2012 Mazda Mazda5 Review
The 2012 Mazda5 is small for a minivan, but delivers big performance.
Parenthood can seem like a Dora The Explorer-led march into lost identity. Skinny jeans morph into mom jeans, whining replaces wining and dining and pulse-pounding automotive performance gets passed over for practicality. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, test drivers think the 2012 Mazda5 has the practicality parents need and the fun-to-drive personality most minivans lack. While the Mazda5 may not free you from the grips of SpongeBob, it will make tackling the twists in the parenting road a lot more fun.
The 2012 Mazda5 isn’t without compromises. It’s fun to drive, less expensive and gets better fuel economy than most other minivans, but doesn’t offer as much space. The 5 doesn’t offer interior bells and whistles like a navigation system. However, reviewers say the 5 may be just what minimalist families are looking for. Edmunds says the Mazda5 “has everything you need and enough passenger and cargo space for most young families. Essentially a design hybrid between a minivan and a wagon, the Mazda 5 is a great alternative choice and definitely worth a look in these lean economic times."
The 5’s smaller size makes it easier to maneuver in urban spaces than other vans. It also has the best fuel economy ratings in the class and the lowest price. If you’re dreading buying a minivan because of how they drive or don’t quite need all the space and seating they offer, reviewers say the 2012 Mazda5 makes a great choice.
Other Minivans to Consider
Buyers who need more space than the Mazda5 has but also want to stick to a budget should check out the Kia Sedona. The Sedona is a full-sized minivan, but has a lower price than the better-known Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. While the Sedona hasn’t been updated for a while, it’s a good value. It won our 2011 Best Minivan for the Money award and has the longest powertrain warranty in the class.
If you want extra space and more interior features, but don’t want to give up on having some fun while you drive, you should check out the Honda Odyssey. Reviewers say it’s the best-driving full-size minivan, and you can select enough options to outfit the Odyssey like a luxury car. Just keep in mind that the Odyssey starts at almost $9,000 more than the 5 does, and gets worse fuel economy.
Details: 2012 Mazda5
The 2012 Mazda5 has been completely redesigned. Mazda skipped the 2011 model year. The 2012 Mazda5 has a new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 157-horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a five-speed automatic is optional. The Mazda5 seats six in three rows. The 2012 Mazda5 has three trim levels: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring.
- "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
- "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
- "No other vehicle can match the minivan's huge interior space, three rows of seating, sliding rear doors and low ride height. Yet as great as a minivan is, it can be overkill for families with just one or two little ones. That's where the 2012 Mazda 5 comes in."--Edmunds
- "Aside from a few grievances, we like Mazda's mini minivan. It offers a unique and more sensible way to transport people and goods. And it's a good value. Our tester totaled $23,180, while the base model with the manual starts at $19,990. That and the updates for this model year make for a better car -- even if there is no comparison yet."--Motor Trend
- "The Mazda5 is a nifty piece of work that could satisfy a variety of needs, including driving fun, for the relatively low price of $20,000 to $25,000."--USA TODAY
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