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 Bob on Tuesday, February 11, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Excellent value for your money. fun to drive"
Cons: "front seats could be better"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I have had the Mazda 5 for 4 months now and have put on 5000 miles and so far so good. First, my gripes. This car should get better gas mileage in this day in age. Slightly under powered when loaded up with the whole family and car top carrier. Stock tires are not that great, but have survived winter here in Wisconsin so far (is it over yet) We only have 2 children, if I had a third, which I will not, this car would not work. Now for the goods. Excellent handling for this type of car, actually fun to drive. Very versatile vehicle. Kid hauler, trips to the hardware store, moving furniture, etc. The GT model, which we bought has all the creature comforts, sans a rear camera and touch screen This is a niche vehicle and I knew this before purchasing. It is not for everyone but if you have only 2 kids to cart around, I think it is perfect. Roomy, decent on gas, fun to drive and versatile. Would I purchase this vehicle again, if the reliability holds true, heck yes!"
By Ian on Monday, November 11, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,500overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "love the rear sliding doors, drives nicely"
Cons: "no rear heat, no cargo space when all 6 seats used"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"I have 3 kids, 16, 13 and 2. The back row seating is difficult (but not impossible) for anyone older than 10 or so to get to. I'm 5'2", average sized, and it was not comfortable to get back there at all. Once I was back there it wasn't bad LOL! The cargo area when all seats are occupied is extremely small. We could not take anything more than overnight trips as a family; there's not enough room for suitcases and bags. Once you fold down the back seats, the cargo area is nice, though a little irritating if something slips between the bucket seats onto the floor. I do LOVE the sliding back doors. Makes getting the 2 year old in and out of the car much easier! The driver's seat is comfortable, but I personally don't like the headrest. I felt like it was pushing my head and neck into an unnatural and uncomfortable position. That problem solved by turning the headrest around. It looks silly, but it works. I don't care for the armrests in the front. They get in the way if you need access to drinks in the cup holders, so I never use my armrest. Add another adult to the front seat, and it's very awkward to get to your drinks. I'm not crazy about the center storage between the seats - it barely holds a couple CDs and a sewing kit. The radio and 6 disc CD changer are nice - the sound took some getting used to. I never really use the Bluetooth- usually I have the kids with me and don't really like them listening in on the conversations. I like that it gives me the estimated miles left before the gas tank is empty. The AC works nicely, as well as the heater. One of my biggest complaints with it is that there is NO rear heat. It has rear air, but not heat. It takes twice as long to warm up the back of the car, and by the time they get warm, who ever is in the front seat has started cooking. Very frustrating. I have the moonroof, but rarely use it. I had to replace the front tires before 20,000 miles, and the rear tires shortly after. Overall, I wish I had shopped around a little bit before we purchased this little car."
5 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By dude on Friday, November 01, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good gas mileage"
Cons: "Wind noise"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Ruined 2 tires at 23000 miles account front end was not in alignment when purchased new even thou I rotated tire every 7500 miles. Mazda dealership informed me warranty would not cover new tires or alignment; was done on my dime. Dealership informed me I should have rotated every 5000 miles even thou owner's manual states every 7500 miles. Serious wind noise at highway speeds. Serious lack of power when 6 adults are on board."
4 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By bill on Monday, July 29, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "flexible, meets lot of needs."
Cons: "wish the gas miliage was slightly better"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Meets our needs with third row. Easy to drive, easy to park. Not great on gas, but not bad. Very happy. No thrills, but I bought it new for great price."
8 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By Lowtonlyle on Saturday, June 22, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Been a good car overall. Great for two kids we did get the optional DVD system. Works well but obscures rear visibility when I'm use. Would recommend checking other aftermarket options. Ours is the 6 spd manual, makes the car feel much quicker and fun to drive, although we've had some issues with it. Dealership has already had to replace 1-2 nd gear synchro. Some concern there maybe ongoing issues hopefully Mazda will take care of us. Other than that I believe the poor snow performance is more a tire issue since the bridgestones that came on the car are awful tires replace ours after 30k because felt downright dangerous in the rain. Lots of tread left too. Great fun to drive family car. Just don't let my wife hear you call it a minivan! Oh yeah, get the windows tinted much better looking and cooler"
10 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By patsy on Thursday, February 21, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "nice to drive in daylight on major highways"
Cons: "Only one electrical port in front cabin."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Positive reviews: The Mazda 5 grand touring offers a lot of standard features and has plenty of power.The engine and transmission is smooth and the ability to shift it like a manual transmission is very useful if you have to descend a lot of hills. Very comfortable to drive on long trip. Negatives:Low beam headlights are terrible on country roads.You can't see 30-40 yards in front on a undulating road.The car is terrible in snow.The traction control kicks in on a hill and slow the car down to the point where you have to turn around and go back,turn the traction control off and hope you can make it. Don't buy it if you live in the country where it snows."
13 people out of 19 found this review helpful