Why does the brake pedal stick out so much?

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2019 CX-5 GTR
Getting a definitive answer for "why" on this design choice by Mazda is gonna be difficult unless like @sm1ke mentioned you contact Mazda and start a research case.

If I were to guess why the brake is not in alignment with the gas pedal, I would say "driver experience" and "insert Mazda zen saying here."

If OP is bothered or hindered by the pedal height difference there are PLENTY of solutions for accessibility.

"gas pedal extender"
"gas pedal spacer"
"vehicle mobility solutions"

example:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DHK34PW/?tag=m20b7-20
 

HardRightEdg

US 2020 CX-5 Touring AWD Soul Red
Why would you think that adjusting the seat would affect brake pedal alignment??


Referring to the seat adjustment procedure in the manual (see bolded text):

Adjusting the seatback angle (reclining)

Adjust the seatback to the angle providing a comfortable seated posture.
  1. With your posture slightly slouched, move the seatback forward to the angle where your waist feels slightly cramped.
  2. Move the seatback backward to a comfortable seated posture without any feeling of cramping in your waist.
Adjusting the seat position forward and back (sliding)

Adjust the seat to the position best for operating the accelerator and brake pedals.
  1. Place your left foot on the footrest, your right foot between the accelerator and brake pedals, and position your heel to the position allowing easy switching between the pedals.
  2. With your heel set on the floor, set your right foot on the brake pedal and move the seat forward as far as possible until you feel a slight cramping in your ankle.
  3. With your right foot set on the brake pedal, move the seat back until you no longer feel cramping in your ankle.
  4. With your heel set on the floor, make sure you can move your foot between the brake pedal and accelerator pedal smoothly.
  5. Depress the accelerator pedal completely with your heel set on the floor and make sure that your ankle does not feel over-stretched.

In this case, following the instructions (or using them as a reference) shows you how to find the right spot for your heel, so you can comfortably pivot between the brake and the accelerator.

Now, if you want to know why Mazda aligned the pedals the way that they did, you might be better off sending them an email or giving them a call so you can get the reasoning straight from the horse's mouth.
The diagram shows the heel back and the foot working the bottom half of the gas pedal as I previously suggested to provide clearance on the pivot. That's the essence of the matter. If that requires moving the seat back a couple of inches to maintain a comfortable position, so be it.

It's interesting that the picture shows a pad on the bottom of the gas pedal, a pad that would reduce the brake/gas differential. That pad does not exist, at least not on my version of the vehicle.

What is not mentioned in this section of the manual is the telescoping steering wheel. If moving the seat back is required to accomplish optimal foot position then scoping the wheel back might be helpful in finding a comfortable arm position.

Point 5. is kind of interesting. By all means make sure you can floor it comfortably! ;) Zoom zoom!

What you should not expect it to have the foot square on the brake. I've got men's US size 13 feet and my pivot gets to only the right side of the brake and is angled right when on the gas.

None of this is intended as a criticism. The car works fine with these techniques. I can't remember the last vehicle I've had that was not configured in this way requiring these kinds of adjustments.
 
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HardRightEdg

US 2020 CX-5 Touring AWD Soul Red
If I were to guess why the brake is not in alignment with the gas pedal, I would say "driver experience" and "insert Mazda zen saying here."
My Sienna mommy wagon is configured the same way, a vehicle I own unappologetically for max practicality for the price. But I digress. There's no "Toyota zen" marketing I'm aware of. I think you'd find this to be fairly common across makes and model, and increasingly common the more current the vehicle. Perhaps posters to this thread should check other makes in their garages and post their findings.

It so happens the OP writer just happens to be accustomed to a vehicle that happens not to be so configured.

Whether you ask Mazda or Toyota or anybody else I'm pretty confident the answer will be to reduce brake/gas mix-ups leading to sudden acceleration accidents particularly among older drivers. This matter has been studied out the wazoo over several decades by the NHTSA and the automakers. Automakers now seek to find optimal placement in all three dimensions to avoid the issue--the offset we're discussing, the distance between pedals, and the relative forward-back against the footboard--while maintaining usability for the broadest range of people shapes and sizes.
 
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sm1ke

Work In Progress..
Moderator
Contributor
:
Canada
:
'18 CX-9 Signature
It's interesting that the picture shows a pad on the bottom of the gas pedal, a pad that would reduce the brake/gas differential. That pad does not exist, at least not on my version of the vehicle.

The picture is showing the brake pedal, which does have a rubberized "foot pad" that attaches to the metal arm. The floor mounted accelerator panel is not shown in the images.


What you should not expect it to have the foot square on the brake. I've got men's US size 13 feet and my pivot gets to only the right side of the brake and is angled right when on the gas.

Same here, but my feet are smaller.
 

HardRightEdg

US 2020 CX-5 Touring AWD Soul Red
The picture is showing the brake pedal, which does have a rubberized "foot pad" that attaches to the metal arm. The floor mounted accelerator panel is not shown in the images.
My bad. That is noted in point 3. It's still misleading in that if you put your foot flush on the brake pedal while making the seat adjustments you'll not get where you want to be. The only way to get this to work is if the foot is somewhere between the pedals to pivot left and right. Even with a size 13 foot you'd find yourself working the gas with toes more than the balls of the foot.
Same here, but my feet are smaller.
Back in day of mechanical braking systems this might have been a problem. These electro-hydraulic systems give you the same result no matter how much of the brake pedal you engage.
 
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HardRightEdg

US 2020 CX-5 Touring AWD Soul Red
Getting a definitive answer for "why" on this design choice by Mazda is gonna be difficult unless like @sm1ke mentioned you contact Mazda and start a research case.

If I were to guess why the brake is not in alignment with the gas pedal, I would say "driver experience" and "insert Mazda zen saying here."

If OP is bothered or hindered by the pedal height difference there are PLENTY of solutions for accessibility.

"gas pedal extender"
"gas pedal spacer"
"vehicle mobility solutions"

example:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DHK34PW/?tag=m20b7-20
This would not be recommended for most drivers. It may not seem like it, but the the relative position of the pedals in all three dimensions has be studied exhaustively and is consequently highly engineered for safety and usability.

It goes back to the fact this vehicle is targeted to a broad range of buyers, not a niche sports car for driving enthusiasts. I would not mess with the engineering even if you view yourself as an accomplished driver until all attempts to "adapt to your tool" have failed to deliver usability. There's the matter of unintended consequences.

If it's any consolation, it does appear that there's a Lambo model with a similar configuration:


Maybe even the reckless sons of oil sheiks need to be protected from themselves. ;)
 
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My brother has a CX-5 and it was unusual when I got behind the wheel of his car. I can't say that it bothered me, I got used to it almost immediately.

This is probably a feature of this model. My brother didn't notice the problem at all until I told him
 
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