Great, economical option - horrendous traction!
By MamaB on Sunday, February 28, 2016
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 104,000
overall rating 5 of 10rating details
- Overall Rating
Pros: "great price, greater MPG, comfy, MINI-minivan"
Cons: "BAD traction, eats through tires"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"We've owned a 2008 Grand Touring model for 3 years. We love a lot about this vehicle - gas mileage, seat comfort, dash, controls, size, sliding side doors on a vehicle smaller than a minivan, I could probably go on. Obviously, it's smaller than a minivan, so cargo space is limited, and if you are using all the seats, there is basically no cargo space. Mechanically, it's been pretty reliable, mostly routine maintenance stuff.
Some of the features/finishes seem to have been short-cutted: the rear fan vents ONLY blow cold air, ever (says so in the manual) - kind of annoying in the middle of winter when you been in the store for a while, and little kids are in the back shivering, waiting for the warm air from the front vents to reach them.
We have 2 big issues with the 2008 Mazda5:
1. It goes through it's pretty expensive tires very quickly. In 3 years, we've had to replace the entire set twice (the last time was in August, after less than a year on the previous full set) due to very dangerous wear , even though our alignment tests show fine. We will probably have to replace them again this year. And we've only put 40k miles on the vehicle, so only 4k more than the average estimate of 36k for the length of time we've had it. We don't ride it rough, and have fairly equal split of city and highway driving.
2. This vehicle has absolutely horrendous traction. And we have lived in Northern IL and IN while owning this car. I don't suggest it unless you live where you rarely, if ever, get ice or snow. Or heavy rain. Or moderate rain and wind. Or light rain if you have hills. Swapping wheels for a smaller rim and putting snow tires on for 7 months out of the year would probably help with this, but we only just learned that info, and haven't tested it ourselves. Apparently, the model released in Japan has AWD, while the European model has traction control. Why Mazda decided to forego these options in the US market is beyond me.
Would we recommend this car to a friend? If they live in a warmer, drier climate, TOTALLY! If they live in our climate, or farther north, probably not, unless they're willing to try the tire swap trick for half or more of the year."
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