Monthly Update for July 2018 - 2018 Mazda CX-5 Long-Term Road Test
 

2018 Mazda CX-5: Monthly Update for July 2018

by Dan Frio, Staff Writer

Where Did We Drive It?
We wrestled away the keys to our 2018 Mazda CX-5 from editor Brent Romans, who helped tally around 1,400 miles in June. And after wrestling, we rested. Or at least that's the story the odometer tells since we drove a paltry 840 miles in July. There weren't any road trips on the agenda or steady, long commutes. Instead, we drove around town and took the CX-5 to the dealer for service and a recall inquiry.

We did, however, put enough commuting miles on it to extend its range record. In July we traveled 329.2 miles on a tank, beating the previous mark by just 5 miles.

What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
The CX-5 averaged 22.7 mpg in July, one full point below its June average. Not a good trend, but one we can chalk up to a low-mileage month. Even so, the CX-5 improved its lifetime mileage by one-tenth compared to June. It's now up to 22 mpg during the nearly 6,000 miles we've driven it.

That's obviously well short of the 26 mpg combined that the EPA estimate says it should get. And it's a handsome clock-cleaning behind the Honda CR-V, which is averaging 27.7 mpg over the course of more than 25,000 miles.

What gives? It's too early to speculate; we don't even have two dozen tank-fills on the CX-5 yet. But I have a theory that since several of us are already disappointed in the CX-5's somewhat toothless acceleration and general non-zoominess, we're all furiously plastering the accelerator to the floor in an attempt to coerce any life out of this powertrain. That's not going to help our fuel economy.

We'll see. It's early yet.

Average lifetime mpg: 22
EPA mpg rating: 26 combined (24 city/30 highway)
Best fill mpg: 28.1
Best range: 329.2 miles
Current odometer: 5,937 miles

Maintenance and Upkeep
After the service wrench lit up on the instrument panel, we took our CX-5 to Mazda Santa Monica. We called Thursday and were able to schedule an appointment for the next morning. By early Friday afternoon, the car was ready for pickup. This routine maintenance included new oil, an oil filter, a tire rotation, and the standard list of safety inspections.

Total cost: $101.33.

2018 Mazda CX-5

We also took the CX-5 on a separate dealer visit to inquire about a recall campaign involving the side curtain airbags. Our car was built before the recall range, and thus the recall didn't apply. If you own a CX-5, however, read on:

NHTSA Campaign Number: 18V426000
Manufacturer: Mazda North American Operations
Components: Airbags
Potential Number of Units Affected: 682

Summary
Mazda North American Operations (Mazda) is recalling certain 2018 Mazda CX-5 vehicles. In the event of a side impact or rollover crash, the side curtain airbags may not properly unfold during deployment. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 226, "Ejection Mitigation."

Remedy
Mazda will notify owners, and dealers will replace the curtain airbags, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin in July 2018. Owners may contact Mazda customer service at 800-222-5500, Option 4. Mazda's number for this recall is 2718F.

Build Date Range
From April 11, 2018, through April 27, 2018

VIN Range
JM3KF****J*393624 to 404817
(The asterisk symbol * can be any letter or number.)

Logbook Highlights

Performance
"I'm hearing some buzz about the three-row CX-9's turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine showing up in the 2019 CX-5, and I hope it's true. Driving our long-term CX-5 after some seat time in the turbocharged Honda CR-V, it's clear that the Mazda needs more sauce to compete. The CX-5's non-turbocharged four-cylinder has to work hard to keep up with traffic, and it doesn't have much left when you pull out to pass on the highway. Adding that turbo engine would make the CX-5 'feel alive' in a way that it doesn't now." — Josh Sadlier, senior manager, content strategy

Interior
"The CX-5 is pretty quiet at highway speeds. From memory, I'd say it's quieter than the Honda CR-V and perhaps on par with some luxury crossovers. Mazda positions the CX-5 as a premium offering in its class, and by this measure at least, I'd say it delivers." — Josh Sadlier

Technology-Audio
"I'm not a fan of the CX-5's infotainment screen and its knob-based interface, both of which are also found in other Mazda products. The screen is small, the graphics are kind of cheesy, and I feel like the knob complicates some tasks that should be routine, like flipping through radio stations.

"I'm disappointed with our long-term CR-V's infotainment system, too, but Honda has really righted the ship with the next-gen system that's included with the new 2018 Accord. Presumably, the CR-V will get this updated system as a hand-me-down sometime soon, at which point the CX-5 will really have some catching up to do." — Josh Sadlier

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