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Mazda5: No Traction/ Stability Control. Is this an issue?

24

Comments

  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    I don't get it. The car comes with a spoiler, but doesn't come with DSC. A program manager/committee made a conscious decision to include one and not the other. How is that an assumption if that's the way the car comes?
  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Posts: 525
    We are going in circles, you are implying that one substitutes the other. What about if DSC was not included because for some reason it differs with the NHTSA standards in the US and just banned it, like it MAY have shut down the 2nd row Karakuri seat? I can assume safety reasons, but not imply.

    No alienation intended here ;), for sure you know more than I do, I'm just a car owner, but as you said, until we get internal Mazda information and memos we can only assume why, not assure nor imply.
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    I'm just speaking from familiarity with product development.

    Also, I never intended to imply that one directly substituted the other. However, with any product, a company has to weigh costs and benefits (value) of any enhancement. I'm sure on something as complex as a car, this list is longer than a roll of TP.
  • mbros2kmbros2k Posts: 71
    This thread started with Cydel asking if he should take delivery of a Mazda5 without stability control. Regardless of the realities of market forces, or Mazda's motivations for not offering it, the answer is an emphatic -- NO! I've read over and over that studies are showing a 30 -50% reduction in traffic deaths in cars with stability control. Newsflash...these kinds of numbers are not statistically insignificant. If you don't want to spin out of control or roll-over, then buy it. Geeze, I thought Mazda was the "vroom, vroom" company. If you want us to carve up the roads, then provide a proven technology that saves us from disaster the next time a squirrel gets in our way, or a patch of frozen yogurt. Hell, just buy a CX-7 and forget we ever had this discussion.
  • For me, I feel dynamic stability control (DSC) is critical in any car competing in todays safety conscious US market, especially for this kind of "family friendly" class of vehicles. I think Mazda may have made a major mistake in deciding not to bring this already developed and deployed system in Europe and Japan -over for us in the US version of the 5. Instead- we get tire pressure monitoring,rain sensing wipers and I-pod connectors?? - great gadgets mind you, but not critical (and soon to be mandated) safety technologies.

    Consider this from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety on Stability Control systems:
    Electronic stability control could prevent nearly one-third of all fatal crashes and reduce rollover risk by as much as 80%; effect is found on single- and multiple-vehicle crashes from http://www.iihs.org/news/rss/pr061306.html

    Personally- I have never taken the time to chime in on a forum before - instead I have always simply used them as a source of good information - and a great way to stay up to date on new models and market trends. However, this topic hit home for me and I simply had to register and then jump in. Great post!

    As a casual auto enthusiast who now has a need for the dreaded "family hauler", I was surprised and excited about what I found in the Mazda 5 - even more so after a recent auto show and test drive. I was happy to find a well equipped, smaller version of the Sienna/Odyssey which I had already shopped - especially for my young family. Most important- I wanted better MPG in this world of every rising gas prices. I was all ready to buy -but once I discovered no DSC as an option I was so shocked - it essentially killed the deal. So, after a few emails to Mazda and a fairly typical non committal response on the potential for DSC in the upcoming '09 model - I am now resigned to wait and see.

    So for me, I will hold out on my decision until this fall. And for Mazda, they have lost a sure sale- for a possible sale. This, all in a segment that will soon be more crowded... and I am willing to bet, all of these new alternative will have DSC as an available option.
  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Posts: 525
    We can beat this dead horse further but FYI cydwel has not logged since March 4th :)
  • cydwelcydwel Posts: 3
    Yes - I have not replied since March 4 because on March 8 - I inked a deal on a brand new black Subaru Legacy 2.5i Limited WITH - ta da! - VDC.
    The Blue Mazda5 GT we had our name on will arrive in Lee's Summit, Missouri next month, and we will not be picking it up all because there was no DSC option and no IIHS/US DOT crash test data.
    I wish whomever buys the car well. They are getting a very nice car.
    But ultimately, the lack of a key and soon-to-be-required safety feature killed the deal and Mazda lost a sale. Add to that Subaru's financing and rebate specials, plus the rock-solid reputation for safety and durability, our new car is what it is.
    We have a 2002 Jetta Wagon we love (it has the turbo - and traction control), but it will not last forever. When it is time for its replacement, the 5 will be at the top of our list, because by then, surely Mazda will have improved the safety features.
    Thank you one and all for the information and insights your postings provided. All in all this is a great service Edmunds provides.
    Peace,
    Cydwel
  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Posts: 525
    Cool stuff, the Legacy is a fine car, I also took a look of it when shopping around for my first Mazda5 and the issue came to the 2nd row hinge doors and 2nd row space for my humongous baby car seats (they have to be installed rear-facing). All is nice and dandy except for the front passenger seat, it needed to be all the way forward and could not be reclined, so for my wife was a big issue to travel like that.

    The end of the story on my side:

    I respect people needing DSC yet I don't think is that influential for a Mazda5 purchase (overall performance design, rest of safety features are great and IS not an SUV like a CX-7)
    Drive as if your car does NOT have DSC even if it has it. Good driving skills are not substituted by technology. If you buy a car with DSC but become a careless driver with a false sense of safety, then the feature is useless.
    Do not wait 1-2 years for a car to have DSC. Yes, you are buying/waiting for extra safety but if that means that your family needs to ride for another 1-2 years on an older car that does not have the safety features of a Mazda5 or similar, then your wait is pointless and your family is still at risk
  • dlavidlavi Posts: 13
    I would have considered the Mazda 5 when we bought a car last year if it had stability control. To me stability control is a must.
  • I agree with you (ahtenasius)... the fact that only cars with ESC are even considered for safety awards, plus the fact that the technology has been mandated on all cars sold in the U.S. by 2012, should tell the public something. ESC is considered the biggest potential lifesaver since the seat belt, at least from what I'm reading (Full disclosure: I work for Edmunds.) Is it a big deal that it's not on the MAZDA5? Hell yeah, it is. This is exactly the segment I'm looking at: I need an inxpensive car that has 6 or more seats, so the MAZDA5 and the Kia Rondo are high on my list. I'd probably buy the 5 tomorrow, except for the fact that it lacks ESC. Even in L.A., where the weather is good, it's something I want, because they drive like lunatics here and I want every safety feature possible for my kids. I'm sure I'm not the only one, and so Mazda will lose sales because of it. It just seems so short-sighted. It's too bad: I really like the zoom-zoom!
  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Posts: 525
    researchqueen,

    I'm with you, the Zoom-Zoom (along with manual transmission and the safety features, yeah, except ESC) have been on top of my list when buying a Mazda5. There are several articles out there related to the Mazda5 but I recalled at least one where Mazda indicates that it has listened closely to the NA market for the 08 model (I can attest it, the great majority of my 2006 Mazda5 car "gripes" have been addressed on my 2008 Mazda5 model, like more armrests, 2nd row A/C, more visible dashboard gauges, 5AT for the Auto tranny owners, minor engine enhancements, other bug fixes, etc.).

    So I'm wondering if this market has really pushed for ESC :confuse:, especially with feedback like yours, a person who works for Edmunds. If I am a Mazda Product Manager, heck, I would be allover media feedback (Edmunds included of course) of my cars, that is for sure.

    Or maybe the ESC need feedback has not fallen into the right Mazda hands...
  • This might be the end of the story for you... as you have your new car now and seem to be pleased. (BTW I appreciate all of your input as an owner with everyday experience).

    However, for those of us shopping now and considering all the different auto models now, I think this is a significant and influential issue. I also refuse to stop "beating this dead horse" because I want Mazda to hear my voice and know that DSC is needed in the upcoming '09 version. I really do like this car, and as I stated before, I would buy one in a heartbeat -but only if it comes with DSC. My fall back is Sienna -but I would rather not have such a huge gas hog as our primary mover in a big city.

    In your post it was implied that DSC is need only in SUVs, did I read that right? I have to respectfully disagree on this, and would propose that this tech system is a real benefit to any auto and should be provided in all. Yes it can most help in “toppy”, high cog vehicles like the CX-7, but it most benefits the ER lane change/split second avoidance maneuver that, when done at hwy speeds, can lead to loss of control in any car. I know this all too well from personal experience. Back in ’93 I destroyed a Chrysler Lebaron (and nearly myself). Had that car been equipped w/ DSC, I am confident I could have avoided my 9 days in the hospital.

    Most car manufacturers already recognize this logic and have adopted DSC as standard across the line, even at the economy levels. Consider even Kia, which provides DSC for the similar Rondo. Now I personally have no passion for this car and will not buy, but it is frustrating to know that this less expensive alternative has a more advanced safety options suite.

    Finally, remember that even if you think of yourself as a superbly safe driver and can live without such superfluous technology - know that not having it now will affect the resale value of the car down the road. Recall the trend that came with the airbag back in the early 90's and how not having one impacted the cars used sale/trade in. "Does it have an airbag?" This was one of the first questions asked by buyers from that time – and many chose to buy less expensive new cars with the latest safety options over quality used without for this very reason.
  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Posts: 525
    a)
    I would suggest to direct your comments to MAZDA if you want to be heard: www.mazda.com or www.mazdausa.com (They also have 800 numbers for the US). You may have realized by this time that here you won't get too far. Also, you are typing words I've never used, so do not IMPLY anything about my posts (superfluous technology?, superbly safe driver?)

    b)
    I don't own 1 Mazda5, but 2 Mazda5s (a 2006 and a 2008). Was I really concerned about DSC after owning one for almost 3 years? NO. Do I think DSC a good thing to have? YES, but not a critical one for a Mazda5 IMO. Do I think SUVs really need it more than a Mazda5? YES. There is something called gravity center and guess where SUVs have it compared to a Mazda5. As per a 1993 model, I think 15 years of engineering have improved the way cars are designed even when you don't include DSC...

    c)
    Resale value. I really squeeze the value out of my cars before I sell them so resale value is not my concern. And by the way, regardless, I got almost double the money out of my trade-in value (A Honda without DSC) than any trade-in value for a similar year/model with DSC plus all the top trim toys (Ford, GM, Nissan or Chrysler, just compare it on a Blue Book, don't take my word)

    d)
    As I mentioned it earlier, if you are concerned today, buy a car w/ DSC now, even a Rondo, serious, please do not wait to see if Mazda comes with it next year and continue being at risk for another year. I don't work for Mazda so I don't get a cent for my comments, it is just a solicited opinion.

    e)
    And drive safe, ABS, DSC, ESC, Traction Control, XYZ, ABC won't save you if you drive carelessly...
  • nahag1nahag1 Posts: 10
    Ditto coolmazda5, couldn't have said it better!! Drive safe.
    For a car this size with a 2.3 engine and at this price, everything you get as standard on a 5 should be enough.
    Else, you can get whatever you want if you're willing to pay the price.
    As for the "Le Baron", try driving today a car with such a sensitive hydraulic steering, you'll see how dangerous that kind of power steering used to be.
  • Do you all know why Mazda doesn't offer stablity control? BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE TO. The Mazda 5 is the only vehicle of its kind in America. People will buy it, even if it doesn't have stablity control. They'll even buy it without having any crash data available. Believe me, Mazda will offer it as soon as one of two things happen:

    1) Another mini-mini van (with sliding doors) is available in America that has it.

    2) It's required by law.

    The only choices I have right now are the Kia Rondo and the Mazda 5. If you care about safety, like I do, then why would you buy a vehicle in which there is no crash data available, and no stablity control offered (even as an option). The stablity control is available in Europe. Hmmm, I wonder why? BECAUSE THEY HAVE COMPETITION IN THAT MARKET SEGMENT IN EUROPE. They will be losing another sale by me, but it won't matter much to them. They'll make their quota, and wait untill they're forced to offer it. All it does for me is make me not want to buy a Mazda ever again. I'm zooming to another manufacturer...
  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Posts: 525
    LOL, this is the longest thread I've ever seen on a simple topic, but I'll keep feeding the troll :), it is interesting. At least this last reply has a more down to earth explanation of why, I admit :D.

    KIA should be happy to read all this though, but regardless, I won't see a KIA (nor my wife) on my shopping list for a long time, those things are as ugly as sin, and yeah, I've read a lot of stories around KIA post-sales quality issues regardless of their "initial" quality claims (new cars). For that matter, I would prefer to buy exactly the same car I already have, again (which I did)...
  • coolmazda5coolmazda5 Posts: 525
    If you care about safety, like I do, then why would you buy a vehicle in which there is no crash data available

    And by the way, Really?? There are no NHTSA NA centric crash test results, but the Mazda5 passed the Japanese NCAP and EuroNCAP crash tests with the highest ratings (BMW, Volvo, Honda or even Renault in Europe and Japan would be a good comparison point)

    If NHTSA would not look at these global tests I'm sure the NA market would be already flooded with Chinese or Indian cars, honest.

    See the source:

    Mazda5 Wins Highest Crash Safety Rating from EU and Japanese New Car Testing Agencies
    http://www.japancorp.net/Article.asp?Art_ID=12380
  • KIA should be happy to read all this though, but regardless, I won't see a KIA (nor my wife) on my shopping list for a long time, those things are as ugly as sin, and yeah, I've read a lot of stories around KIA post-sales quality issues regardless of their "initial" quality claims (new cars). For that matter, I would prefer to buy exactly the same car I already have, again (which I did)...

    Well on this at least we can agree. No Kia for me either. Fine car, but like I said, after close inspection at the Chicago auto show, I walked away unimpressed. I think the fact that the rear seats would not fold down without the headrest being removed kinda stuck in my craw. That, and no sliding doors. It’s always the little things (but I think this may be for another forum).

    I would like to point out that there will be more competition in this segment in the near term, especially with gas already approaching $4 here. Looking at the Sienna, not sure we really need a grocery getter with 260 ponies. The new Dodge Journey comes to mind (again DSC stnd) and one might consider the third row RA4 as well (I test drove this too), again DSC stnd. I wouldn't be surprised if we also see more similar sized >5 people movers, yet to be announced. Stranger things have happened. Seems to me that, although there is no direct competition (sliding door), there is enough out there to lure one away from (what some might consider) a less safe family car. (A nod to the UK test standards for the outstanding results, but even then DSC is needed for “full credit”).

    I am lucky that I have no immediate need and can wait to see just what the market shakes out for 09. In the mean time, as I said before, I have already contacted Mazda by email and as well by snail mail – and in both I make my case for what I want to see in the next iteration of the 5. Your point is made that this forum possibly serves little effect on Mazda’s corporate decisions, but it helps me to vent on the issue anyway. My #1 choice is definitely a Mazda 5, but I will be eagerly watching the posts for just how it will be packaged. No DSC will likely mean a Sienna and a lost sale for Mazda.
  • jonat1xjonat1x Posts: 34
    Our 2008 Touring is our first new car in nine years, prompted by my wife's new job some 40 miles distant. The 5 is our only car - family of 6. I would have preferred DSC/ESC but was reassured by foreign test results and the fact that this vehicle is incredibly sure-footed - from the perspective of having driven for 36 years, I would speculate that any maneuver extreme enough to roll the 5 would defeat DSC/ESC if it were actually available - I have utter confidence in the dynamics of this vehicle.
  • C'mon MAZDA!..It is really simple..... New baby arriving in 2 months; If the 2009 model year Mazda 5 has Stability Control, then we are buying one, possibly TWO-- as soon as the 09's are released. BUT ONLY w/Stability Control.

    If no ESC, sorry Mazda but we go with Kia Rondo or Toyota RAV4.

    You have the software/hardware application from the Euro Mazda 5.... make this happen, give it to the North American versions now.
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