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.
Completely reliable since we have owned it. Economical and smooth to operate, with an agile feel while driving. Sliding doors are light enough for our girls to operate most of the time.
Great visibility out the front. Strong lighting from headlights.
Good looking when it is clean -- the LED taillights, low-profile wheels and tires, and overall lines look more sophisticated than your typical crossover/family truckster.
If you are wide of girth, this isn't the car for you.
I'm comfortable (I am 5'10" and 175 lbs), but larger folks will notice that the seats are small.
We have encountered some of the groaning suspension noises, but independent mechanic can't find a problem -- the noises are just an occasional nuisance.
Power is modest on the highway, though the engine is smooth. Stability control only became standard in 2010 -- not available before -- the 2010 models are the one to have. OEM tires should be better quality -- the replacement Continental DWS tires that I installed were much more refined and durable. I would have loved a diesel option for better fuel economy.
We bought the Mazda5 based on a my wife's friend.
She had one and loved it.
She had the '07, and by reading reviews we settled on the '08.
It was nice for a family of four, once our child was able to seat forward facing.
There is not enough room for a rear facing car seat in the second row.
You can do it but the person in the front seat has to scoot way up for and it is not comfortable.
It was reliable all except the power steering would go out.
It was repleced on a recall for free and we did not have any further problems.
It was terrible in the snow and got stuck several times in a few inches of snow.
The engine is also way to small for the vehicle, with limited highway power.
I like the automatic climate control, the sliding doors, and the six disc CD changer.
We had a roof dvd player installed later and it saved us on long trips.
It needs a bigger engine.
The engine does not have enough power for the size of vehicle that it is.
It needs traction control and all wheel drive.
I understand that traction control is now standard on the new models.
It also needs standard side curtain air bags for the entire car not just the front.
I don't get why anyone should pay extra for saftey features.
The rotors also warp on the car and cause vibration during braking.
The Mazda 5's (2009 new models at the time) became very popular in cash for clunkers.If buying used (Hertz, Enterprise, etc have them) get the Touring model with CD changer, moonroof, leather wheel/shifter, LED taillights, fog lights, spoiler and side skirts for about $1,000 over a Sport (nearly $2,000 premium when new). We got ours at 32K in 8/09. Only negative is that nice looking low profile 17" tires do wear out faster than conventional wheels.Steering and versatility are outstanding. We love the Alpine 10.2" overhead DVD that we installed behind the moonroof. Note the recent 2007-2009 recall (also Mazda 3) for power steering. Stability control and traction control were not added until '09
LED rear taillights, 6 disc CD changer, leather steering wheel and shift knob (touring model for previous items), rear A/C vents, stylish 17" alloy wheels, 6 passenger versatility, 2nd row console/cargo nets under seats, sporty handling (based on Mazda 3)
Stability control and traction control not added until 2009; tinted windows (we got excellent aftermarket tinting); 6 speed automatic for improved gas mileage; longer lasting tires; interior plastics scratch easily on door panels and on console.
Okay forget the zoom, zoom. This is a small mini van for families who primarily take short trips around town carrying 2 kids and a lot of stuff or 3-4 kids with bare essentials. If that is what you want, then the Mazda5 will not disappoint you. Fuel economy ought to be better but is respectable, fit, finish etc. is also satisfactory, as is driving experience and comfort (note I'm a large person too). Reliability has been fine except for the brakes which need an expensive servicing that, so far, the dealer claims is not covered by the warranty. Please note, I'm writing from Canada, U.S. customers might have different experience with warranty service.
Mazda steering. Unlike other family centric vans, SUVs, Cross-overs, and a couple large sedans we looked at, this thing goes where you point it whether you are driving fast or slow.
Second row seats. They are very good economy class buckets and they seemed comfortable enough the two or three times I sat in them, but in this class a bench that could squeeze three (as in Kia Rondo) would be a major bonus. Second as noted above, the durability of the brakes is an issue.
Have had the car almost two years. Every 30K miles maintenance runs $750! Cheap price to buy, with expensive maintenance. Wouldn't buy another Mazda for this reason. My past Honda's didn't require this much maintenance.