1st Mar 2019, 00:10


The car is solid. No squeaks or squawks. One faux-pas; One of the key fobs died and had to be replaced. But it took a week to get it from Mazda distribution. A long time, though it's a minor inconvenience.

The tires: 19 inch. I hate them. Hard. Bang on the potholes. No give at all. However the rubber grip works well on all surfaces, including snow covered and icy.

Overall, though, the car rides decent.

The seats continue to be a minor disappointment.

The electronics on the "infotainment" centre seem a bit flaky. We sometimes find the settings changed, or it just blacks out and won't come back until after the car is restarted (this has only happened twice). But there were also instances where the communication app would freeze when placing a phone call. Requiring a car restart to regain smooth access to the cell phone address book.

The safety nannies are 99% flawless. The 1% includes times where blind spot or backup/side monitoring misses a car or pedestrian.

The power memory seat has, on occasion, lost its memory and has to be reset manually.

The heated windshield wipers don't work very well at all. And the driver should be able to turn them on without having to direct the climate control to windshield defrost.

The above "complaints" are mostly niggles. But, if Mazda wants to follow through on the move up to near luxury, they need to lock down the electronics and make them niggle proof.

Fuel economy has been totally what we expected. About 26-27 MPG (imperial) combined.

Finally, my big complaint, the automatic climate control is not really automatic. It doesn't do what is expected at keeping the interior at a constant temperature. We are constantly adjusting the temperature. For example, after an early afternoon of cloudy weather, the sun comes out strong and heats up the cabin. The automatic climate control doesn't do a thing. The cabin just heats up. So we have to fiddle with the controls.

I know this sounds very negative. But these are all items that Mazda can choose to fix, if they want to. I like the car. I like the way it drives. "Overall", it's comfortable on a long trip. And it's really quiet. And the Bose sound system is great. The hatch opens and closes easily with the push of a button. Back seat passengers are impressed. The paint is holding up well. The headlights (LED) are the best I have ever used (they nailed the headlights). The rotary dial is the perfect way to control the infotainment unit. The cup holder in East/West configuration is much better than the common North/South config. The front seat passenger can see over the dashboard because the seat goes up and down (a feature unavailable on many cars including Honda and Toyota).

In closing... so far, so good.

2nd Mar 2019, 00:18

You mentioned the automatic climate control - I understand your frustration. I had a 2001 Mitsubishi Galant 2.5 V6 (I'm in New Zealand), and the climate control drove me bonkers. I leave the house at 6 am in winter, outside temperature at around 5 deg C (41F), car air con temperature set to 22 deg C (72F), and within say 5 km, the heater was pumping out so much warm air to the feet, I thought to myself, "Japanese efficiency." By the time I was around 20km into my trip, I noticed the foot area was cooling down, then the car started blowing cold outside air through the face vents, straight to my hands. I do not want freezing air on my hands! The car probably averaged the temperature and as it got too high, it decided to cool it down with outside air directly. Like pouring cold water to cool down boiling water. Like you, I had to keep turning up the dial to compensate. This is NOT how auto climate control should work.

On the other hand, before the Galant, I had a 1995 Audi A4 also with climate control - and when you set it to 22 deg C, it STAYS at 22. All air vents pump it at the correct temperature, you don't need to fiddle with the controls all year. It knows when to turn the air con compressor on or off, heat it precisely, or cool it down, and the fan speed is also regulated right. Another friend had a 2005 Nissan Primera 2.0 wagon, same issue with the climate control. Honestly, I don't know how they interpret what "automatic" is, but I felt I'd have been better off with the Galant having the manual temperature dial of the lower trim level cars.

4th Mar 2019, 22:49

Yes, I think there are many Automatic Climate Control implementations that just don't work. While many others do. The previous car, a VW Passat, had the latter. Rarely needed an adjustment. I'm going to give over to my dealer to do whatever fiddling is needed to fix it.

4th Mar 2019, 23:01

One more nit, I'm afraid.

While I commend Mazda for the quick acting reverse backup camera, I have to say it is never clean. One drop of rain, one flake of snow and it is visually impaired. It appears, constantly, to have a drop of dirty water always hanging from it. No amount of wind turbulence will budge that drop. I have to clean it every time I get in the car.

Again, the Germans appear to have solved that issue. The camera on our previous VW Passat, except in the most extreme conditions, was always clean and unobstructed, when the cameras image finally showed up on the screen. Apparently the lens is designed to work with the turbulence and throw off, or prevent, the camera's obstruction.

Mazda, it's the details. Just having the feature or option, isn't enough. Fix the details. Please.

PS:\ If you can't find someone to figure the details out. Call me. I'm just person for the job.

20th Nov 2019, 18:59

Recently purchased a 2019 CX-5 GS model and agree with you about the seats. Just wondering how the upholstery shop did in improving them for you?

We test drive the GX and the cloth seats were the worst, the leatherette in the GS were slightly better, and the full leather in the GT were slightly better than the GS (but not enough to justify the extra $5K). Overall we love the car, but the seats are the worst of any vehicle I've ever sat in.

22nd Nov 2019, 00:37

I think Mazda has done a great job building their vehicles and selling them in America. They make some great vehicles. But Toyota sells about 2.5 million cars every year in America while Mazda sells about 300,000 cars every year. That's some tough competition for them. And I applaud them for putting up a good fight when they have a lot less money to build the perfect car. And when you don't want to look like every other car in the neighborhood... Mazda is a very good choice.

19th Dec 2019, 00:53

December 18, 2019.

35000 km.

The Mazda is still working as planned. Only a single warranty issue at 30k. A small match stick end sized spot of rust on the tailgate. Dealt with quickly by the dealer. Though the body shop chosen by Mazda was a bit low rent.

The tires holding up well. There's enough tread to soldier on this winter. Likely need to be replaced this coming August/September. But, Golly, they're hard, as I've said before.

MEA CULPA: It turns out I was attempting to turn on the heated windshield wiper with the windshield defrost button. WRONG. I was informed that they are activated with the rear window defrost button. Really??? How intuitive... LOL.

Either my butt has deformed, or the seats have softened up a little (probably a little of both). The driver's seat is now a bit more comfortable. But they are still too small for North American frames. Couldn't find an upholsterer who could do what I wanted.

The headlights are still remarkably good. Gas mileage the same. Transmission shifting is almost flawless (only on a rare occasion it won't pick the right gear).

Still as quiet as a church.

The automatic climate control is still fiddly but have gotten used to it.

Since a software update at around 20k the electronics have been totally stable.

Driving the car is a pleasure as it goes where you point it, quickly, and it follows a straight line on the highway without constant adjustment.

Still can't get over the excellent value and high content this vehicle has against much more expensive Audi and BMW counterparts.