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Used car check: Mazda CX-5 (Typ KE, 2011-2017)

Mazda CX-5 in the used car check
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E It's amazing what kind of fireworks Mazda has set off lately, 'emphasizes Master Wünsch at the beginning of today's used car check. A black CX-5, built in 2013, is parked in front of the white roller door of his workshop. A prime example of Mazda's new swing. “Even in the 1990s, the models of the Japanese brand rolled up rather conservatively and dusty,” recalls Meister Wünsch. 'Since then the brand has developed strongly - similar to Audi,' he adds.

Dani Heyne
Service stamp? You won't find it in the logbook of this CX-5, but only in a digital version.

The CX-5 is a good example for this. It was launched in 2012 as a new car with completely new technology. “A lot can go wrong there,” calls out Master Wünsch and begins to feel the SUV on the sheet metal in the usual way. He had previously given us a piece of paper. 'Problem areas on the CX-5' it says. Below that he has listed what can happen with such a model. For example, rust on the sub-floor due to inadequate sealing.

Therefore, in such cases, Meister Wünsch recommends subsequent underbody protection and cavity preservation. Unfortunately, there is little that can be done about the vibrating exterior mirrors at higher speeds. Diesel engines have the greatest potential for defects. What exactly is it about? Let's go back a bit: When Mazda first presented its new generation of engines in 2012, the experts were amazed: The Japanese worked with a compression ratio of 14: 1 - both for gasoline and diesel. An unusual approach, as gasoline-powered cars don't usually have that high compression. In contrast, the value is very low for compression-ignition engines. The advantages of this design:Savings in terms of weight, consumption and emissions.

Problems despite Japanese care

Less with the turbocharged gasoline engine than with the 2.2-liter diesel engine with its twin turbocharger, there were also difficulties. And this is exactly the engine that has lived in the CX-5 from the start. Above all, the turbochargers said goodbye early and often. The component itself was not to blame, but rather an unfortunate chain reaction: the built-in camshaft did not match the hardness of the rocker arms. This resulted in undesirable fine abrasion that smuggled through the oil circuit and clogged the fine channels of the vacuum pump - which in the long term destroyed the bearings of the turbocharger. As a result, the sensitive blades of the exhaust gas turbine rub against the housing at some point - and the turbo breaks. Attentive CX-5 drivers hear that the defect is looming: with a grinding or whirring noise on around 2,500 tours, combined with a slight loss of performance.

The good news: Mazda has also listened carefully and from October 2013 modified camshafts installed. 'It is important to avoid diesel versions before this production date,' adds Master Wünsch and sniffs around the large body a little. In the meantime, we'll stick with the diesel engine for a short time, which has another ailment: it doesn't like short journeys in the long run. Then diesel can get into the engine oil during the soot filter regeneration. In addition, defective injector seals are known, which lead to lumps of soot in the oil - which in turn causes the turbocharger to die. But here it comes: While other manufacturers like to play for time in such situations and act only hesitantly, Mazda consistently faced the problems of its diesel engine: Affected cars were called to the workshops, diesel engines and turbochargers were repaired and, if necessary, replaced. Even several times. And that's exactly why, since 2014, you have hardly found any CX-5 owners who have to be upset about their diesel engine. 'This is how a manufacturer must behave if it makes its own mistakes - if it does not want to scare off its customers in the long term,' adds Meister Wünsch. In line with this, a study has shown that Mazda drivers have remained loyal to the brand despite the diesel issue. 'Sounds logical - I prefer to stay with the brand that admits and eliminates mistakes than with one that does nothing for me,' said the master. He's finished with the body check: “Two small scratches, otherwise the car will be in perfect condition.“

Dani Heyne
Test drive with the Mazda CX-5.

Next up is the test drive. The starter wakes up a gasoline engine with 160 hp in this model, a six-speed manual transmission and all-wheel drive are also on board. Odometer reading: 51,800 kilometers.

'Let's see how the engine works,' mumbles the foreman and scurries through tranquil Mittweida. As the CX-5 rolls over cobblestones, the foreman listens carefully, but cannot hear any rumbling in the landing gear. 'The engine revs up cleanly, but as a vacuum cleaner it requires plenty of revs to deliver its power - the many turbo engines have really spoiled us.'

Some rust on the underbody

Back In the workshop, the Mazda floats up on the lift. As always, the first scrutiny belongs to the brakes: “The discs and pads on the front axle show normal wear - but are still good for a few thousand kilometers.

Dani Heyne
View of the front axle.

It looks even better on the rear axle, 'he diagnoses Master. In order to immediately take a close look at the suspension of the front axle. After a good ten minutes he also has a clear opinion: “Nothing rejected, no unusually high game - everything fits here.” He can't find anything on the axle boots, the springs, the radiator, the wheel bearings or the exhaust system either. 'The only thing that I don't like are these small rust marks,' says the foreman, pointing to a few metal folds on the underbody that have already turned brown. “Mazda was a little too economical with underbody protection here - otherwise rust wouldn't stand a chance after such a short time. The new owner should therefore preserve the cavities as soon as possible and have underbody protection applied. It would be a shame if this good specimen were to be taken out of the race one day due to rust perforations, 'says the master.

There is still a look at the used car prices: Comparable CX-5 from 2013 with 160 hp -Gasoline enginestart from 16,500 euros. If you want the facelift model, you should budget 20,000 euros.

Versions, engines & equipment

The Mazda CX-5 first rolled into place in September 2011 at the IAA in Frankfurt am Main Spotlight. In order to then shine on the European roads, the 4.55 meter long SUV was refined in the development and design center in Oberursel. The Mazda plant in Ujina (district of Hiroshima) is registered as the place of birth - the official market launch in Germany on April 28, 2012. At that time, there was a two-liter gasoline engine with 165 hp (160 hp with all-wheel drive) and two 2.2-liter diesel engines with 150 and 175 PS in three equipment lines (Prime-Line, Center-Line and Sports-Line) to choose from.

The petrol engine delivers turbo-free torque of up to 210 Newton meters at 4,000 tours. In the case of the smaller diesel, 380 Newton meters are already available from 1,800 revolutions per minute - in the case of the 175 hp diesel engine it is even 420 Newton meters. Six manually manageable gears were standard on all engines - a six-speed automatic was installed on request. The only exception: the 2.5-liter petrol engine with 192 hp introduced in 2015, which was only delivered without a clutch pedal.

Hans-Dieter Seufert
Diesel engines.

Incidentally, the facelift of the first Mazda CX-5 started at the same time : with a revised grille and an upgraded interior. The electric parking brake and full LED headlights were also new; In addition, more driver assistants and a new infotainment system (MZD Connect) have moved into the SUV. In the EuroNACP crash test, the CX-5 got five out of five stars right from the start. The second generation of the Japanese debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show in late 2016; The market launch in Germany was on May 20, 2017. About six months later, Mazda launched the big brother of the CX-5 in Japan: the CX-8, which is based on the CX-5.

At 4.90 meters in length, it towers over it by around 35 centimeters. Its wheelbase is 23 centimeters longer and it is five centimeters high. The airy CX-8 uses the space gained for a third row of seats. Two seats that lie flat in the trunk can be opened in two easy steps, especially for childrenoffer sufficient comfort. The CX-8 is currently not planned for Germany.

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