Mazda 5 Overview
The Mazda 5 is a small minivan with sliding rear doors that seats six people. It is available in three trims -- base Sport, midlevel Touring and high-line Grand Touring. The Sport includes 17-inch alloys, ABS, automatic climate control with rear-seat controls, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, full power accessories and a six-speaker stereo with CD player and auxiliary audio jack. The Touring model adds leather wrapping for the steering wheel, a sunroof and a CD changer.
For the Grand Touring model, Mazda adds automatic xenon lights, automatic wipers, leather upholstery, heated front seats and Bluetooth. Touring and Grand Touring models also offer a voice-controlled touchscreen navigation system. For safety, front seat side airbags and full-length head-protecting side curtain airbags are standard on all trims, as is stability control. The Mazda 5 is available with only one engine, a 2.3-liter four-cylinder that produces 153 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard on the Touring and Grand Touring but optional on the Sport, which has a five-speed manual standard.
In terms of passenger comfort, those in the second row will have plenty of legroom and headroom, but the third row is cramped and suitable for small children only. Our editors found its front seats fairly comfortable, but they don't slide back far enough for long-legged drivers. When both the second- and third-row seats are lowered, the Mazda 5 provides about 5 feet of load floor and 44 cubic feet of cargo room.
In road tests, we've found that the Mazda 5 can at times seem underpowered. It has the same refined engine we've praised in the past in the Mazda 3, but it's just not powerful enough to push the van around at higher speeds with much authority. Its fuel economy is also unremarkable by four-cylinder standards, though it's better than any minivan's V6 can manage. On the bright side, the 5 is comfortable, easy to drive and perfectly adequate for running errands around town. It's more agile than a typical minivan and easier to park, which is something to consider for those who don't really need all the space of a bigger van.