Likes

  • Typical superb Mazda build quality and reliability (for petrol models)
  • Well equipped and great levels of safety
  • Arguably the most enjoyable SUV in this class to drive.
  • Retain value very well.

Dislikes

  • Diesel models are to be avoided at all costs.
  • Bargains are hard to find.
  • Dark colour paint can have issues.
  • Road cabin noise can be too much for some.

Stuff you should know

  • The first-generation Mazda CX-5 can be divided into two main iterations: KE Series 1 (2012 – 2014) and KE Series 2 (2015 – 2017). Aside from minor updates in 2013, these iterations encompass the primary differences in the first-generation models.
  • Engine choices include two petrol engines (2.0 L and 2.5 L) and a 2.2 L turbo diesel. The CX-5 is available with either front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD). In AWD models, power is typically sent to the front wheels, with the rear wheels engaging only when front wheel slippage is detected.
  • Trim availability depends on the engine and drivetrain configuration. Local variants include Maxx, Maxx Sport, Grand Touring, and Akera.
  • Visual changes between KE Series 1 and KE Series 2 are minimal. Significant updates focused on improving technology and features, and enhancing Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH) levels for a quieter, smoother ride.
  • Thanks to a resoundingly positive reaction from motoring press when new, and a long list of standard features, plus offering one of the more enjoyable driving experiences in its class, the original CX-5 became a sales success.
  • This has resulted in a huge range of cars to choose from on the used market and excellent levels of support while well maintained CX-5s retain value extremely well.
  • Mazda is known for excellent build quality and reliability. However, the diesel engines in the CX-5 have gained a less favorable reputation compared to petrol variants. Potential buyers should be aware of several common issues, which are detailed below.

What goes wrong

Exterior:

  • Paint Quality:
    • The paint is known to be thin and prone to chipping and scratching, especially in darker colors like red and black.
  • Windscreen:
    • The design exposes the outer edge of the windscreen, making it vulnerable to stone chips and debris.
  • Shark Fin Antenna:
    • Some owners report FM signal dropouts.
    • On earlier models stored outdoors, the rubber seal around the antenna can deteriorate from sun damage, potentially allowing moisture in and affecting the wiring.
  • Plastic Trim:
    • The black plastic around the guards can fade due to UV damage and may require rejuvenation over time.
  • Brakes:
    • Many owners report loud groaning or squealing noises from the brakes when reversing. This is a known issue with no definitive fix, except to avoid reversing.

 

Interior:

  • Common issues include screen glitches, Bluetooth connection problems, ghost touch issues, system reboots, and the screen becoming faded and mottled.
  • Some owners have replaced the entire system with aftermarket equipment.
  • Reports of rattling interior trim are common, and diagnosing the source of the rattles can be difficult.

 

Mechanically:

  • Petrol Engines:
    • Generally reliable with proper servicing and maintenance.
    • Some reports of direct injection clogging in later models, but these are rare.
    • Rare issues with the high-pressure fuel pump and occasional oil pressure problems have been reported.
    • Engine mounts commonly lose their damping fluid, making the car vibrate, but this is an easy and inexpensive fix.
  • Diesel Engines:
    • Turbo failures and wastegate breakage, which are very costly to fix.
    • Reports of camshaft failure.
    • Issues with the exhaust pressure sensor, although a cheaper non-genuine upgrade kit is available.
    • Problems with injector seals and oil pressure due to blocked strainers from carbon buildup.
    • Coked-up inlets (shutter valves and EGR) are increasingly common.
    • Oil dilution problems can lead to further engine issues.
  • Transmission:
    • Automatic Transmission:
      • Uses Mazda’s own automatic transmission, not the Jatco unit found in other models, which has proven to be very reliable.
      • Rare issues include selector position faults or switch problems.

Exterior:

  • Paint Quality:
    • The paint is known to be thin and prone to chipping and scratching, especially in darker colors like red and black.
  • Windscreen:
    • The design exposes the outer edge of the windscreen, making it vulnerable to stone chips and debris.
  • Shark Fin Antenna:
    • Some owners report FM signal dropouts.
    • On earlier models stored outdoors, the rubber seal around the antenna can deteriorate from sun damage, potentially allowing moisture in and affecting the wiring.
  • Plastic Trim:
    • The black plastic around the guards can fade due to UV damage and may require rejuvenation over time.
  • Brakes:
    • Many owners report loud groaning or squealing noises from the brakes when reversing. This is a known issue with no definitive fix, except to avoid reversing.

 

Interior:

  • Common issues include screen glitches, Bluetooth connection problems, ghost touch issues, system reboots, and the screen becoming faded and mottled.
  • Some owners have replaced the entire system with aftermarket equipment.
  • Reports of rattling interior trim are common, and diagnosing the source of the rattles can be difficult.

 

Mechanically:

  • Petrol Engines:
    • Generally reliable with proper servicing and maintenance.
    • Some reports of direct injection clogging in later models, but these are rare.
    • Rare issues with the high-pressure fuel pump and occasional oil pressure problems have been reported.
    • Engine mounts commonly lose their damping fluid, making the car vibrate, but this is an easy and inexpensive fix.
  • Diesel Engines:
    • Turbo failures and wastegate breakage, which are very costly to fix.
    • Reports of camshaft failure.
    • Issues with the exhaust pressure sensor, although a cheaper non-genuine upgrade kit is available.
    • Problems with injector seals and oil pressure due to blocked strainers from carbon buildup.
    • Coked-up inlets (shutter valves and EGR) are increasingly common.
    • Oil dilution problems can lead to further engine issues.
  • Transmission:
    • Automatic Transmission:
      • Uses Mazda’s own automatic transmission, not the Jatco unit found in other models, which has proven to be very reliable.
      • Rare issues include selector position faults or switch problems.

Exterior:

  • Paint Quality:
    • The paint is known to be thin and prone to chipping and scratching, especially in darker colors like red and black.
  • Windscreen:
    • The design exposes the outer edge of the windscreen, making it vulnerable to stone chips and debris.
  • Shark Fin Antenna:
    • Some owners report FM signal dropouts.
    • On earlier models stored outdoors, the rubber seal around the antenna can deteriorate from sun damage, potentially allowing moisture in and affecting the wiring.
  • Plastic Trim:
    • The black plastic around the guards can fade due to UV damage and may require rejuvenation over time.
  • Brakes:
    • Many owners report loud groaning or squealing noises from the brakes when reversing. This is a known issue with no definitive fix, except to avoid reversing.

 

Interior:

  • Common issues include screen glitches, Bluetooth connection problems, ghost touch issues, system reboots, and the screen becoming faded and mottled.
  • Some owners have replaced the entire system with aftermarket equipment.
  • Reports of rattling interior trim are common, and diagnosing the source of the rattles can be difficult.

 

Mechanically:

  • Petrol Engines:
    • Generally reliable with proper servicing and maintenance.
    • Some reports of direct injection clogging in later models, but these are rare.
    • Rare issues with the high-pressure fuel pump and occasional oil pressure problems have been reported.
    • Engine mounts commonly lose their damping fluid, making the car vibrate, but this is an easy and inexpensive fix.
  • Diesel Engines:
    • Turbo failures and wastegate breakage, which are very costly to fix.
    • Reports of camshaft failure.
    • Issues with the exhaust pressure sensor, although a cheaper non-genuine upgrade kit is available.
    • Problems with injector seals and oil pressure due to blocked strainers from carbon buildup.
    • Coked-up inlets (shutter valves and EGR) are increasingly common.
    • Oil dilution problems can lead to further engine issues.
  • Transmission:
    • Automatic Transmission:
      • Uses Mazda’s own automatic transmission, not the Jatco unit found in other models, which has proven to be very reliable.
      • Rare issues include selector position faults or switch problems.

Should you buy it?

Should you buy a first generation CX-5? We strongly advise against buying a diesel CX-5. While some diesel models have been trouble-free, the potential for serious issues is significant. The minor benefits, such as slight fuel savings and additional torque, do not outweigh the substantial risks associated with diesel engines in this model.

On the other hand, the petrol variants of the CX-5 are highly recommended. As long as the vehicle has a complete and well-documented service history and passes a pre-purchase inspection, it is an excellent choice. The petrol models of the CX-5 remain some of the best SUVs in their class.

Moreover, due to the depreciation in the used car market, you can often find higher-spec versions of the CX-5 for only a bit more than the lower-spec models. Therefore, it’s worthwhile to thoroughly search the market and negotiate to get the best deal possible.

However, if you do not specifically need the increased ground clearance that an SUV provides, we also suggest considering the Mazda 6. This model is a highly capable alternative that might better suit your needs.

Should you buy a first generation CX-5? We strongly advise against buying a diesel CX-5. While some diesel models have been trouble-free, the potential for serious issues is significant. The minor benefits, such as slight fuel savings and additional torque, do not outweigh the substantial risks associated with diesel engines in this model.

On the other hand, the petrol variants of the CX-5 are highly recommended. As long as the vehicle has a complete and well-documented service history and passes a pre-purchase inspection, it is an excellent choice. The petrol models of the CX-5 remain some of the best SUVs in their class.

Moreover, due to the depreciation in the used car market, you can often find higher-spec versions of the CX-5 for only a bit more than the lower-spec models. Therefore, it’s worthwhile to thoroughly search the market and negotiate to get the best deal possible.

However, if you do not specifically need the increased ground clearance that an SUV provides, we also suggest considering the Mazda 6. This model is a highly capable alternative that might better suit your needs.

Should you buy it?

Should you buy a first generation CX-5? We strongly advise against buying a diesel CX-5. While some diesel models have been trouble-free, the potential for serious issues is significant. The minor benefits, such as slight fuel savings and additional torque, do not outweigh the substantial risks associated with diesel engines in this model.

On the other hand, the petrol variants of the CX-5 are highly recommended. As long as the vehicle has a complete and well-documented service history and passes a pre-purchase inspection, it is an excellent choice. The petrol models of the CX-5 remain some of the best SUVs in their class.

Moreover, due to the depreciation in the used car market, you can often find higher-spec versions of the CX-5 for only a bit more than the lower-spec models. Therefore, it’s worthwhile to thoroughly search the market and negotiate to get the best deal possible.

However, if you do not specifically need the increased ground clearance that an SUV provides, we also suggest considering the Mazda 6. This model is a highly capable alternative that might better suit your needs.

Need help with finance?

What is the car's build year?

2020

Loan Amount

$5,000

Finance estimate ~

$30

Per week*

8.49%

Comparison rate p.a#

Models, pricing & features

Mazda CX-5-4

Maxx

Price when new: $27,880

Price used: $11,100 - $14,800

Equipment

  • 12V Socket(s) – Auxiliary
  • 4 Speaker Stereo
  • ABS (Antilock Brakes)
  • Adjustable Steering Col. – Tilt & Reach
  • Air Conditioning
  • Airbag – Driver
  • Airbag – Passenger
  • Airbags – Head for 1st Row Seats (Front)
  • Airbags – Head for 2nd Row Seats
  • Airbags – Side for 1st Row Occupants (Front)
  • Audio – Aux Input Socket (MP3/CD/Cassette)
  • Audio – Aux Input USB Socket
  • Audio – Input for iPod
  • Audio – MP3 Decoder
  • Audio Decoder – WMA
  • Bluetooth System
  • Body Colour – Bumpers
  • Body Colour – Door Handles
  • Body Colour – Exterior Mirrors Partial
  • Bottle Holders – 1st Row
  • Bottle Holders – 2nd Row
  • Brake Assist
  • CD Player
  • Camera – Rear Vision
  • Cargo Cover
  • Central Locking – Remote/Keyless
  • Chrome Exhaust Tip(s)
  • Colour Display Screen – Front
  • Control – Electronic Stability
  • Control – Traction
  • Cruise Control
  • Cup Holders – 1st Row
  • Cup Holders – 2nd Row
  • Disc Brakes Front Ventilated
  • Disc Brakes Rear Solid
  • Door Pockets – 1st row (Front)
  • Door Pockets – 2nd row (rear)
  • Drive By Wire (Electronic Throttle Control)
  • EBD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution)
  • Engine – Stop Start System (When at idle)
  • Engine Immobiliser
  • Gloss Finish Inserts in Dash Board
  • Headrests – Adjustable 1st Row (Front)
  • Headrests – Adjustable 2nd Row x3
  • Hill Holder
  • Illuminated – Entry/Exit with Fade
  • Illuminated – Switch Panel (Window/ Locking)
  • Intermittent Wipers – Variable
  • Keyless Start:- Key/FOB Proximity related
  • Map/Reading Lamps – for 1st Row
  • Metallic Finish Door Handles – Interior
  • Metallic Finish Interior Inserts
  • Metallic Finish Steering Wheel
  • Multi-function Control Screen
  • Multi-function Steering Wheel
  • Power Door Mirrors
  • Power Steering – Electric Assist
  • Power Windows – Front & Rear
  • Rear Wiper/Washer
  • Remote Fuel Lid Release
  • Seat – Height Adjustable Driver
  • Seatback Pockets – 1st Row (Front) seats
  • Seatbelt – Adjustable Height 1st Row
  • Seatbelt – Load Limiters 1st Row (Front)
  • Seatbelt – Pretensioners 1st Row (Front)
  • Seatbelts – Lap/Sash for 5 seats
  • Seats – 2nd Row Split Fold
  • Spare Wheel – Space Saver/Temporary
  • Spoiler – Rear Roof Mounted
  • Starter Button
  • Storage Compartment – Centre Console 1st Row
  • Sunglass Holder
  • Sunvisor – Vanity Mirror for Driver
  • Sunvisor – Vanity Mirror for Passenger
  • Tacho
  • Trim – Cloth
  • Trip Computer
  • Tyre Pressure Monitoring – with logging/display

MY13 update

  • Brake Emergency Display – Hazard/Stoplights
  • In-Car Voice System
  • Voice Recognition

Maxx Sport

Price when new: $33,620

Price used: $13,600 - $17,300

Adds

  • 17″ Alloy Wheels
  • 6 Speaker Stereo
  • Air Cond. – Climate Control 2 Zone
  • Armrest – Rear Centre (Shared)
  • Fog Lamps – Front
  • GPS (Satellite Navigation)
  • Headlamps Automatic (light sensitive)
  • Illuminated Vanity Mirror for Front Passenger
  • Intermittent Wipers
  • Leather Gear Knob
  • Leather Hand Brake Lever
  • Leather Steering Wheel
  • Rain Sensor (Auto wipers)
  • Seats – 2nd Row (Rear) Flat Folding
  • Sunvisor – Illuminated Vanity Mirror for Driver

Grand Touring

Price when new: $43,280 - $44,180

Price used: $17,600 - $22,900

Adds

  • 19″ Alloy Wheels
  • 9 Speaker Stereo
  • Amplifier – 1 Separate
  • Central Locking – Key Proximity
  • Control – Park Distance Front
  • Control – Park Distance Rear
  • Daytime Running Lamps
  • Digital Sound Processing
  • Electric Seat – Drivers
  • Headlamp Washers
  • Headlamps – Active (Cornering/steering)
  • Headlamps – Bi-Xenon (for low & high beam)
  • Heated Seats – 1st Row
  • Leather Seats – Partial
  • Premium Sound System
  • Rear View Mirror – Electric Anti Glare
  • Seat – Driver with Electric Lumbar
  • Speed Dependant Volume Stereo
  • Sunroof – Electric

MY13 update

  • Tail Lamps – LED

MY14 update

  • Electric Seat – Drivers with Memory
  • Electric Seat – Passenger

Akera

Price when new: $45,770 - $47,410

Price used: $20,700 - $28,200

Adds

  • Blind Spot Sensor
  • Headlamp – High Beam Auto Dipping
  • Lane Departure Warning

MY14 update

  • Collision Mitigation – Forward (Low speed)

update

  • Collision Mitigation – Reversing
  • Cruise Control – Distance Control
  • Driver Attention Detection
  • Headlamps – Electric Level Adjustment
  • Lane Departure – with Passive Steer Assist
  • Warning – Rear Cross Traffic (when reversing)

Tech specs

Body Styles

  • 5 door Wagon

Engine Specs

  • 2.0 litre, 4-cylinder petrol, 114kW / 200Nm (Maxx 2012 – 2017, Maxx Sport 2012 – 2017)
  • 2.0 litre, 4-cylinder petrol, 113kW / 198Nm (Maxx 2012 – 2013, Maxx Sport 2012 – 2013, Grand Touring 2012 – 2013)
  • 2.2 litre, 4-cylinder twin turbo diesel, 129kW / 420Nm (Maxx Sport 2012 – 2017, Grand Touring 2012 – 2017, Akera 2013 – 2017)
  • 2.5 litre, 4-cylinder petrol, 138kW / 250Nm (Maxx 2013 – 2017, Maxx Sport 2013 – 2017, Grand Touring 2013 – 2017, Akera 2013 – 2017)

Transmission

  • 6-speed Manual (Maxx)
  • 6-speed Sports Automatic (Maxx, Maxx Sport, Grand Touring, Akera)

Fuel ConsumptionLength

  • 4540mm (All Models)

Width

  • 1840mm (All Models)

Height

  • 1710mm (All Models)

Wheelbase

  • 2700mm (All Models)

Kerb Weight

  • 1443kg – 1705kg (All Models)

Towing

  • 750kg (unbraked) – 1800kg (braked) (All Models)

Ancap Ratings

  • 5 stars (All Models)

Body Styles

  • 5 door Wagon

Engine Specs

  • 2.0 litre, 4-cylinder petrol, 114kW / 200Nm (Maxx 2012 – 2017, Maxx Sport 2012 – 2017)
  • 2.0 litre, 4-cylinder petrol, 113kW / 198Nm (Maxx 2012 – 2013, Maxx Sport 2012 – 2013, Grand Touring 2012 – 2013)
  • 2.2 litre, 4-cylinder twin turbo diesel, 129kW / 420Nm (Maxx Sport 2012 – 2017, Grand Touring 2012 – 2017, Akera 2013 – 2017)
  • 2.5 litre, 4-cylinder petrol, 138kW / 250Nm (Maxx 2013 – 2017, Maxx Sport 2013 – 2017, Grand Touring 2013 – 2017, Akera 2013 – 2017)

Transmission

  • 6-speed Manual (Maxx)
  • 6-speed Sports Automatic (Maxx, Maxx Sport, Grand Touring, Akera)

Fuel ConsumptionLength

  • 4540mm (All Models)

Width

  • 1840mm (All Models)

Height

  • 1710mm (All Models)

Wheelbase

  • 2700mm (All Models)

Kerb Weight

  • 1443kg – 1705kg (All Models)

Towing

  • 750kg (unbraked) – 1800kg (braked) (All Models)

Ancap Ratings

  • 5 stars (All Models)

Body Styles

  • 5 door Wagon

Engine Specs

  • 2.0 litre, 4-cylinder petrol, 114kW / 200Nm (Maxx 2012 – 2017, Maxx Sport 2012 – 2017)
  • 2.0 litre, 4-cylinder petrol, 113kW / 198Nm (Maxx 2012 – 2013, Maxx Sport 2012 – 2013, Grand Touring 2012 – 2013)
  • 2.2 litre, 4-cylinder twin turbo diesel, 129kW / 420Nm (Maxx Sport 2012 – 2017, Grand Touring 2012 – 2017, Akera 2013 – 2017)
  • 2.5 litre, 4-cylinder petrol, 138kW / 250Nm (Maxx 2013 – 2017, Maxx Sport 2013 – 2017, Grand Touring 2013 – 2017, Akera 2013 – 2017)

Transmission

  • 6-speed Manual (Maxx)
  • 6-speed Sports Automatic (Maxx, Maxx Sport, Grand Touring, Akera)

Fuel ConsumptionLength

  • 4540mm (All Models)

Width

  • 1840mm (All Models)

Height

  • 1710mm (All Models)

Wheelbase

  • 2700mm (All Models)

Kerb Weight

  • 1443kg – 1705kg (All Models)

Towing

  • 750kg (unbraked) – 1800kg (braked) (All Models)

Ancap Ratings

  • 5 stars (All Models)

Warranty & servicing

Warranty

  • 3 years / unlimited km (All Models)

Servicing

  • 10,000 km / 6 months (Maxx, Maxx Sport, Grand Touring, Akera)
  • 10,000 km / 12 months (Maxx, Maxx Sport, Grand Touring, Akera)

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Disclaimer

Please note that pricing information is subject to fluctuations in the automotive market.

Information correct as of May 15, 2024.

The advice provided on this website is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

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