• Performs like a car, not a minivan
  • Everyone gets his own seat
  • Compact size, affordable price
  • Road noise
  • Practical, not luxurious
  • Less a/c capacity than we'd like

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for MAZDA5 in 2014

The 2014 Mazda 5 is a carryover model built on the platform of the previous-generation Mazda 3...
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Vehicle Summary

Since its introduction, the Mazda 5 has lived up to its minivan designation. It's not too big, although it's as big and spacious as the original 1983 Dodge Caravan that invented the modern minivan in America. It's very maneuverable in parking lots, yet it's stable, composed, and confidence-inspiring on the highway. It's extremely fuel efficient yet has enough power to cope easily with a full load.

Best of all, the 2014 Mazda 5 isn't priced like a modern minivan, which has become a $40,000 proposition unless you're careful with the options.

Overview

In a world where the minivan has become anything but mini, the Mazda 5 is a refreshing alternative in family transportation. Just like a minivan should, the Mazda 5 has sliding doors so the family can scramble in or out without much fuss. There are also three rows of seats, so six passengers fit without much trouble, plus captain's chairs await in the second row. And, as they say, anyone who can get to the third-row seat has the youth, agility, and compact size to stay there for a short trip. (After all, a minivan is not meant to transport the high school basketball team from one state to another.)

Beneath the 2014 Mazda 5 is the hardware of a small, compact sedan. This is a good thing, as so many trendy, crossover-style compact-sport utilities have proven. In fact, the Mazda 5 is even available with a six-speed manual transmission. This adds a measure of fuel-saving efficiency, although the consequences might be somewhat less enjoyable for passengers, who must depend on the skill of the driver more than ever for smooth, jiggle-free progress through traffic.

The front-wheel-drive Mazda 5 is powered by a 2.5-liter engine that makes 157 hp at 6000 rpm and 163 lb-ft of torque at 4000 rpm. A choice of a six-speed manual transmission (21/28 mpg city/highway) or a five-speed automatic (22/28 mpg) is available, and the vehicle comes in three trim levels. The 2014 Mazda 5 has 97.7 cubic feet of cargo volume in the first two rows and has 44.4 cubic feet of cargo volume with the third-row of seats folded.

Key Competitors

  • Dodge Caravan
  • Ford C-Max
  • Honda CR-V
  • Subaru Outback Wagon

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