We bought this brand new after loving our test drive. After a year, the handling is excellent. It is fun to drive...tight steering and great visibility. Road noise is fair but a bit loud. Cons include the front seat arm rests, they are very small and rather uncomfortable. Anyone over 5' 10" will be kind of cramped. Also the stereo knob is very slippery to grip...silly I know but annoying. The temperature and fan knob settings are all on a very small display on the dash...hard to read. So my minor gripes may be picky but my humble opinion. Still very happy with the overall ride and versatility of this small minivan!!
When my wife and I decided to replace our 2003 Jeep Liberty, we set some stringent criteria. We wanted a car that could seat our baby, our 4-yo, and an adult or two on occasion, when relatives visit. However, it also needed to be small enough to maneuver easily in and out of parking spaces in suburban malls or NYC, get at least 20-miles per gallon mixed, and be fun to drive even on windy roads. Its outside had to look appealing, and its inside had to handle abuse from the kids well. Finally, it had to cost less than $30,000 with all extras. Frankly, we did not think such a car existed...until we found the Mazda 5. Our Mazda has turned out to be everything we hoped it would be.
Simply built to last. I bought my 2013 Mazda5 Sport used in November 2013 with 6K miles on it. I drive 350 miles per day doing a delivery route. I now have 306K miles and had absolutely no problems. I replace the oil every 5K, transmission fluid 60K, brake fluid 60K, coolant 90K, PS fluid 90K, plugs 90K, and fuel induction cleaning 90K. Original engine and transmission run great. I still average 29.2 mpg making 15 stops along my 350 mile route. The car is rated at 28 mpg highway. I will buy another one if the ever gives up.
All though the price was reasonable it really doesn't replace a van. By the time you put up the third row there is nothing left for storage. We bought this to replace our T&C because we wanted better gas mileage but could hold four kids. It can hold four kids, but thats it. No stroller, no shopping bags. It is made for either the occasional back row seating OR as a four seater with a trunk space.
We needed to replace an old '97 Mercury Villager, but did not want to buy a not-so mini Sienna, Odyssey, or Quest. We researched the min-vans, cross-overs, and SUVs, and stumbled on the M5. All the features presented looked good and its was smaller than the Villager, which was fine because it gave better gas mileage. We're fine with the styling (those swoopy body curves), and I'm indifferent to the front "smiley" face. With just under 2 months, our overall impression is that it handles well, but the ride is harsh. The interior has lots of hard plastic. Interior space is snug, but is usable and flexible. The ride in the 3rd bench is harsh. Gas economy on highway close to 28 mpg.