We needed to replace an old '97 Mercury Villager, but did not want to buy a not-so mini Sienna, Odyssey, or Quest.
We researched the min-vans, cross-overs, and SUVs, and stumbled on the M5.
All the features presented looked good and its was smaller
than the Villager, which was fine because it gave better gas mileage.
We're fine with the styling (those swoopy body curves), and I'm indifferent to the front "smiley" face.
With just under 2 months, our overall impression is that it handles well, but the ride is harsh.
The interior has lots of hard plastic. Interior space is snug, but is usable and flexible.
The ride in the 3rd bench is harsh. Gas economy on highway close to 28 mpg.
Radio and cruise controls located on the steering wheel.
Very good and bright headlights.
Low beams provide very wide coverage and have well defined vertical cutoff.
Small size makes for easy parking.
Handling good and maneuverability are very good, but road noise and roughness definitely heard and felt in the van.
2 sliding, non-powered doors are a plus - less electronics to go wrong.
Real antenna on roof instead of embedded one provides great reception.
2nd row headroom is very good, but leg room just adequate.
It needs removable 2nd and 3rd row seats.
Needs 2 lamps in trunk or an overhead light.
Needs tinted windows.
Roof rails so I can attach and remove racks.
The dealer installed rack howls at 40 mph and gets progressively worse.
I finally removed it. Braking needs to be improved.
Reliability is uncertain, but I have my fingers crossed.
Online reviews for previous generation (2006 - 2010) indicate many suspension problems due to non-adjustable rear camber, poor bushings, and undersized r. shocks.
Many report replacing tires after 20k miles.
Hopefully Mazda has addressed these design problems.