Crossover & Midsize

People Had Problems Until Mazda Fixed the CX-5

The Mazda CX-5 is a leader in the segment. But it hasn’t always been as great as it is today. Introduced in the 2013 model year, the Mazda CX-5 compact SUV challenges others like the Toyota Rav4 and the Subaru Forester. In fact, it earned a Consumer Reports recommendation for every year since it began production. However, its first generation pales in comparison with the new one.

A black Mazda CX-5 parked and on display with trees in the background.
Mazda CX-5 on display | Photo by National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images

So are Mazda CX-5 problems actually more evident in the older CX-5 compact SUV? If we look at consumer satisfaction on Consumer Reports in addition to the complaints filed on CarComplaints.com, we see that there were more Mazda CX-5 problems from the 2013 to 2016 model years than from the 2017 redesign to present. But let’s look a little deeper.

Is the Mazda CX-5 a good compact SUV?

In a crowded segment full of choices, we have to say that the Mazda CX-5 is a good compact SUV. It offers agility and a wide range of trim choices. Plus, it’s an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+.

The Mazda CX-5 from older generations, like this gray one we can see a side view of, had more problems than the newer version
2016 Mazda CX-5 side | Mazda

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The older models, such as the 2016 Mazda CX-5, also enjoyed a Top Safety Pick+ title. However, the scene changes a bit when we look at complaints. Owners of the older generation Mazda CX-5 subcompact SUV haven’t always had the best of times with their model years. A look at the complaints on CarComplaints.com definitely shed a little light.

2020 Mazda CX-5 Signature AWD engine | Matthew Skwarczek

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More complaints for the old than the new

It looks like Mazda must have fixed a host of issues in the redesign of its CX-5. In 2017 the small SUV entered a new generation. And since then the Mazda CX-5 compact SUV hasn’t seen nearly as many owner complaints filed on CarComplaints.com.

A general view of the Mazda CX-5 during the L.A. Auto Show
The Mazda CX-5 | Victor Decolongon/Getty Images for Mazda Motor Co.

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On CarComplaints.com, there are a total of 366 complaints for the Mazda CX-5 compact SUV. On closer inspection, however, we see that a much larger amount of those complaints are for the older generation. In fact, of the 366 total complaints, 321 of those are for the model years 2013 – 2016.

For the 2016 model year there are 132 complaints. For the 2015 model year, we see 37 complaints overall. Then the 2014 and 2013 model years show 95 and 57 complaints respectively.

Of course, this is partially due to the fact that owners have driven the older models longer. There has been more room for error due to longer time on the road. However, that fact pales when you consider that the newest model year of the old generation has the most complaints overall.

Mazda CX-5 problems: fewer in newer model years

In conclusion, newer model years seem to have fewer problems. Time will tell, and over the years this may not prove to be a lasting fact. However, according to the data we have available to us now, people had problems until Mazda fixed the CX-5 compact SUV.

Mazda CX-5 problems from the older generation include things like windshield issues. The 2016 model year has the most complaints and the most reported problem. If you’ve had issues with your 2016 Mazda CX-5 running lights you aren’t alone. It might pay off to spend the extra dollar on a newer generation CX-5 if you want to avoid some of the kinks the first generation hadn’t worked out yet.