We are a family of 5 and have enjoyed many trips with our Mazda 5. It's also the daily duty car. It would be great if it had towing capacity for bikes or a small trailer for camping gear. Our next vehicle will have towing capacity.
I purchased this car new 7/2010. I like the car, my only problem with this car and it's not isolated to just my car. It eats tires, even though I keep it aligned and rotate religiously it eats tires. The resale or trade in value is terrible but it has never left me stranded and I haven't put much $ into this vehicle other than your standard maintenance.
Pros: versatile interior-you can pack a lot into this little car, and it is very nifty if you need room for 5 people including two car seats. When we first got it, the car was peppy and fun to drive. Cons-reliability, specifically in regards to suspension. Bought a 4 year old model with only about 50k miles on it. We have had to replace a lot compared with our Camry hybrid with almost 150k miles. Plagued with suspension problems the past couple of years. Spent almost 1k to fix the rear suspension, only to have to replace the entire front suspension, shocks, and struts a couple of months later. I wish I had known Mazda was notorious for suspension problems before buying. I feel like the suspension has improved but it still doesn't ride like it did. Only about 85k miles currently.
I can't get my head around why our Soccer Moms don't love sliding door vans. This little jewel seats 6 in 3-rows, and everyone can get in and out easily from the back because of the sliding doors. It's very agile, has good acceleration and gas mileage, is cute, sleek, quiet, & comfortable and has amazing interior room for such an otherwise small vehicle. I'm 6'4" and once I'm in I have plenty of comfort, whether driving or a passenger. My 5'4" wife likes how maneuverable and easy to drive it is. It's sad that the Moms elected to drive SUVs and fight their hinged rear doors while loading kids in car seats and worrying about their rambunctious kids using the hinged rear doors to beat up adjacent cars. Like many other things that are 'really good and efficient', the Mazda5 will be a car one day folks will wonder, "why didn't that great little van really catch on with Soccer Moms?" Our 2010 Touring is GREAT! We are now trying to replace it with a used 2015 Grand Touring, but those are hard to find. Better grab a Mazda 5 while you can.