Used 2008 Mazda 5 Consumer Reviews
We have almost 100K miles on the 5 -- purchased with 42K in 2011, and we have put almost 20K a year on it since. It's been reliable and economical to operate, and adequate for our family of 5 (including 3 young girls). A little tight for the several road trips we have taken (several times to Chicago, Connecticut and Florida), but a rooftop box solves the space problem. Fuel economy ranges from 23 in town to 30 on the highway (driving at 70 without cargo box.) Overall average of 25 mpg, usually with 3 kids inside.
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.
Okay forget the zoom, zoom. This is a small mini van for families who primarily take short trips around town carrying 2 kids and a lot of stuff or 3-4 kids with bare essentials. If that is what you want, then the Mazda5 will not disappoint you. Fuel economy ought to be better but is respectable, fit, finish etc. is also satisfactory, as is driving experience and comfort (note I'm a large person too). Reliability has been fine except for the brakes which need an expensive servicing that, so far, the dealer claims is not covered by the warranty. Please note, I'm writing from Canada, U.S. customers might have different experience with warranty service.
An update to the previous review. I'd still buy this vehicle again. But I will echo previous reviewers comments. Still the original Toyos, but I have 4 snow tires for the winter,which I highly recommend (Low profile all seasons are not good for snow). The original Toyos might have 9000 miles on them and are half worn out.We have a suspension noise in the back that keeps coming back. Dealer has been great,even though we didn't buy it there. No steering issues, but there is a recall. A great little vehicle, but it does have its flaws (all cars do, they are complex machines) There is no such thing as a perfect car.
We needed a newer mini-van that would fit our family's needs and stay in budget. The Mazda5 drives great, much sportier than our sedans. Holds the corners very well, feeling very solid on the road. It is very comfortable for a family of 4. Easy to get the car seats in the bucket seats. Sliding doors make it super easy to get kids in and out, and we can park this car in a compact spot. It also fits in the garage easily. Even with our super height difference, my husband and I find it easy to drive and visibility is very good. Other minivans we test drove were bulky. This performs like a car. Even loaded with suitcases, it performs well. And the price was very reasonable.