2013 Mazda 5 Minivan Sport 4dr Minivan (2.5L 4cyl 5A)
My Mazda 5 Sport with auto transmission is a very nice small mini-van. I bought this car used with 31,000 miles on it and now have 86,000 miles on it. I hope to take it to more than 200,000 miles. The torque out of the 2.5 liter 4-cylinder is the best part about this car. This car loves to be driven easy and it will torque its way through super smooth shifts through all 5 gears. The ride is soft and easy, too. Some people think the Mazda 5 should handle like a sporty car because it's a Mazda (remember "zoom-zoom"?), but it really rides like a luxury car. It can be driven hard, but it weighs too much for the horsepower it has and the vehicle doesn't respond well to flick turns or slalom maneuvers. It will set up for a fast turn as long as you anticipate it and guide the car in. The only major fault to the Mazda 5 is the rear independent suspension is not adjustable for camber and this car will wear out rear tires in about 24,000 miles. The fix is to install adjustable upper control arms and then get the wheels aligned with about 250 pounds in the cargo area by the mechanic that installed the control arms for you. BTW, get a transmission flush every 30,000 miles. These "sealed for life" transmissions will become disposable if they aren't maintained, no matter that Mazda left service intervals for transmissions out of their owners manuals. Finally, in this global market we live in just because a car wears a Japanese brand doesn't mean it was made in Japan. My wife's Honda Civic (made in USA) and my old Toyota Matrix (made in Canada) are just two examples. However the Mazda 5 happens to be a Japanese car that is actually made in Japan. Hiroshima, Japan in fact.
2013 Mazda 5 Minivan Sport 4dr Minivan (2.5L 4cyl 5A)
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.
I do like the side doors. They are easy to open and they smoothly follow the track.
The exterior is nicely designed.
The engine bay is nicely layed out.
Middle seats slide for extra room.
I wish I could list more for a Grand Touring Model.
The lack of features they need to address:
1) The back vent is just an air vent. No AC or Heat for the back seats.
2) When you open the hatchback the interior light does not go on. Come ON! That should be a basic.
3) If the car was 16" longer the trunk space would be efficient/roomier interior cabin would be easier to get from the side doors to the back.
4) Trade out the costs of putting in the Auto-Wipe feature for some of these other features. The Auto-Wipe annoying goes off everytime some bug or debris hits it.
5) The Mazda Package that comes in the mail after you purchase a vehicle should contain something of value or interest. It only contained the car's brochure. Lame!
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.
Sporty ride, accurate and responsive steering, flexible interior that accomodates various circumstances from sitting six to transporting IKEA furniture, nicely-designed outside, easier to park,
better fuel-efficiency, and corners better than big minivans, controls on steering wheel, automatic headlights that turn night into day, automatic wipers with sensors, and most of all, very reasonably priced! Drove from NYC to Chicago under heavy rain and thunder for much of the trip and the car performed splenidly. Plastic interior does seem a bit hard and cheap at times, but with two small kids this is not necessarily bad, and if it helps keep the price low then I would say, keep it as is.
As others have written, I would focus on three things. First, improve acceleration (maybe instal a Skyactiv engine). Second, address the noise from the roof rack, which gets really loud after 40 mph. It basically renders the sunroof unusable. Finally, the breaking distance could be shorter. Seats feel a bit tight in the beginning, but add to the sportiness and you get used to them relatively quickly.