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2014 Mazda5 Sport: Tom's Hardware's Project Car Update

Update: LED Headlights

Last summer we weren't able to recommend the Hellst LED headlights. That's still the case today; we've since removed the H11 drop-in replacements. As mentioned in our first project car story, the LEDs were terrible for peripheral illumination, and they made it hard to see street signs. But I still wanted a simple upgrade to the factory headlights that boosted light output from the already excellent OEM projectors.

There’s still the option to drop in an HID kit, but I remain hesitant. I’ve simply seen too many vehicles with HID kits in standard housings that are absolutely blinding, and I do not want to be one of those people. My research suggests Mazda's factory projectors are able to support an HID kit. But there are a lot of options available and I need to narrow them down further.

From left to right: LED, OEM H11, H9

My interim decision was to use a higher-output H9 bulb, which is typically used for the high beam in some vehicles, as suggested by vehicle lighting expert Daniel Stern. The stock H11 bulb typically puts out 1250 lumens and requires 55W each. Stepping up to the H9 increases output to 2100 lumens, with an accompanying power consumption increase to 65W. The physical bulbs are otherwise interchangeable, though.

The connector that goes into the bulb requires some modification, since the H9s have an extra tab that needs to be removed before the connector will fit. This could become an annoyance if you burn through bulbs quickly, so I went with a more plug-and-play solution, purchasing a pair of H11-to-H9 wiring harnesses. The problem was solved for $30.

I'm quite happy with the results. Light output is noticeably brighter and the bulbs only cost $10 each.

  • md1032
    My 2012 Mazdaspeed3 has the factory BSM and it's also really sensitive...it will detect road barriers and objects 3-4 feet away as being a car when I'm on a narrower road.
    Reply
  • C3N4
    How about an Around-View-Monitor type system like in Infinitis and Nissans? Hopefully you could tie it into your existing Goshers BSM system so you don’t have to rewire new sensors.

    Also, what about adding some type of HUD system that can sync up with your head unit and/or smartphone?

    Finally, what about adding some remote controlled actuators that can remotely and automatically open your sliding doors?
    Reply
  • C3N4
    How about an Around-View-Monitor type system like in Infinitis and Nissans? Hopefully you could tie it into your existing Goshers BSM system so you don’t have to rewire new sensors.

    Also, what about adding some type of HUD system that can sync up with your head unit and/or smartphone?

    Finally, what about adding some remote controlled actuators that can remotely and automatically open your sliding doors?
    Reply
  • C3N4
    How about an Around-View-Monitor type system like in Infinitis and Nissans? Hopefully you could tie it into your existing Goshers BSM system so you don’t have to rewire new sensors.

    Also, what about adding some type of HUD system that can sync up with your head unit and/or smartphone?

    Finally, what about adding some remote controlled actuators that can remotely and automatically open your sliding doors?
    Reply
  • C3N4
    Sorry! Inadvertent back-button reposts. How do I delete the extra comments?
    Reply
  • M3God
    My wife owns a 2012 Mazda5. Great little car. However the dyno results do not add up. Was the dynojet set-up to spit out crank numbers? 154 rwhp is about 186 crank HP. Was the dynojet calibrated correctly? Dynojets are notorious for giving high numbers especially is calibration is off. I drive her far and it does not have that much HP. I am pretty sure Mazda did not underrate the motor by 30 hp if anything they would advertize the extra HP as the car definitely needs it. Another dyno run would be awesome as I am very curious what the true number will be.
    Reply
  • tuanies
    14505672 said:
    My 2012 Mazdaspeed3 has the factory BSM and it's also really sensitive...it will detect road barriers and objects 3-4 feet away as being a car when I'm on a narrower road.

    I never experienced that with any factory implementation, but my time in a 2ndGen MS3 was quite limited. I also don't usually go down narrower roads in the press cars either, so that may be why.

    14505732 said:
    How about an Around-View-Monitor type system like in Infinitis and Nissans? Hopefully you could tie it into your existing Goshers BSM system so you don’t have to rewire new sensors.

    Also, what about adding some type of HUD system that can sync up with your head unit and/or smartphone?

    Finally, what about adding some remote controlled actuators that can remotely and automatically open your sliding doors?

    I only found one company that makes it aftermarket. Mazda offers a system in Japan, but I haven't quite found a way to look up the part numbers and get them to the US quite yet. The around view monitor systems don't have sensors, its just four cameras.. My wife has it on her Leaf and I love it.

    So far the aftermarket HUD units I've found only connect to your smartphone. Navdy is releasing one soon and we're looking into that. I love HUDs though.

    As for the automatic sliding doors, its a factory option on Japanese models. I've yet to speak to anyone at Mazda USA that's too familiar with the JDM implementations to figure it out. That and my wife's previous car, a 2011 VW Routan had power sliding doors and I found them more annoying after a while since the car had to be in park for them to work, so you couldn't just have your foot on the break, let someone out and keep going. They were also slower than the manual ones too.

    14505929 said:
    My wife owns a 2012 Mazda5. Great little car. However the dyno results do not add up. Was the dynojet set-up to spit out crank numbers? 154 rwhp is about 186 crank HP. Was the dynojet calibrated correctly? Dynojets are notorious for giving high numbers especially is calibration is off. I drive her far and it does not have that much HP. I am pretty sure Mazda did not underrate the motor by 30 hp if anything they would advertize the extra HP as the car definitely needs it. Another dyno run would be awesome as I am very curious what the true number will be.

    The dynojet is calibrated properly. If her car is a automatic, that could be why. The 5-speed auto sucks quite a bit of power and fun from the car and is tuned mostly for economy. There's also more powerloss through the torque converter as well. It could be they chose a middle number that was representative for the manual and the auto. The 2.5 MZR makes varying levels of power in every car, the Mazda5's 157hp is the lowest of all I believe. I'm also barely above sea level too.
    Reply
  • lpedraja2002
    A little out of topic but will it be possible for you guys to review the HUD in the new Toyora Prius? I haven't seen any review yet from what I understand there's a freaking HUD in the freaking windshield! Am I the only one psyched for this? Will we be using cars like the ones in iRobot? Please review it Tom's Hardware!!!!
    Reply
  • tuanies
    14510682 said:
    A little out of topic but will it be possible for you guys to review the HUD in the new Toyora Prius? I haven't seen any review yet from what I understand there's a freaking HUD in the freaking windshield! Am I the only one psyched for this? Will we be using cars like the ones in iRobot? Please review it Tom's Hardware!!!!

    Which Prius? The current Toyota HUD is awful in the Prius and the RX350. Its very pixelated and single color. If you want your mind blown, go check out the HUD in the Hyundai Genesis, any GM vehicle, BMW, Mercedes, etc... They're full color and offer navigation, radio information, driver assists, etc... I love them in every car.
    Reply
  • blackmagnum
    Enjoyable and informative article, Anh T. Huynh. On another note: You should've saved all the trouble and bought a Honda Accord.
    Reply