Doctor Diesel

Mazda’s CX-5 gets top marks

dd2Hi Doctor. 

I have some questions regarding the Mazda CX-5, which gets a great write up with a lot of motoring reviewers. I like this car very much and I was thinking that it would be my next buy when I replace my 07-plate Nissan X-Trail. I am now really concerned though, after reading web comments of diesel fuel getting into the engine oil and causing engine wear, with no Mazda recalls to sort out this problem. Reading some of the engine problems of owners in the USA and Australia, they seem severe and costly to put right. I wondered if you could do an article about these problems on this model, with your usual explanations of what was wrong, and if Mazda has actually since fixed the problems with the 2015 upgrade. I am an avid reader of the magazine and have been since the 1980s. Regards 

Bill Gibson

Bill, I have just e-mailed a DC reader whose e-mail I miraculously managed to dig out of my extensive archives. He and I had considerable exchanges when he bought one not long after the CX-5 was launched. I have asked him for an update of his ownership experiences. I know that he had some oil level concerns early on, but I think that they were all sorted by various Mazda updates. I’ll pass you his words of wisdom as soon as I hear back from him.

I was then very pleased to hear back from Mike Arnold, whose excellent and very helpful report should have totally eradicated Bill’s concerns.

Report on my CX-5 2WD SE-L Nav Diesel. My car is 62-reg, and now three and a half years old. Unscheduled repairs/replacements: None. Problems requiring a visit to dealer: None. Regular checking of engine oil level showed a slight rise in the periods between services, but nothing drastic. This was further reduced by the manufacturer’s upgrade in 2014. Apparently it was to address an overheating heat sensor in the exhaust system which I was told may cause the diesel particulate filter recycling to take place more frequently than was necessary. This upgrade is on all CX-5’s from 2014.

Overall the CX-5 has been entirely trouble free and has remained squeak and rattle free. It feels as well screwed together now as it did the day I took delivery. Before buying this SUV, I had owned seven Saabs over a period of 37 years, so I know a comfortable seat when I sit in one. The CX-5’s seats are very good indeed, and comparable in comfort and support to my last Saab 9-3 Tourer. One minor criticism is the lack of places to put odds and ends, but this has made me tidier!

The 2.2-litre diesel motor has to be up there with the best in the business. It is incredibly quiet, even at idle, and very smooth right up to the 5,400rpm engine speed limit. There’s heaps of torque from 1,800rpm, making overtaking very quick and safe. The six-speed manual gearbox is a real delight. I’ve read that it is the same design as the gearbox in the MX-5 sports car, and I can believe it. The handling is excellent and very involving, on fast or slow twisty roads. The car remains flat and refuses to roll even though it’s a high SUV. Undulations and potholes don’t cause any drama. Holes and ridges do show up a tendency to rather a lot of audible bump thump. One criticism I have is the amount of road noise transmitted into the cabin, which can be quite loud on certain road surfaces, particularly at motorway speeds. There’s also noticeable wind noise around the door mirrors at anything above 60mph. I understand that most of the road noise problem is associated with the Yokohama tyres fitted as standard on the early CX-5’s. Later cars were fitted with Toyo tyres and suffer much less with road noise.

Overall I have been very satisfied with the CX-5 so far and would recommend anyone thinking of buying one to go ahead. I can’t see that there could be any problems, unless a person was ultra picky. 

Michael Arnold

Many thanks to Michael. Useful input for anyone thinking of buying a CX-5.

Doc Diesel

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