2006 Mazda Mazda5 Minivan Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Mazda Mazda5 Minivan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Mazda Mazda5 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.3 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 157 hp @ 6500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 Mazda Mazda5

  • Mazda may be taking a risk bringing its compact minivan to the U.S., but if buyers can get honest about their needs for space and power, the 2006 Mazda 5 has enough of the right stuff to succeed.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Low price, generous features list, precise steering, stellar fuel economy for a minivan.

  • Cons

    Can seem underpowered when fully loaded with people and gear, extremely cramped third row.

  • What's New for 2006

    The Mazda 5 is a new, affordably priced compact minivan that seats six.

Full 2006 Mazda Mazda5 Review

What's New for 2006

The Mazda 5 is a new, affordably priced compact minivan that seats six.


Compact minivans, called space wagons overseas, are nothing new in Europe and Japan. For years, these space-efficient vehicles have served families who live in parts of the world where narrow streets, limited parking and high fuel prices make vehicles with petite dimensions a necessity. The concept was first broached on American soil 15 years ago when Nissan tried to woo families into the Axxess, a diminutive minivan whose looks called to mind a towering, dowdy station wagon. Buyers weren't impressed, and the Axxess was hustled into early retirement.

For 2006, Mazda boldly dives into these choppy seas with the introduction of the 5, a Lilliputian hauler with a low price tag. The Mazda 5 is bigger than its platform mate, the compact Mazda 3, but significantly smaller than every other minivan on the market. At 181.5 inches long and 69.1 inches wide, it's 2 feet shorter and 8 inches narrower than the Odyssey, and exactly 8 inches shorter and 3 inches narrower than Mazda's already-small-for-its-class MPV. Tipping the scales at about 3,400 pounds with an automatic transmission, the 5 also slices nearly 400 pounds off the MPV's curb weight and over 1,000 pounds off the bulk of an Odyssey.

Despite its slight stature, the six-passenger Mazda 5 is a minivan through and through when it comes to amenities. Twin sliding rear doors are governed by a mechanism that allows them to be operated with the force of one finger. Second-row seats fold flat and recline. When the third-row seats are lowered, the 5 provides about a 5-foot-long load floor and a total of about 44 cubic feet of cargo room. Front side airbags and full-length head-protecting side curtain airbags are standard.

If ever the time was right for a compact minivan like the Mazda 5 to break into the U.S. market, it's now. Sky-high gas prices have left drivers desperate for fuel-efficient family transportation that doesn't force them to give up conveniences they've come to expect. On top of that, the 2006 Mazda 5 features sporty looks and handling that should prove much more palatable to buyers who didn't warm to the homely Axxess.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The compact Mazda 5 minivan is available in two trim levels: Sport and Touring. The Sport trim includes dual manual-sliding rear doors, 17-inch alloy wheels, ABS, air conditioning with cabin filtration, a CD stereo, keyless entry, cruise control, and power windows, mirrors and locks. Step up to the Touring trim and you'll get a sunroof, automatic climate control, an upgraded MP3-compatible stereo with an in-dash CD changer, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and front foglights. Touring models are eligible for an optional voice-controlled navigation system, while Sport buyers can pick up the sunroof and CD changer as options.

Powertrains and Performance

The Mazda 5 is powered by the same 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engine found in the Mazda 3. In the 5, it produces 157 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard. Either trim may be equipped with an optional four-speed automatic. Fuel economy ratings are 22 mpg city, 27 mpg highway with the manual and 21/26 with the automatic.


Four-wheel antilock disc brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution are standard on the Mazda 5 minivan, as are seat-mounted side airbags for front occupants. Standard side curtain airbags protect the heads of passengers in all three rows.

Interior Design and Special Features

Getting passengers and cargo in and out of tight parking spaces is a snap thanks to the Mazda 5's sliding rear doors. Theater-style seating, with each row raised 2 inches higher than the one before it, allows even third-row passengers a view of the windshield. Both second- and third-row seats fold flat, offering an ample load floor and 44 cubic feet of cargo capacity. Those in the second row get 35.2 inches of legroom, but third-row passengers aren't nearly as lucky; they're stuck with a measly 30.7 inches. That's 10 inches less than you'll find in the Odyssey, and just enough room for small children.

Driving Impressions

Performance isn't a priority for most minivan buyers. Still, the 5's power-to-weight ratio is a real concern. While the van's 2.3-liter engine feels peppy in the Mazda 3, the 5's additional 600 pounds make it work hard. Acceleration is fine around town, but faced with merging into fast-moving freeway traffic or steep highway grades, the 5 feels underpowered. Zero to 60 mph takes 10.1 seconds, and that's with just a driver aboard; with a load of passengers, performance suffers even more. The minivan uses the same suspension design as the 3, including a multilink rear suspension. The result is minimal body roll, although the taller, heavier 5 feels a bit top-heavy in tight turns. Steering is as sharp as the sporty 3's, and a tricycle-tight turning radius makes the Mazda 5 a breeze to pilot in parking lots.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

I love this little van

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda Mazda5 Sport 4dr Minivan (2.3L 4cyl 5M)

I am very sad I don't see more Mazda 5's on the road, because this is a terrific car. Mazda doesn't seem to advertise them on the TV or radio, and I didn't even know they existed until I was car shopping and saw it in a newspaper ad. I will not own another car because this model is perfect for me. I'm single and own a home and I can pretty much load anything into this car that a truck could carry. Ladders, Christmas trees, cabinets, 30 bags of mulch...friends. It is zippy and I don't find the acceleration slow--maybe I'm not that kind of driver. It turns on a dime and at 75k miles, I've not had a single issue with the car. Loads of room for me and my cats when we travel to PA from LA.

Bought brand new in jan

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda Mazda5 Sport 4dr Minivan (2.3L 4cyl 5M)

The tires are rediculous on this car, you have to rotate them with EVERY oil change because this car only requires you to get an oil change every 5,000-6,500 You cannot get non Mazda Shocks on this car and apparently noone but Mazda can seem to get the shock to work for than a 8months even if your machanic gets the shocks from mazda. I put after market shocks on my car from 2 diff. mecahnics and they both busted a block down the road. then they replaced them with Mazda shocks and they worked for a while, now Im waiting to see if Mazda will warranty the one that isnt good less than a year later. I drive my car about 60 miles a day back and forth on the Turnpike mostly highwy

1 of 22 people found this review helpful

Good for a few years....

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda Mazda5 Sport 4dr Minivan (2.3L 4cyl 5M)

First, I really, really enjoy driving this car! Had it almost 2.5 yrs. We are a family of 5. (Kids are 2,4,6yrs)Have few overall complaints, the biggest being driving in snow: it doesn't. It goes NOWHERE in snow. Never experienced anything like it before. Regarding tires, our local mechanic put the new ones on (since we've owned it, we've replaced just once) and told us that we'd have to make rotating them a priority in order to help with wear. He suggested once every other oil change. (So, every 6,000 miles.) This car looks good (esp with sunroof), gets good MPG, great sound system, gets around easily. Other moms tell me frequently they love my "can" (Car/van)!!

Just purchased!

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda Mazda5 Sport 4dr Minivan (2.3L 4cyl 5M)

Just purchased this vehicle used from a Chevy dealer. They broke the key, so all I have for now is a key that flips out and no remote access for lock/unlock, but have a new key on order ($250). The car sounds like a tin can when starting up, not sure if that is normal or not. I also have to complain about the WEAK a/c. I live in Louisiana where it has been over 100 degrees the past two weeks. Turn the air on high and it barely does justice. I love driving to work in this micro-van, I do about 70-75. Until I hit a bump, it sounds like it is going to fall apart. I have read about suspension issues, so I am going to have the dealer check it out. Overall, the looks got me on this!! Love it!!

1 month test pt. 1

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda Mazda5 Sport 4dr Minivan (2.3L 4cyl 5M)

Had the car for about a month. I'm taking a trip next week from WI to Washington D.C. I'll write another review when I get back. I bought my 06 Mazda5 with just over 82K miles. I've driven about 1,000mi and I haven't had anything happen with the car that I feel makes this vehicle any less than a 5/5. The couple of things I noticed where: I had to pop in one of the plastic fillers where the fog lights are, as mine doesn't have that option and it popped out. I also did notice that, no, it isn't the best in the snow. But it's a 4 cylinder wagon, WHAT DO YOU EXPECT!? But I know with a good set of snow tires, she'll do just fine. Ample fuel mileage, about 23cty, 28hwy.

Not the car for you

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Vehicle: 2006 Mazda Mazda5 Sport 4dr Minivan (2.3L 4cyl 5M)

When I 1st got this car I loved it. Now that I've driven it for 2 years I have had it. My biggest complaint is the seat belts. I have had to replace 2 seat belts because the reciever has just come apart. I would hate to be in an accident because I have no faith that my family would be safe. When I called Mazda they would not replace the 2nd one because it wasn't under warranty. They obviously don't care about safety. I also have issues with the tires & the snow. Even with the snow tires you can't get traction because of all the snow pack. I am also quite disappointed with the gas mileage. I was hoping to get at least 27 mpg but actually get about 21 mpg.

Talk About The 2006 Mazda5

2006 Mazda Mazda5 Discussions See all Started By

There is a new Mazda Service Bulletin, #01-008/08 dated Feb 13, 2008 which applies to all 2006-07 Mazda5s, manual and automatic, all of USA and Mexico (also Canada if they get "Fed Spec" too...

I'm new to the forums here and new to the Mazda5. My wife and I are in the market for our first minivan and I'm very tempted by the Mazda5. But I have one main question: Is it likely to run for as man...

My new to me 2006 Mazda 5 is ticking sometimes upon start-up, making a weird noise which you can here at this link......

Read more about the 2006 Mazda Mazda5

Gas Mileage


  • 19
  • cty
  • 25
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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