View Local Inventory
SAVE

2006 Mazda Mazda5

$1,479 — $7,311 USED
Passenger Van
6 Seats
24 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 2 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Sporty demeanor
  • Smooth-shifting automatic
  • Comfortable front seats
  • Second-row seats slide, recline
  • Versatility

The Bad

  • Could use more power
  • Low-grade, hard interior plastic
  • Power seats not offered
  • Cargo room with all seats up
  • Wind/road noise on highway

What to Know

about the 2006 Mazda Mazda5
  • Distinctive appearance
  • Manual or automatic
  • Three-row side curtain airbags
  • Standard ABS
  • Standard 17-inch wheels

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Watch MotorWeek on PBS. Check your local listings for time and channel.

by Mike Hanley -

The Mazda5 minivan is fun to drive. That's right: A minivan that's fun to drive. How can this be? The answer's beneath the sheet metal, as the six-person Mazda5 rides on a compact car platform, specifically the one used by the nimble Mazda3, and it's smaller than traditional minivans.

The benefits of this approach — sporty handling, minimal body roll and manageable dimensions — are readily apparent after only a short time behind the wheel. There are also, however, some significant drawbacks.

 

Exterior & Styling
If it weren't for its sliding rear doors, the Mazda 5 model would undoubtedly be considered a hatchback rather than a minivan. Mazda says sliding rear doors offer easier access to the second- and third-row seats, and are easy to open in tight parking spaces (not to mention less likely to ding other cars when they're thrown open by exuberant kids on a trip to the mall).

Though it retains the basic shape of a large minivan, the Mazda5 looks sporty nonetheless. In my opinion, Honda's Odyssey has been the sportiest looking minivan on the market since it was redesigned for 2005, but I think the Mazda5 is sportier yet. It features a raked windshield, an aggressively styled front end, a tapered roofline and standard 17-inch alloy wheels and tires.

Ride & Handling
The Mazda5's steering response is designed to engage the driver. A turn of the wheel delivers a quick change of direction, and there's a fair amount of feedback. The suspension is on the f...

by Mike Hanley -

The Mazda5 minivan is fun to drive. That's right: A minivan that's fun to drive. How can this be? The answer's beneath the sheet metal, as the six-person Mazda5 rides on a compact car platform, specifically the one used by the nimble Mazda3, and it's smaller than traditional minivans.

The benefits of this approach — sporty handling, minimal body roll and manageable dimensions — are readily apparent after only a short time behind the wheel. There are also, however, some significant drawbacks.

 

Exterior & Styling
If it weren't for its sliding rear doors, the Mazda 5 model would undoubtedly be considered a hatchback rather than a minivan. Mazda says sliding rear doors offer easier access to the second- and third-row seats, and are easy to open in tight parking spaces (not to mention less likely to ding other cars when they're thrown open by exuberant kids on a trip to the mall).

Though it retains the basic shape of a large minivan, the Mazda5 looks sporty nonetheless. In my opinion, Honda's Odyssey has been the sportiest looking minivan on the market since it was redesigned for 2005, but I think the Mazda5 is sportier yet. It features a raked windshield, an aggressively styled front end, a tapered roofline and standard 17-inch alloy wheels and tires.

Ride & Handling
The Mazda5's steering response is designed to engage the driver. A turn of the wheel delivers a quick change of direction, and there's a fair amount of feedback. The suspension is on the firm side, but it provides a tolerable ride even on the broken pavement that's prevalent near Cars.com's Chicago headquarters.

Going & Stopping
All Mazda5s have a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 157 horsepower and 148 pounds-feet of torque. It's a smooth-revving unit, but it doesn't have a whole lot of extra power. With a full load of passengers and cargo, it wouldn't be hard for the normally adequately powered Mazda5 to be underpowered.

That said, with one occupant and limited cargo, the Mazda5 cruises easily while you are out touring on flat highways at speeds approaching 80 mph. The cabin gets a bit loud when going that fast, with both wind and road noise contributing to the din.

The four-cylinder teams with either a standard five-speed manual transmission (the Mazda 5 is currently the only minivan that offers a manual) or an optional four-speed automatic. The automatic transmission's shifts are smooth, though its clutchless-manual mode is uninspiring (like most I've experienced). If you want the control a manual transmission provides, get the real thing. You'll save some money as the automatic costs $900 extra and has slightly worse fuel mileage: 21/26 mpg (city/highway) versus 22/27 for the manual.

An irritating trait emerged during highway driving: If the cruise control was set at 70 mph and was resumed when traveling around 65 mph, the automatic transmission would kick down to accelerate. It's a completely unnecessary response; the engine isn't that short on power.

All-disc brakes measure 11.8 inches in front and 11.9 inches in back. The front discs are ventilated for better heat dissipation.

The Inside
Here's where the Mazda5's compact car origins catch up with it. When compared to larger front-wheel-drive minivans, there's just not a lot of extra space behind the front bucket seats. The Mazda5 does, however, make efficient use of the space it has.

The Mazda5's front seats have aggressively bolstered backrests and are supportive enough to leave you feeling good even after hours at the wheel. They're fairly snug, though, and may not be comfortable for all body types.

Vehicle controls are sensibly arranged and all-around visibility is good. Low-grade hard plastic in the center console significantly mars the interior.

The second row has two bucket seats that can slide fore and aft for additional legroom in either the second or third row. The seats also recline, and most adults will be able to get comfortable in them.

Adult comfort dips a bit in the 50/50-split third-row bench seat, but it'd be acceptable in a pinch for short trips. If anything, the third row will likely be the hangout for kids, and there's enough space for them. The second- and third-row seats fold down to create a flat load floor stretching from the rear liftgate to the back of the front seats, good for more than 5 feet.

Give Mazda credit for devising a way to fit six people in relative comfort inside a vehicle that's only about 3 inches longer than a Toyota Corolla. The downside of this trick is that there's very limited space — 11.7 cubic feet — behind the third-row seat for any luggage when those six seats are occupied.

Safety
As of publication, the Mazda5 has not been crash tested. Standard safety features include antilock brakes, side-impact airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags for all three rows of seats. Second-row seats have LATCH child-safety seat anchors and top tethers, but the third-row seat only has top tethers.

Cargo & Towing
If it's not carrying six occupants, the Mazda5's measly cargo area can be expanded to 44 cubic feet by folding the third-row seat down. With both the second- and third-row seats folded, there's 89.3 cubic feet of cargo room. Releasing the liftgate reveals a large opening to the cargo area, and the liftover height is sufficiently low to make loading small furniture easy. The Mazda5 is not rated for towing.

Features
Notable options include a navigation system, DVD entertainment system and a remote starter. A number of dealer-installed accessories are available, including bike and snowboard carriers.

Mazda5 in the Market
Just as others are leaving the small minivan segment, Mazda adds its second offering with the Mazda5, which joins the MPV. While some may question the move, I think there's a market for this type of vehicle. Its introduction should allow Mazda to supersize the MPV to better compete with the Dodge Grand Caravan, Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna.

Market positioning aside, the Mazda 5 manages to offer surprising utility in a package that's not as mundane as the traditional SUV or minivan, and that likely will appeal to a number of shoppers.

Send Mike an email  

 

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.5
34 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.6)
Performance
(4.2)
Interior Design
(4.3)
Comfort
(4.3)
Reliability
(4.5)
Value For The Money
(4.7)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Great small mini van.

by Kat from Los angeles on November 14, 2018

This car offers great value as a small mini van to seat six people and yet provide enough cargo space. Reliable car for the family. Read full review

(5.0)

If you like the feel of a car but you need a van

by MdoubleO from Broadview, IL on March 16, 2018

It drives like a car but it will fit the whole family. Drives smooth, just watch out for the pot holes. The seats are comfortable and they collapse if you need to load something big. Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2006 Mazda Mazda5 currently has 3 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2006 Mazda Mazda5 has not been tested.

Latest 2006 Mazda5 Stories

Change year or vehicle

0 / 0 0 Photos
0 / 0

Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Mazda5 received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker