What Is the Worst Mazda CX-5 Model Year?

Automaker Mazda is known for making an entire lineup of impressive, reliable, and economical vehicles. From small coupes to crossover SUVs, Mazda has a whole slew of loyal customers. The Mazda CX-5 hit dealerships for the 2013 model year and has been challenging the segment ever since. But not everything is sunshine and roses for the CX-5. There’s one model year that makes us question whether or not the CX-5 is a good SUV.

The Mazda CX-5 model year to stay away from

Even though the Mazda CX-5 has only been around since the 2013 model year, there seem to be a lot of owner-reported complaints. According to CarComplaints.com’s research and model year comparison of the CX-5, one model year reigns as the worst of them all. The 2016 Mazda CX-5 has received more complaints than any other model year and also receives CarComplaints.com’s distinction as the worst CX-5 model year.

The 2016 Mazda CX-5 has 130 total owner-reported problems; more than any other year. But other model years aren’t too far behind the 2016 CX-5. The 2014 CX-5 holds the second-most-reported complaints at 94, while the 2013 CX-5 has 56.

The most common problems the CX-5 has

As the model year with the most complaints, the 2016 Mazda CX-5 appears to have quite a few problems. The lights category contains the most complaints from owners, with 41 total complaints.

While two owners complained about blinkers going out or their running lights going out, 39 owners claim their 2016 CX-5 experience problems with daytime running lights failing. Failing daytime running lights in the 2016 CX-5 is also rated the worst overall problem for all model years.

While the lights category contains the most complaints, there are plenty of other reported problems with the 2016 CX-5. 25 owners report problems with windows/windshields, with nearly 20 of those reports claiming that the windshield breaks easily.

In fact, CarComplaints.com ranks windows/windshield problems as the overall worst problem category for the Mazda CX-5, regardless of the model year. It is also the category that contains the most complaints, across all model years.

The Mazda CX-5 in review: is it a good SUV?

There are 358 total complaints for the Mazda CX-5 across seven total model years, which seems like a lot for such a new vehicle. But does that make the CX-5 a bad SUV? When looking at the overall reviews of the Mazda CX-5, no it doesn’t. In fact, the CX-5 has received a seal of recommendation from Consumer Reports for every model year it has been out. 

Even though the 2016 Mazda CX-5 receives low-reliability ratings in a few Consumer Reports categories like power equipment and in-car electronics, those issues seem minimal when the same model year receives rave ratings in more serious categories like engine, transmission, and more.

In fact, Consumer Reports gives the 2016 CX-5 an overall reliability score of four (out of five), ranking 76% higher than other vehicles of the same model year and second among all 2016 SUVs.

Most reported problems with the Mazda CX-5 are still under warranty or covered by recall standards. Combining high reliability in invaluable areas like the engine and transmission with how well the CX-5 performs, makes it a good SUV.

On the road test, Consumer Reports experts state that the 2016 model “offers an alternative” to the traditional, small SUV. It has “agile handling, sporty looks, and a well-trimmed interior,” and “ranks in the top tier of small SUVs.”