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Original MSRP: $17,995 - $22,515
MPG: 22 City / 28 Hwy
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2008 Mazda Mazda5 Review

This review was written when the 2008 Mazda Mazda5 was new.

The Mazda5's minivan-like seating and cargo versatility as well as its wagon size and pricing make it one of the top affordable compact wagons. However, it does not have the peppy engine performance associated with Mazda cars, and might not be suited for those who need to carry both a lot of people and cargo.

The 2008 Mazda5 is a solid attempt to create a car with the cargo space and practicality of a minivan, while keeping the size of a wagon. "What are they putting in the guava juice at Mazda's design headquarters?" U.S. News reviewer Rick Newman writes. "Whatever it is I want some. In a market filled with nichebusters and me-too copycats, the No. 4 Japanese automaker keeps finding ways to turn out clever, affordable funmobiles that are a bit more creative than the competition." For 2008, the Mazda5 adds a new five-speed automatic transmission and an auxiliary input jack for connecting portable music players to the audio system. The 5 is still available in three trims, the Sport, Touring and Grand Touring, all of which have the same four-cylinder engine. It's part of Ford's C1 platform, along with the Mazda3

  • "This sporty van combines the ride of a sedan, the convenience of a hatchback, the easy access of a minivan, and the utility of a small SUV. Inside, seating for six in three rows offers great flexibility, with a flat-floor design for maximum legroom." -- Car and Driver
  • "We recommend it to small families with kids under five or six years old, with the caveat that we'd like it better if traction control and electronic stability control were available." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Mazda5 comes along with many of the attributes of a minivan -- except the frumpiness. It is actually a ball to drive." -- U.S. News
  • "It fits neatly into tight spaces. It presents no visual obstruction to other drivers. But it can carry six passengers and judicious amounts of their stuff." -- Washington Post
  • "The 5 has an unmistakably road-friendly character apparent in its responses and ease of parking, and the edge in visibility doesn't hurt." -- Automotive.com
  • "Who's it for? Well, after living with it a bit, I'd say it's for youngsters, oldsters and many inbetweeners." -- The Auto Channel
  • "As small vehicles go, this one's big. And as minivans go, this one's cool." -- USA Today
Review Last Updated: 2/17/09

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