I Got my Mazda 5 shortly after moving to the Chicago Area and learning what the true definition of traffic was. I was reluctant to get rid of my SUV as I had become accustomed to space, performance, and 4WD. This vehicle seemed to answer the passenger capacity and fun factor with great gas mileage at a reasonable price. We enjoyed this vehicle from the standpoint of economy, amenities, and sportscar-like handling. Knowing you get what you pay for and that utility differs by owner I do have a couple words of caution. You never realize how you take for granted an armrest until you are sitting in the passenger seat and have nowhere to put your arm. With sportscar features also come sportscar problems. Having low-profile tires and 17" rims, within the first year, I had bent the rims twice (hitting midwest potholes) and pinched a tire rendering it useless. None of these issues are cheap to repair, nor are they covered by warranty. If you live in an area prone to rain and snow, the low profile sport tires (which are a lot of fun on dry pavement) leave a lot to be desired. Plan on investing A LOT of money in the one brand of low-profile snow tires that actually fit and perform on wet/ slick pavement. My model was a sport trim version tricked out to have just about all of the touring features and amenities. Loved the convenience features, loved the looks, enjoyed driving on dry, winding roads and liked the 6 seat option. Don't take this vehicle on ski trips and drive on smooth pavement and you will enjoy it. I will not regret owning it but realized that, for my use, I will probably return to an SUV upon my next vehicle purchase.
Pros: 1. Excellent handling in rain. 2. Great room for family and pets. 3. Folding third row. 4. Many different audio options (FM, AM, CD, USB, Sirius) 5. When you back into your garage door because you forgot to open it, the car will not get damaged. Oops. Cons: 1. Not a lot of storage space between driver and passenger seats. 2. Too many features for kids to play with and ask about. 3. Windows roll all the way down in the back, resulting in children yelling out the window at their friends when leaving school. 4. Picks up speed too quickly on the highway. 5. Brakes too well.
It's a great car!!