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30K Miles Later - Why I’m Still Glad I Switched From BMW X3 To Mazda CX-5

As a follow up to my initial story on why I switched to the Mazda brand, here is how I feel about my Mazda CX-5 30,000 miles into its life.

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In February of 2018, I wrote a pair of stories for Torque News explaining why I switched away from European vehicles and moved to the Mazda brand (I was born and raised in Europe). In the first story, European vs. Japanese Cars: Why I switched From BMW X3 to 2018 Mazda CX-5, I explained why I turned in a luxury crossover with just 40K miles. The second story, Five Features I Love About My 2018 Mazda CX-5 went into more detail on what things I loved about the CX-5. With 30,000 miles now on the odometer, I thought readers may be interested in how I feel about that decision.

Mazda CX-5 Reliability

My 2018 CX-5 has never let me down. Quite a contrast to the “luxury” crossover I had before this which broke down multiple times and even had left me and my toddler stranded on the highway and locked out of my own vehicle. Not only has the CX-5’s major systems not failed me, the minor systems also have all worked flawlessly.

There was a recall for the engine in my CX-5 at one point, but it was handled quickly at a routine service interval by the dealership with no delays to my schedule at all.

Mazda Cost of Ownership

My local dealer sold me a discounted oil change plan which brings my cost per visit to the same price that one might pay at a local discount oil change place. Since I need an annual inspection in my state anyway, I only visit the dealer a couple of times each year and I am in and out.

I have completed two of the bigger services with the CX-5. The 15K and 30K services were both handled with no issues. During the first service, I waited for the vehicle and worked remotely in the dealer waiting area. For the 30K service, I had performed this past month, I dropped the car at the dealer and then was driven to work nearby by one of the dealership employees. I was then picked up and driven back to the dealer at lunchtime. To my surprise, the cost of the service was less than promised. A couple of filters were still clean enough to keep according to the service person. My cost for this major service was just $288.

There is a Mazda dealer very close to my home and a second very close to my job in Metro Boston. Each offers loaner cars, though I have not had to use one. I’m a physician and often work as many as 12 days straight including on-call days. I also need to work evenings on occasion and there are no holidays for doctors in America. We work every day of the calendar year. Having two dealers I trust nearby who will help me get to work if I need service is an important part of the ownership experience for me. Both Liberty Mazda and 495 Mazda have treated me well and never wasted my time. The last time I visited a dealership from a previous “luxury” brand, was the middle of winter in 2018. I was told by the dealer to use public transportation if I could not wait for the vehicle. I traded the car within a few weeks of that suggestion and bought the Mazda.

Related Story: What Car Brands Do Most Doctors Choose?

Mazda And Healthcare Workers

During the recent pandemic, Mazda notified me that if I wanted an oil change service and a full vehicle cleaning I need only stop in and it would be free of charge. Although I still get promotional mailings from BMW (and a lot of other luxury car companies) I wasn’t offered anything like this from any other brand. Many healthcare workers have struggled during this crazy time, and insanely, many are actually furloughed or laid off. Mazda stepping up to recognize healthcare workers may need some help financially is something that I will remember in the future. Particularly since those folks didn’t even need to own a Mazda to get the free service!

Related Story: Mazda Offers U.S. Healthcare Workers A Free Oil Change And Car Cleaning - You Won't Believe the Fine Print

How Do I like My CX-5?

I love my CX-5. I enjoy its style. Many of my friends compliment me on the design and especially the color. When I show them the car they are surprised it has things like a head-up display, swiveling headlights, a heated steering wheel, and many other features that their “luxury” cars do not have. I remind myself that my pricey X3 didn’t even have a backup camera!

My Mazda Can Be Upgraded

When I bought my CX-5, I was told by the dealer that my CX-5 would be upgradable to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Keeping its word, Mazda did add this capability. I was glad that Mazda followed up on this promise.

The Future of the Mazda CX-5 In Our Family

In our family, we have three children and a growing fleet of older used vehicles. Both of our grown children now drive vehicles that were passed down to them that my husband and I used to drive. It occurred to me when I was shopping for the CX-5 that my youngest child may someday be driving this CX-5 as her first car. The fact that the CX-5 has the highest possible safety ratings and many active safety features was important to me as a driver when I bought it, but will be even more important as a parent if this vehicle is passed down to her. Like many families, we usually keep the good cars and trade in the duds. This one is shaping up to be a keeper for sure.

Related Story: Shopping For A New Car As A Parent - One Thing You Must Remember

After two and a half years and 30,000 miles, my fondness for the CX-5 has only increased. Hopefully, the great experience will continue. Check back in a couple of years for an update. Or wait seven for the story about my daughter getting her first car.

Hande Tuncer, MD, is a contributing writer to Torque News and publications related to medical topics. When she is not submitting a guest story or working as a clinician and researcher she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Though not a "car person," Hande has many fond memories of being taught to drive a stick-shift by her dad. Who insisted that her first vehicle be equipped with a manual transmission.

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Jane Goreham (not verified)    July 21, 2020 - 2:10PM

Well written and informative story. A great endorsement for a fine looking vehicle. This Doctor may not be a “car person” but she sue can tell a car story.

Rodney D Miranne (not verified)    July 22, 2020 - 12:42PM

Thanks, for the update. I also own a Mazda CX-5 The 2019 Signature model in Soul Red with the turbo 4 that I bought in December 2018. In about a year and a half I've put over 24,000 trouble free miles. It's a great car. I love the heated and cooled seats and the extra power with the turbo while still using regular gas. I've gotten up to 30 mpg on the highway. My ONLY complaint is that the dark brown nappa leather is too dark. Mazda makes a great reliable car that competes with the luxury brands. They deserve higher sales volume in the USA.

Digitaldoc (not verified)    July 22, 2020 - 5:45PM

Another physician, and CX-5 owner from the 2018 model year.

The reliability of my vehicle with 23k miles has ben good, but not perfect as the front brake calipers were not adequately lubricated at the factory, which ruined my front rotors. Thankfully, due to a TSB, Mazda did replace them under the warranty at no cost.

I overall like the vehicle. If I bought another, I would buy the GTR with the turbo engine as the base 2.5NA could use a little more power, has a torque peak that is too high at 4400 RPM's, and makes too much buzzy noise when pushed hard. Unfortunately, the turbo was not an option when I bought mine.

I am a little annoyed about the Android Auto upgrade as the $400 price I was quoted I think is overpriced. I realize they think they need to upgrade the 1 amp USB port in the front that push up the price, but it was not worth it to me. Toyota charges $99 on the Camry and for that price I would not have hesitated.

I have not owned a BMW, and don't plan to due to their reliability issues.

K M (not verified)    January 12, 2022 - 12:32PM

I switched from BMW to Mazda a few years back. I’m impressed by its low cost of ownership, reliability, performance, and look as well. I recommend the brand to family and friends for the same reasons.

Pamela McMaster (not verified)    March 15, 2022 - 8:38PM

I really appreciated this entry! I am an RN and currently drive a 2016 BMW x3. While I love my X3 (seriously, I love it), I have had wandering eyes lately as the odometer has crept up in miles and likelihood of future maintenance costs (There is rarely a shortcut in the Denver metro area!). One car that I have looked at ironically, is the Mazda CX-5! I remember years ago driving a Mazda 6 as a rental car and really liking it. In reading about the CX-5 I see I can basically get a loaded turbo with all of my options on my X3 for slightly more than I paid 2.5 years ago for my used 2016!