Opinions on Mazda 5?

This fall I'll probably be ready to buy something to replace my venerable Escort wagon. Wanted a wagonoid, but because my mother and stepfather aren't doing too well, I'm thinking of the minivan-like Mazda 5 as being easier for someone with mobility problems to get in and out of (sliding side doors, out of the way), with enough room for a wheelchair or (more likely) walker, while still being good on fuel. I would get one with a stick and as few options as possible, since the car is pretty well equipped as is. The 5 is built on the Mazda 3 platform and is kin to the European second-generation Ford Focus. Comments on the 5?
 
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166
Location
Columbus, OH
If it drives anything like the Mazda3, it should be a lot of fun. I saw one at the auto show, loved the practicality of the sliding doors - feels huge inside for a small car. I'd take one for a test drive.
 

vad

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1,856
Location
So Cal
quote:
Originally posted by VTEC01EX: If it drives anything like the Mazda3, it should be a lot of fun.
It does! [Wink]
 
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1,043
Location
Central IN
I have an '05 Mazda3 2.3l 4-cyl w/5spd. trans. This is the same engine that comes in the Mazda5. Overall, I love my 3 and from everything I have read on the 2.3L 4-cyl, it's a great engine. It's very easy on oil also. I just worry about the weight to power ratio of the Mazda5, especially when full loaded. Our Mazda3 has just enough zip to make it fun. I fear that the heavier Mazda5 might be straining the little 4-banger. On our 3, I've tracked every tank since we purchased it almost a year ago. We are right at 30mpg over 15,000 miles. Pretty good I would say. For the money we spent on our 3, there's nothing that could even compare to it. My wife and I love practically everything about it.
 
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4,118
Location
Olathe, KS
I think they look pretty handy, and might be fun to drive. I think they are heavier than the 3, and not near as quick. A mini-minivan?! I don't know. You will want to seriously check it out in person. It's not very big. You'll be lucky to fit a wheelchair in the back. Behind the 3rd row, there's room for a hanger. I'm sure it's better behind the 2nd row.
 
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2,338
Location
Charlotte Metro area
I like this mini-mini van. If I were to total my Saabaroo, the Mazda5 is what I'd buy. I LOVE that engine. It will only pull that much weight in a 1/4 mile in about 10 seconds...so what? I had an Audi wagon slower than that. However, you might prefer manual transmission in it.
 
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11,627
Location
Illinois
quote:
Originally posted by Titan: I like this mini-mini van. If I were to total my Saabaroo, the Mazda5 is what I'd buy. I LOVE that engine. It will only pull that much weight in a 1/4 mile in about 10 seconds...so what? I had an Audi wagon slower than that. However, you might prefer manual transmission in it.
If it did the 1/4 mile in 10 seconds, it would be faster than most sports cars. Sign me up. However, I suspect you are talking about 0-60MPH times. Oilbabe did like it at the last autoshow. T
 
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2,338
Location
Charlotte Metro area
HA! Yeah, I meant to say 0-60 times. Man, I am getting OLD. Seems like I make mistakes like that fairly commonly now, whereas I didn't used to make that kind of mistake hardly ever. At least I realize it now...as I get a little older, I probably won't realize it at all. Thanks for the correction!
 
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2,187
Location
Arizona
We have a 5. It's a very good car. It does drive in a very 'sprightly' fashion. Acceleration is not like my turbo SAAB was, but it's plenty good for a wagon/van even on the highway. Space and versatility are very good, and the sliding doors are crucial to its utility, IMO. We have the 5-speed in the high-trim version. The only thing I don't like is the automatic climate control (I hate all ACC systems). There are a couple of little things that some owners are having trouble with, but Mazda is good about fixing them. The price is right, which sealed the deal.
 
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2,698
Location
Silicon Valley
Another vote of approval for the Mazda5. I looked at several unlocked ones in the dealer's back lot for a long time, and I really liked it. Well-appointed, nice size, 5spd, big 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, about $18k. It's about 5 inches longer and 500 lbs heavier than the Mazda3. Maybe the turbo from the MazdaSpeed3 will bolt right up. I'm sure someone will try.
 
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40,619
Location
Great Lakes
quote:
Originally posted by mshu7: For the money we spent on our 3, there's nothing that could even compare to it. My wife and I love practically everything about it.
Just curious, have you test-driven the new Jetta? It might be slightly more (depending on features selected), but it appears more solid, both in interior design and in handling, IMO. But yeah, in its respective price range, the 3 is definitely one of the nicer compact cars out there at the moment.
 
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1,043
Location
Central IN
I looked at Jetta's back in 2000 when I was looking for a different car back then. I've ridden in them and they don't have very much room, especially in the back seat. Maybe that's changed with the latest Jetta redesign. But with the redesign, I think the Jetta's are ugly. Plus, VW in general is overpriced. I would bet money that the 3 handles better than the Jetta. On top of that, there's just no comparison in my eyes as far as design is concerned. I think the 3, by far, is the best designed compact out there. Plus, the interior is just killer. That was on of my favorite things about the car. By the way, we have the 3-hatch so there's TONS of cargo room. Actually, there's twice the amount of cargo room in our 3 than there is in my '00 Grand Am GT sedan. I want to say it's like 30+ cubic feet of cargo room. With the design, good powertrain, interior quality & size, options, & price the Mazda3 was just unbeatable. Like I said, nothing to us came even close.
 
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