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20 months owned - 35000km - Not Impressed!
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afticarab
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:55 am    Post subject: 20 months owned - 35000km - Not Impressed! Reply with quote

We have owned our Mazda 5 since Aug 2005, about 20 months - 35000 km.

Overall I would rate the vehicle a 4/10.

Positive attributes:

1) Looks - very sharp vehicle certainly embodies the Zoom Zoom mantra.
2) Versatility - like the layout with the 6 passenger capacity in a smaller vehicle.
3) Performance is adequate, tight suspension and great handling, I am suspect however on the longevity of shocks / struts & tires which contribute to this.
3) Service has been good, unfortunately the dealers hands have been tied by Mazda Canada in dealing with the shortcomings listed below.

Negative attributes in no particular order:

1) Fuel economy is nowhere near what I would have expected for the size of the vehicle and the engine.
2) Overall durability, poor quality interior plastics and fabric show signifigant wear in a very short time. We are quite particular with the upkeep of the vehicle. So far the trim plate around the shifter and radio show ++ scratches for very limited use, we are careful with rings etc but plastic is not durable. Fabric on drivers seat has started to show signifigant signs of deterioration with pilling of fabric in lumbar area (its only got 35000km!). Seat was already replaced because of an incessant squeek that the dealer could not solve along with an opening of the fabric seam on the lower cushion. We have two children 10 & 9 who are quite careful but I notice that the area where the seatbelt retracts has multiple chips from the belt hitting this area when unlatched. Carpeting throughout the vehicle is very low quality, ++ piling of carpet even in areas with minimal exposure to wear.
Throughout the vehicle all plastic panels show signifigant scratches due to the inferior quality and finish of these parts.
3) Recalls - Lost vehicle for over 1 month when new for exhaust recall.
4) Suspension - squeek in front suspension is scheduled to have control arms replaced next week. In order to get them to do this I had to endure the temporary fix even though it was recognized that it would probably not work. Even when presented with the TSB from Mazda NA, Mazda Canada insists they have had no complaints and have adopted an osterich with head in sand attitude. Dealer has been excellent but they have to abide by Mazda Canada. Had it not been my insistance on this issue they would probably still be lubricating the bushings. The best part is that some say that the new arms may not even solve the problem.
5) Sliding door on GT - Had problems last winter with door lock freezing and either would not close or would not open. Dealer did temp Mazda Canada fix even though a Mazda NA TSB recommended the replacement of the mechanism with an upgraded version. Sure enough 1000km from home last winter my wife has to hold the door shut as it won't close. After warming up it closed but did not open. Again upon my insistance dealer pushed Mazda for a new door mechanism which works fine now.
6) Wheels - They are nice but the tires do not protect the rim at all. The lip protudes out too much and has endured curb rash which would not have occured with a wider profile tire or better tire construction to protect rim.
7) Availability of aftermarket options - Due to the very limited presence of this vehicle very few manufacturers have created vehicle specific accessories for the 5. It took almost 2 years to have Yakima create a rack option which is questionable in its fit as it wraps over the rubber gasket for the sliding door, Thule still has nothing!. The Mazda rack is too narrow and barely holds 3 bikes - it's a 6 passenger van!. We added a hitch to accommodate 2 kids bikes and found only 1 manufacturer for the hitch. Never mind that Mazda does not even sanction the use of a hitch. Imagine my surprise when I put the kids two bikes on the hitch and with the weight and overhang of the rack the suspension almost bottoms out. I even removed the folding rear seat to cut down on weight.
8) Wind Noise - The vehicle is noisy no matter how you slice it. Very little noise dampening material under carpet or in doors is contributory. Still have a wind noise behind the drivers door which dealer even went to body shop to check integrity of the door alignment to attempt to solve. They played with the outer moulding and solved the problem initially but its back.
9) Keyless remote - You can't be any more than 2 parking spots away to have this work. Had one fail completely even after new battery was installed. Imagine my surprise when Mazda Canada knew nothing of this issue. A quick trip to the website for the NA TSB and now Mazda has some keys on order!

Bottom line, yes it was reasonably priced, when we purchased in the summer of 2005 there really was no competition. If I had to do it again I would be looking at the Rav 4 (different vehicle but Toyota has better build quality and reliability). Perhaps the new CRV - more expensive but you can get 4WD, or even the Rondo - Kia crap but at least its cheaper and you don't have a misguided expection of quality which Mazda fell very short on.

Perhaps my experience with the 5 has been worse than many owners but after following the forums I do see a lot of the same complaints.

Perhaps the best solution if you really want to own a 5 is to do as many on the forums have done - upgrade your stereo. The money saved by not buying a CRV or Rav would easily pay for this. Crank it up and drown out the road noise and squeeks which in themselves speak volumes to the lack of build quality in this vehicle.

If I wouldn't take such a bath on the trade-in I would be looking at another vehicle now - lets hope it holds up for 5 years so I can dump it.!
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antlind
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Location: Calgary, AB, CA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 1:47 pm    Post subject: Re: 20 months owned - 35000km - Not Impressed! Reply with quote

I take it you're not happy with the Mazda5 eh?
I pretty much agree with most of your comments, especially those about interior trim and suspension squeaks. I also thought of the RAV4 but preferred to pocket the extra $5K and take the Mazda5 instead; and I wouldn't consider the Kia as a viable option.

The one thing you didn't mention was the fact that the Mazda5 is a mechanically solid vehicle from the engine and drivetrain perspective. That 2.4L engine will reve to the redline every time without any complaints and the tranny is as sharp as any out there. Also, the handling of the Mazda5 surpasses that of the RAV4 (and Rondo I'm willing to bet). My point is that there are a number of pros associated with the Mazda5 that you didn't mention.

So as with any car out there you take the good and balance it with the bad. While I do love my Mazda5, like you I probably would not buy another.
Anthony

2006 Mazda5 GT (Touring) AT
Platinum Grey, Running Advanti 17x7 in Summer, Window Visors, Front Lip, H&R Lowering Springs, Fujita CAI

2003 MPV LX
Silver, R/Rack, M/Guards, Bumper Guard, OEM Fogs, Vogtland Springs, Tokico (Blues) Shocks & Struts, Mazda6 17s and Yokohama 225x55R17
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afticarab
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:59 pm    Post subject: Re: 20 months owned - 35000km - Not Impressed! Reply with quote

Hey Anthony:
Thanks for your input - Per your comments regarding the performance and handling I did indeed give kudos to the 5, albiet the ability to maintain this is untested.

I would question your statement regarding reliability of the engine and drivetrain given the lack of data on these items. They have only been in the Mazda 3 since 2004, Consumer reports did not even give a predicted reliability on the 5 even though it had info on the lineage. The 5 is a different platform and has been modified for that application. Given the lacklustre attention to the simple amenities of plastic and carpeting selection which are readily seen everyday, I wonder where they have skimped on the rest of the vehicle, that I can't see.

Remember the exhaust system - Mazda had the same issue with the RX8 a few years back so they should have been aware of this potential. http://www.farrin.com/legal-news/product-recall-alerts/mazda-rx8-fire-hazard.php
My dealer also told me that this vehicle did not recieve a proper cold weather testing before its rollout which would explain the sliding door and suspension issues. On another forum someone actually mentioned that it was rushed to NA as a spike in gas prices in the summer of 2005 made Mazda want it to market sooner.

Couple these quality issues with Mazda Canada's approach to the TSB's issued by Mazda NA and I see my future with a Mazda 5 very short.

I guess you certainly get what you pay for. In 1995 I bought a Honda Odyssey for $29000 before tax and sold it 10 years later for $5500. At ten years it showed less wear and tear than my < 2 year old Mazda 5. With 200000km I sold it for almost 20% of its original value, I don't see that happening with the 5.

Yes there is higher priced competition for the 5 but the value of the competition at trade in time will potentially equal or exceed the $ save when buying the 5 in the first place.


Last edited by afticarab on Fri Mar 16, 2007 12:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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07MZ5SA
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 8:27 pm    Post subject: Re: 20 months owned - 35000km - Not Impressed! Reply with quote

afticarab:

Sounds like you were longing for Toyota Corolla Verso or Honda Stream but had to settle for Mazda 5.

2007 5 Sport AT Whitewater Pearl Mica, Rear Bumper Guard, Wheel Locks
Cargo Liner, Cargo Net, Mud Flaps, Seat Covers, Fog Lamps, Door Edge Guards
MZ3 16X6.5, Spot Mirrors, Tint, Scotchgard, Exactmats, Grill Mesh, Air Horns, SS Brake Lines
Mod: A/C Lines, Headrests, AirLift (r), HVAC, Rear Mud Flaps, 2nd Row Fans, Sony 6X8
Maintenance: Mobil-1 0W-30, Mobil-1 M-V
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afticarab
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 8:59 pm    Post subject: Re: 20 months owned - 35000km - Not Impressed! Reply with quote

Wow I just looked at the Stream too bad its not available in NA. Actually when we bought the 5 we had high hopes, perhaps nobody makes a great car anymore without paying $$$$. You can bet that next time around I will lease.

BTW how do you like the ExactMats & AirLift?
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kleptomaniak
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 11:19 am    Post subject: Re: 20 months owned - 35000km - Not Impressed! Reply with quote

Unfortunate you have had such an experience with your 5. I would have to say that if you look at some forums of Toyota and Honda, you will see alot of complaints about their vehicles as well. You'll also find quite a few recalls on Toyotas and Hondas. The number of complaints and recalls do not seem any more than any Mazda I've seen. And most of these complaints center around first years makes. It really is no surprise. I should have waited for the second year model, but I wanted my 5 so bad, and I do not regret my decision. Other than losing my car for a month, my 5 has been as bullet proof as any car I have driven.

As for recalls, they are part of business, and although I did't like the fact that I lost my car for a month, I would say that the extended warranty, loaner (ofcourse), and $500 bucks Mazda gave made it up for me.

Believe it or not, I don't feel Hondas are any more reliable than my Mazda. I have owned Civics in my lifetime: 1978, 1996 (new), 1998 (inherited from my wife). The 1996 gave me problems initially because it wouldn't start on dry cold mornings, because there was some issue with the piston seal design, and my 1998 had tranny problems (like some mid 90's Mazdas) and an ignition recall. But the tranny went out at 90,000, and according to my mechanic, tranny issues were prevelent among Hondas built from 99-02, mainly because Honda started "contracting out" the assembly of some of their trannies. I do agree that Toyotas are probably the most durable, but they also tend to be the most unexciting and boring cars to drive.

But your experiences determine your perception of a vehicle, and like you, I would choose a car based on experience. My experience with Mazdas is extraordinary: 1987 B2000 ( 180,000 miles), 1986 323 (230,000), and 1986 626 (120,000 lost due to accident). All these vehicles were still going strong when I sold/lost them.
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antlind
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 9:44 pm    Post subject: Re: 20 months owned - 35000km - Not Impressed! Reply with quote

Bottom Line guys....For the price of the Mazda5 it is great value for money, no comparison.
2006 Mazda5 GT (Touring) AT
Platinum Grey, Running Advanti 17x7 in Summer, Window Visors, Front Lip, H&R Lowering Springs, Fujita CAI

2003 MPV LX
Silver, R/Rack, M/Guards, Bumper Guard, OEM Fogs, Vogtland Springs, Tokico (Blues) Shocks & Struts, Mazda6 17s and Yokohama 225x55R17
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07MZ5SA
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 12:38 am    Post subject: Re: 20 months owned - 35000km - Not Impressed! Reply with quote

afticarab wrote:
Wow I just looked at the Stream too bad its not available in NA. Actually when we bought the 5 we had high hopes, perhaps nobody makes a great car anymore without paying $$$$. You can bet that next time around I will lease.

BTW how do you like the ExactMats & AirLift?


Actually, MZ5s are great car for the price. It still exhibit typical Japanese thinking other than HVAC. The more I look into it, the more it reminds me of typical Japanese cars in the 80's (except MPG).

I have ExactMats for all my vehicles. They are perfect for non-snow application. With AirLift, I can load up 5 Houstonian fatties without bottom out.
Very Happy

2007 5 Sport AT Whitewater Pearl Mica, Rear Bumper Guard, Wheel Locks
Cargo Liner, Cargo Net, Mud Flaps, Seat Covers, Fog Lamps, Door Edge Guards
MZ3 16X6.5, Spot Mirrors, Tint, Scotchgard, Exactmats, Grill Mesh, Air Horns, SS Brake Lines
Mod: A/C Lines, Headrests, AirLift (r), HVAC, Rear Mud Flaps, 2nd Row Fans, Sony 6X8
Maintenance: Mobil-1 0W-30, Mobil-1 M-V
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kleptomaniak
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 1:34 pm    Post subject: Re: 20 months owned - 35000km - Not Impressed! Reply with quote

Like I said. I feel that Hondas are overrated, and any assumptions that they are more reliable or better built than most if not all Japanese brands is simply not true. The fact is that I have found my Mazdas to be as if not more reliable than any Honda I've owned. But don't fret Honda owners. They are still very good cars. I can talk about them, because I have owned them. But I'll take my 5 over any Honda made any day of the week.

Ironic that this came out in the paper today.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2007/03/19/financial/f092251D81.DTL

[/url]
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antlind
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2007 1:51 pm    Post subject: Re: 20 months owned - 35000km - Not Impressed! Reply with quote

To add to the Honda recalls....
My buddy has a 2001 Honda Odessy and he just got a note from Honda Canada that they were extending the tranny warranty on his van to 160K.
Anrthony

2006 Mazda5 GT (Touring) AT
Platinum Grey, Running Advanti 17x7 in Summer, Window Visors, Front Lip, H&R Lowering Springs, Fujita CAI

2003 MPV LX
Silver, R/Rack, M/Guards, Bumper Guard, OEM Fogs, Vogtland Springs, Tokico (Blues) Shocks & Struts, Mazda6 17s and Yokohama 225x55R17
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gpzjack
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 5:29 pm    Post subject: Re: 20 months owned - 35000km - Not Impressed! Reply with quote

10k here. Only recall was door handles. Done in few hours...noise? I was doing 90 the other day and it was windy and i found the car pretty quiet inside. Mileage does kinda suck...not sure what thats about but seems to be normal for mazdas, Our interior is ok for now...i agree that the area around the shifter is a joke. As far as curb rash....learn to drive. My wifes killing the rims but thats cause she can't drive work a $Hit


P.S. You want to see real problems...go buy a Town and Country..I had it 42k

Trans went
A/C Went
Brakes every year
3 Sets of tires
Clunk in front end from bad sway bushings that all of them have

By far the most i ever dumped into a new car.

07 Subaru Legcay
06 MAZDA5 TOURING CARBON GRAY
96 DAKOTA SPORT
78 FIREBIRD
03 KAWASAKI CONCOURS
( www.shadesandmore.net )
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