I have 2300 km on the M5 and I'm confident I made the right choice for a long term vehicle. I'd recommend the M5 for a growing family that puts a lot of miles on the car as the fuel economy is excellent relative to vehicles of similar seating capacity (just finished a 470km road trip with 7.9 l/100km).
Handling, fuel economy, large cargo capacity with 4 passengers. My wife loves the sliding doors to get the baby out when around town.
Diesel option for increased km/L. Fore/aft adjustable roof racks. Tinted aft windows to keep cool in the back and of course... passenger side arm rest.
My husband is very anti-minivan while I love the minivan's versatility and ease of entry/exit. This mini-minivan is a great compromise for us - it has the sliding doors and the height of the minivan without the "frumpy soccer mom" stereotype. It can take up to 6 passengers if you have little luggage (not much room behind the third row seats). Most of the time, we fold up the third row seats to have more cargo space. We also love the sporty exterior and the performance. It does not feel like a minivan. Even my minivan-phobic husband enjoys driving this space wagon.
Third row seats, minivan-like height and sliding doors, sporty exterior.
Longer legged passengers may find it tight with the third row seats. Another 6 inches of leg room for the third row seats would be perfect.
We've had our Mazda5 for about 2 months now. (my other car is a 2003 Protege ES, so I like Mazdas...). You get a lot of car for your money - it's quite roomy, very quiet and comfortable on the highway, gets good mileage considering the size of the car (we're averaging 27 mpg overall), is reasonably fun to drive, and is perfect for a small family (we're 2 adults, our 6 year old daughter, and a golden retriever). Acceleration is OK (not too different from my Protege), but it's certainly not overpowered. ;-) Handling is pretty good, considering size of car (although I notice a lot of front end dive when braking). Brakes feel soft and underpowered. Great road trip car.
5 speed, power moonroof, 17" wheels, interior design.
iPod integration, heated leather seats from Mazda3, hybrid drivetrain from Ford Escape (you'd have better power and better mileage), better brakes.
I only have two complaints. It uses too much gas and the A/C is not powerful enough for the rear. I love everything else about it. It handles and brakes better than any other minivan and better that most cars I've driven.
Comfort, space, looks!, looks!, handling, braking, inside materials & design, and Mazda brand new car smell - like no other!
Better gas mileage. Better A/C for the rear, sun roof sticks up to much, it doesn't look very good when open. Do something about the sunroof!