Our review score: 7.8 / 10
Car shoppers hate minivans, yet the 2015 Mazda Mazda5 manages to stand out thanks to its unparalleled maneuverability and fuel efficiency, while still delivering plenty of space.
The Mazda5 is one of the few minivans that’s a “mini” in the truest sense of the word, especially when compared to most of its peers, such as the Honda Odyssey. Thanks to its smaller size, it manages to be both sporty and fuel-efficient, while providing enough space to accommodate a whole family. It has its issues, yes, but the good far outweighs the bad.
So, if you hate traditional minivans and you want to avoid buying a compact SUV, then the Mazda5 might just be for you. Here’s why we think this vehicle is worth your money:
Thanks to its agility and responsiveness, the Mazda5 drives more like a hatchback than a traditional minivan. In fact, because of this, maneuvering through narrow streets and parking lots on a minivan has never been more fun. The Mazda5 just feels sporty – courtesy of its quick-ratio electro-hydraulic power steering, taut suspension and four-wheel disc brakes.
There are some issues here too though. Due to its size, the Mazda5 will make you feel the bumps a lot more than a traditional minivan. Its 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine is not particularly fast either, producing only 157 horsepower and 163 pound-feet of torque. It’s okay when driving on regular roads, but once you enter the highway with a full load of passengers, it sounds noticeably strained.
Impressive Fuel Economy
The weaker engine and lighter body allow the Mazda5 to score solid efficiency numbers, meaning that the four-cylinder is not all bad. The vehicle is rated at 11.1 litres per 100 kilometres in the city and 8.3 litres per 100 kilometres on the highway. This is more impressive than what you get with the new Honda Odyssey, which is rated at 12.3 litres per 100 kilometres in the city and 8.5 litres per 100 kilometres on the highway.
The best part about the Mazda5 is that despite its smaller size, it still manages to be a proper minivan. This means having three seating rows and sliding rear doors. The latter is a particularly useful perk since kids do love to accidentally smack their doors against other cars, which you can avoid if you drive a minivan.
In terms of space, the first and second seating rows offer enough leg- and headroom for most adults. However, the third row is for kids only. On top of this, the vehicle can only fit six passengers versus seven or eight that you get in a traditional minivan. As far as we are concerned, this is not a big deal – unless you really do need to fit seven passengers.
If you decide to ditch the third row, you can get 44.4 cubic feet of cargo space, beating most hatchbacks and station wagons. We also like the presence of the innumerable storage cubbies, which should give your kids plenty of opportunities to hide their candy wrappers and half-eaten chocolate bars.
2014 Mazda Mazda5 vs 2015 Mazda Mazda5
If you are wondering whether to get the 2015 or 2014 model, we can tell you for sure that it doesn’t matter since they are both very similar. The only big difference is the absence of the six-speed manual transmission in the Sport models and minor equipment alterations. Everything else, including the pricing, is the same.
For a more detailed comparison, be sure to check out this page.
In short, we love the Maxda5’s zeal to be different. It’s not the greatest minivan in the world, but it is certainly one of the smaller ones. If you are looking for a solid yet affordable family vehicle, then definitely give this one a try.