Pre-purchase help 2020 CX-5 Turbo?

Sorry, my 1st post, sorry if this is covered elsewhere. Longtime Subaru Outback turbo manual trans owner. Looking toward Mazda CX5 for reasonably fun newer alternative. Totally blown away by prices and interest rates. That said, found a 2020 GTR (GT Reserve) with exceptionally low miles (11k) at barely acceptable price (given my humble means). Maybe suspicious low. Carfax says A-OK, no record of any odometer, title, damage, etc. I have been lurking for certified pre-owned options, but this one is not at a Mazda dealer; expired bumper-to-bumper coverage, but 2+ yrs left on powertrain warranty (and 48k miles).

Perhaps some warning signs, but want some opinions. Overall, Looks VERY good, though hood paint (soul red) doesn’t quite match the rest, repainted??? Under hood is more “mat-red” though I presume this is normal??? FURTHER, no “turbo” badge on rear hatch. No “Turbo” badge on engine cover, though does have a 5w30 oil fill cap. I couldn’t see any (other) sign of hail damage. No mention of turbo on window sticker (not original), but vin check seemed to verify turbo. This is only the 2nd CX5 I’ve test-driven. I would GUESS from acceleration it is in fact a turbo, but it seemed a bit squirrelly. My Subaru has zero torque steer. This CX5 not only has torque steer, but seemed to dart back and forth upon gear shifts under hard acceleration. In other words, it would,”pull” one direction through first couple gears, but then “pull” the other direction upon some intermediate gear change (3-4?.. or possibly 4-5…still under heavy pedal on uneven rural road. Kind of a weird twitch. No manual shifting, just in “D” auto). This was a somewhat brief test drive, but certainly my Subaru has none of this weird steering behavior. Tires looked great, but were “Nexen.” Replaced?? At 11K??

Are these enough irregularities to question the veracity of Carfax? Would other 3.5 yr old (2020), 11k CX5 turbos exhibit these traits?

By the way, different day, different road, but I didn’t notice the “squirelliness” driving a new 2024 CX-5 (though I also drove a cx-50 that day, and memory between each blurred.). There was torque steer, but not the back-and-forth.

And one more question (edit). One of the docs I saw said this unit has cylinder deactivation. I thought I had read elsewhere no Skyactiv G turbo motors had this. I consider this a major negative, unless I can turn it off at will, or permanently.
 
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I think with all the suspicious question marks you already have on this pretty new 2020 CX-5 GT-R with only 11,000 miles, you should skip this one.

One major issue is the 2020 CX-5 GT-R with a 2.5T is subject to a potential cylinder head crack.

2.5T Engine Coolant Leaking TSB

And a set of off-brand Nexen tires instead of factory Toyo A36 tires on a 11K-mile CX-5? A big red flag to me too.

Yes, Mazda’s 2.5T doesn’t have cylinder deactivation like its 2.5L NA. And yes it’s a major negative feature and I’d avoid it at all cost. And Mazda’s CD can’t be turned off easily and there’s nothing available from aftermarket at this point to turn it off.
 
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Yikes! Yeah this VIN is from those affected by the TSB. I was aware of the 2021 TSB for oil consumption, but not this one. Does 2022 & newer avoid ALL TSB “defects” or similar (on turbo models)?
 
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Yikes! Yeah this VIN is from those affected by the TSB. I was aware of the 2021 TSB for oil consumption, but not this one. Does 2022 & newer avoid ALL TSB “defects” or similar (on turbo models)?
If you read both TSBs Mazda says they did update certain parts to fix these issues. Time will tell if those updates will be effective.
 
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Turbo badging wasn't added until 21 so no worries there. With the weird behavior of that one you drove, I'd look to drive another. I test drove a CX-5 three different times before buying because I wanted to be sure. Happy with the car.
 
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Check out these reviews of a few competitors, may be helpful.


The Outback is probably the strongest competitor, but with a CVT, the NA engine acceleration is joyless and slow (even when brake torqued) so it would be a no go for me.

 
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If I could have a CX5 with a Subaru Symmetrical drivetrain without a CVT (maybe a few tweaks would be appreciated) I’d be in heaven. Maybe I’ve had too good an experience with mine (well, until I had to have the center differential repaired at 152K). Or heck, I’d buy another Subaru if I didn’t have to resort to the WRX or STI to get away from the CVT, and have >220hp.
 
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Ask the seller if you can take it to get inspected. Then take it to a Mazda dealer for a used car inspection. Depending on labor rates in your area, should run about $150
 
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Do you think the Nexus tires could have affected the handling during your test drive?
Maybe you could find another CX-5 you could test drive to compare.
 
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I’ve driven 2 CX5’s now, and one CX50. This latest one was the only one used, the others new. I am not an expert but I thought it was some weird interaction between the traction control (or lane keeping) and the sensors. After noticing it once, I attempted to invoke it again…and succeeded. It was a somewhat curvy road, unevenly crowned, with some pavement repair patches, but it appeared more result of upshift (under heavy throttle), though I think well below 60 mph. Later I drove same road with my Subaru and it handled all this without drama, though considerably rougher ride with my slightly lowered Bilstein suspension.
Neither new (2024) one (1 CX5 and 1 CX50) did this, but perhaps it was different road, different day, different year model??? I suppose the Nexus tires might have contributed, though they looked OK, but maybe they “squirmed the wrong way.” 😕

Again, I am not an expert, but somewhere I heard Mazda bragging about their AWD, that it knew when to engage the rear before you even noticed a traction issue…and another that said there were too many sensors controlling things, leading to potential issues. Since my 07 Subaru is older, maybe less sensor-based, I am not used to this. There was a ghost-walking phenomenon attributed to them on snow/ice, which I’m not sure I ever noticed, but while snow/ice does happen 2-3 days a year, heavy rain is common. Makes me think of a question. How are CX5’s in hydroplaning conditions? My Subie was exceptional.

The road was totally dry the days I drove the Mazdas. I’ve driven other Subarus with overboosted steering, but my current 2007 XT has about the best (power) steering I’ve ever had..I think I like it better than the steering on a couple older BMW 5 series I owned. I don’t remember the steering of a mid 90’s(?) M3 much, except that overall car rocked (good rocked, not bad rocked). I believe the M3 was rack & pinion, taken for granted these days, whereas the older (80’s) 5-series were recirculating ball (??)…oddly. But I don’t believe I can afford such a car, no matter how used. Too bad, was certainly a joy to drive aggressively…nor a BMW x-series, which would better fit my current needs. Hence Mazda…but I will miss the lack of torque steer, and perfect steering wheel feel. I was happy with the steering weight. Also I’m hoping the stock Mazda chassis is set up as good as or better than my DIY lowered Bilstein Subaru, but I did turn a total Outback pig into a reasonably decent canyon carver / traffic scalpel. I need to drive another couple Mazdas, put them through their paces,

Don’t get me wrong, at 150k miles, it’s time to part ways with the Subaru, especially now that I have a bad back, making ingress-egress increasingly challenging. Again, Hence Mazda (CX5). I hope the criticisms of their seats are unfounded (🤔).
 
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