Old School Mazda CX-5

Aug 12, 2013
Our older son will be of driving age shortly so we've been looking at adding a third vehicle to the stable. Seeing as both my wife and I miss having a standard transmission to thrash, it was on the list of requirements. We also feel it's important to know how to drive a standard...if only for renting cars in other countries.

Looking for something around 8 to 10 years old, we drove some VWs, but ended up with a 2013 CX-5. 2.0l skyactiv with a 6 speed manual. A base "sport" model and pretty rustic. It does have PW, PD, air and cruise, so not a a third world stripper or anything. After going through it and doing some maintenance (trans fluid, bleeding the clutch, new wipers, etc, I've discovered some interesting things. While checking the cabin air filter and looking behind the dash, all the HVAC controls, except the recirculate/fresh door, are cable actuated. I suspect this is only on the base model, but every vehicle we've owned since the '90s has motors and blend door actuators. It is so strange to see the cables coming out of the controls. I don't mind in the least, as replacing a blend door motor can require huge dash disassembly, but surprised at the simplicity of this one.

I still have to replace the belts and tensioner as it squeals a bit (quiet's down with a squirt of water on the belt, but have the tensioner ordered so will replace it anyway). There is also a very occasional clunking noise turning left and hitting a bump at the same time, but no noises, shakes or odd behavior at any speed, otherwise so will dig into that in the spring. Any experiences with this vehicle and information would be appreciated.
A friend of mine has one. It is dog slow. So it’s probably a good fit for a new driver.
Will check them next time I'm in there. Yup, not a rocket by any means, but likes to rev and be spanked so can be it's own brand of fun.
That should be a dandy car. The 2.0 SkyActiv is a great little motor that gets very good fuel economy. Mazda’s manual transmissions are known to be very good. All in all a great combination.