Pros: "Interior space layout"
Cons: "Quality, reliability, and Mazda customer service"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
For a SUV, this vehicle handles very well on dry pavement.
The layout of the interior space is well thought out meaning that there is plenty of room for a vehicle this size, love the fact that the second row slides back and forth, access to 3rd row is quite good, and the trunk space is very good with 3rd row folded down, and in all fairness even though not much room with 3rd row in place, lets face it, it’s not a suburban size vehicle, so I rate it an “A”. GPS screen is very large and adjustable.
Quality of fit and finish are just barely ok (expected much better for a top of the line Mazda MSRP of $40,100)
A lot of short comings in small details: In auto light mode the dash is so dark during the day, that you have to keep switching the dashboard lights back to day in order to see anything, specially the GPS and backup camera which are just black.
Information center is cheap and you have to toggle to get info. EG you need to choose between knowing the passenger temp. setting and outside temp!
If you start car, and want to back up immediately, you have to wait an eternity for the backup camera because the screen stays lit with the words “Mazda”.
Your knees will hit the Steering column if you are anything over average height.
While the engine performs well under a heavy foot, it under performs under everyday driving, because it has little torque, forcing the car to down shift even at the slightest need for power, even on the highway.
The hill descend can be very harsh and erratic, and in my opinion can almost pose a danger on icy conditions.
Gas mileage is very poor for a car of this size. Recent 600 miles mostly highway trip returned 18.2 mpg, and on average I get 16-17 mpg….my 2009 Tahoe was better with a 5.3 V8!
Loud for a luxury SUV with noticeable wind, road (specially 20” wheels), and engine noise.
Engine sounds cheap and somewhat unrefined for a V6.
Even with the upgraded stereo, sound quality is barley average.
The HID lights are very good (and adjustable), but high beams are inadequate.
GPS is a total let down with long winded menu and awful directions, and at 2am on a lonely country road, it will insist that there is heavy traffic ahead….absolutely a useless device.
Once the new car smell wears off, the car feels boring and mundane, and typically don’t age well.
The very bad (the reason for my review):
Transfer case failed at 3500 miles Whining sound at low speed (over 3 weeks in the shop…national back order)
Minor electrical issues with windows.
Car uses a quart of oil every 2500-3000 miles, Mazda says that this is with in their guide lines….guidelines state that it can use a quart every 1500 miles.
Breaks started pulsating at around 9000 miles (beware; it is not covered under the 3/36K bumper to bumper warranty.
Transfer case failed again at 16,000 miles. Whining sound at low speed
Transfer case failed again at 16,800 miles. Loud whining sound at low speed
Whining is still there, but I am now told after Mazda USA contacted dealer, that it is within normal range.
Mazda USA repeatedly promised to call me back with in 48 hours, but never has.
Mazda will only provide $30 a day for rental, so if your car is in the shop, keep in mind that a 2 wheel drive economy car typically cost you around $45 a day, and you may end up like me carrying a 3 and a 5 year old for half a mile in the snow to get home
I think most of you know I do not recommend this car, but fortunately for me this was a lease, unfortunately in considering in trading it in for an alternate brand car based on the numbers the car would have cost me an astonishing $962 a month if I choose to bail out after 16 months.
I am not sure how Mazda has swept this under the rug, but they should call and voluntarily recall every owner of a 2010, 2011 and 2012, (I have been told the older ones had a different case….not sure of 2013) and replace their transfer cases with a reliable transfer case regardless of failure or not. I also want people to know that I have been told by a Mazda tech. that even a failing transfer case can continue to operate for 20-30,000 miles before it physically fails, so you may be driving a bad one and only find out when it finally leaves you stranded with no factory warranty. If your car is a 2010, 2011, 2012, you “really should” have the transfer case inspected, because most people may not notice the gradual deterioration. Mine started sounding loud at very low speeds, especially when cold.
I have no respect for Mazda, and will not buy another Mazda, because after repeated (4) phone calls to the original Mazda rep. (Dan) I cannot get a call back.
It’s a shame what Mazda is doing, because with the internet today, consumers can get the word out, and it never pays to bite the hands that feed you."
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