The Mazda 5 is often referred to as a minivan, but it’s a fraction of the size of any other product on the market that carries this classification. In truth, it’s really more of a minivan.
Although it has had few competitors over the years, the Mazda 5 now has the three-row Ford Transit Connect wagon as its rival. Ford’s hybrid-only C-Max, which is actually based on the same architecture as the 5, can also be included, although it is only sold as a two-row vanlet in stats and is or a little shorter, with hinged rear doors instead of the 5 sliders. The same goes for the Toyota Prius V Hybrid. Other budget estate options include the Volkswagen Golf SportWagen, which is available with gasoline or diesel engines.
The current Mazda 5 is based on the foundations of the previous generation Mazda 3 compact car. This is a van for those who love to drive; what it loses in interior space, it catches up in handling. The 2015 model year will likely be the last for Mazda’s low-selling van. Customers who once looked for these practical vehicles are now turning to small crossovers to meet their family needs. Dealers will therefore be happy to direct them to a CX-3, CX-5 or CX-9 when the Mazda 5 is no longer there.
For more information on the Mazda 5, including options, pricing, and specs, check out our full review of the 2015 Mazda 5.
Two generations of Mazda 5 minivans were sold in the United States. The first was offered here from 2006 to 2010. All vans of this generation received a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine producing 153 horsepower. Early models used a four-speed automatic transmission, while the gearbox was upgraded to a five-speed unit from 2008. The switch didn’t do much for acceleration, but did. significantly improved fuel economy. The 2008 update also brought a new design for the center stack controls and some improvements to the instrument panel, as well as separate climate controls and additional air vents for the rear passengers.
The current Mazda 5 is the result of a redesign for 2012. The styling of the latest model is considerably more adventurous, with lines based on Mazda’s so-called “Nagare” design language with swoopy, almost aquatic shapes. The hatchback has a more car-like design than it was in the last generation, and the Mazda 5’s front styling may have the more extreme version of Mazda’s “smile” corporate grille. With any luck, it will likely be toned down in the years to come, to follow the example of the Mazda 3.
Because the Mazda 5 is one of the smallest vans on the market, its seating arrangement is not that of a larger van. The 5 offers seating for six, divided into three rows of two seats. In the first and second row, that means individual bucket seats, while the third row receives a bench. The second row can be moved forward and back to accommodate taller people or more things, and also make it easier to enter the third row. The rearmost rows can also be folded up to allow transport of goods.
Although its dimensions make it a seven-eighth scale minivan, behind the wheel it maneuvers and behaves like a small car. And it doesn’t require more space to park than a compact car, either. One downside to the Mazda 5, however, is a noisier interior than you would encounter in most other vehicles of this type. It looks a lot like a car and can be quite energetic when driven hard, provided you are not carrying a full load. But load up the Mazda 5 and its engine will tire, especially if you go for the automatic transmission.
Mazda offers a single engine, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder producing 157 horsepower, and until the 2015 model year, sporty drivers could order it with a six-speed manual transmission instead of the five-speed automatic. . Great steering with superb road feel, tight control of body movements and a light driving feel make the Mazda 5 truly fun to drive – and when was the last time you could say of a minivan. ? While you could shift the automatic through the gears manually, the standard manual gearbox on the Mazda 5 made driving more fun. While the Mazda 5 doesn’t accelerate quickly, handling is a strong point; even loaded, it can take a winding road with a surprisingly agile and stable feel. Likely due to low turnout, Mazda opted to remove the manual option for the 2015 model year, while making some minor changes to the package contents on the remaining models.
The trims and trim have been improved over the previous generation, although we still find them at a closely reduced price. Some buyers will also regret the lack of Bluetooth connectivity on some trim levels and the complete lack of a navigation option. For 2013, Mazda added a USB input as well as side mirrors with integrated LED turn signals. The changes have been minimal since then, but in the summer of 2014, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tested a 2014 model and found it did not fare well in several categories. In particular, he failed the new difficult small overlap frontal test.