2006 Mazda Mazda5 Sport 4dr Minivan (2.3L 4cyl 5M)
We purchased this car 2 years ago because it was the only car of it's description sold in this country - smaller than a minivan, but with great space efficiency and the availability of a manual transmission. Pros: Space efficiency, smooth shifting manual transmission, unique exterior, loads of head room, better gas mileage than a minivan. Cons: While we've found it adequate (with tinted windows), AC could be stronger. Engine strains a bit - contrary to report elsewhere, you will NOT get higher than 31 or 32 mpg even under ideal conditions. We average about 28 mpg. Original tires wore out way too quickly (about 20,000 miles).
Great compromise for space and economy. Handles very well.
Longer lasting all-season tires. A little stronger engine more suited to a car this size - would probably actually improve gas mileage. Easier access to oil filter (it's behind a large difficult-to-remove plastic panel under the car). Stronger AC with ducts for rear passengers.
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