By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.0
The 2014 Mazda5 is unique among today's automobiles, riding atop a car platform but using sliding side doors like a traditional minivan. About the size of a compact sedan, the Mazda5 can comfortably seat four passengers, six in a pinch. The tall rear liftgate makes loading large or bulky items a breeze, and the 2nd-row captain's-chair seating ensures the kids will be content in their own space. While not terribly powerful, the Mazda5's frugal 4-cylinder engine gets the job done and helps keep the Mazda5's base price around $21,000. Beyond its affordable price and livable dimensions, the Mazda5 is still a Mazda, which means it's ultimately more fun to drive than any lumbering SUV or full-size van.
If you have need for more room than a small station wagon or sedan can provide, but you're not interested in driving a "mom-mobile," the 2014 Mazda5 offers many minivan virtues in a fun-to drive, efficient and affordable vehicle.
There is no substitute for the power of a V6, so if you must have one, the Dodge Grand Caravan comes closest to the Mazda5's price point and features a standard V6 engine. The Mazda5 is also lacking in high-tech creature comforts such as power sliding doors, touch-screen navigation and infotainment.
There are no major changes planned for the 2014 Mazda5.
Driving Impressions In a world of oversized lumbering family vehicles, the Mazda5's nimble road manners and compact size come as a breath of fresh air. While we are certain hard-core driving enthusiasts...... are not going to be flocking to this car, those in need of a second family vehicle may find the Mazda5 the perfect fit. Of course, the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder isn't going to smoke the tires, but it can move even a loaded Mazda5 with enough urgency to pass muster with most drivers, and you can get it with a 5-speed manual. Best of all, the Mazda5's slick suspension setup sacrifices nothing in the form of ride comfort to achieve its zippy attitude. More pluses? Visibility from the driver's seat is excellent, seating in the first two rows is comfortable and spacious, and the dash is intelligently laid out.
Given that it's no bigger than a Mazda3 sedan, the versatility and roominess of the Mazda5 interior are nothing short of astounding. Fold the 3rd-row seat flat and 44.4 cubic feet of cargo space opens up. Small storage cubbies throughout the cabin help safely stow smaller items.
Be it the base model starting around $21,000 or a loaded Grand Touring out the door for around $26,000, it's hard to find fault with the Mazda5 value story.
The 2014 Mazda5's interior is best described in one word: functional. With room for six passengers, fold-flat second and third rows, and convenient storage areas such as under-seat cubbies in the 2nd-row captain's chairs, there's plenty of space for people and stuff. A caveat does come with that last row, though. The two 3rd-row seats are small and most suitable for children. The second row, on the other hand, offers plenty of individual space and commendable legroom. The leather-trimmed seats on the top-line Grand Touring model lend a nicer feel (literally), but overall, the interior amenities lag behind comparable versions of larger minivans.Exterior
Picture a minivan, and then shrink that visualization slightly. That's the Mazda5, a mini minivan. Overall, you could say the 2014 Mazda5 has a friendly profile, starting with that grin-shaped face that adorns other Mazda front ends. Swooping, wave-like swaths make for stylish sides, and even the rear door is cute by minivan standards. Mid-level Touring models are spruced up with side sill extensions and a rear spoiler, while top-line Grand Touring models are adorned with a power moonroof and xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights.
A base 2014 Mazda5 Sport comes with cruise control, automatic climate control, remote keyless entry, manual driver's seat with height adjustment, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD system with USB and auxiliary inputs. Touring versions add features such as backup sensors, Bluetooth connectivity, an automatic transmission, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Grand Touring models up the comfort factor with leather upholstery, a power moonroof, heated front seats, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and driver's-seat lumbar support. Safety features on all models include six airbags, traction control and anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist.
For 2014 all Mazda5 models can be outfitted with a rear-seat DVD entertainment system featuring a 7-inch monitor and two wireless headsets, remote engine start, and rearview mirror with a compass and a HomeLink remote transmitter for opening garages and gates. Base Sport models can be had with an automatic transmission, which is standard on other trims. If you want a navigation system, portable Garmin units are available from the dealer, as are roof racks to carry everything from luggage to a kayak.
The 2014 Mazda5 uses a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 157 horsepower and 163 lb-ft of torque. If that doesn't sound like much power, it's because it isn't. A Mazda5 loaded with passengers won't win many races, but for everyday duties, the powerplant is fine. Helping matters is the Mazda5's 5-speed automatic transmission, which is a smooth and eager shifter. The base Sport version is the only one available with a 6-speed manual transmission. All Mazda5s are front-wheel drive and can run on regular unleaded gasoline.
157 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
163 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/28 mpg (automatic), 21/28 mpg (manual)
A 2014 Mazda5 Sport has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $20,935. Adding an automatic transmission to that base version is an additional $1,000. Even at the top end, the Mazda5 offers a lot for the money. Load up a Mazda5 Grand Touring model, and you're still looking at a price of around $26,000. Larger minivans (yes, that sounds like an oxymoron) start at thousands of dollars more than the Mazda5. A 2014 Honda Odyssey, for example, starts close to $30,000, and the Nissan Quest and Toyota Sienna both start around $28,000. About the only thing close to the Mazda5 in price is the Dodge Grand Caravan, which also begins just shy of $21,000. Before buying, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are actually paying for the 2014 Mazda5. Down the road, the Mazda5's resale value is predicted to be about average.
By rkryan on Saturday, September 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Handling, room, MPG, willing engine, great value"
Cons: "Options list a bit sparse, 3rd row seat is tight."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This car is Mazda's best kept secret. I planned to buy a Mazda CX-5 until I drove the Mazda 5. It handles like my Audi wagon did and is just as easy to park, yet it's got room for 6 people or 97 cubic feet of cargo--that's full size SUV territory! I'm averaging 29 mpg and it's not even broken in yet. Oh, and you can easily buy one for well under $20k out the door. What's not to like? Sure it's not the sexiest car on the road, but if you can get past that superficial nonsense, you will quickly realize this is an astoundingly useful car at great price that is genuinely FUN to drive. I even got mine with slick-shifting 6 speed manual (don't worry, there's a fun "sport shift manual for you ninnies that can't handle a clutch) Listen, I'm a single guy and an avid driver, I don't have a baby-on-board sign and I love this car, that should tell you something. Don't punish yourself with an SUV or crossover with numb steering and a mashed potato suspension just because you need a roomy vehicle. If you're looking at SUV's because you need the room, but you don't NEED 4 wheel drive or off-road ability, do yourself a favor and take a serious look at the Mazda 5. Go for a test drive while you still can because Mazda is sadly discontinuing this model. A vigorous test drive of this car on a windy road WILL make you a believer in the Zoom-Zoom. You can chuck it into corners with near reckless abandon and it carves through them like a scalpel. You can take it down a 30 mph highway exit ramp at 55 mph with total confidence, no exaggeration. If you can find a car that does as many things as well as this one does for under $30-40K, then buy it. I promise you if you enjoy driving at all and you need a roomy car, you will NOT find a better value than this, period."
By Pete on Friday, September 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "great price, roomy, and comfortable seats"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I with my wife and two kids, 15 and 13, traveled around California, Oregon and Washington. Our Mazda 5 is fun to drive and very quiet. It is roomy for us to carry 4 big Baggage and 3 small ones in our trip."
3 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By snowyhessh on Saturday, July 19, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"“50/50 Weight Distribution” is touted as the all-encompassing term thrown around for balanced rear-wheel drive sports cars. Remember, this is the company that removes weight and simplifies with cars like the Mazda Miata, a car with 51%/49% weight distribution. Why hasn’t Mazda bragged about its sporty minivan's weight distribution? After many failed Google searches for “weight distribution Mazda5 NOT Miata”, I finally stumbled upon Consumer Reports, which reports that this vehicle has 51%/49% Front / Rear weight distribution. The engineers at Mazda have done well to keep the weight down. It’s the lightest vehicle with sliding doors and three rows of seats. The sliding doors are very light, so there is no need for heavy electric motors. "It’s more fun to drive a slow car fast than it is to drive a fast car slow." Toss the 157hp Mazda5 into some tight curves and it will only beg to go faster. Sure everyone expects the boy racers in two door coupes, and sporty looking cars to tackle a corner with some zest. I think there’s something to be said about a vehicle with sliding doors, barreling down an onramp in second gear, screaming toward the redline to accelerate onto the highway as quickly as possible. I’ve passed a good number of German cars like BMW M3s, and Porsche 911s around two lane onramps. The double-take I get is priceless. After the my wife and son are tucked away at home, going for a late night drive for the heck of it still has some meaning. I have not given up on life by buying a Mazda5. My wife has brought a life into this world, and I picked a vehicle that allows me to maybe one day show my son that he doesn’t have to compromise passion for practicality."
14 people out of 22 found this review helpful