i did so much research on the perfect family hauler without breaking the bank&also not looking like i 'gave up'&was so happy to find the new 5!it has everything i was looking for to transport my family of 4,we chose the upgraded 'touring model which adds fogs,spoiler side skirts 17' rims nicer grill &leather wheel,power is surprisingly good w/ smooth tranny & good mpg!turning radius is great!the seats are really comfy,the dual slide doors are light and easy to use for wifey w kiddies!pass/cargo room is also more then adequate,this mpv is a hot seller in Europe and only car in its class that got rave reviews..much better ad easier then suv w 3rd row,i highly recommend,we love our 2012 5!
My wife and I shopped around for a month trying to find a replacement for our aging Odyssey. Wanted better gas mileage, room for 6, and best value for the money stayng in the low to mid $20k range. We found that in the Mazda 5. Was the first we test drove and the one we bought. Considered RAV-4 with 3rd row, Sedona with 3rd row, Dodge Journey, Odyssey, Traverse, Equinox, and others.
Mazda hit a home run with this little gem. I love driving, and normally drive my vehicles like they are stolen. We have two kids that were having a hard time fitting in our 08 Jetta (yes, also with a manual). We now have taken day trips with two kids and 4 adults with no problems fitting everyone comfortably. We have also fit 6 adults fairly comfortably for short trips. This car is fun to drive, and yet very economical. We get 23-25 mpg when driving hard or fully loaded with people, and have gotten 30 mpg on a 350 mile road trip. Right now we are averaging 27.4mpg over the life of the car. I can't believe I'm driving a mini-minivan that is this practical and fun!
With a newborn and 4 year old we ran into the issue that you have NO ROOM for a 5th passenger in a standard car with the 2 car seats, (we had a Civic and a Outback Wagon). Looked around for somthing to carry the occasional 5-6 passengers and found a limited market. Considered the standard Odessey/Sienna and even the RAV4 with tiny back bench. Anyway...the full size vans seemed to be overkill and were reaching 40K so I looked at the 5. Wow! We love it. Comfortably fits six, drives like a sporty sedan and fits in the tightest spots. Looks small on the outside but is roomy inside.
The specs tell the story of a very average vehicle. Average power, MPG, etc. But just drive it. Handles great, the seating position is ideal, the automatic drivetrain is near perfect, even for a guy that prefers a manual, and it can seat six adults in a pinch (front and middle rows move up a notch). The vehicle is tight as a drum, low noise level, and overall is tighter than the last Honda we had, a 2003 CR-V. I have no idea why anyone with kids would want doors that are not sliders. Sliding doors do not hit other cars in parking lots and allow easy access to child seats.