures. So it seems to be few car troubles reported across all models that lead to a ranking of #2. I am trying to come up with reasons to prove that CD is not a widespread problem or very low failure rate (though even if it is low I still worry about it)
Consumer Reports collect subscribers data at the beginning of each year. For printed April issue they list the reliability ratings for used vehicles based on those data with the prior MY the lastest. So all of those cylinder deactivation failures found in 2019 wont get registered until at the beginning of 2020 when the surveys are mailed in. And the predicted brand reliability for 2020 is mainly based on the reliability data from April 2019, which includes only the 2018 MY as the latest. Further, many CX-5 owners with CD didnt realize they have fallen rocker arm until the safety recall is issued on 6/27/2019. Even that the recall doesnt even check the rocker arm condition physically which is ridiculous. This means its possible some still drive the CX-5 with fallen rocker arm without knowing it.

Yeah the case should be rare, but the potential is always there. Once it happens, itd put the driver in very dangerous situation without knowing it. Thats the problem to me, not to mention the proven long-term reliability issues from cylinder deactivation.

So I went to the dealership this evening to check out the 2020 3 hatchback and the blind spots are significant due to the thick C-pillar and the low roof line. Sitting inside feel so claustrophobic and the black cloth roof(on all trim levels) make it even worst. So the hatch is off my list.

Now it comes down to either the 3 sedan(Select trim WITHOUT CD) or the CX-5 Touring(yes...the 2nd one).
1.The plan is to drive the sedan as a daily commuter car for 3 years then pass it to my son(he is ok with the sedan, thanks god) so I can buy time to see if the CD recall really fixes the issue.
2. Get the 2nd CX-5 Touring(different ext/int color of course) because I love the wife's car so much. The biggest factor in considering another CX-5 is because my local dealership is offering $4,800 off MSRP for 2019MY. I will also get another $750 off for loyalty(current Mazda owner) - really tempting. I figure the money I saved I will use it to buy powertrain warranty for up to 10 years(Yes...I am one of those that keep the car for long term). I will find out how much it will cost.
Id avoid cylinder deactivation at all cost if I keep the vehicle for long term. I cancelled the plan getting the 2nd CX-5 in 2018, and got a used 2018 Mazda2 (actually the Toyota Yaris iA) with very low miles (3,000). If you really want a Mazda, try Mazda3 Sedan without CD which youve already explored. CX-3 (2019) is another choice but its really lack of space although its made in Japan. Bigger CX-30 without CD is another option you can consider.

You can also consider other brand such as 2020 Toyota RAV4 non-hybrid models which can be had for bigger discount and better MPG than CX-5 Touring.

Yeah whats that all-black interior including the black ceiling Mazda is offering (i.e. CX-5 Signature)? Sitting inside I feel so claustrophobic like you and Ill never get a vehicle with such interior!
 
:
Ottawa, Ontario
:
17 Mazda 6 GT
Personally, I would avoid stuff like iStop, iEloop, CD (cylinder deactivation, etc.).
They don't save much fuel/$$$ in real world usage if you consider the extra cost to you.
For example, iStop and iEloop both require special battery (deep cycle?).
Just replaced mine on '16 Mazda6 GT. It costs $400-$500! No kidding.
Instead of $80 from Costco, you need dealer to program it. (due to iEloop)
In case you did not notice this, iEloop is no longer used in Mazda USA lineup.

iStop has the same issue on battery. Besides, it causes concerns from owners in many countries.
Many owners seek way to permanently turn it off.
Does the fuel it save pays for the new starter and extra-expensive battery?
iStop is not for sale in USA either.

You need to google Mazda iStop and see how it works before posting.
It does not use the battery to restart the engine when stopped, unlike 99% of other start stop systems from other brands.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
You need to google Mazda iStop and see how it works before posting.
It does not use the battery to restart the engine when stopped, unlike 99% of other start stop systems from other brands.
To be fair, based on reports here Mazdas i-stop does require larger AGM battery. Reprogramming seems to be not required with a new AGM battery, but only a reset to the i-stop.

Further, I do believe i-stop from Mazda still needs the starter to assist the re-start of the engine from compression cycle, although the available documents have never mentioned the starter involvement.
 
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Ottawa, Ontario
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17 Mazda 6 GT
Well, I just came back from a ten day trip to Las Vegas, where I drove a 2017 Chevy Cruze rental.....with start stop.
This is the first vehicle I have driven with that feature.
In the 2017 model year, Chevy did not include a switch to disable it. That was added in 2019.
After ten days, I really got to dislike this feature.
It's not fatal, but it is very annoying. I would rule out the Cruze as a vehicle to buy based on just that feature.
It shudders on startup, and can be particularly annoying when you come to a stop, and just as the engine quits, you need to get moving again, like when the light turns green just after you get to the intersection.
The most annoying situation is in a parking lot, where you momentarily come to a stop, either to let people walking in front of you to pass, or when you are jockeying for position.
The car can't make up it's mind whether to shut down or keep going.
I truly disliked it.
 
I absolutely loathe stop/start and would any day take cylinder deactivation over it if given a choice. My folks have a fully loaded glc300 (15k in options over base) and its a lot nicer to drive than I would have expected, but the stop/start is infuriating. Wish there was a way to permanently disable it instead of having the hit the button every time the car is turned on.
 
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