Which Mazda CX-5 Years to Avoid and Why? (Explained)

Anyone buying a used automobile should wary of the dependability of the vehicle they’re getting. The Mazda CX-5 gets an average of four-out-of-five on the dependability scale, rated by its users.

The Mazda CX-5 was not born yesterday. It has been around for quite some time. If you’re okay with going for used cars there are quite a few Mazda CX-5s to choose from.

Maintenance costs for a Mazda CX-5 are around $447 every year and in turn, a medium SUV’s cost is $573. That’s why it is a more dependable choice. There are however some model years that need to be avoided. Certain model years had to be tweaked to get rid of the issues.

Any Mazda CX-5 usually lasts over 200,000 miles when maintained and taken care of properly. Not all the models are the same though. The 2017-year model had considerable improvements over its predecessors.

Mazda CX-5 Years to Avoid (List of Years)

When compared to its competitors like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, it is relative fledgling.

Here’s a list of the Mazda CX-5 models that come with the most issues and have the highest number of complaints so these are the ones to be avoided.

  • 2014 Mazda CX-5
  • 2016 Mazda CX-5
  • 2018 Mazda CX-5

In comparison to its other model years, they received a higher number of complaints. From electrical and motor problems to interior and lightning accessories are the most common points of complaints by the users.

What Makes These Mazda CX-5 Years’ Worth Avoiding?

Only three of the nine Mazda CX-5 model years produced so far are unreliable. Not just for small SUVs but for vehicles in general the occurrence of frequent issues is no laughing matter.

It can cause you to spend a big amount for repairs from your pocket or have you stalled up during emergencies. So, it is wise to have the knowledge of the worst years and to avoid them when going for used Mazda CX-5s.

2014 Mazda CX-5 Issues:

The 2014 Mazda CX-5 model users have faced a lot of issues throughout its usage. When compared to the previous and later years of this model, users had the most difficulties that were related to electrical issues.

The car had its auxiliary power running but it was turned off. The radio would be on but they were unable to drive the car.

The most severe reported issues are:

– The engine did not completely shut down at 55,000 miles.

– The engine gets reversed and clunked into gear when stopped at 17,000 miles.

– The break starts to see wear at 29,000 miles.

2016 Mazda CX-5 Issues:

Staying away from the 2016 Mazda CX-5 would be the best choice for people looking into used cars.

The 2016 model gathered the highest number of complaints. The most common issue that users faced was the external lights, especially the daylight lights starting to flicker or not glow at all.

The lighting was a very common problem among the users of this year’s model. Getting these parts replaced was a big hassle for the users as well.

At 43,000 miles, the daytime lights started to fail. Windshields started getting damaged at 19,000 miles and premature brake wear was noticed at 27,000 miles.

In some cases, it was impossible to switch the CX-5 off unless the battery was disconnected. Auxiliary power depleted the batteries if they weren’t disconnected.

Even after being serviced, the lights began to flicker consistently. The daytime lights’ replacement parts were so rare that users had to wait a couple of weeks to get them replaced.

Another point for criticism of the 2016 Mazda CX-5 is the brakes. The emergency brake would automatically activate and users had to restart the vehicle to switch it off.

2018 Mazda CX-5 Issues:

Owners of the 2018 Mazda CX-5 have also not been happy with this year’s model. They have reported quite a lot of issues on this one. Bear in mind that the 2018 year model has frequent issues with its engine.

The check engine light did not work properly even though users were losing oil and had a deformed cylinder.

The engine shutting off at modest speeds and not starting back up for several hours is a condition some users have faced. Because it had flawed acceleration, users had to shut down and restart their vehicle to get it running again.

Most common problems with Mazda CX-5

Here are some common problems with the Mazda CX-5.

1. Faulty daytime LED running lights:

Mazda was forced to recall their CX-5s because of how severe the problems had become. The daytime running lights would expire sooner than expected, which is 100k miles

The problem was rather expensive to remedy as a single light bulb cannot be changed and it had to be changed as a single unit.

2. Windshield breakdown:

The 2014-2016 model years had this problem where the windshield would get shattered to pieces for no reason at all. They had to initiate a recall to fix this issue as well.

The windshield mount would detach and hit the Smart City Brake Support System.

3. Engine failure:

The other major problem with the engine was that it would not turn off after pressing the park button. The users then had to either disconnect the battery or drive a couple more miles to get the engine to shut down properly.

Another issue is the engine failure which is the most annoying issue out of all of these as the engine would shut down spontaneously and would not start back up.

Which Years are Safe to Buy to Use?

If you want to buy a secondhand small SUV, these models are more likely to reduce your hassles if you choose from them.

The following model years are worth consideration.

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

These Mazda CX-5 models have seen very few complaints from the users and have done great service to them for the money that they have spent on them.


This was my research on the worst years for the Mazda CX-5s. I have taken into consideration the major issues that users have complained about and the best model years that money can offer. I hope you find this post helpful in the search for your desired car. These model years are great choices if you are looking into used Mazda CX-5s and steer clear of the bad years.

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