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2016 Mazda CX-5 Problems Include Electrical Gremlins and Front Suspension Noise


2016 Mazda CX-5 - Picture of Mazda

Key points

  • Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued only five recalls for the 2016 Mazda CX-5, consumers logged 400 complaints.
  • Complaints cover airbag failures, daytime running lights going out on the highway, infotainment system resets, and more.
  • By comparison, the 2017 CX-5, the first model year of the second-generation crossover, has one recall and 70 complaints.
  • Related consumer forums show other problems, including knocking coming from the front suspension and faulty brake pedal switches.
  • In short, it may be best to skip this last year of the first generation. CX-5 for a 2017 model instead.

2016 Mazda CX-5 - Picture of Mazda

Only Five Remember the 2016 Mazda CX-5 Dents, But These Dents Are Serious

The saying goes that the last year of a given model is always the best because all the problems and bugs have been fixed.

That wasn’t exactly the case with the 2016 Mazda CX-5, as the latest first-generation compact crossover rolled off the assembly line with tons of complaints. plus five recalls issued by NHTSA. And each of the five is as serious as they come.

The first of the recalls involves a supplier, Pilkington North America, and the Smart City Brake Support system attached to the supplier’s windshields.

The January 2016 recall states that the system was only attached with tape (“rather than tape and urethane”), meaning the system could fall, causing potential accidents. Affected windshields are replaced free of charge by the supplier.

The rest of the recalls, however, all relate to Mazda itself.

2016 Mazda CX-5 - Picture of Mazda

Faulty daytime running lights, tailgates falling off, broken fuel hoses Only three major recalls for the 2016 Mazda CX-5

Shortly after the supplier recall, Mazda was hit with the first of four remaining recalls. In February 2016, it was discovered that certain 2014–2016 CX-5 models “have a fuel filler tube that can break in the event of a crash.” The solution is to modify the fixation and support of the pipe.

Speaking of accidents, a recall in April 2016 covers the steering knuckle on 2014-2016 CX-5s.

Specifically, the mounting nuts and bolts securing the knuckle could become loose and cause separation, resulting in a loss of steering ability. Tightening or replacing the bolts solves the problem.

The latest two recalls concern the tailgate and daytime running lights. Regarding the first, the tie rod could corrode, causing the tailgate to fall on the operator’s head.

Meanwhile, the DRLs could also fail, reducing the visibility of others. Solutions to both problems involve dealers replacing defective parts.

2016 Mazda CX-5 - Picture of Mazda

The 2016 Mazda CX-5 has not been investigated, although 400 complaints suggest it may need a closer look.

Of the 400 consumer complaints filed with NHTSA about the 2016 Mazda CX-5, nearly 150 of them relate to the exterior lighting (specifically, the DRL issue for which a recall was issued).

The second biggest complaint concerns the electronic parking brake, with more than a few drivers noticing that the brake activates while the crossover is in motion.

Consumers have noticed premature wear of rear brake pads, calipers, and rotors due to the parking brake problem.

2016 Mazda CX-5 Forums Feature Owners Sharing Stories of Bad Brakes, Loud Noises, and Blind Spot Monitoring Issues

However, the NHTSA isn’t the only place where consumers have complained about the 2016 Mazda CX-5. A forum member at Mazda 24/7 asked about a deafening sound in their 2015 CX-5 that they believe came from the front suspension.

A related article referenced a specific technical service bulletin, noting the noise “is due to stick-slip between the front strut bearing and coil spring.”

Meanwhile, a member of Mazda3 Revolution has said blind spot monitoring in its 2016 CX-5 would not participate. Turns out they only had to change the battery, probably due to the amount of juice left over from the previous battery.

Sure Mazda 24/7 member talks about a 2013 CX-5 that had issues with the main brakes not working properly as well as ignition issues and faulty warning lights. Another member suggests it could be the brake pedal switch acting strangely and perhaps just needs to be replaced.

2016 Mazda CX-5 - Picture of Mazda

If you want a Mazda CX-5, 2017 is the year to choose over the 2016 model

Unlike the 2016 Mazda CX-5, the 2017 model, the first year of the second-generation compact crossover, has only one recall and 70 complaints to the NHTSA (The recall involves trailer hitch wiring issues).

The 2017 Mazda CX-5 stands in stark contrast not only to the previous year but also to the first-generation CX-5 as a whole, which received hundreds of complaints over its four-year lifespan.

So instead of opting for a 2016 CX-5, a 2017 or newer one (aside from 2018 which has 100 consumer complaints) is the best bet.

Photos: Mazda

Frequent questions

By Stephanie Stephan | April 13, 2022

Is the 2016 Mazda CX-5 reliable?

JD Power gave the 2016 Mazda CX-5 an “average” predicted reliability rating of 3.5/5, but automotive experts do not recommend the 2016 CX-5 as a reliable car. There are 401 NHTSA complaints and five recalls for the 2016 CX-5 primarily for defective daytime running lights and drive belt tensioner failure below 50,000 miles.

Do Mazda CX-5s have many problems?

Most years, the Mazda CX-5 received only “Average” reliability ratings from JD Power, with the exception of the 2019 CX-5, which received a below-average reliability rating of 2.5/5. CX-5s experience daytime running light failure, cracked windshields, and engine or belt tensioner failures below 50,000 miles.


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