First Time Mazda Owner Question For Long Time Owners

The biggest complaints over the years were a 1 out of 5 worst rating for in-car electronics in 2014 and 2 out of 5 for in-car electronics and power equipment in 2016. Was there a new touch screen system in 2016?
I have a 2016.5 CX5, and if this above statement is true it's hard for me to see why! I did just come out of a Subaru Impreza with an awful head unit though, so the 2016.5 CX5 with tech package feels like driving a luxury spaceship!

My biggest complaint right now is the occasional lag in navigating between menus, acknowledging safety disclaimers, etc but it's more than tolerable IMO.
 
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2013 Mazda CX-5 Sport FWD Auto
I have a 2016.5 CX5, and if this above statement is true it's hard for me to see why! I did just come out of a Subaru Impreza with an awful head unit though, so the 2016.5 CX5 with tech package feels like driving a luxury spaceship!

My biggest complaint right now is the occasional lag in navigating between menus, acknowledging safety disclaimers, etc but it's more than tolerable IMO.
I think the 2016.5 MY was the initial refresh that addressed all of those concerns.
 

HardRightEdg

2020 CX-5 Touring AWD Soul Red
My biggest complaint right now is the occasional lag in navigating between menus, acknowledging safety disclaimers, etc but it's more than tolerable IMO.
There's the rub--"tolerable" and how that might translate into a CR rating.

For example, I'm quite happy with my $125 Garmin with lifetime map updates. It fires up and finds satellites pretty quickly, usually a matter of a few seconds. It probably has a 5 year life span before the internal battery gives out. It goes pretty quickly into recalc mode if I go off route. It flips instaneneously between the map and the turn-by-turn descriptions. It's rare for it to drop satellite connection. The Garmin goes back and forth between two cars as needed. I cannot recall an instance where my wife and I needed it at the same time. In essence, I'm comparing a $125 item to $800 worth of equivalent in-car tech for my needs.

So, based on that experiece, what if I went out and popped for a $400 Mazda navi or $800 for two and I experienced a "tolerable" performance issue that I did not experience in my Garmin? In short, what if Garmin performance was on-balance superior for my needs and I don't care about the futzing in moving it to the other car, plugging in, stowing, etc.?

Do you think I'd be justified in docking the Mazda system in some way in a review? I think so.

Again, CR does not have a rating scheme for "not broke, but it is what it is" for design shortcomings based on folks reasonable expections from using like systems or products. I think allowing folks lump such issues into "reliability" at their discretion has a simplicity that still captures the essense of the matter.

Of course in-car electronics covers a lot of things. There could be a certain thing that is actually broken more often than the competition which any one individual might not experience in their own vehicle.

CR ratings are far from perfect. One area I would question is how all trims are lumped together. For example, if a very small percentage of sales were of a top of the line turbo, and 10% of those experienced an engine problem it might not show up as a red flag in the ratings. Further, a first year rating does not speak to longevity; it's closer to one of those "initial product quality" ratings.
So, these CR ratings are something to consider in the context of a bigger picture.
 
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Natey

Moderator
Contributor
Patron
I've been driving Mazdas since the 90's and they've always treated me great. All except the RX-7 I have now, but that's a different animal.

I've always thought of Mazdas as maybe a little less dependable or durable than a Honda or Toyota, but the way they drive makes up for that.
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
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Plano, Texas, USA

I've always thought of Mazdas as maybe a little less dependable or durable than a Honda or Toyota, but the way they drive makes up for that.
Agreed.

My 2016 Mazda CX-5 has been having several issues, LED DRLs / headlights、rear brake calipers、rotors and pads、HVAC LCD control panel、9” Bose door woofers、A pillar plastic trims、all got replaced under warranty. Fallen driver side sun visor、malfunctioning flexible oil change monitor also got fixed under warranty. 3 recalls including fuel pipe、passenger side air bag、and rear liftgate lifters were applied, but the replacement liftgate lifters are worse than original ones and they’re getting weaker and weaker everyday.

The latest problem at 41.5K miles is the leaky auto belt tensioner which is a $207.71 part on OEM and the part has gone through 6 revisions. Although a TSB is issued for this problem, but my new-car warranty has been long gone!

And the noisy power driver seat while sliding it forward and back, which requires a new drive cable to fix.

My 1998 Honda CR-V with 185K miles is the most reliable car I’ve ever owned. But Honda’s reliability seems to be lagging behind for recent years.
 
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Agreed.

My 2016 Mazda CX-5 has been having several issues, LED DRLs、rear brake calipers、rotors and pads、HVAC LCD control panel、9” Bose door woofers、A pillar plastic trims、all got replaced under warranty. Fallen driver side sun visor、malfunctioning flexible oil change monitor alsogot fixed under warranty. 3 recalls including fuel pipe、passenger side air bag、and rear liftgate lifters were applied, but the replacement liftgate lifters are worse than original ones and they’re getting weaker and weaker everyday. The latest problem at 41.5K miles is the leaky auto belt tensioner which is a $207.71 part on OEM and the part has gone through 6 revisions. Although a TSB is issued for this problem, but my new-car warranty has been long gone!

My 1998 Honda CR-V with 185K miles is the most reliable car I’ve ever owned. But Honda’s reliability seems to be lagging behind for recent years.
Ouch!:oops:
Thanks
 

TBarney

'17 CX-5 AWD GT Prem. Original owner of 91 Miata.
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Atlanta metro
I'm the original owner of a soon-to-be 30 year old Miata with 220k miles, owned an '03 MPV for several child-rearing years, and now own a (used) '17 CX-5 with about 48k. When I am in the mood for a vehicle with some driving soul, Mazda is always the top of the list and I've never given a thought to worrying about reliability.
 

HardRightEdg

2020 CX-5 Touring AWD Soul Red
But the reputation, once been built, sometimes is hard to turn it around. Too many friends and family who bought Mazda before, swear they’d never come back to get another Mazda.
Here are my thoughts from another first time Mazda buyer.

As you say, a reputation for poor quality can overhang for a generation (of people, not vehicles) or longer.

Hyundai/Kia has put their reliability issues pretty far in the rear view mirror but still feel compelled to offer 5 year / 60,000 basic and 10 year / 100,000 drive train warranties. Older buyers still associate those names with sh*tboxes from the 90's. They're building brand loyalty now among young buyers with some quite decent entry level vehicles along with older folks on a budget.

I don't think "Zoom! Zoom!" helped matters in expanding Mazda sales. While positioning as the sporty brand, while evidently trying to capture a chunk of those young buyers and their future brand loyalty, I think that marketing campaign yielded a smaller niche than they expected. Sportiness still pertains, but they let the reviewers characterize it now. When it comes to the dry presentation of the influentional Consumer Reports the sportiness gets translated into good road manners and emergency handling along with other characteristics for a broader market including nice reliability ratings. The more effusive reviewers can still sell the sheet metal, sporty characteristics and the nicely appointed but understated interiors as the poor man's Audi to a broad range of buyers not that interested in a gaudy 0-60 time.

For me, it was why buy something like a point A to point B RAV4 with 200 hp that sounds raspy and unrefined when pushed compared to the more refined CX-5 even if it doesn't get from 0-60 as quickly? I don't drag race and I don't know why anybody would in vehicles like this. Or why a risky CR-V with that tiny block turbo and slipping manufacturer reliability? Or the Forester with uber-practical and boring sheet metal and, if I may be permitted an moment of political incorrectness, you may not, keep it off the forum please.
 
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'20 CX-5 GT PP AWD
I lease mine and roll 'em every three years so can't say anything to long term reliability, but my four Mazdas - a Mazda5 and three CX-5 GT's - have never had a problem outside of a factory recall on a power steering pump issue. The last CX-5 doesn't really count since I just got it though.

But my aunt has a 20 year old 626 with almost 100K on it and still loves the car. I have no idea what she's spent keeping it rolling over the years, but if it had become too expensive she would have bought a new car. I also have a friend with a 1st gen Miata with a lot of miles on it and it just keeps going, and he uses it as a daily driver with quite a few long road trips added on too.
 

HardRightEdg

2020 CX-5 Touring AWD Soul Red
I lease mine and roll 'em every three years so can't say anything to long term reliability, but my four Mazdas - a Mazda5 and three CX-5 GT's - have never had a problem outside of a factory recall on a power steering pump issue. The last CX-5 doesn't really count since I just got it though.

But my aunt has a 20 year old 626 with almost 100K on it and still loves the car. I have no idea what she's spent keeping it rolling over the years, but if it had become too expensive she would have bought a new car. I also have a friend with a 1st gen Miata with a lot of miles on it and it just keeps going, and he uses it as a daily driver with quite a few long road trips added on too.
You know, the early-to-mid 2000's might have been the golden age of mainstream sporty sedans, the 626, my 2006 Accord V6, even the Fusion V6. Capable and reliable vehicles with longevity before manufacturers started layering in all the complex electronics, direct injection, turbos, CVTs, whatnot.

From my perspective, and I'm sure many would agree as regards their daily drivers, 95% of the experience is contained in starting the vehicle, turning on the audio and climate, the driving experience and comfort in getting where you're going sans the drag racing, and then having it rinse and repeat when you get back into it, over and over again. That Accord would still be in my garage if my wife's bad knees didn't need the higher step in. That Accord, even after 14 years, is still a better driving vehicle than the CX-5, but I do appreciate the higher view of the road, so there's a decent trade off for me as well.
 

wlong01

Patron
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2019 CX5 Reserve AWD
My 2016 Touring is heading toward 6 years of ownership and zero, zilch, nada problems.
2 minor recalls (gas tank pipe and rear hatch dampers).
 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
There’s a passenger side airbag reprogramming safety recall on every 2016 CX-5.

I wouldn’t think the fuel pipe and airbag recalls were minor. Fuel pipe recall had made Mazda stopped selling the CX-5 for more than 2 weeks!
 

HardRightEdg

2020 CX-5 Touring AWD Soul Red
There’s a passenger side airbag reprogramming safety recall on every 2016 CX-5.
It seems every manufacturer has had a Takata airbag recall to one extent or another--100,000,000 airbags and counting. That doesn't sound like the Takata recall problem. I don't know if that's a Takata or even who made the ones in my CX-5.

Anyway, it's not a bad idea to use the following link, key in your vehicle VIN, and see what comes up:

 

yrwei52

2016 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD w/Tech Pkg
Contributor
:
Plano, Texas, USA
It seems every manufacturer has had a Takata airbag recall to one extent or another--100,000,000 airbags and counting. That doesn't sound like the Takata recall problem. I don't know if that's a Takata or even who made the ones in my CX-5.

Anyway, it's not a bad idea to use the following link, key in your vehicle VIN, and see what comes up:

No, that passenger-side only airbag reprogramming recall has nothing to do with Takata airbag, or the safety recall would cover both sides. It has something to do with incorrect timing of the airbag explosion which actually made the ratings for front passenger-side protection on 2016 CX-5 downgraded from 2015 CX-5.
 
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CX-5 Touring AWD
I have 2013 CX-5 Touring with 65K miles that I purchased in Nov 2012. No repairs. Electronics are showing its age but still very pleased. Will be shopping for replacement soon.
 
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2019 CX-5 Touring
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with PP
So we all know the durability and reliability of Toyota and Honda. I also saw on YouTube where Mazda is not that popular in the US. So for long time real world owners of Mazda, over time how do they hold up? Thanks.
116K miles on my Mazda6 and 15K on my CX-5 with not a single issue. Only regular scheduled maintenance. Mazda is one of the best brands I have ever owned.
 
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