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

More Information: ScanGaugeE Trip Computer

OBD-II is a wonderful connector capable of conveying detailed diagnostic information. Every car sold in the U.S. since 1996 is OBD-II-compliant and typically has the requisite interface under the driver's side dash. There are plenty of devices that plug into OBD-II, including performance timers, detailed trip computers, fuel economy readouts and digital gauges.

Since our project car is a base model with a simple trip meter display, digital gas gauge, speedometer and tachometer, the driver really doesn't get very much information. There isn’t even an instant or average miles-per-gallon indicator; I had to manually calculate fuel economy the old fashioned way at every gas station.

Some cutting requiredSome cutting required

There’s also a spot on the driver’s side with four blank switch plates, reserved for the manual leveling HID headlights on the Grand Touring trim level and power sliding doors on international versions. Lucky for us, we found a device from Linear Logic that fits this void perfectly.

Meet the ScanGaugeE, an OBD-II device that helps with economical driving. It promises to aid in fuel conservation by reporting real-time consumption and CO2 output. Think of it as a driving coach or guilt meter.

The trip computer provides detailed information about your current drive; a summary of the day's trips, the previous day, and the tank's trip with average fuel economy; fuel used; maximum coolant temperature; trip distance; maximum engine RPM; elapsed time; maximum speed; average speed; fuel costs and CO2 production. There’s even a detailed display that shows how much fuel, distance or time remains in your tank.

You get a lot of data that'd certainly help you drive more conservatively, sure. But that’s not why I chose the ScanGaugeE. I'm more focused on its digital gauge display function.

Modern cars lose the basic battery voltage and coolant temperature gauges that were standard a decade ago. As an enthusiast, I prefer to know those details though, just as a PC enthusiast wants to know how hot his or her CPU is running. The ScanGaugeE presents this information and more, including fuel system loop status, manifold pressure, engine RPM, throttle position data, intake air temperature, ignition timing, engine load and carbon dioxide output in an easy-to-read way. If you have a CEL, the ScanGaugeE reads it, too.

We did have to cut a little bit of plastic in the factory switch plate housing before popping the ScanGaugeE into place. Once installed, though, we were able to change the display lighting color to match the rest of the interior and select our preferred output information.

I like the ScanGaugeE for what it can do, though you are tasked with entering fuel capacity and cost at each fill up for helpful driving coaching. More performance-minded enthusiasts may prefer the ScanGauge II, which adds performance timers. That product is too wide for our available housing, unfortunately.

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  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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?
  • 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?
  • C3N4
    Sorry! Inadvertent back-button reposts. How do I delete the extra comments?
  • 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.
  • tuanies
    131171 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.

    1804117 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.

    28848 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.
  • 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!!!!
  • tuanies
    156583 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.
  • blackmagnum
    Enjoyable and informative article, Anh T. Huynh. On another note: You should've saved all the trouble and bought a Honda Accord.
  • tuanies
    749236 said:
    Enjoyable and informative article, Anh T. Huynh. On another note: You should've saved all the trouble and bought a Honda Accord.


    I didn't want an Accord. The current Accord's seats are uncomfortable to me. They're too wide and my butt isn't big enough so it just makes my back hurt since I get no support from the bolsters.
  • oliphanj
    Can you tell us where you purchased the H11-to-H9 wiring harnesses?
  • tuanies
    1805513 said:
    Can you tell us where you purchased the H11-to-H9 wiring harnesses?


    From Innovative Wiring - http://innovativewiring.com/?page_id=521
  • random196
    Good article. We have a 2013 M5 Sport, with automatic transmission. We ditched the OEM 205/55-16 tires (Toyo A20s) at about 18,000 miles. Slipped from dead stop under dry conditions, and slipped in wet conditions under many conditions. I felt these were just unsafe and replaced them with Hankook Ventus S2 Noble S2s. Much better overall traction, but I managed to spin the tires once from dead stop on dry pavement one. I think the M5 is too light a vehicle for the 205/55-16s, which may be too wide. Maybe a 195/55-16 will be better the next time around for more ground pressure (and more friction).

    Overall, its a versatile car for a very good value, and we like it alot. A bit noisy on the highway and lacking in some amenities. I'd also be interested if you tried adding Daylight Running Lights, as the Sport version did not come with these due to another cost cutting measure.
  • random196
    Good article. We have a 2013 M5 Sport, with automatic transmission. We ditched the OEM 205/55-16 tires (Toyo A20s) at about 18,000 miles. Slipped from dead stop under dry conditions, and slipped in wet conditions under many conditions. I felt these were just unsafe and replaced them with Hankook Ventus S2 Noble S2s. Much better overall traction, but I managed to spin the tires once from dead stop on dry pavement one. I think the M5 is too light a vehicle for the 205/55-16s, which may be too wide. Maybe a 195/55-16 will be better the next time around for more ground pressure (and more friction).

    Overall, its a versatile car for a very good value, and we like it alot. A bit noisy on the highway and lacking in some amenities. I'd also be interested if you tried adding Daylight Running Lights, as the Sport version did not come with these due to another cost cutting measure.
  • tuanies
    140952 said:
    Good article. We have a 2013 M5 Sport, with automatic transmission. We ditched the OEM 205/55-16 tires (Toyo A20s) at about 18,000 miles. Slipped from dead stop under dry conditions, and slipped in wet conditions under many conditions. I felt these were just unsafe and replaced them with Hankook Ventus S2 Noble S2s. Much better overall traction, but I managed to spin the tires once from dead stop on dry pavement one. I think the M5 is too light a vehicle for the 205/55-16s, which may be too wide. Maybe a 195/55-16 will be better the next time around for more ground pressure (and more friction). Overall, its a versatile car for a very good value, and we like it alot. A bit noisy on the highway and lacking in some amenities. I'd also be interested if you tried adding Daylight Running Lights, as the Sport version did not come with these due to another cost cutting measure.


    I don't think any of them have DRLs. The optional foglights are about as good as DRLs though. I can't justify the $300 it'd cost for two simple lights and a switch so I've been holding off on it. I might replace the rear motor mount to get more power to the ground, but yes I can spin the tires depending on how hard I launch it from a stop. The wider tires and heavier wheel combo seems to be a bit better though.

    You can pickup LED DRLs off eBay for $160 or so. I might do that after the fog lights. I need to work on the next installment, but the car did get fitted with Megan Racing coilovers for a little drop.

    https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7567/15970413731_55369d81e8_c.jpgP1120354 by tuanies, on Flickr