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It’s nice to see that the Mazda CX-5 has been around for a while. This means that you have plenty of used Mazda CX-5 models to choose from if you don’t want to purchase a new ride. But some model years need to be avoided! 

The worst used Mazda CX-5 model years

A black 2022 Mazda CX-5.
A black 2022 Mazda CX-5 | National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images

Before shopping for a used Mazda CX-5 model, know that you’re picking a reliable option. The Mazda CX-5 has a predicted reliability rating of 81 out of 100 from J.D.Power. That means it has an above-average score. Anything between 81 and 90 is above average, while scores between 70 and 80 are just average.

It costs about $447 to maintain the Mazda CX-5 on an annual basis, while the average cost to care for a midsize SUV is $573. So, it’s one of the more reliable options on the road. With the proper care and maintenance, your CX-5 should last over 200,000 miles. 

But not each model year is created equally. The current generation debuted in 2017 with significant updates over the previous generation. Also, some model years required tweaking and have more issues reported than others. 

Be careful with a 2014 CX-5 

According to Car Complaints the 2014 model is a used Mazda CX-5 option to consider with caution. Owners reported tons of problems with it compared to other years from its generation. The most common issues involved electrical problems. 

Drivers struggled with the vehicle shutting off while the accessory power stayed on. They didn’t have the ability to drive but could use the radio. Other drivers couldn’t turn their CX-5s off and had to disconnect the battery to stop the ignition. If left on, auxiliary power would drain the batteries. 

Some drivers experienced engine problems too. CX-5 owners noticed that the Mazda CX-5 would lurch forward at a complete stop, would suddenly lose acceleration, and dealt with excessive oil consumption. 

Other issues were reported about the transmission, body integrity, fuel system, transmission, windshield, and exterior accessories. 

Watch out for the 2018 CX-5 

The 2018 Mazda CX-5 also has a high report of problems from owners. If you find a used Mazda CX-5 from 2018, know that it received tons of complaints about the engine. Some people noticed that the engine would shut off at low speeds, and their vehicles wouldn’t restart for hours.

Other CX-5 owners couldn’t get their vehicles to accelerate until they pulled over and restarted them. Other drivers discovered that they were leaking oil and had a warped head cylinder but never received a check engine light. 

The second most common issue involves the brakes. Some drivers struggled as lightly taking their foot off the acceleration caused their CX-5 models to lurch forward. Others found that massing the brakes hard couldn’t get them to engage. 

Also, a side caliper in the rear is prone to getting stuck when the electric brake is disengaged. This leads to the rotor overheating and premature wear of the brake pads. 

The 2016 Mazda CX-5 has the most complaints 

2016 Mazda CX-5
2016 Mazda CX-5 | Mazda

Consider avoiding 2016 models if you’re in the market for a used Mazda CX-5. It has the most complaints out of every model year. The biggest problem consists of issues with the exterior lighting. 

There was a recall regarding the daytime lights because they would flicker or fail to illuminate. However, after drivers received service, their lights continued to constantly flicker. Some owners had to wait weeks for the replacement parts for the daytime running lights to arrive. 

The 2016 Mazda CX-5 also received a ton of complaints about the brakes. Some drivers noticed that the emergency brake would engage once they started the car, and wouldn’t turn off unless they restarted it. 

Another driver found that while slowly coming to a stop and pressing the brake pedal, the vehicle would suddenly lurch forward. Other drivers found that upon starting their CX-5 models, the brake and parking brake warning lights would come on, and their vehicles wouldn’t move. 

But the Mazda CX-5 still has a great reliability rating, indicating that these problems may have been solved. There are plenty of excellent used Mazda CX-5 models to purchase. Just review the vehicle’s history first. Also, be extra careful with models from 2018, 2016, and 2014.