My wife and I shopped for a minivan for over a year. We needed more seating space than our Saturn VUE provided us. We didn't want to get a van that was oversized so we focused on the MPV, Kia, Caravan and even considered the new Saturn Relay. After driving them we decided on the Mazda by a landslide. We've taken it on a few trips now and it is very comfortable. I really can't tell why Edmunds says "clunky transmission." I haven't found it to be that way at all. We would recommend it to anyone looking for seating of up to six regularly.
Drives like a car. Nice base stereo system. Peppy engine, picks up well. Seat folds flat in back. Lots of cupholders. Middle seat slides in or out. Center windows roll down.
Column shifter in the way of stereo controls, could use center console. A/C gurgles a bit. Downshifts too quickly when in cruise control mode. Spare tire should be available without going under the car. Window controls could be in center rather than on driver door. 5 speed version would be nice.