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.
You'll Like This Car If...
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.
You May Not Like This Car If...
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 the MAZDA5
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.
FLEXIBLE INTERIOR 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.
PRICE 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.
2014 Mazda MAZDA5 Details
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.
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.
Under the Hood
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.
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.
"This really is an excellent vehicle - good on gas, no problems at all, nice ride, excellent handling in emergency situation and very functional with 3rd row seats. BUT, it failed the latest offset crash and side impact testing, so I must get a vehicle that has better safety."
Cons: "no storage w/all seats used, cheap cloth seats"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"This car is great if you have 2 kids and can leave the back seats folded down like a wagon for storage. It's good if you only carry additional children sometimes. If you are planning a 3rd child or 5 passengers, I would skip this car. With all seats up there is very little storage. A single Maclaren stroller can fit but forget any other type of stroller. I miss a trunk more than I thought I would.
With 2 back seats, there is no 'middle' safer seat.
My car has 33K miles on it and someplace after 20K started dropping gas mileage. Serviced regularly/tires inflated etc. Warranty conveniently expired now with no resolution.
I haven't driven a big van but it is nice to drive forward and is easy to park between the huge cars/vans/SUVs most people have.
It has a lot of windows and isn't much bigger than my old Honda Accord, but I feel like I can't see when backing up, especially with back seats up. Blind spots when switching lanes, especially to right,...even when doing shoulder checks. For the visibility reason, I wouldn't recommend this car.
For 2 or 3 kids, I'd stick w/a regular car w/better gas mileage, more frills and probably the same or lesser cost.
I've always had the lowest end model of cars...but this Sport version just feels 'cheap' inside. Cloth seats especially seem cheap and stain w/kids. Back rubber floor mats are nice!"