I bought my '07 Mazda 5 six months ago (winter of 2014). I thought I would love it because it's similar to my Honda fit, but offered the extra seating since I now have 3 children. If you have more than two kids the 3rd row always has to be up eliminating every bit of your storage. You can't even fit groceries back there. My Mazda only had one owner before me and has 55k miles, but the struts are already worn. It's also pretty slow. No more quick thinking lane changes in traffic. This car won't make it.
All that said, it's not a bad car. It's just not what I thought I needed.
This is a great vehicle—you just have to know what to compare it to! It's not an Odyssey / Caravan / Sienna competitor. Yes, it has a third row but the Mazda5 is a much smaller vehicle. We stepped up from a Mazda3 after we had our second child. I found we didn't need all the space of a full size minivan so our Mazda5, with a manual transmission to boot, is a great compromise between a 5 seat hatchback and a full size minivan.
We've put 15,000 miles on it so far and have not it in the shop once for a mechanical failure. If you think it looks like a space ship you'll probably get used to that after a while. Tinting the windows all around also helps.
Poor, Poor Mazda. I suggest you Zoom,Zoom past this vehicle. Suspension is terrible, kills tires with no fix that you can afford to do. Plan on tire replacement every 18mo no matter the miles driven, Tire mfrs will not honor their guarantee on this vehicle. A/C quit can't figure it out i was told it was within the computer. Turn the wheel and you can hear popcorn popping. Terrible. This car is a Ford underneath.
I guess it is a good thing Mazda is moving to Mexico. I wonder why Ford kicked them out of their facillities? Good Move.
Please look elsewhere for a family van. You will encounter cheap materials, uncomfortable seating and a noisy rear suspension with no fix from Mazda. It does get good gas mileage but besides that it is only good for short trips to the store under 30 minutes or so, otherwise it is not a car you would want to take on a long trip. It does hold a lot of stuff but the noises it makes will think you bought a used Yugo! Stay away from it
Fun to drive, roomy little mini-minivan. Have driven 6200 miles in 4 weeks, peppy with 5 speed manual trans, but experiencing the often- reported throttle hesitation. Will try the ECM reflash at the dealer to see if problem is resolved. Tires seem to flatspot on sitting overnight; bumpy ride for first 8-10 miles each morning.
Sliding mid-row seats, sliding side doors, versatility. Design execution is great!
Better heater flow, which may have been addressed on '08 models. More sound deadening materials in doors/floorboards to quiet the interior. Remote spin-on oil filter would be nice instead of cartridge style filter.