After 6 weeks of ownership, my impressions confirmed what Consumer Reports said about the Mazda 5 w/Auto. The car rides and drives like a sports wagon with plenty of pick-up when carrying 1-2 passengers. Mazda's build quality, amenities, and overall workmanship are outstanding for such a low priced car (around $19k MSRP). The car has all the features of our much more expensive 2004 RX330 except for leather seats and wood grain inserts. After 1020 miles and several fill-ups, our mileage for mixed driving averaged 23.6 MPG, just as predicted by CU. We replaced the overly tall radio antenna with a shorter one for $10. We do miss having an arm rest for the front passenger.
Good mileage; easy to use sliding doors; very flexible 2+2+2 seating and cargo room despite its compact exterior dimensions; more fun to drive and easier to maneuver than full sized vans like the Odyssey or Sienna.
Passenger arm rest and shorter antenna. 5-speed auto transmission like that found in the Mazda 3 sedan.