As we neared the end of our year with the CX-5, associate web editor Evan McCausland took the sky-blue crossover on one last big road trip -- a weekend drive to Nashville via the Kentucky bourbon trail. It was a timely trip because, compared with our other Four Seasons vehicles, the CX-5 was a little short on miles.
"Road test editor Chris Nelson told me that the CX-5 needed some more miles before its test was over. I’m familiar with the reason why, since I was the one at the helm when the Mazda hit a large doe, incurring more than $9000 worth of damage and putting it out of commission for several weeks."
Ready to rapidly turn the numbers on the odometer, Evan and his wife, Victoria, headed south, hoping to escape an impending snow storm. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. "The snow showed its powdery face shortly after our departure late Thursday, and flurries punctuated our drive south. It really started to fly just outside of Dayton, Ohio, and turned into near-whiteout conditions as we entered the city center. Further south, once we escaped from the traffic snarls, we found ourselves facing a curvy highway in relative darkness. The bright lights don’t help when it’s snowing (they simply illuminate more snowfall) nor do fog lamps; the CX-5's did a grand job of illuminating the guardrail to the left of the car, but little else."
After an abbreviated trip, Evan and Victoria headed back north. "We booked a stay in the Westin in downtown Cincinnati to break up the drive but had a hard time finding the hotel in the CX-5's navigation system. A smartphone with Google Maps saved the day. Apart from those navigation system problems, I have no qualms with the CX-5. It's nice to actually spend some quality time with this little crossover. I think I’ll stop while I'm ahead, however. When I left for work the other morning, five deer crossed the road directly in front of me. I must be cursed."
Not that long after the CX-5 was back in Ann Arbor, several drivers reported a loud clunking sound during hard braking. The CX-5 was due for its 20,000 service, so we brought it in to our local Mazda dealer and asked them to inspect the brakes as well. The service was simple and inexpensive: an oil and filter change plus a multi-point inspection for just $40.04. As for the brakes, all four pads were replaced and all four rotors were turned, which was covered under warranty. Although there are no technical service bulletins on our CX-5 at this time, the dealer informed us that they had seen the same brake problem on two other CX-5s.
Stay tuned for our final comments as we head into our last few weeks with the little blue Mazda.