The compact Minivan. A popular option in Europe and Asia has been a hard sell in the past to US customers. While they are logical for traveling with family on narrow roads, US buyers were more interested in large, spacious minivans and even larger SUV's. However, given the current state of gas prices, there may now be a market in this country for such a vehicle.
It has some of the soul of a sporty minivan, such as sliding rear doors and seating for six, but in a much smaller form factor and with much better handling than a full sized minivan can accomplish.
The only drawback is of course due to its size. The front seats don't move back far enough for long legged drivers to be comfortable. Though the seats themselves are fairly comfortable places to be. The second row of seats if fairly roomy both in legroom and headroom, but the third seat is strictly a children only affair, lacking the room for full sized adults.
Power for the Mazda 5 comes from a 2.3 liter four cylinder making 153 HP.
Engines: 2.3L I-4
Transmissions: 5-speed manual, 5-speed automatic
Models: Sport, Touring, Grand Touring
For 2010 the Mazda5 loses its body colored moldings and side turn signal repeaters. While the black bezels surrounding the headlights have been deleted, Liquid Silver has been added to the color palate. Dynamic stability control and traction control are now standard equipment throughout the lineup.
The 2010 Mazda5 is clean and plain, yet sporty and fun. The 17-inch wheels and clear LED taillights add some much needed pizzazz to the long-in-tooth wedge form.
Automatic air conditioning, second row air vents, power windows and locks, and keyless entry come standard on the Sport. Grab a Touring and you'll find a leather steering wheel, moonroof, and fog lights added. Heated leather seats and xenon headlamps are had with the Grand Touring.
Performance & Handling
Performance and handling aren't exactly this van's forte. As is to be expected, there is a fair amount of lean when heading into corners. The Mazda5's 2.3-liter all-aluminum MZR engine doesn't pull hard, but stab the throttle (especially with the five-speed manual on board) and it turns into a relatively entertaining vehicle to drive.
Driver and passenger front and side airbags are standard, along with a crashable brake pedal assembly and side Air Curtain airbags. Traction control and dynamic stability control are included too.
EPA Fuel Economy
22mpg city/28mpg highway (manual); 21 mpg city/27 mpg highway (automatic)
- Great cargo capacity
- Long standard features list
- Roomy interior
- 50/50 third row split seating
You Won't Like
- Dated style
- Grand Touring-only nav option
Comfortable, useable, and relatively sporty
If You Like This Vehicle
- Kia Rondo
- Honda Odyssey Toyota Sienna