Road report: 2013 Mazda CX-5, Skyactiv, 6 speed manual.

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surprise_i'm_armed
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Road report: 2013 Mazda CX-5, Skyactiv, 6 speed manual.

#1

Post by surprise_i'm_armed » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:51 pm

My previous vehicle was a 2008 Ford Ranger SuperCab, Vista Blue, 2.3L I-4 engine, with a 5 speed stick.
Without going into further detail, this was a terrible lemon and I hated it. I had bought it new, changed the oil
like clockwork, but once I got it paid off, it was time to hunt for something new before something else broke.
The day I turned it in it had 156,085 miles on the clock.

My requirements for a new vehicle:
Manual transmission WITH cruise control. I'm a dedicated stick shift driver. If it doesn't have 3 pedals, it's not for me.
Gas MPG the same or better than the Ranger (21 City, 26 Hwy).
PW, PL, RKE (Remote Keyless Entry).
Quality manufacturer.
At least 2 power points (formerly known as lighters) since I can use double plugs, resulting in 4 devices that can be run
at any one time. Why so many? Radar detector, GPS, front strobe lights, rear strobe lights, + one work-related device.
Yes, that's 5, but one of the strobes can be unplugged to free up a space.
4 wheel disc brakes (not just front discs with rear drums).
4 doors, 5 passenger capacity. Cramming 4 people into the SuperCab wasn't cutting it.
Metal timing chain since rubber timing belts are an extra expense every 60,000 miles or so, offsetting a high MPG vehicle.


Short List of possible purchases was:
Honda Fit (but it had only 1 power point)
Honda Civic, both standard model and 201 HP Si.
Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus.
Volkswagen Jetta.
Nissan Sentra, both the standard model and the SE-R, Spec V racing model. I had a Maxima, love me some Nissan.
Kia Soul (No cruise control available with a stick shift).
Mitubishi Outlander Sport.
Mazda CX-5.


What I test drove:
Ford Fiesta, Blue Candy (great color that's a $495 option), stick shift, 120 HP.
It drove OK, and was bigger than I thought it would be, but the driving experience was rather "meh".

Ford Focus, automatic (since they had no sticks in stock). This was more fun to drive than the Fiesta,
since it had 160 HP. But the engine had a bit of stumble upon leaving a dead stop, plus the driver's seat
adjuster was stuck, and could not be moved, pitching me too far forward to drive comfortably.
Since I was miffed at Ford anyway for such a terrible ownership experience with the Ranger, these 2 bad items
seemed to be warning me away from the Focus. Plus the driving school next to where I work has 2 late model Ford
Focus' and one has a constant problem with the brake lights staying on.

VW Jetta. The one I drove was an automatic, bright red, since they had no sticks in stock. This was the largest
of the 4 door sedans I was considering. It was very roomy, had a large trunk, and a quality feel to the driving
experience. My perception of the car was German engineering (autobahn heritage) at an affordable price.
You know how most cars have 2 black strips on the roof, running from front to back, just above the doors?
The salesman pointed out to me that most carmakers do this to cover up the spot welds where the roof meets
the sides of the car. VW uses a continuous laser weld, making for a stronger structure. They can then omit
the black cover-up strips. He also said that since Germany has higher speeds on the autobahn, that VW's have
a stronger safety construction.

Mazda CX-5.
Although I had considered some 4 door sedans on my short list, I was more partial to going with a
small SUV in order to get more room, higher ground clearance, and more mass (in case of an accident). Once
I drove this one I didn't even bother to drive the Mitsu. This is the one I bought.

This vehicle has the Skyactiv engine (2.0 Liter, 155 HP, 26 MPG City, 35 MPG Hwy) and the accompanying Skyactiv
6 speed manual transmission. (These are also available with a Skyactiv automatic 6 speed). I have had this car
since July 24, 2012 and just passed 6,000 miles today. The stick shift in the CX-5 is based on the short throw
shifter in the Mazda Miata sports car. Its throw is only 45 MM. Don't ask me what bigger throws are, but I
know that the 45 MM throw is a good thing. :-)

The driving experience is great. I've been getting 25-28 MPG all summer long while driving in urban/suburban traffic
and leaving the AC on for long idling periods. Returning from Austin to Lewisville, I filled up in Pflugerville and
drove 190 miles back to Lewisville. The car took 4.122 gallons of gas yielding 46.1 MPG. This could be a fluke, but
I've checked the receipts and that's what it was. The engine uses low friction 0W-20 oil and a high compression ratio
of 13:1.

There's plenty of room in this car. I can wear my Stetson, and still have a few inches above its top before touching the
ceiling. I could go on and on about how great this vehicle is. Everyone has their own preferences in vehicles, as in guns.
It has 3 power points. When you start the car, the radio says "HELLO" which is amusing.

The purpose of this post is not just to brag on my Mazda, but to share many of its good points with y'all who may be
considering a new ride. The Mazda 3 four door sedans also have Skyactiv technology engine/trannies available.
Car and Driver's opinion is basically that if you can't afford the Ultimate Driving Maching (BMW) that a Mazda 3 is their
choice for an affordable sports sedan.

Feel free to share your opinions on the Mazda in particular, or cars in general.

SIA
Last edited by surprise_i'm_armed on Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
America.....just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need
to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us feel uncomfortable.

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Re: Road report: 2012 Mazda CX-5, Skyactiv, 6 speed manual.

#2

Post by MadMonkey » Tue Sep 25, 2012 2:59 pm

Could I trouble you for a measurement? I've been eyeballing new cars and the CX-5 is on my short list... however, I fly big RC planes and dunno if what I have will fit. I'd like the distance from the rear of the front seat (about 8-10" up) to the hatch if possible...

Congrats on the purchase, sounds like a great vehicle!
"Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God" - Benjamin Franklin


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Re: Road report: 2013 Mazda CX-5, Skyactiv, 6 speed manual.

#3

Post by surprise_i'm_armed » Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:14 pm

Mad Monkey:

Of course there's a zillion choices to measure dimensions, but here's 2 that may be useful for your concern:

1. With the front passenger all the way BACK on its track, I measured from the top of the headrest to the rear of
the headliner (where it meets the hatch). That distance = 51".

2. I then pushed the right front passenger seat all the way FORWARD, and flattened the rear passenger seat DOWN.
The distance from the back of the right front bucket, laid along the bottom of the area, until it reached the tailgate,
= 71".

http://www.mazdausa.com/MusaWeb/displayHomepage.action

I believe that if you navigate down the CX-5 path, you may get a better idea of dimensions that affect your RC hobby.

There are 3 trim levels on the CX-5. I got the "entry" level trim, the "Sport", which has plenty of features as standard
equipment. But the exterior paint colors are limited to 4: White, Liquid Silver, Metropolitan Gray (think dark charcoal),
and Black. I wanted a bright blue one, but didn't want to spend thousands more just to get it.

When I shopped for mine, they had 5 stick shift CX-5's in stock: 1 silver, 1 Metropolitan Gray, and 3 Black. I took the silver one.

My salesman told me that when the automatic CX-5's come off the truck, they usually sell them all within a few days.
Since I'm part of the 5% of Americans that drive stick, I had a choice of colors.

The middle and upper trim levels add things such as a sunroof, nav package, and AWD.

Do you know what Mazda stands for?
Must Always Zoom Down Asphalt.

Keep your head down and your flak jacket and helmet on, friend.

SIA
America.....just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need
to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us feel uncomfortable.

Hunter S. Thompson, Kentucky Colonel, gonzo journalist. 1937-2005.

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MadMonkey
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Re: Road report: 2013 Mazda CX-5, Skyactiv, 6 speed manual.

#4

Post by MadMonkey » Tue Sep 25, 2012 4:37 pm

surprise_i'm_armed wrote:Mad Monkey:

Of course there's a zillion choices to measure dimensions, but here's 2 that may be useful for your concern:

1. With the front passenger all the way BACK on its track, I measured from the top of the headrest to the rear of
the headliner (where it meets the hatch). That distance = 51".

2. I then pushed the right front passenger seat all the way FORWARD, and flattened the rear passenger seat DOWN.
The distance from the back of the right front bucket, laid along the bottom of the area, until it reached the tailgate,
= 71".

http://www.mazdausa.com/MusaWeb/displayHomepage.action

I believe that if you navigate down the CX-5 path, you may get a better idea of dimensions that affect your RC hobby.

There are 3 trim levels on the CX-5. I got the "entry" level trim, the "Sport", which has plenty of features as standard
equipment. But the exterior paint colors are limited to 4: White, Liquid Silver, Metropolitan Gray (think dark charcoal),
and Black. I wanted a bright blue one, but didn't want to spend thousands more just to get it.

When I shopped for mine, they had 5 stick shift CX-5's in stock: 1 silver, 1 Metropolitan Gray, and 3 Black. I took the silver one.

My salesman told me that when the automatic CX-5's come off the truck, they usually sell them all within a few days.
Since I'm part of the 5% of Americans that drive stick, I had a choice of colors.

The middle and upper trim levels add things such as a sunroof, nav package, and AWD.

Do you know what Mazda stands for?
Must Always Zoom Down Asphalt.

Keep your head down and your flak jacket and helmet on, friend.

SIA
Thanks a lot! I'm actually home on leave right now but I'm heading back in a couple of weeks so I haven't updated my location. I'll measure my planes... doesn't look like my larger ones will fit, but some of them will. I appreciate it :thumbs2:
"Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God" - Benjamin Franklin


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Re: Road report: 2013 Mazda CX-5, Skyactiv, 6 speed manual.

#5

Post by 7075-T7 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:43 am

I enjoy mazda's as well. I currently own a 2009 Mazda6 and a 2010 Mazdaspeed3. They have their issues, but what cars don't.

I hope you enjoy it for the years to come! :thumbs2:


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Re: Road report: 2013 Mazda CX-5, Skyactiv, 6 speed manual.

#6

Post by Birdie » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:59 am

Loved the Mazda that DH owned when we got married. Awesome gas mileage. Still wish we owned it, but too small for our family now. Bought a Ford for me, it lasted 9 months. Fun to drive, when it ran. I'll never buy another Ford again. We're a Toyota family now (a Camry and a Sienna), but Mazda is always one of the first places we look when looking to replace a vehicle.
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
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Re: Road report: 2013 Mazda CX-5, Skyactiv, 6 speed manual.

#7

Post by Beiruty » Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:42 am

I am Honda fan. I would have gone with the new CRV. Or, if you are looking for v6 I would go with the new RAV4-6speed. The sport model is very cool.
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Re: Road report: 2013 Mazda CX-5, Skyactiv, 6 speed manual.

#8

Post by surprise_i'm_armed » Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:30 pm

Beiruty wrote:I am Honda fan. I would have gone with the new CRV. Or, if you are looking for v6 I would go with the new RAV4-6speed. The sport model is very cool.
et al:

One of the things I meant to stress in my OP was that the Honda CR-V (Compact Recreational Vehicle) and
the Toyota RAV4 (Recreational Active Vehicle) have gotten very expensive over the years. If you want one
of those, it's very easy to approach $30K. My CX-5 has everything that they do, for $21,000 out the door.

I took the chance on the Skyactiv engine/trans combo since it's new. I'm usually not an "early adopter" on anything,
but when I looked at the high gas mileage/lots of interior space equation, I decided to go for it.

The CX-5's are all made in Hiroshima, Japan so they are the "most" Japanese that they can be (some Japanese
cars are assembled in America).

I have not had any issues with the car. The only slight thing I was annoyed with ended up being a "user selectable" feature.
The radio has an "ALC - Automatic Loudness Control". The vehicle is nice and quiet, but when I would zoom from the
service road onto the highway, the radio would turn itself up way too high. The sound system has about 63 pages in the
owner's manual. Luckily I found the ALC navigation only about 5 pages in. It could be OFF, or levels 1 through 7.
The factory had set it to 7. I set it to "OFF", which means that the radio stays at whatever volume I have selected.

One feature which is kind of nice, but kind of a pain, is that it has "hill assist". If the vehicle is on an incline, even
ones which are not very steep, when you try to move the car from the dead stop in 1st gear, the brakes are held on
so that you don't slip backwards. If I lived in San Francisco or some other hilly place this would be great.

But since there's not any SERIOUS hills where I live, sometimes I hate that pregnant second between when I want to
move, and when the Hill Assist deigns to allow that.

SIA
America.....just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need
to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us feel uncomfortable.

Hunter S. Thompson, Kentucky Colonel, gonzo journalist. 1937-2005.

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Re: Road report: 2013 Mazda CX-5, Skyactiv, 6 speed manual.

#9

Post by Syntyr » Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:26 pm

You wont go wrong with that car. The gas mileage figures you are seeing are most likely correct as well. On my 2008 Honda Civic I get 26/27 in town and depending upon where I drive about 40/41 on the highway. Now that does not include my 20 mile daily commute in the HOV lane. There I still get about 30/33 mpg but thats hammer down at 80 mph then go/stop/go/stop/go/stop/go/stop the second half of the trip... But its so much better than my 75 Ford F250 that gets 11 mpg going up hill pulling the 11,000 pound 5th wheel trailer or running empty in neutral down the other side of the hill. I get 11 mpg!!! :smilelol5:
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Re: Road report: 2013 Mazda CX-5, Skyactiv, 6 speed manual.

#10

Post by RoyGBiv » Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:54 pm

I drove a Mazda3 (5-speed manual) from new (2006) until 2016. It was the longest I've ever owned a car and I still loved driving it the day I sold it to buy something bigger. Wife still has her 2009 CX-9 (only about 75K on it). Drives like new, except that it's going to need front struts soon. About normal for struts, I think.

I would not hesitate to buy another Mazda.
I am not a lawyer. This is NOT legal advice.!
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Re: Road report: 2013 Mazda CX-5, Skyactiv, 6 speed manual.

#11

Post by 03Lightningrocks » Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:47 pm

Image

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Re: Road report: 2013 Mazda CX-5, Skyactiv, 6 speed manual.

#12

Post by Take Down Sicko » Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:59 pm

I had an American Motors Grimlin way back when...worst car i ever had.

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Re: Road report: 2013 Mazda CX-5, Skyactiv, 6 speed manual.

#13

Post by RoyGBiv » Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:59 pm

03Lightningrocks wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:47 pm
Image
Interesting.... I replied to this from the Active Topics list... Somebody deleted a post before mine and I didn't catch the resurrection... I think...

Maybe I'm just having a senior moment? :roll: :lol:
I am not a lawyer. This is NOT legal advice.!
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Re: Road report: 2013 Mazda CX-5, Skyactiv, 6 speed manual.

#14

Post by 03Lightningrocks » Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:01 pm

RoyGBiv wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:59 pm
03Lightningrocks wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:47 pm
Image
Interesting.... I replied to this from the Active Topics list... Somebody deleted a post before mine and I didn't catch the resurrection... I think...

Maybe I'm just having a senior moment? :roll: :lol:
I will admit to wondering why anyone would be interested in a 7 year old 2013 Mazda. My first thought was Holy Cow! That is one picky buyer. Then I saw the date it was posted. :smilelol5:


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Re: Road report: 2013 Mazda CX-5, Skyactiv, 6 speed manual.

#15

Post by surprise_i'm_armed » Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:28 pm

Well, this thread brings back old, fond memories. It was a blast from the past to read all I had written here.

Sad update on my beloved CX-5: I took delivery of it on 7/24/12. It was totalled on 9/25/15. So, I had it 38 months. On the day it got wrecked I had 120,685 miles on it. This vehicle was the epitome of perfection. In all those miles, the only money I spent on it was for oil changes, and a pair of rear brake shoes at 80,000 miles.

How did it get wrecked? I was driving straight ahead on West Main St, Lewisville, aka FM1171, heading eastbound towards I-35E. The speed limit is 40. I was going at or below 40. A teenage girl who had her license for some very short time, took an illegal turn in front of me from the westbound lane. This was at the lights with Walmart and McDonald's on one side, and 24 Hour Fitness on the other. Her vehicle was a blue Mini Cooper. We collided.

Why did she do this? She thought a flashing left arrow gave her the right of way. Her mother was on scene directly, and as we waited for LPD, the mother was explaining to her that if the left arrow is flashing yellow, she has to yield. The LEO gave her 2 violation tickets: 1. Something to do with driving on a restricted license. 2. Failing to yield, resulting in an accident.

Although mine didn't really look too bad, her low Mini had jammed hard into my left front drive wheel. The drivetrain was toast and the insurance company determined it to be a total loss. I only had 19 payments to go, and it would have been all mine.

*********************************************************************************************
Although I really liked my CX-5, I decided to try a different Mazda and bought a new 2016 Mazda3, 5 door hatchback, black, 6 speed manual, with sunroof, and foglights.
PROS: Super fun to drive, quick, smooth shifting, 155 horses, 23-28 MPG driven fast around town, 33-40.5 MPG on road trips.
CONS: I hate the infotainment system (Mazda will eventually provide us Mazda owners with new dashmounted screens), it eats rear brakes, and sometimes when I set the parking brake, it will jump half out of being engaged and startle me.

I have found out that some Mazdas are made at the home office in Hiroshima, Japan, while some are assembled in Mexico.
The quick way to determine where they are assembled is by the 1st digit of the VIN.
1st digit = J = Japan, 1st digit = 3 = Mexico.

Mine is a Mexican Mazda. At such time I would buy another Mazda, I will make sure it's a Japanese Mazda, not Mexican.
Since my Japanese CX-5 was perfection, while my Mexican Mazda3 has had some issues.

I don't like the 2019-2020 Mazda3 hatchbacks, since the rear tailgate area is ugly to me. Plus, I like fog lights, and I don't know if they are still available. I considered moving up to the large 4 door sedan, the Mazda6, but they are no longer available with manual transmissions. CX-5's are no longer an option since they are only available with AT's.

If I were to get another 4 or 5 door automobile with stick shift my short list would be : Mazda (maybe), Honda Si or R, Subaru, or VW GTI or Jetta GLI.
But at this time, my Mazda3 has 144,500 on it, and I intend to drive it 'til the wheels fall off. But you just never know when a cement truck might fall on it!

SIA
Last edited by surprise_i'm_armed on Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
America.....just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need
to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us feel uncomfortable.

Hunter S. Thompson, Kentucky Colonel, gonzo journalist. 1937-2005.

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