CleanMPG Reviews the 2013 Mazda CX-5

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by xcel, May 11, 2012.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    After church this morning I went grocery shopping.

    Mazda CX-5 Review

    You will never have problems loading a week’s worth of groceries in the CX-5. Octo-mom excluded of course ;)

    Last edited: May 13, 2012
  2. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Peskeguy:

    Welcome to CleanMPG!

    The low end radio that is installed in the base Sport with the 6-speed MT will turn on in either ACC 1 (just radio, windows and 12V outlets) and ACC 2 with everything livened up but the engine off. If you step on the clutch and push the Start button however, the engine will start.

    I am not sure how the Bluetooth package with the HD Radio and color display performs since the 6-seed MT is not available with it?

    For the Touring or Grand Touring trims, hopefully jmeagher can run out and check his CX-5?

  3. jmeagher

    jmeagher Member

    No. And I would politely ask for a new salesperson to deal with :)

    In his/her defense it's a bit of an odd setup. You press the start/stop button once without your foot on the brake and you get ignition on (all lights test, car fan on, etc), if at that point you press the start/stop again without your foot on the brake, it will go into accessory mode, just radio. One more press turns off everything.

  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Carcus:

    I just did a 60 mph run with the cheap radio off. Noise levels are not bad with anything to the front but through the driver’s side glass, anytime a semi or bike is along side, you are going to hear it. Hyundai does something kind of cute that I wish Mazda would have copied. On some of their vehicles, the driver’s side window is thicker than the passenger side (Sonata for one) and it really does help drown out noises from the side.

    I have to agree that the CX-5 provided some really good numbers for a non hybrid, non diesel of this size. Anytime a compact or sub-compact can breach 60 mpg, I give it a recommendation. To drive a non-hybrid, non-diesel compact crossover to that level and its a raging best buy ;) Only the Prius v and CX-5 can do that but I have had little to no time in the CR-V, Rav4, Santa Fe, Equinox and Escape.

    The CX-5 also rides a lot bigger than it actually is which should help sell them to spouses.

    And yes, that mirror control is reversed. Spin the dial (top of) to the right for what should be the Passenger side mirror and you end up adjusting the Driver side one instead. Some designer in Japan probably missed the translation regarding what North American’s and European’s expect.

    RedylC94, the center button is the toggle to move the selected mirror up, down, and to the right and left.

    Edwin, yup. Both the mirror selector and mirror adjustment is in the same knob control and that is ok but it’s the selection for driver or passenger that is “unusual”. Not a big deal for most as we only have to adjust them once and we are done. A new driver getting in will notice the miscue as soon as he reaches for the mirror adjustment control.

    Yeah, I have to be careful with the ejection seat button too because the Sport lacks a sun roof and I would hate to have to clean up the mess :D

    Your Tranny temp is probably off by a factor of 10 and you can create the .1 multiplier in the tranny temp X-Gauge.

    And thanks for your great addition about the 11-month purchase decision and your review. Very thorough and I concur with your conclusions.

    About the v, the IP is one of the few things I do not like about it and hopefully that showed up in the Preview and Review?

    The new 13 Ford Escape can compete and so probably can the upcoming 13 Santa Fe but the rest all have something lacking and it is always something glaring. Price, AT, lower trim lacking a basic function... Do not get me started about Bluetooth in any Base trim (Civic, Fit, Elantra, Accent, CX-5 and many more)

    This CX-5 Sport's radio is really starting to grate on me. When my son and I drove to church in the CX-5 this morning, I asked him what he thought.

    His comment was:
    Last edited: May 13, 2012
  5. peskeguy

    peskeguy New Member

    Thanks for the info Jim and Wayne. That makes much better sense. I'd never been in a push button car before so didn't know what to do exactly. And clearly the salesman didn't either. I already walked away since his first offer was over msrp and now I don't think I'll go back.
  6. peskeguy

    peskeguy New Member

    Wayne, is that mostly a problem with the EQ settings or lack thereof on the stock radio or really poor quality speakers?

    I'm thinking I'd put in an aftermarket set to add Bluetooth and potentially video capabilities since you can't get any bells and whistles on the MT, but if it's because of some terrible speakers that wouldn't help the sound quality too much.
  7. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Peskeguy:

    It is probably both. The tuner itself is excellent as I am pulling stations that I did not even know existed from within the Milwaukee-Chicago corridor. However I cannot adjust the bass or treble to produce what I would call an acceptable sound of straight voice or music. Trying to ascertain what is said during a Bluetooth enabled call through this sound system would not be good.

    It is probably both the speakers and head unit so both will probably have to go. There may be a CX-5 Touring or Grand Touring at the MAMA Spring Rally later this month I can try out and I can almost bet the 9-speaker Bose system sounds better than this.

    While there are only a few miscues (the CX-5’s 6-speed MT is still geared to low -- 60 mph@2,260 RPM -- compared to the better ratio’ed 6-speed AT spinning over at a slightly more acceptable 1,960 RPM at the same), the unusual mirror adjustment knob, the vinyl covered visors, the Yokohama Geolander tires and the low rent radio, it is the radio that would be the easiest to fix with a few additional check marks by the Mazda product planners in Japan.

    I would make sure there is an aftermarket solution that drops in first however. Fortunately the CX-5’s head unit cutout is flat and square so there should be little issue other than a smaller head unit getting installed and matched up with a black plastic bezel that would look “out of place”.

  8. jmeagher

    jmeagher Member

    Hey xcel, sorry, what's IP?

    On the radio front I can say that the Bose in the GT is phenomenal. Sounds out of this world and I'm picky. Bluetooth is straightforward and easy. Only feature that disappoints is the supposed auto-volume. It's supposed to lower and raise to track cabin noise. I can't tell a difference at all. Maybe it's all the concerts I went to as a kid.

    On the DRLs, I think I know why you didn't see them on during your dealer check: they seem to be tied to the e-brake -- soon as you let go they light up.

    So on the topic of the lights, does having the lights on do bad things to your mileage? What are we talking, mpg-wise? I ask as I have the fog lights, so I'm effectively doubling the load at night.

    One big potential drawback to this vehicle in the version I have, for anyone who wants to FAS the car at speed: you can't. If the car is doing >5mph you can hit the start-stop button all you want and it just ignores it. You can do it when stopped and in N. Then hit again to restart, so that's nice, but no FASing at speed. This also restarts the computer for the radio, which has a 4-second boot-up time. Kinda annoying.

  9. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Jmeagher:

    Sorry about that, IP is interior plastics.

    Great to hear the Bose is so a higher quality unit than the Sport trims base system. I get a bit spoiled with new cars showing up every few weeks but I am usually driving the base models and this one is the worse in quite some time. I do not remember the 3i SKYACTIV being as bad but maybe it was too???

    Sure enough the E-Brake was the culprit; I will check their operation without the E-Brake during the day tomorrow.

    Regarding FAS’ing the MT, you can but it takes some effort and it is most certainly not instantaneous either. At your highest speed target you shift to N, let out the clutch and hold the Start/Stop button down continuously for 4 seconds. If you let off the start button, you have to complete the cycle for another few seconds. As the tach is falling from 2,250 or whatever your RPM was at the time to ~ 750 RPM at idle, you must hold the Start/Stop button in and you cannot put your foot on the clutch. Once you see 750 RPM, the tach will drop to 0 precipitously and when you see the fall begin, you let off the Start/Stop button and push it again to bring yourself to Ready or ACC2. You can at this point push in the clutch and the Start/Stop button LED will turn from Orange to Green but fortunately it will not start the engine. You can then bump start and start, accelerate to the high target and begin the process all over again.

    Another miscue I posted on Facebook the other night. That is having a Push Button Start/Stop car with a proximity key but not having proximity keyed doors. In other words, I can jump in and push the Start/Stop button and drive off but I have to pull the fob out of my pocket to open the locked door. I can almost guarantee there were some heated arguments in Japan during the design of this one.

    Last edited: May 14, 2012
  10. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    Impressive! At low speeds the Fiesta is better but as the speed climbs this thing leaves it in the dust. Gear ratios strike again! Remember that this CX-5 is at least TWO sizes bigger than the pint-sized Fiesta.

    .50 mph55 mph60 mph65 mph70 mph
    2011 Fiesta Hatch 5mt49.745.34137.233.4
    2013 CX-5 6mt43.244.542.138.936.6
  11. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Andrew:

    That is a shocking result for the 38 mpgUS highway rated Fiesta vs. the 35 mpgUS highway rated CX-5!
  12. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    A few weeks ago I drove a 2011 6AT Fiesta for a day.

    From memory -- The car's aFCD showed something like 44 mpg @ 65 mph and 40 mpg @ 70 mph (averaged both ways, 85+ deg, winds 10 to 15 mph). The AT seemed quick to up shift and hold (ie programmed for fuel economy).

    / I don't know how accurate the car's display was, nor do I remember rpms.
  13. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    That's the gear ratios at work. The Fiesta MT is very short geared / high rpm. It runs ~2750 rpm at 60 if I recall.
  14. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    I suspect the Cx-5 may not have as "durable" mpg as something like the Fiesta 5mt. Ie if you load them up in cold weather on a windy day in the hills at highway speeds the cx-5 mpg (as a percentage) will probably fall off more rapidly than a Fiesta 5mt.

    It would be interesting to see a real world mpg compo to test my "durability suspicions". Just how efficient is skyactiv tech vs xxx under high loading?
  15. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    That mirror control is exactly like the one in my car. So I think Europeans may be used to it being laid out like that too. Could just be North Americans who expect something different, though I never gave it a second thought whenever I've gone to use it.
  16. jmeagher

    jmeagher Member

    Hey xcel, so I can do the .1 in my head, but if that's the case, it means my tranny is running 220-280 degrees?!

    Maybe I'm out of date in my thinking and fluids are now running hotter, but I always thought 170 was normal and 200 was high? Even when I'm not shifting back and forth from neutral to coast the temp doesn't go down much under 240 once warmed up...

    I'm using the x-guage programming I found on the x-guage site for the transmission fluid temperature. Do you think maybe the cx5 is just new tech and it reads differently or do you think these temps are real?

    On the topic of shifting programming, the AT in this car is very much geared to fuel economy. Once it shifts up into, say 5th at about 30 MPH, if you want to kick it down to 4th (without using the shiftronic) you have to really stomp on the gas pedal -- seems ideal for ecouraging even normal drivers to drive efficiently.

    Totally OT - does anyone know of a way to disable the display of the dancing bananas to the right of my screen as I'm typing this? It's making me angry :D


  17. MaxxMPG

    MaxxMPG Hasta Lavista AAA-Vee Von't Be Bach

    Is it possible that the trans temp displayed is not Farenheit divded by 10, but rather degrees Celsius? Your 220-280 note above suggests the number displayed is 22-28, which if Celsius would be low 70s to low 80s degrees F. That doesn't sound right either. Most cars do have an outside air temperature sensor, or at least an intake air temp sensor. So maybe the 22-28 for fluid temp is the number of degrees C higher than ambient temperature?
  18. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Last edited: May 14, 2012
  19. jmeagher

    jmeagher Member

    Actually the number displayed is 2200 - 2800.

    The intake air goes from about 80 fahrenheit to about 140 fahrenheit depending on conditions/car speed.

    According to the chart that Carcus linked to, my transmission is going to go bang at ~30K miles! Bummer for Mazda; as I got the car with a 7yr/70K warranty! I'm going to get me two brand-new transmissions!

  20. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Our time with the CX-5 is just about concluded as it will be driven away just a few hours from now.

    As a parting last instrument shot, here is the RPMs while the GPS was indicating a solid 60 mph.

    2013 Mazda CX-5 Review

    2306 RPM at 60 mph.​

    In addition, driving across the sharp entryway subdivision curb at 22 mph, the CX-5s ride and handling was completely composed. The larger diameter 17’s certainly help and felt like nothing more than an expansion joint on the highway.

    Mazda is building something really good here. From the truly fuel efficient drivetrain, slick shifting MT, higher quality interior materials for a price most anyone can afford and the tall driving position giving its current and future owners a commanding view of the road, there is not much to dislike even on the base. I am even getting used to the radio now too!

    SKYACTIV is the real deal and thankfully those looking for a compact crossover now have a real choice.

    Do you want Yaris and Fiesta like Fuel Economy without sacrificing the space that meets yours and your family’s needs? The CX-5 provides.

    Do you want a comfortable yet not overbearing “tough” look from your next crossover? The CX-5 delivers in that account too.

    Do you want an easy to drive utility oriented daily commuter? The CX-5 will bring miles of smiles.

    And possibly its most endearing attribute of all, at $20,695 to start with the 6-speed MT, you will not be draining your bank account once a month to own one unlike many of its competitors today.

    Good Stuff Mazda and your A-Game is showing. With the SKYACTIV-G so good, I have to wonder what is going to happen when the SKYACTIV-D turbo diesel arrives. Whooa boy, look out.

    Last edited: Aug 20, 2012

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