2014 Mazda CX-5: SCBS Issues
February 12, 2014
Donna DeRosa talked about the Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) system freaking out on the 2014 Mazda CX-5 when she neared our office parking garage gate back in July.
But I've one-upped her: My first weekend with the CX-5 (at 23,000-or-so miles, a testament to the car's popularity with the Edmunds editors) and SCBS got sassy with me out on the road.
The Smart City Brake Support system, which is optional, is intended to "...reduce damage in the event of a collision by operating the brake control (SCBS brake) when the system's laser sensor detects a vehicle ahead and determines that a collision with the vehicle ahead is unavoidable."
I differ with the part about the system only operating when a collision with the vehicle ahead is unavoidable.
What happened to me is that as I was nearing a stoplight, I made one of those semi-quick, sorta last-second maneuvers around a car that also probably started slowing a little more quickly than they had been. This was low speed stuff (must have been less than 18 mph, as SCBS is only functional between 2-18 mph), and even though I knew there was enough room, the system begged to differ. As I was about halfway into the next lane getting around this car, SCBS suddenly slammed the brakes on.
What made it more "interesting" for me was that I had forgotten the CX-5 even had this feature, so it was disconcerting, to say the least.
Not everyone drives the same, or encounters the exact same traffic situations. For instance, Josh Jacquot and Dan Edmunds, two noted CX-5 hogs, said neither has encountered any SCBS "freak-out" issues during their many, many miles.
And, what I also didn't know beforehand is that SCBS can be shut off by scrolling through a menu on the instrument panel. But you'll have to do this upon every startup.
Oh, and to top the weekend off, as I approached the Edmunds parking garage gate on Monday, mind full of a list of things to do, you guessed it, SCBS slammed on the brakes before I got close enough for my card to trip the gate's sensor.
Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 23,849 miles