My wife bought a used Mazda5 a few months ago. We have 2 small children and found most minivans to be not mini enough for us. The Mazda5 is a wonderful alternative to these other rather "un" minivans. It has a very flexible seating configuration, anwhere from 2 up to 6 people. The middle and rear seats are not removable, but they flip down very easily, which is all we cared about. It is very easy to get our children in and out of their car seats, which we installed in the middle row. This is due to the sliding doors and the stadium seating (each row is a little higher than the one in front). Some reviewers say it is underpowered having only a 4 cylinder engine, but I think it is quite peppy and rather fun to drive (we have an automatic). It turns on a dime and has very little body lean when going through turns. The handling is simply not like a minivan; it handles more like a sports car. There are also lots of storage nooks and cup holders. Overall, it is a wonderfully desinged minivan that was clearly designed from the inside out. We also got an after market DVD system for longer rides and the kids love it. I haven't tracked the mileage closely but I am sure it gets much better gas mileage than the larger minivans. Overall, we are quite impressed and would highly recommend this minivan. The only things you give up versus a larger minivan is a 7th seat, some interior space (the space behind the last row of seats and the hatch is rather small, but even larger minivans don't hold that much there either), and some fancy features like a powered sliding door (but the sliding door closes so easily it doesn't really matter). We bought the Sport model, which is the bottom of the line, but even that model comes very well equipped - power everything, remote locks, 6 CD changer (although that may have been an option), alloy wheels, etc. The Touring model has automatic climate control along with a few other extras that we didn't really care about. The only negative I can think of is that the glove compartment has no light and the front passenger seat does not have an arm rest. Overall, I highly recommend this minivan. It really is the Swiss Army Knife of minivans. ZOOM! ZOOM!
We were needing to replace our minivan, and had started to buy another one when we saw the Mazda5. For us, it seemed like a good fit. It would hold 6 people, got decent gas mileage, and it did not look like every other minivan on the road. ( Actually, I think it may be classified as a wagon.) It has performed well, and it is fun to drive. It has decent room for us, although the two back seats are a little short on leg room. Over all, I would advise any one looking for a people mover, to think about a Mazda5.
I was in the market for a car that could handle a lot of passengers without drying out my wallet or cramping my "style". I found it. The Mazda5 drives like a small car. The turn radius is amazing. It holds my kids and their friends AND I dont have to drive a MINI VAN. Can't a mom have some style? Yes she can, in a Mazda5! The best part is, the gas mileage is great! My kids also love the captain's chairs in the middle row. They feel so grown up. And I don't have to listen to "mom, he's on my side". Only draw back is the cargo space in the back. Although, the last row of seats folds down to make more area. If you plan on using the full 6 capacity of seats do not expect much cargo room.