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