Test drove a KIA Sedona first - roomy, good engine, plenty of utility, but the seats KILLED my lower back, more road noise than expected, drove a little wide, and the fuel consumption turned me off. Tried a KIA Rondo. It's more comfy, but the 3rd row is a joke. Tried the Mazda5 - QUIETER than Sedona, comfy seats, handling is WOW, took the road bumps well, mileage saves me $1200+/yr in gas compared to minivan. Highway is little noisy, but better with whole family. 3rd row is decent with LEGROOM + 2nd row adjusts. Perfect for small family and grandpa can tag along inside. Rides nicer than Mazda3. Kids love the windows. Brakes VERY well. I hear it eats tires, so inflate and rotate!
handling is a dream, 3rd row seat, rear A/C, captain's chairs, split seats in 3rd row, controls in steering wheel, A/C stereo controls are EASY, adjustable 2nd row, hidden cubbies in back, styling, reasonable engine to work on, autoset A/C, ABS, Side Curtain airbags, MILEAGE saves $$. Sliding doors.
thin little tires will likely wear out quickly, glove compartment hits passenger knees, stronger & quieter rear A/C, 2nd Aux input near trunk, hatch button on keyless remote, a little more legroom for 2nd row would make taller people happy, a little more acceleration.