We bought our Grand Touring model new. We currently have 32,000 miles. Other than the factory tires not lasting very long and then discovering a factory issue involving the trailing arms not being in spec (dealer fixed), this Mazda5 is awesome! It's solidly reliable and works great for my 2 kids (one is over 6 feet tall and fits w/no problems). Actually, he likes to sit in the 3rd row, so yes, a six footer can fit fine, you just move the middle row captain's chairs up a bit to make it all work. We've taken many a road trip for week long stays and had no problems fitting all of our gear, 4 people, my wife's sewing machine, fishing stuff, etc., inside. Yes, it was jam packed, but worked fine and didn't have any problems climbing the mountains of New Mexico. The Mazda5 is very easy to live with, fits in all parking spaces and really does live bigger than your typical - er, heavy and ugly and gas-thirsty minivans. The Bluetooth works flawlessly and the automatic climate control is excellent w/plenty of fan options. The rear seats are usually left folded down unless a friend or two join us and we pack 'em all in. Visibility is excellent. Road noise is a bit more than in a BMW or something, but no worse than most cars. The leather has held up well and looks new - I do clean and detail the van on occasion. Definitely get the windows tinted...with so many to look out, it would be very hot inside w/out. The sunroof doesn't leak and works great. The factory radio/cd player is ok, nothing to write home about. Handling and performance are definitely high points - manual shifting and all, but the car does feel slower w/a heavy load...as expected. Gas mileage is averaging a very good 24.1 MPG in mostly commuting/city driving. We've hit 28 MPGs on non-loaded up road trips. No issues at all externally - paint, trim, etc. are all very high quality and still look brand new. Some minor complaints - tire noise, squeaky driver side sliding door, cheap wipers. The Mazda5 is definitely a great and solid vehicle that can be had for well-under $30K fully loaded. Rock-solid reliability, no engine/trans issues, excellent brakes, fun handling, easy parking, great windows, and flexible/practical seating/hauling options make this a great buy...especially if you snag one now, as they are no longer going to import these to the States. You could probably get a screaming deal on left-over units out there. The Mazda5 replaced our Mazda Tribute as we needed a bigger hauling capability and occasional seating for 6, but didn't want the big $$$ pricetag or lousy handling/MPGs of "regular" minivans or larger SUVs.
We've owned our used 2014 Mazda 5 for about a month now. The experience has been great (even better coming from a 2006 Mazda 5 which we effectively beat to death ending up with around 155K miles in Texas heat and winters). The 2014 is largely the same as the 2006 but with a lot of "under-the-hood" improvements. The biggest detractor and disappointment is the gas mileage. Right now we're only seeing about 17mpg per tank. I think my old 2000 Chevy Silverado with a V8 could match that (but couldn't match people hauling in such a family-friendly package). We looked at several crossovers, but nothing beats the utility of sliding doors when you have children under 10. Since Mazda doesn't make the 5 anymore due to slow sales, it depreciates quickly - allowing us to pick it up for cheap - but if you're going to keep the vehicle until it dies, depreciation really isn't a factor in the purchase decision. The 5 isn't a master at any one task, but is a great family hauler for two adults and two kids with lots of room for whatever the kids bring into the car.
2014 Mazda 5 Minivan Sport 4dr Minivan (2.5L 4cyl 6M)
Definitely a niche car, best suited for a family of 4 plus groceries or luggage. It works for us, but if you really need the passenger or luggage space, go with a full-sized minivan. This isn't it. It is basically a 4-seat wagon with a couple of child-sized extra seats in the back--which you can't use if you carry much luggage. However, the usual three-passenger sedan bench seat is replaced with two full captain's chairs and a table/platform for drinks, books, whatever. The car is solid and quiet. Good adult leg- and head-room (except for those pesky far-back seats). It is cheaper than any full-sized minivan, gets somewhat better fuel economy, and is more maneuverable.
To update my review -- the Mazda5 remains a niche car, possibly so tight a niche that Mazda discontinued it. I like how it drives, how the seat fits me, how maneuverable it is. I don't have to step up (i.e., SUVs) or step down (i.e., most sedans) into it. It's a great car for long trips. But it does not replace a full-size minivan, either for the amount of things it can carry or store, or for the number of seats (the rear seats remain useful mainly for the munchkins, and ours are usually folded down, making the car effectively a large hatchback). I have, in fact, gotten a roof rack for carrying home all those 4x8' sheets of plywood. My daughter's Odyssey surprisingly beats it for actual highway fuel economy (not city economy). Will I keep it? Yes. Would I get one again? Well, there I'm not so sure.
2014 Mazda 5 Minivan Sport 4dr Minivan (2.5L 4cyl 6M)
We have a Mazda5 Sport with only 22,000 miles. The paint around both front wheel wells has flaked off to bare metal. And, the paint along the rocker panels on both sides and up the doors 12-18 inches has also flaked off, ruining the finish. Mazda refuses to cover the repair of this and says that something on the roads "back east" used for snow removal caused the paint to fail. Unbelievable but they won't cover a fix. I have filed an arbitration claim with the Better Business Bureau. Beware of Mazda cars "back east" -- they have a paint adhesion problem! see site: my mazda sucks dot com