Blue is a true traveler. In just over a month, we've managed to crack the 8000 mile mark. It didn't take long to learn that the CX-5 is a great photo gear hauler, people mover, and comfortable cruiser, so taking it on shoots all over the southwest has been a normal occurrence. Not to mention, Blue's been my ride to San Diego every weekend since its delivery, and more recently, served as my steed for my annual pilgrimage to the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

With so many miles on the odometer, a first checkup was quickly in order. At 7500 miles, Star Mazda in Glendale, California performed Mazda's recommended Schedule 1 service, which is oriented towards owners that drive in normal conditions every day. (Those that travel repeated short distances, in dusty/snowy/humid/extreme hot/muddy/rough road conditions will need to follow Schedule 2). For $89.95 ($45.71 in parts; $44.24 in labor), our CX-5's 0W20 synthetic oil and oil filter got swapped and tire pressures were checked. Hinges and locks received a new coat of lube and a complimentary 28-point inspection was also performed.

Post service, however, the dash's TPMS warning light flashed, so I immediately returned to Star Mazda. My mechanic explained that following a tire pressure check or refill, the TPMS system, a setup that indirectly monitors pressures via ABS wheel speed sensors, needs a few miles of driving to fully "relearn" and reset. On my way back into the office, the system did, in fact, reset.

One thing that I've noticed during my initial months with Blue: First, if all you want is speed and power, look elsewhere. The CX-5's 2.0-liter will only get its 19-inchers (17s are standard) going with your right foot planted and its SkyActiv-Drive six-speed automatic frantically orchestrating multiple upshift/downshifts in an attempt to tap its limited 150-pound-foot torque supply. To combat these abrupt gear changes, I've found it helpful to simply slide the gearshift into "manual" mode and do the shifting myself. Sure, I still have to prod the mill like I was a rambunctious cowboy on a tired steed, but if that's the price I have to pay for 26-mpg-plus averages, then that's fine by me.

Our Car
Service life 7 months/13,006 miles
CO2 emissions 0.72 lb/mi
Energy consumption 127 kW-hr/100 mi
Unresolved problems None
Maintenance cost $95.95 (oil change, inspection)
Normal-wear cost $0