2009 Mazda 5 Grand Touring 4dr Minivan (2.3L 4cyl 5A)
We were in the market for a new car that would work with two small children, and were cringing at the thought of buying a large minivan or an SUV. The Mazda5 is a nice alternative at a nice price. We bought the top of the line Grand Touring for less than the base models of a minivan. The car has adequate acceleration, nice handling, and plenty of room for two adults and two kids. The third row works for short trips with adults if needed. I'm 6' 2'' and have tolerated short trips in the third row. There is plenty of headroom, but seats are really just for kids or small adults.
Interior: Third-row seats, easy to slide rear doors, hidden storage area under the seats. Driving: Amazing turning radius, very good gas mileage, easy to park.
Vehicle lacks ESC. No map holders in the doors (drink holders instead, though). If the glove box were 1/2 inch larger, a laptop would fit (but one fits under the rear seats).