2008 Mazda Mazda5 Minivan Review | Edmunds.com
 

2008 Mazda Mazda5 Minivan

 
 

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Mazda Mazda5 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.3 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 153 hp @ 6500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes
 

Review of the 2008 Mazda Mazda5

  • Remember when minivans were somewhat mini? The 2008 Mazda 5 is such a vehicle, offering a nimble and practical solution for smaller families who are realistic about their space and performance needs.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Low price, ample features list, nimble handling, just-right space for small families.

  • Cons

    Performance suffers when loaded up with people and stuff, cramped third row, stability control not available.

  • What's New for 2008

    The Mazda 5 mini minivan gets mildly freshened front and rear styling, and a revised center control panel for 2008. Electroluminescent…

 
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (101 total reviews)


Very good car for small

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mazda Mazda5 Grand Touring 4dr Minivan (2.3L 4cyl 5A)

To be honest, at my age, I kind of miss the roominess and lush comfort of the Chrysler Town and Country we once had. But for value, fuel economy, utility, and reliability I can't say I've ever owned or even known of a better car than our Mazda 5 Grand Touring van. We've put 50K miles on it over two years. A lot of long trips. It's a bit compact for a van but it does seat six comfortably, although two adults in the rear-most bench seat would eventually feel a bit cramped on a long trip. And with six people on an over-night trip there won't be much room for luggage so pack light. The manual indicates that the Mazda 5 is not designed for towing and that it should never be used for that. Howeve




Great little van

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mazda Mazda5 Touring 4dr Minivan (2.3L 4cyl 5A)

We have almost 100K miles on the 5 -- purchased with 42K in 2011, and we have put almost 20K a year on it since. It's been reliable and economical to operate, and adequate for our family of 5 (including 3 young girls). A little tight for the several road trips we have taken (several times to Chicago, Connecticut and Florida), but a rooftop box solves the space problem. Fuel economy ranges from 23 in town to 30 on the highway (driving at 70 without cargo box.) Overall average of 25 mpg, usually with 3 kids inside.




Suprisingly fun to drive van!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Mazda Mazda5 Sport 4dr Minivan (2.3L 4cyl 5A)

Bought this car used. Currently around 34,000 miles. Averaging around 24 mpg mixed. Car has a decent amount of pep for around town, lacking in passing power. Responsive 5-speed auto, with manual control. Love the space for 6, although if all seats are up there is small cargo space behind the third row. Clever packaging and storage with the huge glovebox and flip open second row bottoms. Love the armrests. Steering feel is lively. A bit of wind noise at highway speeds. Beware of suspension problems with the 5. I have noticed some creaking, look into it before buying.



 
 
 
Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 21
  • cty
/
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Full 2008 Mazda Mazda5 Review

What's New for 2008

The Mazda 5 mini minivan gets mildly freshened front and rear styling, and a revised center control panel for 2008. Electroluminescent gauges have been added, along with rear seat air vents and controls, additional passenger flip-down armrests and an auxiliary audio jack. A five-speed automatic replaces the old four-speed, and is now standard equipment on the Touring and Grand Touring trims. The five-speed manual remains standard on the base-trim Sport. The Grand Touring trim also gains additional features, while the optional navigation system benefits from a more user-friendly touchscreen design.

Introduction

Soccer. David Hasselhoff. Speedo bathing suits. These are all things that are big in Europe. Add to that list small MPVs, practical family vehicles that look like minivans that have been run through a hot spin cycle. Because of the narrow streets found in Europe (and Japan for that matter), our typical "minivans" would be unwieldy beasts there -- too wide, too long, too heavy and providing far more utility than the average family requires. The European appreciation for sporty handling is also part of these vehicles' repertoire. If you share that appreciation and your lifestyle is more in line with that of urban-dwelling Continentals, buying a sporty mini minivan like the 2008 Mazda 5 makes a lot more sense than a lumbering minivan or crossover SUV.

Under the 5's skin resides a platform derived from the Mazda 3, a class-leading compact sedan that sets itself apart with razor-sharp handling. This sporting DNA has been handed down to the more homely Mazda 5, which despite being a tad top-heavy, manages to feel more athletic and winding-road capable than anything that has ever donned sliding doors. Its compact dimensions make maneuvering through traffic a snap and parking a much friendlier proposition. Although they may have been deemed uncool (certainly not by us), the 5's sliding side doors allow for much easier access to the rear quarters -- particularly in cramped parking lot spots.

Like other small minivans found in Europe and Japan, the Mazda 5's third-row seat is intended for children, and even then, only occasionally as cargo space drops to practically nil when the 50/50 third row is in place. There is a maximum capacity of six people, with two per row. The second row consists of two captain's chairs that slide fore and aft to provide the rearmost passengers with additional legroom. This is a setup that should work well for families with one or two small children who occasionally need to carry a few of their little friends. If you need space for two kids, Aunt Doris, a kayak and a week's worth of stuff on road trips to the Grand Canyon, the Mazda 5 is probably not the best choice.

To be sure, the 2008 Mazda 5 is a vehicle that should appeal to a narrow band of car buyers. However, with gas prices remaining high and consumers becoming more realistic about their vehicle needs, perhaps that narrow band will grow broader. Already, the similar Kia Rondo has been introduced, increasing this segment's participants to two (although these vehicles also certainly compete with compact SUVs and base-level minivans). As a sporty, fuel-efficient compact people carrier with plenty of standard and optional luxury features, the Mazda 5 definitely has some appeal here in the United States -- certainly more so than Speedos and David Hasselhoff.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Mazda 5 is a small six-passenger minivan available in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trim levels. Standard on the Sport are 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic climate control, rear-seat air-conditioning vents and controls, full power accessories, a tilt-telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control, fold-flat second- and third-row seats, a trip computer, electroluminescent gauges and a six-speaker stereo with CD player and auxiliary audio jack. The Touring trim adds foglights, a rear spoiler, a sunroof, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and an in-dash six-CD changer (optional on the Sport). The Grand Touring trim adds automatic xenon headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, leather upholstery, heated front seats and Bluetooth. The Grand Touring can be equipped with a touchscreen navigation system, while all Mazda 5s are pre-wired for satellite radio.

Powertrains and Performance

The Mazda 5 is powered by a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 153 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. The Touring and Grand Touring models come standard with a five-speed automatic. That transmission is optional on the base Sport model, which has a five-speed manual standard.

Safety

Four-wheel antilock disc brakes, front side airbags and three-row side curtain airbags are standard on every 2008 Mazda 5. Stability control is not available.

Interior Design and Special Features

Some might find sliding rear doors to be the perfect example of minivan uncoolness, but there's no denying that the Mazda 5's sliders make loading passengers in tight parking spaces easy. Plus, you'll never have to worry about the kids flinging the doors open into the innocent door of a neighboring vehicle. The 5's third row isn't terribly roomy, and is intended for children only, but space behind the two front seats is at least aided by the spacious second-row captain's chairs that slide fore and aft. Both rear rows conveniently fold flat, providing a 5-foot-long load floor and 44 cubic feet of cargo capacity.

Driving Impressions

Sharing its suspension design (including a multilink rear setup) with the athletic 3 means that the 5 possesses quick, precise handling and minimal body roll through the curves. The 5 also boasts sharp, communicative steering. In tighter turns, the 5 feels more top-heavy than the compact on which it's based, but that's expected. Overall, this minivan is quite entertaining to drive and lends credibility to Mazda's "zoom-zoom" marketing angle. A petite (34.8 feet) turning circle makes U-turns and parking maneuvers a breeze.

Again, if you need a minivan, but can't deal with the idea of driving something so unwieldy, the 2008 Mazda 5 should be your No. 1 choice.

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