Cons: "Avg MPG, low-profile tires, not good for 3+ kids"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"We've had our car a little over a year and put almost 20k on it.
Pros - Fun to drive, Lots of cargo space for small footprint, Sporty-ish exterior, good value for the relatively-low purchase price, Love the sliding doors!
Cons - MPG is unimpressive (23 avg for us), Driver's seat is pretty tight for large people, must use low-profile tires and they wear down quickly, interior is boring, 3rd-row seats only work for children
All things considered we really like this car - it's literally the only car my wife has ever enjoyed driving! We can deal with the MPG although I miss the 32 MPG I was getting from the Accord this replaced. We really love the 2nd row for our kids (7&5): dual sliding doors are large and awesome, seats are roomy - great for car seats - and sit up nice and high, dedicated 2nd row cold air vent is great for warm summer weather. These 2nd row assets really set this above typical sedans in our mind, AND you get the expansive cargo room of a hatch-back with pop-up 3rd row if the grandparents ever need to ride with us. This wouldn't work for us if we had 3 kids, but we love it for our family of 4."
"Bought a 2008 Touring model used with 33,000 miles on it for $15k and have now owned it for approximately 3 months. All in all, I really like this car but will stop short of declaring neverending love and devotion.
The fuel economy is pretty darned good. I do love the utility of the sliding doors (especially with kids in carseats!) and that the rear windows go down. And I love that it doesn't look or feel like a minivan. Everyone is shocked when I tell them that it's technically a minivan. Personally, I think of it as a crossover with sliding doors.
As other reviews will note, the third row is a joke. We have used it once in a pinch, and it's OK, but 99% of the time, it is folded down so we can actually have useful space in the back.
My biggest complaint about the car is the lack of any storage for the driver! Where am I supposed to put my sunglasses? A pen? Coins for tolls? A map? (The map pocket is behind the driver's seat - should be the passenger seat so I can actually reach it from the driver's seat.) I can't fit much in the door pockets, either, and the glove box is pretty much filled up with just the manual in there.
NONE of the storage compartments are covered, so there's no easy way to hide my phone while I run into a convenience store or something. Even the power outlet is in an inconvenient location, because the cord starts to get in the way of the cup holders.
I have noticed a squeaking/grinding noise with the brakes, but I've been assured by the dealer and an independent party that they are fine. Still investigating that noise.
So, while I don't love it, I don't think there would have been another car to fit our needs (Crossovers have sliding doors and worse fuel economy; SUVs cost much more and also have worse fuel economy; a regular sedan wouldn't be big enough, a "real" minivan would be WAY too big and, again, poor fuel economy).
I do hope there are more options like this when I make my next car purchase, because the idea is sound but there are many tweaks that could make the everyday driving experience much better"
"Mazda5 black, sport, has leather option, fun to shift manual. The rear sliding doors are great with my two young boys. Folding seats makes for plenty of room for gear. I can see over most traffic. I think high brake light on back make it easy to keep cars from tailgating. The tires are 205/50-17’s which I think is too sporty for a minivan. The ground clearance limits it to street driving though watch out for steep driveways. I have attempted to put snow chains and pretty much gave up as there’s little room to get your arm between the tire and wheel well.
The 2.3 gas engine model averages 24-25MPG combined.
The tire wear unevenly and there is no camber adjustment for rear suspension. There is a kit that can be installed for $700 by the pros."
"We purchased this car a while back and have been very pleased with the gas mileage as well as the sportiness and handling. We have traveled long distances and around town and everything is great about the M5. We think it is the best kept secret of mini(micro-mini) vans. MPG city is about 20, on hwy we have gotten 30 with the car loaded down, but regularly about 28.
Fits our large fam, and saves on gas! What else could you want in a daily ride??"
"My wife bought a used 2006 Mazda5 Sport Automatic...and we LOVE it!. This van is truly "mini" and really fun to drive. It handles like a sporty car and has a really tight turning radius which makes it very easy to park. You don't get that floating feeling you get when driving a larger minivan like an MPV or Honda Odyssey. While the rear 2 rows of seats cannot be removed, they flip down real easily. It's also very easy to get in and out of. The seat height is such that you just plop down in the seat - no big step up like on some larger vans. The van we bought had an aftermarket DVD system installed, which the kids really enjoy. The factory AM/FM multi-CD player sounds very, very good. The integrated radio controls on the steering wheel (along with cruise control) is a nice touch. Hats off to Mazda for creating what I think is one of the most practical, good looking, fun to drive minivans out there. The only thing you give up VS a larger minivan is seating for one more person (the Mazda5 seats 6) and space behind the rear seat. I bought the optional roof rack and a hard shell luggage roof carrier and plan to use them for longer trips. Overall, I couldn't be happier. I have read reviews about it being under powered, but I have found it to be plenty quick enough for me. I haven't paid much attention to fuel economy, but I figure it has to be better than the larger vans since it has only a 4 cylinder engine. If you are hesitant to buy a minvan like I was, choose the Mazda5. It really is a joy to own and drive! The only mechanical issue we've had so far was a knocking sound from the front end. The front stabilizer bushing were replaced by the dealer for free as there was a tech bulletin out on this, which is why I only gave 4 starts for reliability. Overall - I highly recommend this van! ZOOM ZOOM!!!"