We bought our 2014 Mazda CX-5 Maxx, as it was the only variant with a manual gearbox on offer new from the showroom. The car test-drove well and we were able to obtain it for under $30,000 with over $500 in extras on-road, which met our price point.
It has an alternating capped-price service of $210 or $280ish. We have had the car since new and always serviced by Mazda. We have completed more than 116,000km in this time, with the only issue relating to the Bluetooth connection to the phone, which they replaced the Bluetooth module, then head unit, and we have never had an issue since.
The interior has worn well, with little sign of use other than the outside of the driver’s seat. The only wear there is a fold in the material, but no rips, tears or rubs. Everything else is fine.
The car goes through tyres every 80,000km, and we have upgraded from steel wheels to the Maxx Sport mags, as they were $300 for the set with new tyres and look more aesthetically pleasing. We have noticed no change in handling or road noise with the change. The tyres are around $140–$300 a corner depending on how you like to spend money.
The motor still performs well, and once you bring the revs up it really moves along. The six-speed manual gearbox is smooth and holds revs well at any speed. The one downside is there isn’t a lot of torque, so going up a steep incline needs you to drop back gears more than you want to.
I have noticed that the clutch can be a little fiddly if it gets hot, but it’s not a race car, so I should probably stop driving it like one. The other interesting feature is the stop-start of the engine when you are at the lights in neutral without the clutch depressed – I haven’t noticed it save fuel or cause any problems.
The car has Bluetooth audio and phone with steering wheel controls, trip computer with average litres, range and instant fuel usage. The air-con blows cold when moving, but if you are stationary on a hot day, prepare to get a little warm. It’s not the greatest. Not a lot of other tech for the base model, but more than enough for what you need in a daily commuter.
The boot is big enough for four large suitcases, and the car is versatile enough with the 60/40 split back seat to move just about anything.
I’m really happy with the last four-and-a-half years and 116,000km, and when looking to replace the car, it will be downgraded to a second vehicle rather than selling or trading it in.