I had a 2012 M-5 as a work vehicle, covering a large territory servicing equipment. I folded down the 3rd row seats, removed one of the middle row seats, and built a shelf to hold parts & tools. I loved the sliding doors on both sides. The trunk hatch might be an issue for someone taller (I'm 5'7").
It was comfortable and fun to drive for several hours a day, good acceleration on the freeway (even when somewhat full of stuff). Good visibility, and enough zip to it to still be fun.
This is literally a mini-mini-van. It's legally a station wagon but is set up like a mini-van. It is surprisingly versatile with the back seats folding all flat to make a large cargo space or up to hold 6 people very comfortably. We are surprised how much stuff fits in it and how much space we have. Lots of little features that I like such as a fold-out center console for the center seats. It is the very definition of "right sized" for our family.
I LOVE my Mazda5. I have two young children and it is a great fit for my family. We didn't want a van but wanted something bigger than a car. We were looking at crossovers but when I saw and drove the Mazda5 I fell in love. It gets better gas milage than crossovers and vans and is more compact. I love driving the Mazda5. It is a good looking car and drives great too. The only fall back is the cargo space in the back. But the second and third row seating folds down to help out with that. It is GREAT!
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