My wife picked this out from all of the suv/minivan choices. It took us 5 months to make our minds up, and we're satisfied. Sure it might not have everything we want, but for the price, it has enough zip, space, and sportiness to last us. And it's a family vehicle! Remote start, 17 inch wheels, economical and safe. Even the sliding door windows roll down! Anyone with a family will love this one unless you have your heart set on something else. I suppose the only things we wished it had would be a leather option and extra A/C for the back seats, but those are minor compared to what we got.
4 cylinder with variable valve timing. It acts like a small v6 with better gas mileage. Sporty look and performance. Drives like a big sports car. Extra bells and whistles for a good price. All safety features standard. No nickel and dimming sticker shock to keep my family safe.
Leather option. Fifth gear to the AT for extra MPGs on those road trips. Rear A/C. Auto memory seating option (it's a family vehicle and mom and dad are usually not the same size). Offer a MazdaSpeed version instead of that silly promotional paint nonsense. Imagine a real zoom-zoom mini-minivan!
Had a 1994 Grand Voyager, and wanted something smaller and sportier. I always liked the 1st generation Odyssey--big on the inside, small on the outside. The Mazda's dimensions are almost identical. I especially like the manual transmission. Others have complained it's underpowered. I disagree--I think that we in the US are on a car "power-trip"--there's plenty of power here, esp. with the manual. Handling is surprisingly quite good--you only notice the weight and high center of gravity on high-speed curves. I've consistently gotten 25 + mpg every tankful, with a combo city/highway driving (6085 miles), and the last several tanks have been 29-32 mpg. Love the car.
Utility--drives like a car but has the room of a mini-minivan--bigger than a station wagon. Performance--handles well, great gearbox, very adjustable controls. Good looking in an unusual package--doesn't look like anything else. Good economy, trouble-free so far.
Outside armrests for 2nd row passengers Rate the car for towing light trailers/loads.
Top choice in practicality, especially for an in-city family. MPG between 22.5 to 30.5 (with roof rack installed). Peppy around town, but requires higher revs (3000-4000) to climb steep hills with a load (although redline is far beyond that). We hear a 'boing' sound from the suspension when we back up over a bump, but dealer says it's OK. Opted for tinted-windows to compensate for lack of AC vents in back. Opted for roof rack to compensate for lack of cargo space with 6 passengers. Opted for aftermarket heated leather seats.
Turbo. Improve seating comfort (more cradle on the sides). Hook for trash bag. MP3/line-in jack. FM tuner is substandard. MPG indicator. Towing capacity. Diesel and/or hybrid. Six-speed transmission. Outer armrests for 2nd row; inner armrest for front passenger. Black interior shows dirt too easily.
With 2 kids our Subaru Forester was too small. The Mazda5 dimensions are about the same as the Forester but the space is used better. Autoclimate, anti-lock brakes, 6 airbags - I'm in. Kids have room to spread out. Huge loads fit, even with 4 riders. Clever storage bins abound. There's even storage under rear bench with seats up. Only RAV4 is this compact with seats for more than 5. But 3rd row is harder to enter & it costs $5,000 more than Mazda5 with the 7-passenger option. Don't be fooled: 1) third row is fine for anyone under 64" tall i.e. most women & kids 2) cargo is 43 cf with 3rd row down but 77 feet with both rows folded 3) mileage reported on forum is high 20's/low 30's in normal driving.
Price. 6 seats. Automatic climate control. 6 airbags. Cargo room. Looks. Automatic with manual mode. Storage bins. Antilock brakes. 30+ mileage with conservative driving. Steering. Handling. Performance. Sliding doors! 2-position liftgate. Easy to park. Compact size. 4 captains chairs. Versatile. Great ac.
iPod link (duh). Better mileage. Better stereo (even upgraded stereo/speakers aren't great). Rear of rear bench & rear cargo area should be plastic covered, not carpet. Note: Mazda CANNOT sell this car with tinted windows as it is classed as a wagon, not a truck. Go tint them with the $5,000 you're saving.
As far as the front armrest goes I think it should've been on the passenger side instead of the driver side because it doesn't make much sense with a stick shift. 'Can't, really, use it while driving because it blocks the shifter. I understand not having outer armrests for the second row because it would interfere with the sliding doors.
'Still love this car. It's been nine months so far.
I still say 16" wheels and 205/55R16 tires should've been standard or 215/50R17 as the standard tire for 17" rims. A "high profile" version would be nice, too, kind of, like Subaru's "Outback" versions of some of their models.