Granted, the Mazda 5 won't work for every family. Many families need the extra seating up to seven or eight, or the huge cargo space available in other models. And most of those models boast a V6 engine to tow all of that around. The more modest 4 cylinder engine in the Mazda 5 minivan may be smaller, but it's more than enough for moving this energetic and easy to handle van. Think of the Mazda 5 as a stepping stone between a luxury sedan and a full sized minivan. You don't have to give up your need for performance and handling to tote your entire crew, and then some. And the 4 cylinder gets far better gas mileage than its V6 older cousin, making the Mazda van a far better bet for young families in these times of high gas prices.
The Mazda 5 minivan boasts a 2.5 liter four cylinder engine that offers a modest but adequate 157 horsepower. The Sport model offers the option for a five speed transmission, while the Touring trim options come equipped with a standard transmission. Testing shows the highest end model went from 0 to 60 mph in about ten seconds. This is far slower than most average minivans, but still fast enough to feel like a sporty van. The Mazda 5 gets an estimated 22 mpg city/ 30 mpg on highways, making it one of the more fuel efficient minivans on the market.
The newly redesigned Mazda 5 minivan boasts three rows of seating, with space to crawl through to the back row, making it easy for folks of any age or size to claim those back row seats. The van is available in three trims: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. The major differences between the trim levels are the size of the wheels, the power offerings, and some interior trim. The basic Sport is offered with standard sixteen inch wheels, all power accessories, standard keyless entry, rear and front climate control, tilting steering wheel, and a sound system featuring six speakers, a CD player and a jack for lugging your MP3 player auxiliary jack.
The Mazda 5 minivan Touring upgrade features seventeen inch alloy wheels, additional foglamps, a rear spoiler, built-in Bluetooth capability, a leather trimmed steering wheel and an onboard trip computer. Options on the Touring version include a sunroof, built-in satellite radio, and a six CD changer. All of this is also standard in the Grand Touring on the Mazda 5, with the additional options of xenon headlamps, driver lumbar settings, front seat heaters, leather seats, heated mirrors and automatic wipers.
For the family who needs more space and cargo area than a sedan or wagon provides, the Mazda 5 minivan is an excellent choice for a van. The handling is unmatched in its class, and the precise steering makes it a smoother ride for both drivers and passengers alike. The newest 2012 edition features a newly retuned suspension that keeps passengers comfortable, even in the most hilly driving areas. Whether driving or riding in the Mazda 5, it's easy to forget you're in a minivan, as it handles and rides like a much smaller regular car. All in all, the Mazda 5 minivan is useful, modern, nicely styled, and fun to drive, setting it apart from other minivans.