Last post on Dec 31, 2012 at 4:17 PM
You are in the Mazda Mazda5
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Mazda MAZDA5, Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, Car Buying, Car Comparisons,, Van
#3 of 22 Re: How many miles will the Mazda5 run? (Help me crunch this data!) [bobw3]
Sep 11, 2012 (4:27 am)
bobw3, your comments all make sense to me. Thanks for the insights! The fewer-miles-driven-per-year hypothesis (for Mazda vs. full-sized minivans) deserves further research.
What we still don't know is how many Mazda5s will make it to the 150,000 or 200,000 mile mark. How many owners will find them surviving sufficiently to be worth the dollars to keep then running that long? If they are driven fewer miles on average than other minivans, then I probably won't have a real-world answer to that question for another 4-5 years. Meanwhile, the reliability stats are the best solution, and they will only reflect short-term maintenance/repair needs and educated guesses about long-term realities.
I think I'm right in concluding that the Mazda5 is still more of a gamble long-term than, say, an Odyssey. What do you all think?
#4 of 22 Re: How many miles will the Mazda5 run? (Help me crunch this data!) [gingrichdk]
Sep 11, 2012 (6:22 am)
With zero data to go on, I still disagree. I think the mazda is a less complex vehicle with lighter-duty hardware that would, ultimately, be cheaper to maitain and repair.
We traded from a mazda5 to a Town & Country. It definitely wasn't my choice. Anyway, I had absolutely no fear of the mazda in terms of reliability and my ability to repair it. Parts are plentiful and easy to obtain, thanks to its ties to the mazda3. And its a pretty easy vehicle to work on. The T&C, on the other hand, is a lumbering, imposing, complicated beast of a thing. I would feel the same about any full-sized van built in recent years.
Is any of this scientific? Nope, not in the least. Just my perceptions.
#5 of 22 Re: How many miles will the Mazda5 run? (Help me crunch this data!) [gingrichdk]
Sep 11, 2012 (6:43 am)
You have to look at initial cost too. If you buy a Mazda5 for $20k and an Odyssey for $30K, you're already $10K ahead with the Mazda5. Plus the gas cost. If you average 20MPG with the Odyssey and 25MPG with the Mazda5, over 100,000 miles at $4/gal it will cost you $4,000 more to drive the Odyssey, so now you're at $14,000 greater cost with the Odyssey.
According to the Edmunds Used Car Appraiser, a 2006 Mazda 5 Touring with 100,000 miles has about a $6,000 trade-in value and a 2006 Odyssey EX-L with 100,000 miles has a trade-in value of $10,500, so the difference is $4,500. If you subtract that off the $14,000 additional cost of the Odyssey, you're still ahead with the Mazda5 by $9,500.
So even if the Mazda5 repairs are a few thosand more, you're still better off financially with the Mazda5. And if you kept the Mazda 5 even longer, you'll have even more of a savings due to the better MPG of the Mazda 5 and the resale value of the two vehicles will get closer and closer together as the cars get older.
#6 of 22 Re: How many miles will the Mazda5 run? (Help me crunch this data!) [bobw3]
Sep 11, 2012 (8:04 am)
Agree with bobw3. Couldn't of said it better.
#7 of 22 Re: How many miles will the Mazda5 run? (Help me crunch this data!) [davicho]
Sep 11, 2012 (9:57 am)
Of course you really need to start with the question of "How big of a vehicle do I need?" Even if the Mazda5 will save money in the long run, if you're going carry 6 people and their luggage on a regular basis, then the pain of trying to do that in a Mazda5 will be a lot as compared to an Odyssey. At some point you'll have to assign a "comfort/convenience" factor to the Odyssey. That being said, if you really only need an Odyssey-sized vehicle once a year for the three week family vacation, you could always rent a van for those trips, but if you did that every year, that would really narrow the long-term price difference.
I think the bottom line is that if a Mazda5 meets your needs, then buy it. If you need an Odyssey-sized vehicle more than once a year, then buy the Odyssey.
#8 of 22 Re: How many miles will the Mazda5 run? (Help me crunch this data!) [bobw3]
Sep 11, 2012 (6:05 pm)
Thanks to all again for your perceptive observations. I agree with much of what you all have said. I calculated that I would save about $400 on gas per year with the Mazda5, compared to other other "big three" vans.
I would qualify a few things, though. I think that a lot of mechanics would say the Caravan is a comparatively easy vehicle to work on. Larger vehicles are often easier to work on (the battery is easier to access on the Caravan than on the Mazda5, I believe, for a simple example) and there are so many Caravans on the road that the average mechanic has worked on many of them.
I've also read that larger vehicles, on average, last for more miles than do smaller vehicles. Whether that's due to better wear of larger parts, or to more dedicated upkeep by owners for vehicles that are more expensive to begin with, I don't know. Probably some of both.
I'm also finding that the actual purchase price of an Odyssey and a Mazda5 with similar mileage (around the 100,000 mark) is closer than the Edmunds trade-in values suggest, reducing the long-term savings of a Mazda5.
bobw3's last post is the clincher for us. My wife and I went van shopping today, car seats in tow, and agreed the Mazda5 is just too small for us. Three children and two or three 2000 mile trips per year, plus medium-sized ones, would mean a lot of very close company. Renting here from rural southern Iowa is an expensive option. (I just priced it for a recent trip to Virginia, and it would have cost about $500, plus about 5 hours of driving/processing time to get the van to our place before the trip ever started!) With three children, we would need a luggage carrier on such long trips, which would cut into fuel savings and increase inconvenience, especially when visiting family in Canada at Christmas (frozen luggage) and friends in New York City (lack of security for luggage).
I really wanted to like the Mazda5. It's fun and ingenious! But I'd only recommend it for families of 3 or 4 max.
So now it's waiting for a good deal on an Odyssey or Sienna, or buying the ubiquitous Caravan, which will really serve our needs much better.
Again, thanks for your thoughts!
Sep 11, 2012 (6:38 pm)
So you did all this analysis to find out the Mazda5 was too small? I could have told you that up front.... Suggest you look at the Nissan Quest as it rates higher than the Odyssey and Sienna. And...be prepared to spend almost double.... ...and that's just on the purchase!
#10 of 22 Re: Duh.... [godeacs]
Sep 12, 2012 (6:53 am)
Yes I agree with godeacs. If you would have said from the beginning that you had 3 kidos to lug around, we all would have told you to just go directly with a full-sized mini-van.The Mazda5 is good for family of 4 tops with the occasional 1-2 passengers for short trips (no luggage). Definately look at all four options...Chrylser, Honda, Toyota and Nissan. Good luck, let us know what you went with.
#11 of 22 Re: How many miles will the Mazda5 run? (Help me crunch this data!) [gingrichdk]
Sep 12, 2012 (8:43 am)
So if a full-sized minivan is what you need, if it were me I'd buy a 2-3 year old Sienna. Because of the new car depreciation you'll save thousands. I've priced used Odysseys vs used Siennas and it seems that used Odysseys are more expensive, but either way you'll save over brand new.
If you've been researching the financial so much, I suggest doing a new vs used long term comparison. I would only go with a used Sienna or Odyssey and stay away from anything else. I'd much rather have a 2 year old Odyssey instead of a brand new Caravan even at the same price. And whatever you get, try to find something with the capability of carrying 3 in the second row, so if you really need to load the thing up you'll have a huge cargo area behind the 2nd row with three comfortable passengers in the second row. The Sienna comes with a 2nd row bench that can hold 3 adults just fine.
I think the main reason the Mazda5 doesn't sell very well, is that if folks really need a minivan because they have 3 or more kids, then the Mazda 5 isn't large enough. But then if they only have two kids, then just about any car with four doors will work. So the only folks needing a Mazda5 type vehicle would be those with two kids, but on occasion need to carry one or two more, which probably isn't a very common scenario.
#12 of 22 Re: Duh.... [davicho]
Sep 12, 2012 (5:27 pm)
Yup, godeacs and davicho, I can be a little research-crazy at times. And I'm a tight-wad, so I really wanted to make a fuel-efficient car work.
I haven't considered the Nissan yet, so I should lot at it, too. Thanks for the suggestion!