Mazda Mazda5 Review
The 2014 Mazda Mazda5 ranks 3 out of 7 Minivans. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Mazda Mazda5, as well as reliability and safety data.
Though the 2014 Mazda5 lacks the cargo space of its larger rivals, critics agree that its fun driving dynamics and low price make it a compelling choice. Because it has the best combination of positive reviews, price and long-term ownership costs in its class, we named the 2014 Mazda5 the Best Minivan for the Money.
The 2014 Mazda5 has a four-cylinder engine, which some reviewers say can feel a bit underpowered. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a five-speed automatic is optional. Critics agree that the manual transmission makes the Mazda5 fun to drive, and that the automatic transmission shifts quickly and smoothly. The 2014 Mazda5 gets up to an EPA-estimated 22/28 mpg city/highway, which is exceptional for the class. Automotive journalists agree that the Mazda5’s small size makes it feel quick and agile around town, though a few note that its ride isn't as smooth as other minivan’s rides. Reviewers say the steering system provides quick responses and excellent feedback, and they note the Mazda5’s small turning radius makes it easy to drive in crowded parking lots.
Most critics say the 2014 Mazda5 has a simple interior with a contemporary, functional design. Test drivers think that the front seats are comfortable, though they say taller drivers might want more legroom. They write that the second-row captain’s chairs are very comfortable and spacious and they say the third row is suitable only for children. The 2014 Mazda5 comes standard with automatic climate control, a six-speaker stereo, an auxiliary input and a USB port. Options include leather seats, Bluetooth phone connectivity with music streaming, a moonroof, rear backup sensors and heated side mirrors. Critics say that the Mazda5’s features are easy to use.
- "Unlike many modern full-size people haulers, the compact Mazda5 lives up to its minivan billing with compact dimensions, a versatile interior and nimble driving dynamics." -- Left Lane News
- "Mazda 5 deserves consideration as a well-made, sensibly sized wagon that's sedan nimble, minivan versatile, and priced right. This solid choice also promises good fuel economy and delivers outstanding room for four plus lots of stuff--four adults, a little cargo and, in the 3rd-row seats, two tykes." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
- "The words ‘minivan’ and ‘fun to drive’ usually don't mix, but the Mazda5 is an exception. What the Mazda5 lacks in size and power compared to others, it makes up for in driving manners, fuel efficiency and value." -- Kelley Blue Book (2013)
- "Based on the Mazda 3 architecture, the 5 is a practical, comfortable, well-appointed, and fuel-efficient minivan—as well as being sporty and fun to drive. It might not be large enough for large families, and the sliding doors will likely turn off SUV fans, but the 5 brings mini back to minivans." -- Car and Driver (2012)
Other Minivans to Consider
The Dodge Grand Caravan starts at about the same price as the Mazda5, and it has significantly more cargo space. Critics agree the Grand Caravan’s optional Stow ‘n Go seating system, which allows you to store the second- and third-row seats under the floor, makes expanding the cargo area a cinch.
Though it isn’t a minivan, reviewers say the Subaru Outback is a great choice for families thanks to its comfortable ride and spacious seating for five. The Outback also has standard all-wheel drive, and test drivers say it delivers great traction on slick roads.
Details: 2014 Mazda Mazda5
The Mazda5 seats six in three rows and has front-wheel drive. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual transmission are standard and a five-speed automatic transmission is optional. The Mazda5 comes in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trims. The Mazda5 hasn’t changed much since its last redesign in the 2012 model year. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2012 through 2014 model years.
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