The small-yet-practical minivan.
The Mazda 5 continues to be an uncommonly versatile vehicle inside a relatively small body, offering three comfortable rows of seating and the convenience of sliding doors. Although it is smaller on the outside than competing full-size minivans, the 5 seats six people and offers enough legroom for adults to fit in the third row for short trips. The second-row captain’s chairs slide and recline and can be folded flat, and the third-row seats have a 50/50 split so they can be tipped forward individually and folded to create a flat load area. There are plenty of interior storage binnacles, including compartments under the second-row seats. Sliding rear doors give the 5 the easy rear-seat access of a minivan and help prevent dings from overly zealous door openers. A 157-hp four-cylinder is the only engine available, and although it isn’t overly powerful, it’s lively enough to get the job done. The five-speed automatic transmission works fine, and we applaud the fact that base models can be equipped with a lively six-speed manual. Even with the automatic, the Mazda 5’s small footprint and taut suspension provide a much better driving experience than do other minivans.
new for 2013
The Mazda 5 receives new mirrors with built-in turn signals, a USB port, a new shift knob, new seat upholstery, and a seatback pocket on the driver’s seat. Touring and grand Touring models receive standard rear parking sensors. Zeal red mica, meteor gray, and black mica join the paint options list.
Standard features include front, side, and side curtain air bags, along with ABS, traction and stability control, and a tire-pressure monitoring system.
Fun to drive
Big inside, little outside
Fuel economy not better than full-size minivans’
Relatively short options list
Base Price Range: $21,000–$25,500 (est.)
TRIM LEVELS: Sport, Touring, Grand Touring
BODY STYLE: Minivan, 6-passenger
ENGINE: 2.5L I-4, 157 hp, 163 lb-ft
TRANSMISSIONS: 6-speed manual, 5-speed automatic
PASSENGER VOLUME: 97.7 cu ft
CARGO SPACE: (rear seats up/down) 5.6/27.5 cu ft