Mazda 5 years to avoid — most common problems
Find out which Mazda models to steer clear of in the next 5 years.
The Mazda 5 is a pretty unusual compact van, mostly remembered for its straightforward handling, design, and room. Its interior was spacious enough to seat six people comfortably. And, while it is no longer in production, it had a fairly successful run in its day.
Today, you can find a Mazda 5 in the used market. If you have a big family, it could come in very handy if you get the right model. This article discusses which models are worth your money together with the Mazda 5 years to avoid.
Why you can trust REREV’s advice on which car model years to avoid: Our car experts look at official data, ask real drivers what they think, and talk to experienced mechanics to make sure our list is useful. This reliable info can make buying a car easier for you. Want to know how we do it? Find out more about our research methodology.
Most common Mazda 5 problems
Mazda 5 had some issues that were bound to spring up at some point. You must know these issues so you can know how best to approach them, especially in a preventive manner.
Here are the most common Mazda 5 problems you should look out for.
Some drivers reported air conditioning problems as early as 40,000 miles. One of the earliest symptoms of this problem is a loud vibration and squealing noise when the AC is turned on. The cause of the problem is sometimes linked to an electrical malfunction or refrigerant leaks.
If you notice this problem early and your warranty is not expired, you can have the AC unit repaired for free.
The 2016 Mazda 5, in particular, had sensitive windshields. Any slight external force like the impact of debris and contaminants touching it at high speed was enough to shatter it. In extreme cases, there have been reports of injuries caused by flying shattering windshield pieces.
The only fix to this issue is replacing the entire windshield, which is an expensive procedure. If you are buying a 2016 Mazda 5 off the used market, endeavor to check if the windshield has been replaced so you don’t get caught up in an unfortunate scenario.
Failed liftgate prop
The piston on some Mazda 5s easily corroded, causing the struts holding the liftgate to fail. 2013 to 2016 Mazda 5 models were most affected by this issue.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recalled all vehicles with this problem based on drivers’ complaints. Even after replacements, some of the new struts could not hold the liftgate.
If you are buying a Mazda 5 from any of those affected model years from the used market, ensure you check to see if it has responded to the recall or not. You can do this by running the vehicle’s identification number (VIN) on NHTSA’s website.
Many Mazda 5 drivers complained of acceleration problems after an average of about 50,000 miles. Drivers suspect the cause of the acceleration issue is a slipping clutch. Mazda gave no response as to the cause of the inhibited acceleration, but later advised drivers to use the right transmission fluid to avoid acceleration problems.
Resolving this issue includes replacing the clutch. It is an expensive fix, costing more than $1,000. Thankfully, if you own a Mazda 5 containing any kind of transmission besides the manual one, you should not expect to experience this problem.
Failed LED lights
Mazda 5 is equipped with stylish daytime running lights (DRLs) which illuminate when the handbrake is pulled down. Mazda had to issue a recall for the DRLs to be fixed after the driver complained of the lights shutting down completely.
Repairing the problem is an expensive affair because the light bulbs could not be replaced alone. The design of the vehicle required drivers to replace the whole lighting system. Later on, Mazda discovered that the major cause of the problem was the sulfur which the gaskets were emitting, which blocked the wiring of the light system.
Failed shock absorbers
The shock absorber is meant to make rides comfortable by acting as a cushion, greatly reducing the impact of a rough road. Some Mazda 5 drivers complained of a rough feel at the rear end when moving over speed bumps.
The cause of the rough feel is a leaking absorber. Replacing the shock absorbers gets rid of the issue.
The Diesel Particulate Filter reduces emissions from diesel cars by seizing and storing exhaust soot. When the car remains idle for a long time or is not used often, the DPF will clog and cause the DPF warning light to illuminate on the dashboard.
Heating the DPF using a drive is all you need to do to unclog it. A ten to fifteen-minute drive is enough to burn all or most of the contaminants, depending on the level of blockage.
Many Mazda 5 drivers reported engine failure which caused the car to shut down mostly after 100,000 miles. The issue was most dominant on the 2006 Mazda 5 model and occurred suddenly, without much warning like decreased acceleration.
The cause of the problem is a malfunctioning timing chain. Since there was often little to no warning, by the time the problem was discovered, there was usually nothing much that could be done to save the old engine.
Some drivers did report the engine cranking up again after shutting down suddenly. If you are one of these lucky drivers, you should have your mechanic examine the vehicle and nip the problem in the bud before it warrants you replacing your entire vehicle. If not, the bad timing chain symptoms could cause quite havoc and compromise the engine.
Defective filler pipe
Some Mazda 5 models had defective filler pipes which increased the chances of an explosion during an accident.
The filler pipe connects the fuel to the tank. The pipe must maintain its shape in the event of an accident as the fuel tank is highly flammable.
2014 to 2016 Mazda 5 vehicles were most notorious for containing a faulty filler pipe which often cracked during a collision, eventually causing the explosion indirectly.
In 2014, NHTSA issued a recall for affected vehicles to get the pipes replaced.
Which Mazda 5 years to avoid
When deciding on which Mazda 5 model to buy, here are the ones you should avoid.
First-generation Mazda 5 (2006-2008 model years)
The 2006 Mazda 5 gained a reputation as the worst Mazda 5 model year you could get. It had the most suspension problems which are expensive to repair. It also had more severe forms of clutch and accessory problems and a high risk of a blown engine.
The 2007 and 2008 models inherited some of the 2006 model’s problems, but not with the same severity. Overall, you should avoid these models if you want to get the most out of the vehicle.
Second-generation Mazda 5 (2008-2009 model years)
The 2008 Mazda 5 suffered mostly from transmission failure. Drivers complained that the transmission suddenly locked up at some average or high speed without warning. If the driver attempted to engage the brakes, the vehicle nosedived.
The 2009 model had its share of severe problems including a defective engine mount and a faulty front suspension. You should avoid these models for safety reasons as they are much less unreliable than others.
Third-generation Mazda 5 (2012 model year)
The 2012 Mazda 5 has fewer complaints about serious issues. The major problem it had was the failed liftgate prop.
The liftgate problem might not seem like much, but since the repair was not guaranteed, it is best to avoid the model altogether. It was hard finding a strut replacement that could support the liftgate adequately without falling apart.
Best Mazda 5 years
If you are in the market for a Mazda 5, you would be making a steal if you can get any of these models below.
- 2010 Mazda 5
- 2011 Mazda 5
- 2013 Mazda 5
- 2014 Mazda 5
- 2015 Mazda 5
These Mazda 5 models are the best in the entire production line. They do have minor issues like other vehicles, but they are more reliable and safe than the others.
One remarkable characteristic of the Mazda 5 is that it does not require much maintenance. If you plan your maintenance schedule properly in a preventive manner, you may not have to carry out many repairs in the vehicle’s entire lifespan.
Is the Mazda 5 worth buying?
The Mazda 5 is worth it if you can get the right model. It is comfortable, spacious, efficient and has a good fuel economy. It is a very practical vehicle you can use for a family or a constantly traveling group of friends.
If you view cars as investments, you may want to avoid the Mazda 5. It is not a particularly popular vehicle and unless you are a car collector who has an interest in it, you might not find it in common demand.
Is Mazda 5 a reliable car?
Mazda 5 has good reliability ratings. The minivan gives great performance with few complaints. You only have to avoid its 2006-2009 and 2012 models which are less reliable and more expensive to maintain.
Why was the Mazda 5 discontinued?
Mazda 5 was discontinued because of declining sales. The minivan is quite exceptional when you take a closer look, but by the time Mazda had made giant strides in its manufacture, the driver’s interests had already wandered elsewhere. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eInstead of pushing to regain trust in a market saturated with competition, Mazda simply dropped the Mazda 5 production and focused on their other models that were doing better in the public eye.
Is Mazda 5 an SUV or van?
Mazda 5 is a compact van, designed to accommodate small families. It delivers a good driving experience and excellent fuel efficiency.
Can I fold Mazda 5 seats flat?
If you need extra cargo room, you can fold down the back seats of the minivan. You should only fold the seats as a temporary make-shift arrangement.
When did Mazda stop Mazda 5 production?
Mazda ended the Mazda 5 production in 2015. The reason for the discontinuity is tagged as declining sales. Mazda shifted to focus instead on the then-popular crossover vehicles.