Last post on Nov 29, 2012 at 9:58 AM
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Mazda MAZDA5, Car Buying, Wagon
#227 of 260 2012 Mazda5 Sport/Auto Owner
Jul 24, 2011 (7:35 pm)
I bought my 2012 Mazda5 Sport/Automatic in May of 2011; and in 2 months I have put 4,000 miles on it, and my wife and I love it more and more each day. I have noted that most of the negative comments about the car (performance, styling, gas mileage, etc.) are from non-owners. Here are my observations...
Best Car Ever for small families or empty nesters! I see the "emply nester" ads for the Toyota Venza, but I believe the Mazda5 has it beat--if for nothing else than the 6 seats rather than the usual 5. And then there's the difference in price! The options on the seating/hauling are excellent! The main reason I first considered the car was for the 6 seats. Yes, the back two are best for children, but my 6 foot son climbed back there to check it out. As he put it "I would't want to go on a family vacation back there, but it wouldn't be all that bad to go across town to dinner." My sentiments exactly, as you can't take 6 people if you don't have seats (and seatbelts) for 6! It works! And for four adults, each has their own seat with armrests and cupholders, and a bunch of room for luggage--much better than almost any other small car. But you do make a choice for hauling stuff--it's either 6 passengers and no stuff, or more stuff and fewer passengers. This last week I went with my son on a family vacation, and went out with 2 adults and 1 child, and a lot of tents, chairs, food, etc. I came back with 2 adults and 3 children, but less stuff--but I still brought back an ice chest, 2 chairs, a tent, 2 sleeping bags with bedding and pillows! And for those who care, I got better than 30 miles to the gallon on the trip with the air conditioning on!
Lets talk about mileage. I am getting 20 to 23 miles per gallon in town (Southern California) with the air conditioning on. It's more like 20 if I really put my foot into it, but always at least 20 and most often 23. The 5 speed automatic is just astonishing. If you are trying to save gas, you can get all the way up to 50 mph with less than 2000 rpm's on the tach. More normal acceleration is easily attainable with 2500 rpm's. The interesting part is if you put your foot into it, you can go over 4,000 rpms in each gear, and get very fast acceleration. I bought the automatic sport as I thought I would be using the "manual" shifting option a lot based on automatics and sticks I have owned over the years. But I actually am using it very little, as the transmission shifts right where you would want it to, depending on the acceleration you want to achieve--when you let up a little on the accelerator--perfect, smooth shifts! The car actually down-shifts automatically as you accelerate out of a corner or on a hill without jamming your foot down on the accelerator--just as you would want to do if you had a stick. Very impressive.
I purchased the Sport Automatic model, as it has all the options I really needed. My car looks great without the spoiler and the lower body moldings. Yes, I would have liked leather, but the nylon seats are really nice! You slide in and stay put, with easy to maintain fabric. It feels really good! Beyond that, the car has cruise control, power windows, power door locks with remote, vanity mirrors on both sides, a nice stereo (that can plug into my smartphone), temperature-set automatic heat and air conditioning (it works great), excellent power steering, 4 wheel disk brakes, and mag wheels. I would like to note here that some reviews complain of a harsh ride on the Mazda5, but with the Sport's 16" wheels (rather than the 17" found on the the Touring models), I believe I get a better ride with the deeper tire profile--you'll note that both tire outside diameters are the same. The handling is great (especially for a wagon), the sliding doors are super nice for adults and kids alike (even adults with disabilities can get in the back seat easily). All these features are "options" on many cars, I don't feel like I'm driving an "economy" car at all.
I would highly recommend this car to all who need it's multi-talented features. As one of my kids said "This isn't a car -- it's a Transformer!" It has economy or plenty of power--you choose. It can haul a lot of stuff or a lot of people -- you choose. Great quality everywhere; it's solid, comfortable (high seating positions) and easy to drive. The only other Mazda I ever owned was a second-hand GLC wagon many years ago. Mazda ads said the "GLC" stood for a "Great Little Car". That car was indeed a "GLC", but I believe the Mazda5 is an even better "Great Little Car". If you have questions, I will answer them to the best of my ability at mccrjkgmail.com.
#228 of 260 Mazda5 is a Real "Sleeper"
Sep 23, 2011 (10:44 pm)
Just took delivery on a 2012 Mazda5. After 20 years of driving Hondas and working on cars myself, I never realized what an excellent vehicle Mazda makes until now. My wife and I really enjoy driving this car. We hope to keep it for many years to come. The dealer has been wonderful! Handling is excellent; engine & transmission (A5) are perfectly matched. I know cars and I must say that the Madza5 is one of the best; others aren't even close.
#229 of 260 Re: Mazda5 is a Real "Sleeper" [ben70]
Sep 24, 2011 (11:10 am)
Welcome to the Mazda5 fan club. I've also been driving a Mini and a Prius, and our Mazda 5 is still my favorite for handling and versatility.
#230 of 260 Towing a light trailer on a Mazda5
Sep 24, 2011 (11:52 am)
We needed to bring 5 people, a dog, and 5 bicycles on a 5000 mile trip. We bought a very light 4x6 utility trailer and had someone weld a frame to hold three bike racks. There was room under the bikes for four big plastic bins, a cooler and propane bottle. With two bikes on top the Mazda5 as well, we were quite a sight. We towed with no apparent problems. (Yes, we know it's not recommended). The only problem towing was in the highest part of the Rockies.
We had problems getting a tow hitch for the Mazda5- they were consistently backordered. We also had problems when we towed the trailer loaded with 2 canoes and no other cargo until we learned about loading the tongue heavily to balance the canoes hanging out the back end. Since we were novice trailer folks, it took awhile to learn to balance the load over the axel.
I wish I could post a picture here. This has been a great way for us to carry light loads long distances.
Sep 27, 2011 (2:16 pm)
Hello, just wanted to annouce that after 2-years of being gone from the Mazda5 board I am back. For those that don't remember or do...I used to own a 2006 Strato Blue Mazda5 Touring Auto which I traded for a 2007 Galaxy Gray Mazda CX-9 Touring.
Well....I still have my, or should I say our CX-9 which we only use occasionally for those long family trips full of luggage. However, I missed my old Mazda5 so much that I was able to afford and pick up another used 2006 Mazda5. This is one though is a lot better...
"2006 Whitewater Pearl Mazda5 Touring 5-SPEED Manual w/Navigation"
Yes I know that the Mazda5 is not perfect with its rear suspension noise, tire eating appetite, frozen sliders, et. al. but neither is any other car and I totally love my Mazda5.
By the way, for those that would like to know...Auto vs Manual trans is like night and day difference. This little wagon should have been offered only in manual, it comes alive and it never feels lethargic.
Anyway, nice to be back!
#232 of 260 Delightful Downsizing: 2012 Mazda5 GT in Clearwater Blue
Oct 04, 2011 (3:06 pm)
Our previous car was a 2004 Honda Pilot. We live in a big city, so 1 car is really all that makes sense for us. The Pilot was a little too big (OK, a lot too big) and not very fuel efficient for driving in the big city, but it was paid off and running great. We planned to run it into the ground. Unfortunately, the guy driving the GMC Envoy who ran a stop sign at 30 mph, T-boning me right in the driver's door, decided to put our Honda Pilot in the ground well ahead of schedule. With very little time on our insurance rental car coverage to find a new car, what were we going to do?
We didn't want another Pilot -- they have only gotten bigger, uglier and more expensive. While our experience with Honda had been superb, we found they really didn't have a car that suited our small, urban family--the CRV has too little seating, and the Pilot and Odyssey are WAY too big and WAY too expensive, especially since we were getting only $12,000 for the totaled Pilot (a fair settlement, but the downside of totaling an older car). We needed something kind of in between, so that we could haul the family, plus kid's friends and/or stuff. My mom wanted us to get the Odyssey, and she wouldn't stop going on about until I told her it was only 1" less in length than the interior of our city garage. Enter, the Mazda5!
My wife was completely skeptical before we test drove it. "It's too small!" When we got to the dealership, and I opened up the sliding doors, the 9-year old leaped into the 2nd row captain's chair, reclined the seat, and proclaimed "this is it!" My wife was quickly won over, too, when she saw the 3rd row seats and the flexibility in the 2nd row--being able to recline and move the seats back and forth is a real plus. The test drive was flawless -- sometimes a car just "fits" you to a tee, and it's obvious from the start. We test drove a few other cars that day, but we couldn't make it back to the Mazda dealer soon enough and buy the Mazda5, a GT in clearwater blue.
That was 1 month ago, and we are very happy Mazda5 drivers. I am only now beginning to get my driving time in, after recovering from the injuries caused by the accident that did in our Honda Pilot. It feels great to be back in a more reasonably sized vehicle. The interior layout and design make the Mazda5 surprisingly fun and comfortable to drive. Although the car IS small, the front seat interior is well designed enough to avoid most of the elbow clashes my wife and I usually end up in when driving smaller cars. The only point of contention is the location of the front seat cupholders -- too low, too far to the rear, and too close to the seatbelt buckles. The quality of the interior work is impressive, the climate control works great, and the moon roof is fun. I'm impressed by and enjoying the "manual" transmission function. We ARE still waiting for the fuel economy to improve -- we drive almost exclusively in Chicago, and we have seen it tick up slowly, but it's still well below the advertised mileage, at least according to the dashboard computer.
As others have said, this vehicle has a flexibility and utility that are unmatched, without the extra price and size of virtually every other SUV and "mini"van on the market.
#233 of 260 Snowbirds
Oct 16, 2011 (7:29 pm)
Has anyone loaded up their 5 and hauled all their stuff to Florida?? We are trying to decide between a 5 and Sienna. Coming from a T&C which we fill up for the trip each year we are afraid the 5 will not have enough room. Willing to cut back some as we loved driving the 5 in our test drive.
#234 of 260 Re: Snowbirds [leewan]
Oct 16, 2011 (8:55 pm)
I've owned an older Sienna (2000) and a Mazda 5 (2008), and loved both of them. When we took the Sienna to the Grand Canyon, we got a canvas bag that sat on the roof and attached to the roof rack with velcro. Since we needed all the seats in, there wasn't room for much beside the five of us in the van.
With the Mazda 5, we've always been amazed at what fits inside, love driving it, and love the gas mileage compared to my Sienna. There's no comparison between the responsive steering in the Mazda5 and the sluggish, oh-did-you-want-to-turn-here? steering on the Sienna.
Good luck with your decision!
#235 of 260 Re: Snowbirds [leewan]
Oct 17, 2011 (7:45 am)
The MZ5 is a great little what I'd like to call "Microvan". Comparing the Sienna to the MZ5 is like comparing apples to oranges. A better comparison would be between a Sienna and an Odyssey. Having said that, if you are planning on using all 6 seats in the MZ5 you will definately need to invest on a roof rack and/or luggage carrying device that will mount to the roof. When all 6 seats are in use you have only pillow/blanket stash room behind the third row. Also, with all this loaded (luggage on roof and six occupants) you will definately feel the difference in power. You'll eventually get to the speed limit but you wont get to it quick. On steep inclines (if you encounter any) your best bet is to move to the right slow lane just to avoid getting ugly stares and the ocasional bird. However, if you are only using 4 seats, then you have tons of room when the third row is stashed away, obviously 5 occupants will diminish interior luggage room but you'll be able to fold one side of the third row to use for luggage.
Anyway, hope this helps. Even with all of the above mentioned, I love my MZ5 and I would never trade it for a "Minivan" (Sienna, Odyssey, et.al)
#236 of 260 Re: Snowbirds [davicho]
Oct 17, 2011 (8:43 am)
Thanks should have said, it is just the two of us going south for the winter