I have the 2009 Mazda 5 and I would say YES, if I had to buy it all over again. The vehicle has sneaky room, with fold down seats, and storage in odd places. It is not the most upscale vehicle, (even though we had all the options) but as far as reliability and overall design: two thumbs up. This is a perfect vehicle for up and coming families.
forced by necessity to purchase this car
I'm still getting used to owning Mazda's "mini-minivan" after years of driving Audi vehicles. However, I pretty much got tired of very high maintenance costs, high fuel costs (Audi strongly recommends premium gas), and outrageous repair costs at both dealer and private shops. The Mazda5 handles surprisingly well for a wagon, seats 6 in a pinch, and has the capability to handle both long and large amounts of cargo when needed. It is versatile! I'm also pretty pleased with the gas mileage - averaging 23-25 mpg combined city and highway. The minivan-styled sliding doors are very easy to use - unlike most larger minivans. And I continue to be surprised and pleased with the amount of pickup I get from the stock four-cylinder engine.
Poor ownership experience
I have owned this car for approximately three years and found it terribly unsatisfactory. The form factor and seating were the initial draw but something seems to go wrong every other month. I do not know where to start... The medium profile tires were the first thing that we noticed. These tires are more expensive and we need to replace them long before the tread wears off. There were chronic slow leak problems from hitting potholes. I never had this problem with ordinary profile tires. The medium profile tires also ride rougher. The front bumper is constantly sticking out on the right side. I just push it back in and it stays for 20-30 miles. I like to ride high so I push the driver seat all the way back and set at the highest level. Even with the steering wheel pushed all the way up, my knees hit the column. I am only 5'10" so this should not happen. The trim is cheap and utilitarian. Everything is pretty basic. Actually, this is what we paid for so i guess that is ok. The car is underpowered even with a manual transmission. Acceleration is poor. Everything is hard to maintain. For example: You need a screwdriver to pry off the cover for the rear window wiper. I still do not have the hang of replacing the headlight and high beam bulbs. They are held in by spring loaded brackets that are difficult to position. After three years, the front brakes are corroded and pitted by salt. I had an Altima for eight years in the same climate and never a problem. Despite putting on snow tires with a front wheel drive, the car is terrible in snow. The above mentioned Altima plowed through *everything* except when the snow was significantly above the bumper. With the Mazda 5, the slightest incline on a slippery road is enough to defeat the car. Others do fine but I am sliding backwards. BTW, I know how to drive snow (grew up in Minnesota) and the manual transmission is a big help in snow. Overall, the car is poorly designed. We hoped this would provide greater seating than a sedan (without going to an SUV) but the disadvantages are just too great. A wagon with a third row of seats is ideal but almost no one makes these anymore.
Mazda5 Best three row for the money!
Recently bought an 09 Mazda 5. A mini van type vehicle was the last thing on my mind, but after months of searching suvs could not find anything under $20,000 with leather, 3 row, good mileage, and reliable. Stumbled onto the Mazda 5 and could not be more surprised, or even shocked. For the price this can not be beat. Fast, handles awesome, and gets great mileage. averaging about 22. Seats six and loaded with all the extras. Its worth the extra bucks for the grand touring model to get leather, heated seats, six disc, bluetooth, auto wipers and headlights. Granted it is smaller than other suvs and mini vans, but it drives like a sports car. The perfect small family ride. Ours even had an alpine dvd previously installed, also amazing. Check it out, you will get used to the look if you dont like right off.
Great Choice for Senior Drivers
Recently went car shopping for my 86 year old father and 82 year old mother. February 2011, they survived a high speed head on collision with a drunk driver (Thank you Toyota Camry for great safety features). As a result, our family decided it would be best for my mother to ride in the back seat having been beat up by the passenger seat airbags. The sliding rear door of the Mazda 5 wagon and its ergonomics make it easy to enter and exit. It sits a little higher so visibility is better and it lives up to its Zoom Zoom promise. When you step on it, it is responsive - After my parents accident in Tucson, I would pass no less than 3 car accidents a day between home and the hospital. More than once I had to gun it to avoid a collision in that town and feel glad that my parents - whom I treasure - have a safe peppy car.
Mazda5 A GREAT MINIVAN ALTERNATIVE
I purchased my Mazda 5 Van at Porterville Ford in California that i found on Cars.com and was extremely impressed with the condition, performance and quality of the vehicle. The price of $13,000 for a 2 year old van with 30k miles is hard to pass up. This is my 4th minivan in the last 10 years, i drive about 30k miles a year, so i really was apprehensive to choose a "cheaper" van. I chose this one mainly for the increased gas mileage. I am very pleased to report that I track gas mpg each fill-up and can prove that i usually get 26-28 mpg. I do about 60/40 highway to city driving, so this is awesome compared to my previous vans. This is a smaller and more agile "minivan" that provides excellent performance, ride quality and gas mileage than my previous minivans. DO NOT let the smaller 4 cylinder engine fool you, it has the auto/manual mode that allow you to pop into 3rd gear for those quick onramp bursts of speed or for 4th gear for those long uphill roads. This van holds its own performance-wise with my previous Caravan and Montana van. The 2000 Honda Odyssey i drove for years was far more powerful, but i hardly ever needed it. The Mazda5 offers tons of interior room although it is quite smaller than the competitors. Lets be honest though, usually it's just myself and 1 or 2 kids and tons of stuff to haul around. Sports equipment, boxes, gym bags, backpacks, etc. This car handles it all while still seating 4 people in completely comfortable bucket seats. if you need to seat six, pop up the back seats and let the little ones pour in. Do Not expect a ton of luggage room while all six seat are erected, though. But that was the same with my Caravan and Montana. Again, only the Honda had far more room. The standard features on the Mazda5 are impressive: sport-manual/auto transmission, comfy captain seats (4), rear AC standard for the back seats, AUX input for ipod or MP3, fold flat seats for hauling large items/boxes, great looking 17 inch allow rims, great sounding 6 speaker stereo, map lights (i use very often) steering wheel controls for audio and cruise control (instead of that stick BEHIND the steering while like most cars) and roll down middle row windows. I really like the Mazda5, and would purchase again. I really enjoyed the Honda Odyssey i used to own as well, but felt like i was driving a school bus at times. The Mazda5 is way more agile, about $8k less for a used model, lighter weight, quicker, way better MPG. I also don't feel like a soccer DAD driving it. My wife approves and so should you.
Why'd I wait so long to find this car?
I had a '95 Odyssey for 300,000 trouble free miles and when I looked at getting another minivan, everyone of them had gotten big and bloated w/V6s. I liked the 4cyl and smaller size so finally found this '10 Mazda5. It's just the size we need, 4 cyl. great on gas the interior is laid out with everything at hand and plenty of storage spaces, and at a great price. This thing is FUN to drive even for and old guy like me, tight ride and corners like a go cart, can't wait to make a long trip. Would definitely recommend to others, no regrets at all about this purchase.
Good Things DO Come in Small Packages
I live in Los Angeles & this car is perfect for my family of 6. With LA being so crowded I can ALWAYS squeeze my way into tight parking spots & easily weave in & out of traffic. I was never a minivan fan until I rented a Mazda 5 and knew then I had to have one! I like how it doesn't really look like a minivan but gets the job done like a full size minivan without the bulkiness. The sliding doors are great for my kids (minimizing dings). Good on gas & drives well. Down side: Not much trunk space or leg room for tall people. Overall, Great for young families & very well priced.
The best gas mileage ever!
I absolutely love this car. I've never had a car that got such good gas mileage 29-33 miles to the gallaon on highway. Having the third row seating is great along with the sliding doors. Only would change two things...get it off the ground more. Driving in snow is really bad. Would not reccomend this car for winter driving. Two is pretty minor...change the visors. Let them have extenders. It would make a great car better. So lift the car higher off the ground and maybe a little bit heavier and winter would't be problem. If you have a family a live where snow is mild get this car! You'll love it. My kids love it too.
Disappointing Family Vehicle
We own a 2000 Mazda MPV and love it. We wanted something with better fuel economy and slightly smaller. We thought the Mazda5 would be a good alternative. While the performance and handeling were nimble, the interior and comfort were horribly cheapened! If you are tall (6 ft or over) move on to something else. I am just under 6 ft and my knees were up against the underside of the glove box on the passenger side. This car has a 5 star crash rating but they must have tested with much shorter crash-dummies. The seats are hard and uncomfortable. If you have kids, don't bother trying to use the 3rd row seat. I would feel sorry for anyone getting stuck back there. There was no room! In all this is a great car if you are a shorter, single person who wants a vehicle to cart 'stuff' around in. This car is more along the lines of the Nissan Versa or Honda Fit but slightly longer. IT IS NOT A MINI-VAN!