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How All 38 Generations Rank

Sorting models by their generation gives us a clearer picture of common problems across a group of similar vehicles. From there, we can assign scores to each generation to give you a basic picture of which to consider and those to avoid. The higher the score, the faster you should run away.

Rank Model Gen Years PainRank
38th CX-5 Gen 1 2013—2016 19.58
37th MAZDA3 Gen 2 2009—2013 17.23
36th CX-7 Gen 1 2007—2012 10.69
35th MAZDA3 Gen 1 2004—2008 9.66
34th MAZDA3 Gen 3 2014—2017 8.38
33rd MAZDA6 Gen 1 2003—2008 8.05
32nd Tribute Gen 1 2001—2006 7.57
31st MAZDA6 Gen 3 2013—2017 7.14
30th CX-9 Gen 1 2007—2015 6.66
29th MAZDA6 Gen 2 2009—2012 4.72
28th Tribute Gen 2 2008—2011 4.6
27th MAZDA5 Gen 2 2006—2011 3.96
26th CX-9 Gen 2 2016—2016 3.81
25th MX-5 Miata Gen 4 2016—2016 3.24
24th RX-8 Gen 1 2004—2008 2.96
23rd MAZDA5 Gen 3 2012—2015 2.63
22nd MAZDASPEED6 Gen 5 2006—2007 2.56
21st MPV Gen 2 2000—2006 2.24
20th CX-5 Gen 2 2017—2017 2.19
19th CX-3 Gen 1 2016—2017 2.02
18th Protege Gen 8 1999—2003 1.9
17th Protege Gen 7 1995—1998 1.34
16th B3000 Gen 5 2000—2003 1.08
15th MX-5 Miata Gen 3 2006—2015 0.98
14th MAZDA2 Gen 3 2008—2015 0.84
13th B2300 Gen 5 2001—2006 0.77
12th MAZDASPEED3 Gen 2 2010—2013 0.7
11th B4000 Gen 5 2006—2007 0.54
10th MPV Gen 1 1992—1999 0.49
9th MX-5 Miata Gen 2 1999—2005 0.37
8th Protege Gen 6 1990—1994 0.27
7th MAZDA2 Gen 4 2016—2016 0.26
6th RX-8 Gen 2 2009—2011 0.23
5th B2600 Gen 4 1992—1992 0.12
4th MX-5 Miata Gen 1 1990—1998 0.07
3rd B2500 Gen 5 2000—2001 0.0
2nd MAZDA2 Gen 2 2003—2007 0.0
1st MAZDA2 Gen 1 2004—2004 0.0

Answers to the most frequently asked questions

What Are Vehicle Generations?

Generations are groups of model years where the vehicles are continuously produced, use similar engineering, and share features. Generational data is not always cut-and-dry – manufacturers might not always release generation information, some generations might last longer in different countries, and various trim levels and model variants can make the whole thing confusing. We do our best but make no guarantees about our generation data. When in doubt, we stick with data about US models.

Why Are Some Vehicles Missing a 1st / 2nd / 3rd Generation?

You might notice that some of our data starts at generation 5, 6, etc. So what happened to the older generations? One of two things. 1. some models have been around a long time and we don’t have any complaint or NHTSA data about them. 2. some new models share the same platform as existing models, so we typically tie them together. For instance, a new hybrid vehicle might be introduced during the 5th generation of its non-hybrid counterpart. We’ll typically start the hybrid’s generation at 5, unless it’s otherwise noted.

What is PainRank™? Where Does it Come From?

PainRank™ is a CarComplaints.com algorithm that uses complaint data from owners (the average mileage of failures, the cost to make repairs, etc), relative complaints analysis, sales numbers, NHTSA data, & owners’ own vehicle rankings to come up with a number representing how much pain a car inflicts on its owners. The higher the PainRank™ score, the more painful a car is to own (typically).