I bought a used 2008 Mazda5 two years ago. It has been a fairly decent car, good interior space and gas mileage. Recently, the AT light came on. I took it to our local reliable mechanic. The car now needs a new transmission. I called and pleaded our case with the local Mazda dealership and with Mazda US. Neither of them will do anything to help us. They won't even offer discounted parts. It is ridiculous that the transmission would fail at 65,000 miles. It is even more ridiculous that Mazda doesn't stand behind their cars. I cannot recommend that anyone purchase this car or any Mazda for that matter.
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.
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.
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.
Re VIN JM1CR293X80305982 May 22, 2017 Dear Mazda Corporation: I was dissatisfied with my Dodge Caravan; it leaked oil and rusted easily. So when the time came to replace it in 2008, I bought a Mazda 5. Your minivan did not have glowing reviews, but it was rated fairly well by all concerned. I have driven it over 91,000 miles over 9 years, changing the oil regularly, replacing tires and brake pads whenever necessary. At 64,000 and 81,000 miles, I had to put in new rear shock mounts. At 69,300 miles, the oil cooler assembly broke. That?s about $1100 worth of repairs, together. Okay, I could deal with it. The parts guy at the dealership did say the oil cooler was designed poorly, as it came in two sections, vulnerable where they attached together. At 83,400 miles, the wheel rims had to be replaced. They had corroded internally, allowing air to leak from the tires?and 400 dollars to leak out of my wallet. Fast forward to early May, 2017: the ignition cylinder froze up. How could a part like that fail? Surely it was exposed to very little wear and tear. $500 out the window, followed by curses directed at Mazda Corporation. And then WHAM!? not two weeks later, on the 14th of May, 2017, at 91,040 miles or so, the transmission broke. The warning lights appeared, and I could not drive the vehicle beyond first gear. I took the poor thing to AAMCO, who, for $3098.66 (a filthy, breath-taking sum), fixed and rebuilt the transmission. Attached, please find copies of invoices related to the aforementioned repairs. I have just a couple of questions for Mazda Corporation: Why the crappy engineering? And what, by way of financial assistance and moral support, can you offer me, in order to persuade me not to post this letter online in the relevant social and consumer websites? What if I were to write an opinion letter to my local newspaper concerning my experience with your product? My grievance, published thus, may cause a dimple of a dent in your sales and reputation. This is not an application for warranty service (too late for that), but an appeal to your corporate integrity. Please help me?a loyal, if shaken, Mazda owner. Yours truly, Alexander Lee [contact info removed] November 30, 2017 Update: My opinion of the Mazda brand, and of the Mazda 5 in particular has not changed. I would not again purchase a Mazda. The interior design is inefficient, as far as replacing maintenance parts. And the reliability of the engineering is low. Don't fall for the zoom-zoom; run away quickly from any Mazda showroom!
I = 3.307, II = 1.842, III = 1.310, IV = 0.970, V = 0.755, Diff = 4.388, R = 3.166
Automatic shifts prior to redline, so the best run occurred with manual shifting to closer approach redline. There was a little tire scratch off the line, but then it settles into a slow, steady run with a sporty-buzzy engine note.
Steering shudders a little under full ABS stop, but the vehicle tracks straight. The pedal is firm, but not what I'd call hard and the nose dips pretty noticeably.
Modulating the speed on the skid pad displays this vehicle's trait for lift-throttle oversteer. Rotation is predictable and can be kept under control with the correct steering input, but I wouldn't trust everybody to know how to do this. Even more scary for the average driver is this same behavior at slalom speeds. In an emergency situation (and without ESC), could be a little dicey. A couple quick transitions in a row, and the back end steps out -- especially off-throttle. As it was in the skid pad, the steering remains light but quick and precise enough to catch the rotation. Opt for stability control if offered on this vehicle.