"I love my mother-in-law's Mazda Tribute and was excited to own this car. It has been such a disappointment. The check engine light came on at around 5000 miles and after multiple trips to the dealership, nothing was resolved. The hood rattled, which was finally fixed on the second trip to the dealership. The gas mileage isn't stellar. The seats are really uncomfortable and the rear two seats are so small, they don't really even count. I live in Minnesota and the handling is TERRIBLE in the snow. The car hasn't held value over the 2 years I've owned it. I owned a Mazda 323 years ago and it was a great little car. This one stinks."
"Purchased a used '06 and the tires are worthless. I looked for all weather tires but the size is a sport size which makes the tires horribly expensive or worthless. I wouldn't have bought this crossover if I had know it wouldn't go anywhere in the snow. I wouldn't recommend this vehicle for cold weather situations. The seats are uncomfortable after ten minutes. The trunk space is worthless. The only way to bring groceries home is to put down the two backseats. Although when you do your items can fall between the two middle seats. The low gas light comes on a little after the quarter tank mark which is very annoying. As I write it has an engine light warning and I have to take it into the dealer. The sliding doors are nice and the high seats for putting children in and out save my back. The glove compartment is huge and the storage under the middle seats is nice."
"We just leased the Mazda 5 and love it. We were looking for a reliable 2nd car that got better gas mileage and could seat around 6 people. I searched the internet for this type of vehicle, and only found mini vans with bad gas mileage and way too expensive. We got a Grand Tourning with Leather, it fits my wife like a glove and love the sliding doors. We drive this car dailey too and from work around 70 miles dailey, perfect for our family."
"Great vehicle for the money. Have had it for over 2 years and still love it. There are a few improvements needed, like arm rest on front passenger seat, needs air conditioning vents in 2nd row and driver cannot turn on lights in back of van must be done by passenger manually."
"Great car for the money. It costs less than $20k and seats 6, you can't beat that. Has a lot of space when seats 4. No one should look for performance from a VAN, so I am surprised w/ many reviews. It is not under-powered, it is right-powered to get decent mpg."
"this car has great versitility
alot of characteristics of the early smaller Honda Odessy
great gas mileage
dark interior hot best with lighter seat covers
neat fold down seats
sliding side doors work well in tight parking
very zippy and good stopping
leg room a tad short in drivers seat"
"This car feels as if it was custom designed for my variety of needs. First of all, in family mode, there is room for six and the middle row of seats are adjustable forward and back as well as recline. As an interior designer and when in design mode I can put all sorts of furniture items into the car by configuring the seats differently. When I go into music gig mode my keyboard will fit across the middle row between the doors by flipping the seat bottoms forward with seat backs still upright. When in its case it is virtually invisible to someone looking into the car. It looks like the seat cushion streches across the car. I find the driver seat to be extremely comfortable and when I raise the seat up I can see out better and the car has a quieter ride. I switched from a CRV and the size of this car felt similar to my older CRV. I didn't like the way the new CRV had bulked up. Mine has a stick and it is a blast to drive. When the air is off and I am in the car by myself, it is very quick and the engine sounds great reving up. The styling is great and the wheels are 17" alloys. Amazing package for under 20K."
"I have owned this car for over 1-1/2 years. I have driven over 42,000 miles with no problems. The main weakness of the car is the power. I would definitely like to have a more powerful engine. With that being said, the car handles great! It understears a bit. My 5 has an auto transmission, though I usually use the manual shift option, the car will get 26+ mpg if you drive it easy. The interior fit and finish is great, much better than I would expect for a car at this price, about as good as a Honda Accord. The third row is reserved for young children, maybe 10 and under. When you use the third row for passengers there is virtually no place to store anything. It is a comfortable car for 4. With the seats folded in the rear you can fit more cargo than most people would believe. If you have kids this is a great car to cart them around and it won't break the bank. I use mine for work, the storage space is great! I would recommend this car to anyone of my friends."
"I wish that the air conditioning circulated a little better. We live in a hot state, and so whenever I turn on my car to cool down, it takes FOREVER to cool down the back two rows. Also, passenger seat has no armrest. Husband often complains about that.
I love my 5, but am thinking of trading for a Tribute."
"Interior is very hard to keep clean, ground clearance is very low, OEM Toyo's are terrible, 3 recalls and other odd breaks. It's just a mini-van and the "Zoom-Zoom type of car they hype it up to be. I would prefer a Honda again."
Pros: "FUN, ECONOMICAL, STYLISH AND PLENTY OF SPACE"
Cons: "TRANSMISSION AND PERFORMANCE IN THE SNOW"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"THIS WAS THE MOST FUN VEHICLE TO DRIVE. WHILE IT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE A SOCCER MOM CAR. IT REALLY DID SERVE THE SAME PURPOSE. I HAD REFUSED TO BUY A MINIVAN UNTIL I EXPERIENCED THE MAZDA 5. IT'S ONLY DOWN SIDE IS LOSS OF POWER ON HILLS AND IT IS NOT VERY GOOD IN THE SNOW. OTHERWISE I WOULD HAVE SURELY BOUGHT ANOTHER ONE. ALSO, THE TRANSMISSION MUST BE MAINTAINED AS PER FACTORY GUIDELINES OR IT WILL GO RIGHT AROUND 75000 MILES."
Cons: "limited towing, limited space for more than 4"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"To be honest, at my age, I kind of miss the roominess and lush comfort of the Chrysler Town and Country we once had. But for value, fuel economy, utility, and reliability I can't say I've ever owned or even known of a better car than our Mazda 5 Grand Touring van. We've put 50K miles on it over two years. A lot of long trips. It's a bit compact for a van but it does seat six comfortably, although two adults in the rear-most bench seat would eventually feel a bit cramped on a long trip. And with six people on an over-night trip there won't be much room for luggage so pack light.
The manual indicates that the Mazda 5 is not designed for towing and that it should never be used for that. However I think that's just the maker guarding against the backlash that might result from some idiot towing way too much for the light duty transmission. I found a good class-1 hitch specifically designed for the Mazda 5 that I had put on our 2008 Mazda 5 and towed a U-Haul 5' x 8' box trailer full of furniture twice from Oklahoma to Tennessee. Total weight was less than 2K pounds and I took it very easy accelerating. But it pulled just fine and no strain on the drive train. I also found a YouTube video showing an install of this hitch.
I think those two OK-TN trips may have caused the rear tires, which were aging anyway, to each slip a belt, so maybe the trailer was a bit over-weight or maybe the typically rough highways in OK and AR put a beating on the tires with the added weight on them. Can't be sure. In any case the Mazda 5 would certainly have no problem towing a pop-up camper or an open trailer with a lawn tractor on it. I wouldn't haul yards of gravel or lots of lumber, etc., and just go easy on loading if you pull a box trailer. And just to be safe, accelerate lightly.
As for long trips, it's comfortable enough. The front seats are heated and 4-way adjustable manually. I do miss the 6-way power adjust of the Town and Country but the heavy motors were probably one of the many things sacrificed to get the overall weight down and the fuel economy up, which for us has been as high as 28 gallons per mile highway. Loaded down we'll get about 23 to 26 depending on road conditions and wind.
One major complaint: the six CD changer that came standard with the Grand Touring is totally worthless. The place I bought the van was kind to replace the whole entertainment system with a new but identical system and within one day the CD changer wouldn't work properly. The receiver and sound system is quite good, though, and we love the integrated voice and steering wheel controls for our smart phones. But we plan to buy and install a new system at Best buy."
Pros: "Great Value; Roomy; Fun Drive;Terrific Gas Mileage"
Cons: "Rear should also heat, not just a/c."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Car has been in two accidents and had things replaced like shocks, bearings, and engine mounts but overall I still Love this car (bought new in 2009). I am a "voluptuous" woman and do not feel 'cramped' in the car. The versatility of having three rows of seating is wonderful. They fold flat when needed which turns my car into a bit of truck for hauling mulch and bicycles. I get about 330 miles to a tank with a mixture of city & highway driving. Draw backs are rear vent system only does A/C and not heat. Seems to go through tires quickly."
Cons: "Not a lot of space when 4 of us travel w/luggage."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love this car. It is perfect for a mom with two kids. They can each take a friend places and there is also room for our dog. It really drives like a car. I didn't want to give in to the mini-van lifestyle and this was the perfect choice! The sliding doors are also great; keep the kids from dinging cars parked next to us. And the price was right. I got the grand touring version, fully decked out with leather upholstery and MP3 hook up for under 23,000 (in 2007)."
"The bluetooth functionality allowing you to make hands-free calls using the steering wheel stopped working after 1 month. I took it into the dealer who fixed it but then it happen again, and again, and again. I could never get it to work more than 2 weeks at a time. I finally gave up. The phone I am using is on the supported list and I was told it had nothing to do with my carrier or phone model.
The DVD player works intermittently and will often not recognize DVDs even though my children watched the same DVD the day before in my home DVD player. It does not work well with the Satellite Radio. I often have to choose one or the other. I cannot put headphones on the kids to watch the DVD and listen to the radio myself.
Over time, it seems to take longer to accelerate from 0 to 60. Consumer Reports says it takes 9.6 seconds. This was true when I initially purchased the car, but over time, my experience is closer to 12 seconds, which matters when you are trying to merge onto a busy interstate highway. I am up to date with all maintenance, so this is not the reason for the degrading performance.
The tires do not last as long as advertised. I had to replace all 4 tires when I reached 18,000 miles. I am a fairly cautious driver, rarely driving over the speed limit and not an aggressive driver. I would hav expected the tires to last longer.
The fit and finish inside the car also leaves something to be desired. I hit a pothole and panels popped out. It turned out that the panels were held together with nothing but double-stick tape. It was rather unnerving.
I never came close to the EPA miles per gallon (MPG) estimate of 21 in city driving and 28 on the highway. It was more like 17 in city driving and 23 on the highway. Still good numbers, but not great.
Handling and steering are good. It feels similar to driving a Honda, which is what I owned prior to buying this car.
While the car is a good value from a sticker price perspective, the things I mentioned became major annoyances over time to where I regretted buying the car and could not wait to get rid of it."
"This car handles well, is adequately powered, and is very versatile. The split seats in the 2nd row make this an extremely comfortable car for 4 people for a long trip. The seats in the 3rd row are "in a pinch" seats - kids and small adults only for an hour or less. Still it is nice to have that capability. With seats folded down it handles an amazing volume of cargo.
The car has very predictable handling and reasonable road feel. The brakes are good. Acceleration is OK, but not like a sports car. Still, you can get on the highway without sweating bullets and it is pleasant to drive, even on a long trip. The controls are very well thought-out and convenient.
Gas mileage is 26 in mixed urban/suburban, 30 on the highway.
It says "hello" to you when you start it."
Cons: "Tires are too pricey, poor quality overall."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"I purchased this car new. I am very pleased with the styling and side slide door entry which is great for kid entry. The gas mileage is better than average as well. The issues I have with this car is the tires(high preformance which equals $$$$). The tires do not last and need replaced every 4-5 months. 4 tires for this car cost around $800. This is outrageous. The rim are also a problem as they are aluminum which is no match for Pennsylvania potholes. I have also had to have shocks and strutts replaced to the tune of 600 . This car gas proven to be a money pit!"
"I think this car is the greatest for interior space and convenience. It has so much more room in it than it looks like it would from the outside. It is somewhat underpowered, but the great gas mileage makes up for it. My only criticism is that because it rides low to the road and has high performance tires, it requires alignment very often and more frequent tire replacement that I would like."
"Very good car. Handling, maneuverability excellent. Good size and fuel economy, a pleasure to drive.Good price
Negatives are low profile tires causing early wear and road noise. The air conditioner is weak"