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
This van is nice for a short person (under 5'2")
Even with the front seat all the way back a 6' person is crunched up. I get the recommended oil changes and every time I go there is a problem that ends up costing $$$. I even with warranty on it.
I have replaced the tires. We bought this in mid 08. with in 6 months the 1 of the brakes had a problem.
In the past 6 mo. there is a sorta squeaking sound. Coming from underneath every little bump/turn. Banging from underneath in back last year was fixed. Now another banging coming from front. Mechanic tightened up everything-But still there.
Windshield wiper rarely work as supposed to-usually need to adjust manually.
I love the sliding back door (easy to get the kids out when close to cars).
Turning corners -still takes corners smoothly.
I like the turning radius (very small)
I like the hiding area under middle row seats.
The extra row of seats/storage depending on my needs.
Love the arm rest in the front and the middle row seats.
Cup holders need to be in a better place, and more of them up front.
Higher arm rest.
Automatic headlight Turn On/off when car turns on/off.
Front bumper needs to be higher-they are to low to ground for when the snow on the roads gets high.
Better quality driver side floor mat.
Don't use leather from pigs-when it is damp the car smells a little like a pig farm.
Heat to the middle row seats- thankfully it has air conditioning but really needs heat also.
An update to the previous review. I'd still buy this vehicle again. But I will echo previous reviewers comments. Still the original Toyos, but I have 4 snow tires for the winter,which I highly recommend (Low profile all seasons are not good for snow). The original Toyos might have 9000 miles on them and are half worn out.We have a suspension noise in the back that keeps coming back. Dealer has been great,even though we didn't buy it there. No steering issues, but there is a recall. A great little vehicle, but it does have its flaws (all cars do, they are complex machines) There is no such thing as a perfect car.
Driving characteristics, sliding doors, fuel economy (have seen 30+mpg on the highway) still a great value even with all options.
Another 20 horsepower would nice (or the turbo-diesel) Plastics still a bit cheap and scratch easily, hunger for tires. A few more storage places would be nice. Hopefully Mazda fixes these things on the 2012. Just don't change the Zoom Zoom feeling!
Less than 2 years old and the power steering failed with my wife and child in the car, rotors were replaced once as they were severely warped that affect stopping and are shuddering again, this is a piece of junk. Service costs are crazy and Mazda Customer Service is pointless - I'll never buy another Mazda. I'm off to get a Ford or Chrysler
After shopping every small SUV out there, and the only real competitor to the 5 when we bought it (the Kia Rondo), we bought our 08 Mazda 5 Grand Touring new in May of 09. After 6000 miles, it's still fun to drive and the mileage keeps getting better as the motor breaks in.It's based on the Mazda 3, considered one of the best driving small cars out there, so it drives and handles like a taller version of that car. If you need a capable vehicle for a small family that's fun to drive, look no further! I cannot say enough about how great this vehicle is to drive. Averaging about 21 mpg in mostly hilly, stop and go driving.
Handling is incredible for an inexpensive,van-like vehicle. The sliding doors are great, especially for our narrow garage. Lot's of storage and with our Grand Touring model, lot's of amenities like heated seats,HID headlamps for the money. Turning circle is tight, a bonus.
Build quality is OK, but the interior plastics scratch easily.Road noise is there, a bit worse then our 06 Accord. Would love the turbo diesel version that other parts of the world get (same horsepower, more torque and much better mileage; 30+ mpg city)Another 20 hp would be nice.