Mazda CX-5 Years To Avoid and The Best Years

Mazda CX-5 Years To Avoid – If you’re in the market for a reliable and top-performing SUV, the Mazda CX-5 may have caught your attention. Known for its sleek design, impressive fuel efficiency, and enjoyable driving experience, the CX-5 has won the hearts of many car enthusiasts.

However, like any other vehicle, not all model years are created equal.

In this article, we’ll be exploring the essential information you need to know about the Mazda CX-5 years to avoid.

Mazda CX-5 Years To Avoid

Whether you’re a prospective buyer or a current owner looking for insight, we’ve got you covered with valuable tips to help you navigate away from the worst years of this popular crossover.

When it comes to purchasing a used Mazda CX-5, choosing the right model year can significantly impact your driving experience and ownership satisfaction.

Certain model years might be plagued with specific issues or have lower reliability ratings, which is why research is essential before making any decisions.

Identifying the Mazda CX-5 Years to Avoid

As an esteemed contender in the competitive SUV market, the Mazda CX-5 has garnered a loyal following for its sleek design, impressive performance, and enjoyable driving experience.

While the Mazda CX-5 has consistently received praise for its overall performance, a few model years have stood out for less favorable reasons.

We’ll delve into the data and reveal why the 2014 and 2016 Mazda CX-5 models are considered the years to avoid.

Mazda CX-5 Years To Avoid

We’ll explore the recorded complaints, the most common issues, and the worst problems reported, providing you with the insights you need to make an informed decision about your next Mazda CX-5.

By considering the factors that influence a model year’s reliability and staying informed about common issues, you can confidently choose a CX-5 that meets your expectations and provides peace of mind on the road.

Let’s delve into the years that have, unfortunately, shown more problems and decreased reliability, making them the best to avoid in the used car market.

2014 Mazda CX-5: Reliability Concerns

The 2014 Mazda CX-5 model raised several reliability concerns, with multiple areas experiencing problems.

The most common issues were related to the electrical system, engine, brakes, exterior accessories, and other miscellaneous problems.

  1. Engine Problems – One of the most severe problems reported was an engine that failed to shut down completely at 55,000 miles. Additionally, some owners experienced engine revving and clunking into gear when stopped at just 17,000 miles, indicating potential transmission issues.
  2. Brake Problems – Premature brake wear at 29,000 miles was a recurring issue, leading to concerns about the vehicle’s overall safety and maintenance costs.
  3. Electrical Problems – Complaints regarding the electrical system were widespread, indicating potential issues with the vehicle’s wiring and electronic components.
  4. Exterior Accessory Problems – Various exterior accessories, such as door handles and mirrors, were reported to malfunction prematurely, affecting the CX-5’s overall functionality and aesthetics.

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2016 Mazda CX-5: Notable Issues

The 2016 Mazda CX-5 model also faced its fair share of problems, with the most popular complaints focusing on lights, brakes, electrical systems, engine, and drivetrain.

  1. Lights – A significant issue with the 2016 model was the failure of the daytime LED lights at just 43,000 miles. This posed safety concerns, particularly during low-light conditions.
  2. Brakes – Premature brake wear, similar to the 2014 model, was a recurring problem, affecting the vehicle’s braking performance and requiring costly repairs.
  3. Electrical Systems – The 2016 model faced complaints related to its electrical systems, which could indicate potential issues with wiring or electronic components.
  4. Engine and Drivetrain Problems – Several owners reported engine-related problems and issues with the drivetrain, impacting the overall driving experience and reliability.

Mazda CX-5 Best Years

The Mazda CX-5, a compact SUV, marks Mazda’s successful foray into the competitive crossover market.

Building on prior experiences with the CX-7 and Tribute, the CX-5 emerged as a charming and reliable option for consumers seeking a dynamic and well-designed vehicle.

If you’re considering purchasing a used Mazda CX-5, it’s crucial to select the right model year to ensure a satisfying ownership experience.

Mazda CX-5 Best Years

We’ll explore the best years of the Mazda CX-5, where you can expect fewer complaints, fewer repairs, and lower maintenance costs, helping you make an informed decision and find the perfect match for your driving needs.

Among the various Mazda CX-5 model years available for consideration, the following have consistently recorded fewer complaints and exhibited higher reliability:

  • 2013 Mazda CX-5
  • 2015 Mazda CX-5
  • 2017 Mazda CX-5
  • 2018 Mazda CX-5
  • 2019 Mazda CX-5
  • 2020 Mazda CX-5
  • 2021 Mazda CX-5

Second Generation (2017 – Present): Improved Performance and Reliability

The second-generation Mazda CX-5, starting from the 2017 model year, saw significant improvements over its predecessors.

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Mazda took valuable feedback from earlier models to enhance the performance and overall experience of the CX-5.

2017 Mazda CX-5: A Redesigned Marvel

Mazda CX-5 Best Years

In 2017, Mazda undertook a complete overhaul of the CX-5’s exterior and introduced several new features to elevate its performance. Among the most notable enhancements was the inclusion of a new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, generating more power and efficiency, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

The result?

Users reported very few problems with the 2017 model, and any issues that did arise were both rare and inexpensive to repair.

This model year earned high marks for its reliability and driving experience.

2018 Mazda CX-5: Safety and Technology Upgrades

Mazda CX-5 Best Years

Building on the success of the 2017 model, Mazda continued to enhance the CX-5 in 2018 by introducing new safety features. This included blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and low-speed forward collision warning and mitigation.

Despite these additions, complaints were rare and typically centered on minor engine, brake, and drivetrain problems.

The 2018 CX-5 earned accolades for its safety and technological advancements, making it a strong contender among the best years.

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2019 Mazda CX-5: Upscale Features and Enhanced Performance

Mazda CX-5 Best Years

In 2019, Mazda added even more standard features to the CX-5, elevating its luxurious appeal. Notable upgrades included a 250-horsepower turbocharged engine, wood accents, and leather upholstery.

As with previous years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration received very few complaints about the engine and electrical systems.

The 2019 CX-5 stood out for its upscale features, impressive performance, and overall reliability.

2020 and 2021 Mazda CX-5: Embracing Advanced Safety Technology

The 2020 and 2021 Mazda CX-5 model years witnessed significant changes, with a focus on advanced safety technology. New features such as lane keep assist, pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning contributed to heightened safety standards.

Despite the expansion of safety features, complaints were generally infrequent and often related to the engine, brakes, or electrical systems.

The 2020 and 2021 models continue to maintain a reputation for reliability and innovation.

By choosing one of these Mazda CX-5 model years, you can embark on a journey with confidence, knowing you have a reliable and exciting compact SUV to accompany you on the road ahead.

Mazda CX-5 Common Problems

The Mazda CX-5, a popular compact SUV, has garnered a loyal following for its sleek design and enjoyable driving experience. However, like any other car brand, the CX-5 is not immune to common problems that have affected certain model years.

Mazda CX-5 Common Problems

In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the Mazda CX-5’s common problems reported by owners across various model years.

From faulty daytime LED running lights to transmission issues and engine failures, we’ll delve into each reliability concern to help you make an informed decision about your Mazda CX-5.

1. Faulty Daytime LED Running Lights

One of the most notable and widespread issues reported by CX-5 owners involves faulty daytime LED running lights. The problem became so prevalent that Mazda had to issue a recall.

Typically, daytime running lights should last for around 100,000 miles, but in the case of the 2016 CX-5, they often failed prematurely.

Compounding the problem was the fact that these lights were built as a single unit, so when they failed, owners couldn’t simply replace one bulb, making the issue more expensive to fix than necessary.

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2. Windshield Issues

For owners of the 2014-2016 Mazda CX-5 models, another common problem arose with the windshields. Many reported that their windshields cracked seemingly without any apparent reason.

This problem became significant enough for Mazda to issue a recall.

The root cause was traced back to the windshield bracket for the laser sensor, which could detach and disable the Smart City Brake Support system, posing potential safety concerns.

3. Engine Failure

While not as prevalent as other issues, some CX-5 owners reported unexpected engine shutdowns without warning.

Conversely, a few drivers faced an issue where the engine wouldn’t shut off even after pushing the park button.

Some accounts even claimed that they had to drive a few extra miles to finally shut down the vehicle. Engine failures can be a significant safety concern, and these instances warrant close attention.

4. Transmission Issues

Transmission issues have affected many vehicles, and the Mazda CX-5 was not exempt. The 2015 CX-5 models, in particular, saw complaints about whining noises and clicking sounds during shifting, which were attributed to faulty transmissions.

Unfortunately, resolving these transmission problems required some owners to replace the entire transmission system, leading to significant repair costs running into thousands of dollars.

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5. Improper Shutdown

Numerous owners of the 2013 and 2014 Mazda CX-5 reported a peculiar issue with the SUV’s electrical/ignition system, leading to problems with proper shutdown.

A faulty sensor caused the battery to continue providing power to accessories even after the vehicle was shut off.

This not only drained the battery but also posed potential safety hazards. Expert mechanics identified this issue and recommended prompt attention for affected vehicles.

6. Exploding Sunroof

Although relatively rare, some CX-5 drivers reported that their sunroofs spontaneously exploded without any apparent external cause. No collisions, debris, or extreme weather conditions were involved.

Some incidents occurred even while driving at low speeds of around 30 mph. One theory suggests that a design flaw might not accommodate heat expansion, leading to these unusual occurrences during sunny weather.

Is The Mazda CX-5 Worth It?

Absolutely! The Mazda CX-5 is definitely worth considering if you’re in the market for a reliable vehicle that offers excellent value for your money. The majority of Mazda CX-5 model years are highly reliable and won’t break the bank in terms of maintenance costs.

Mazda has built a strong reputation for reliability, and the CX-5 is no exception. It’s a trustworthy vehicle with a host of features that drivers will love.

Over the years, Mazda has continually improved the CX-5 to enhance the overall customer experience, making it a smart investment.

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Are Mazda CX-5s Reliable Cars?

Yes, Mazda CX-5s are known for their reliability. According to, the Mazda CX-5 scores an impressive 82.55, ranking it as a very reliable vehicle. It outperforms other Mazda models by a wide margin, with a score more than 20 points higher than the Mazda CX-9.

Additionally, rates the Mazda CX-5 at 4.5/5 for reliability, which is excellent within its category. In fact, out of 26 midsize SUVs, the CX-5 takes the top spot.

The average annual repair cost for a Mazda CX-5 is $447, which is over $100 lower than the average for similar midsize SUVs.

With a low chance of severe and expensive repairs, the Mazda CX-5 proves to be a highly reliable choice for drivers. While there may be outliers, overall, the Mazda CX-5 is a reliable car.

Which model of CX-5 is best?

The Turbo or Preferred models are considered the best trims for the 2022 Mazda CX-5. Depending on your specific needs and preferences, the Turbo model offers a turbocharged engine and a comprehensive range of features at a more affordable price compared to the fully-loaded model.

The Preferred trim also provides an excellent balance of features and value, making it a popular choice among CX-5 buyers.

Choosing the best model depends on your individual requirements, so it’s important to consider your priorities when making a decision.

What is the best year to buy a Mazda CX-5?

The 2015 Mazda CX-5 stands out as the best year to buy based on overall reliability and value. Despite being an older model, the 2015 CX-5 has received minimal complaints, and owners have expressed high satisfaction with this SUV.

It’s worth noting that some used models of the 2015 CX-5 have been sold with over 200,000 miles on the odometer, highlighting the vehicle’s longevity and durability.

If you’re considering a used Mazda CX-5, the 2015 model is definitely worth considering for its reliability and positive owner experiences.

Are Mazda CX-5s expensive to maintain?

According to Repair Pal, the 2023 Mazda CX-5 holds a remarkable reliability score of 4.5/5, making it the most reliable mid-sized SUV currently available in the market. In terms of annual maintenance costs, the 2023 CX-5 comes in at $447, which is lower than the average of $573 for similar midsize SUVs.

This indicates that the CX-5 is not only highly reliable but also more affordable to maintain compared to its counterparts.

Owning a Mazda CX-5 offers a great balance of reliability and reasonable maintenance expenses.

Why is the Mazda CX-5 so popular?

The Mazda CX-5 has gained popularity for several compelling reasons. Firstly, it offers a remarkable value proposition. With a starting price of $27,500, the CX-5 is considered one of the more affordable options in the compact crossover SUV segment, yet it doesn’t compromise on features, interior build quality, or finishes.

This combination of affordability and high-end characteristics makes the CX-5 an attractive choice in a highly competitive market.

Additionally, Mazda’s commitment to providing advanced technology and a satisfying driving experience has further contributed to the CX-5’s popularity.

Drivers appreciate the CX-5’s ability to offer premium features and a refined driving experience without the hefty price tag often associated with luxury vehicles.


The Mazda CX-5 is undoubtedly a worthy choice for those seeking a reliable and enjoyable compact SUV. While it’s essential to be aware of the common problems that have affected certain model years, the majority of CX-5s have proven to be highly reliable vehicles with excellent value for money.

Among the best years to consider, the 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 models have garnered high praise for their improved performance and enhanced safety features.

These years represent a turning point for the CX-5, showcasing Mazda’s commitment to customer feedback and continuous improvement.

However, it’s crucial to steer clear of the 2014 and 2016 Mazda CX-5 models due to their recorded complaints and reliability concerns.

These years have experienced issues such as faulty daytime LED running lights, windshield problems, engine failures, and transmission issues.

While these problems might not be prevalent across all units, it’s wise to exercise caution when considering these specific model years.

Remember, not all Mazda CX-5s are built to the same standards, so being informed and diligent will lead you to the best model year for your driving needs and preferences.

Whether you choose the best years like the 2019 and 2021 models or decide to avoid the problematic years like 2014 and 2016, the Mazda CX-5 can be a fantastic choice for a versatile and reliable compact SUV.

So, if you’re in the market for a Mazda CX-5, use this guide to make an informed decision and find the perfect CX-5 that will provide you with many enjoyable miles on the road ahead. Happy car hunting!

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