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 side curtain airbags actually do extend for all six passengers -- not sure why dudechuck thinks they are only for the front.
There is also a side airbag in the front seats, but this is separate from the side curtains.
We have a 2008 Mazda 5 as well, and it's fine in the snow -- depends on the replacement tires that you get (as does any vehicle -- the tire is where the rubber hits the road!)
We have Continental Extreme Contact DWS, which are quite good.
Power is modest on the highway, but the engine is smooth and has no difficulty holding 75 - 80 mph fully loaded.