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Thread: Thinking of buying a CX-5 but I have some questions first.

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    Lightbulb Thinking of buying a CX-5 but I have some questions first.

    Hello everyone,

    I am new here and I am here because my wife and I are looking at buying a CX-5. We just have some questions for the owners here.

    My wife and I are a recently married young couple who are settling our first house and planning to start a family in the next 2-3 years. We live in a small rural town in Canada and commute about an hour total from home to work to home each day (the commute is half country roads and half city traffic). We are considering upgrading my car from a 10 year old Toyota Matrix to a smaller SUV (bigger than both our current cars but not giant).

    We have been looking at various small SUVs (CR-V, RAV4, Escape, Rogue) and we thought we would try the CX-5 as a throw-in. It was the biggest surprise. I will say that I do have prior experience with Mazda as I have on occasion drove my brother's Mazda 3 a few years ago and really liked it. When I asked my brother about his 3 recently, he said "Mazdas are the best. My Mazda has given me no trouble at all except for routine maintenance (dead battery, dirty fuel injectors). I will buy another Mazda." As glowing a recommendation as you can get, but he does not drive it nearly as much as we will (he lives a big city and uses public transit for work - we would use the car everyday as we live in the country and commute into town).

    What we liked the CX-5:

    -We really like the very distinctive exterior: Flat out looks the best-looking one out of the bunch. We both kind of want a distinctive car, not in a "hey look at me!" way but in a subtle "that's their car" way. We live in a small rural town and majority of cars are North American (GM in particular).

    -The upscale looking interior: We felt like we were sitting in a much more expensive car. A lot of the other SUVs had a whole whack of buttons in the center for the radio/infotainment system surrounded by hard plastic. The CX-5 felt cleaner and sleeker. I like how the infotainment controls are away from the screen. My big concern is that I don't want to have to rely on touching the screen rather than use the buttons if the buttons were around the screen (like all the other SUVs).

    -The seats were very comfortable to sit in: Comfortable seats is a big thing for us because we do a fair bit of driving for work and for friends/family (most of whom live at least an hour away from us). I will say we only test drove it for about 15-20 minutes or so. Maybe we should test drive it again for longer, maybe even take it on the highway.

    -It was very quiet to drive: This is much appreciated since my Matrix sounds like being on a sailing ship in a gale when driving on the highway.

    -Push button start and E-Brake: A big win for the wife.

    -Fuel economy: On paper, the CX-5 has better fuel economy than most of the other ones we've tried. Of course, it's how you drive the car which is important as well.

    -Salesman: The sales manager gave us this wet-behind-the-ears salesguy and we were won over. The young salesguy had pure enthusiasm and actually owned the actual model that we were thinking of buying. He had started working at the dealerships for 4 month so a small part of us wants to buy the car for him. Of course that's a really bad way to buy a car. Also, he waited all week to follow up with me again, which was appreciated (most of the other dealerships left voice mails the next day, which we asked only to be contacted via email.

    We are considering getting a GS AWD with no packages. No packages because the only thing we would really want is the Advanced Keyless and the rear vents, we don't need the moon-roof or separate climate controls. We can't reasonably afford the GT (the wife didn't want the wood trim anyway).

    What we had questions on:

    -Storage Space/Cargo room: To me, this is the biggest sticking point. Every single review of the car mentions the lack of cargo room and compares the amount of room in RAV4 & CR-V. One review* in particular said "the CX-5 is fit for making an entrance at a BBQ but a fantastic family hauler it isn't". Even my co-worker commented how he owned a Mazda Tribute and it "barely fit luggage. Don't think you can fit much and be able". At 59 cubic sq ft, that's only 10 more than my Matrix and 14 less than the RAV4. I'm curious to know how people on here with small kids do it. We are also still buying things for our house so there will be times where we will be carrying large items in the car (this won't be most of the time though). Even the center console felt small. Basically my question is do you wish you that the CX-5 was just a little bigger sometimes and would you still pick the CX-5 as your first family-hauler you own?

    -Backseat/Family: For those with car seats (for babies and older), how much of a tight fit is with a carseat (forward and backward facing)? My oldest brother (not the Mazda3 one) said that when they were looking at a Ford Escape, they thought it was 'too small for a car seat'. This is coming from a person whose opinion I trust. With the CX-5 around the same size in the back, that's a little bit of a concern (tight fit for adults too maybe?). My brother ended up with a Subaru Outback by the way.

    -Cylinder deactivation: It sounds very good in theory. My question is, at what speed during highway driving does cylinder deactivation kick in and how fast can you go before the cylinder deactivation kicks off (not talking about accelerating fast, just pure highway driving). For example, can I do 75mph/120kph on the highway in cruise control and cylinder deactivation kicks in? Or is it only at lower highway speeds?

    -Infotainment system Part 1: Since the cupholders are right near the infotainment controls, have you ever spilled anything on the infotainment controls since buying the CX-5?

    -Infotainment system Part 2: Is this your biggest grievance with the car and how much will it bother me? From what I've read, it seems to be. Either it's "too slow/outdated/weird/no AndroidAuto no AppleCarPlay/etc etc".

    -Oomph: When driving it, I was surprised on how sluggish the car accelerated (considering this is the company of Zoom Zoom). Not like I need to be a NASCAR/F1 driver when the stoplight goes green, I was just expecting more go. Do you use the sport mode to compensate or do you just get use to the performance and change the way you drive?

    -Winter: With snow tires, did you ever struggle in the winter with the intelligent all wheel drive and wished you rather had real all wheel drive or four wheel drive? Where we live, you can get quite heavy snowfalls.

    -Winter Part 2: What are the start ups like in cold weather? In addition to heavy snowfalls, it can get very very cold at night.

    -Servicing/Costs of Maintenance: Since Mazda is a smaller car manufacturer, we can expect the costs of maintaining the car to be higher. I know that the CX-5 would need synthetic oil which makes oil changes double the price. My question here is: Are we stuck to taking the car to the dealer for anything other than routine maintenance? Were the costs of owning the CX-5 higher than you thought?

    -Reliability: With the recent news of the airbag recall, our enthusiasm was a bit tempered. Consumer reports rated Mazda around 12th out of 27** (right around Nissan, which I'm not sure is great considering the garbage reputation I always hear about Nissan and their CVT transmission in particular). Do you think the rating is accurate? Have you had more or less problems with the car than what you were expecting?

    -Accessories: Which accessories did you get on yours? We were thinking a) Fog lights (or are they too small?) b) Cargo cover (surprisingly not standard) c) Door Visors d) Tow hitch maybe?

    *Review: http://www.thedrive.com/new-cars/209...cking-in-space
    **Ratings: https://www.consumerreports.org/car-...the questions.

    Sorry for the long post, I just want to be thorough with the questions.

    Thank you in advance.

    PS: Antoine approved this.

  2. #2
    Registered Member 7eregrine's Avatar

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    I don't have an 18 so won't comment on much of your post except for the infotainment which is still the same. I love it. Love love love. Yea it takes SECONDS to boot up. In this instant on world of ours that's just unacceptable to some people. I think it's clean and easy to navigate. The Commander Knob to run it all is absolutely fantastic and has totally spoiled me: I will never own a car with out one. So I'm stuck with Mazda, Audi, BMW as my next car.
    Oh, and a recall makes you nervous? Why? I don't understand that.
    Last edited by 7eregrine; 06-30-2018 at 09:41 AM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by LookingIn View Post
    Hello everyone,


    -Winter: With snow tires, did you ever struggle in the winter with the intelligent all wheel drive and wished you rather had real all wheel drive or four wheel drive? Where we live, you can get quite heavy snowfalls.

    -Winter Part 2: What are the start ups like in cold weather? In addition to heavy snowfalls, it can get very very cold at night.
    As a fellow Canadian, I cannot tell you absolutely that you should buy the Mazda, but I can tell you that you should absolutely not buy the Honda CR-V.
    It is now known that the CR-V 1.5T engine has a serious gas-in-oil problem, as well as a cold weather problem where the engine has trouble warming up and keeping the cabin warm.
    You can google the issues for more details.
    My brother in law bought a CR-V last fall, and froze his ass off all winter. He also had the oil dilution issue which the dealer initially tried to sluff off.
    He just got rid of it last month. Traded it in for another vehicle after 7 months.

    I don't have a CX-5, but I bought a new Mazda 6 last fall, and have been very happy with it.
    The drive-train, interior and stuff, is almost identical to the CX-5, and I have had zero issues so far.
    Good luck.

  4. #4
    Registered Member 7eregrine's Avatar

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    We gotta talk about how quote happy people are in the forum. You were the 2nd reply Bman. I think we all know who you're talking to.
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  5. #5
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    We have both a CX-5 and a CR-V. The CR-V has a little more cargo room but it's not a big deal. We used to take the CR-V on vacation loaded and now we take the CX-5.
    It fits everything and we've not had a problem. I wouldn't worry about the cargo space.

    The infotainment system is fine, a little slow on boot-up but not bad. It doesn't stop you from driving away. Usually by the time I pull out of my garage the system is up.

    As far as acceleration just step on the pedal. There's plenty of power. You don't need to put it in sport-mode but it's fun if you do.

    Since I have a 16 I'll let the others comment on your other points.

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    We own a 17 and are very happy with it so far. Fuel economy keeps improving as we drive, a recent trip got us 33.9 mpg.

  7. #7
    ZOOOOOOOOOM ZOOOOOOOOOOOM mazdadude's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by 7eregrine View Post
    We gotta talk about how quote happy people are in the forum. You were the 2nd reply Bman. I think we all know who you're talking to.
    Personally, I like the quoting. It is frustrating sometimes trying to figure just whom it is you are responding to or talking to sometimes...

    For the original poster, it sounds like you are considering all of the options carefully, and I trust you will make the right decision for you.

    Whatever your choice, if at all possible, go ahead and rent one for a day from a rental company. Sometimes, (these dealers are rare, but do exist), the car dealer will actually permit you to try one overnight. It does not hurt to ask.

  8. #8
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    I don't think you'll spend more on maintenance then on any other brand of comparable car. You need synthetic oil across the board anyway with DI engines.

    Mazda has one of the best AWD systems in business. Being from Canada, I can assure you that with good winter tires the car is unstoppable. I personally had plowed deep snow spilling over the hood ('15 CX-5 here). I'm regularly watching the rear differential clutch behavior through Forscan, and yes, it is very intelligent, as described by Mazda in their promo clips.

  9. #9
    i-ACTIV AWD Aficionado Kedis82ZE8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yugrus View Post
    I'm regularly watching the rear differential clutch behavior through Forscan, and yes, it is very intelligent, as described by Mazda in their promo clips.
    You mentioned that program before and I haven't tested it yet but now that you mention it can display the rear diff clutch activation... I'm gonna try it out today. Thanks! :-)
    '15 CX-5 GT 2.5L w/tech package - 49K Miles / '07 Infiniti G35x / '12 Lexus GX 460 / '00 Wrangler TJ 4.0L

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kedis82ZE8 View Post
    You mentioned that program before and I haven't tested it yet but now that you mention it can display the rear diff clutch activation... I'm gonna try it out today. Thanks! :-)
    Yep, look for the clutch duty cycle. Divide by two, and you get a percentage of the power delivered to the rear axle.

  11. #11
    Registered Member 7eregrine's Avatar

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    Yea the AWD on these cars is excellent.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7eregrine View Post
    We gotta talk about how quote happy people are in the forum. You were the 2nd reply Bman. I think we all know who you're talking to.
    Big shout to the forum police, next topic..post limits

    Op- no issues w/Mazdas awd with winters fitted, 2014 with 85k (came from 07 crv) so take this fwiw..best in class, best I've owned overall for capability, efficiency and driving enjoyment so my advice: do it!
    247 community defender of: gen1 steering, styling, seats and gated shifter, compression ignition, rwd, Asian twins, winter tires, manual: tailgates, transmissions, ebrakes, also liquid silver and Lawson's Liquids FTFW!

    My automotive lineage:
    1983 Toyota Celica GTS 5MT- aka rustback
    1984 Toyota Supra 5MT- oh what a feelin!
    1991 Toyota MR2T 6MT- Awesome- fun AND dangerous
    2002 MB C230 Coupe 6MT- 1st new car(chosen over GTI)- good until gremlins
    +enter bad driveway
    2006 Acura TL 6MT (shortest ownership by far 1year of tq steer&driveway fails>enough)
    2007 Honda CR-V AWD EX-L -boring excellence
    2009 BMW 128i 6MT - End of the old-school bimmers- should have kept.. wanted 4drs
    2014 Mazda CX-5 AWD GT - Not so boring excellence- continues to impress
    2015 BMW X1 RWD Msport - Liked it, fast and still did donuts, e-steering=fail
    2019 Hyundai Veloster N- 6MT or bust bitch (love that)fun/dollar untouchable right now(well BRZ but Veloster has a real back seat and smokes it)

  13. #13
    Underutilized Member shadonoz's Avatar
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    LookingIn, although no car will be perfect for you in every way, I think you'll find that the CX-5 is best you can find in its class. Once you've driven the competition, you'll find that the CX-5 is almost in a class by itself. It could be tweaked in any number of ways to make it more appealing to any individual, but until we can find a car company that will make one to our exact specifications [and that we can afford!], we'll have to settle for some compromises - lol. The CX-5 usually makes the right compromises, for my money. All of your questions are valid; most of the answers are positive, and none of the negative answers are deal breakers.

    Most of us here are extremely happy with our cars.

  14. #14
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    Rear seat space and cargo area are trade offs. Mazda cargo area is smaller also due to slope of rear window. But if you want rear seat room, I think they did a great job. Also note how far the back doors open - better then most brands. I had a slightly larger Lexus RX and I don't miss it. I find the cargo space in the CX-5 fine. Also Mazda changed the design significantly in the 17 and 18 - so depending on how long ago people looked, things have changed.

    I don't know why you would take others advice about rear seat leg room or cargo space - sit in them and see. Adjust the drivers seat and passenger seat to your preferences then loot at rear seat and cargo space. If you are family of 6'5" people then no midsize SUV will fit you in front and back at the same time.

    Service - cheaper then luxury brands. About the same as other japanese brands. Reliability for us (4 Mazdas) has been as good or better then other cars. My Lexus (2 of them) was not terrible, but not as good as the Toyota people claim. Everyone's experience varies.

    My 2 cents (Canadian)

  15. #15
    Registered Member Xeler8ing's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by LookingIn View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I am new here and I am here because my wife and I are looking at buying a CX-5. We just have some questions for the owners here.....

    -Cylinder deactivation: It sounds very good in theory. My question is, at what speed during highway driving does cylinder deactivation kick in and how fast can you go before the cylinder deactivation kicks off (not talking about accelerating fast, just pure highway driving). For example, can I do 75mph/120kph on the highway in cruise control and cylinder deactivation kicks in? Or is it only at lower highway speeds?

    .....

    Sorry for the long post, I just want to be thorough with the questions.

    Thank you in advance.

    PS: Antoine approved this.
    Welcome!

    Regarding cylinder deactivation, here's some information:

    "Cylinder deactivation is more effective at low speeds, improving fuel economy by approximately 20% when driving at a constant 40 km/h (25 mph), and by approximately 5% at a constant 80 km/h (50 mph)."

    So it's primary activation is from around 40-80km/h (25-50mph), it's when the engine load is light and it is imperceptible so you actually can't tell when it is on or off

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