2014 Mazda 5

In the Mazda tradition of offering interesting as well as reliable vehicles for shoppers to enjoy, the Mazda 5 is very unique indeed. Coming in with a size that is only about as large as a compact sedan, the Mazda 5 has a sliding side door like a minivan but sits on a car platform. This vehicle is taller than a typical sedan and offers the ability to load bulky items in the rear with the tall rear lift gate access, but only offers a seating arrangement for up to six in the vehicle. Along with all this the Mazda mantra of “zoom zoom” rings true with the Mazda 5 by offering plenty of fun while driving.

Virtually unchanged from the 2013 models, the Mazda 5 is not the typical “mom-mobile” minivan but rather a smaller, sleeker, better handling vehicle that allows owners to know they made a great choice because of the easy to love handling and zippy acceleration. The only real knocks on this vehicle is the lack of electronic upgrades. The sliding doors do not offer a power option, and there is no touch screen to add for infotainment or navigation. This vehicle also does not offer a V6 at all, but it is otherwise a great car to drive.

The Mazda 5 will make a great second family vehicle for anyone, and remind owners it is a perfect choice by being truly Mazda. Offering a very easy to enjoy suspension that soaks up the road very easily and a truly dynamic steering, this car is fun to drive and allows owners excitement on the road. Even though there is no option for a V6 under the hood, the Mazda5 offers plenty of acceleration to take even a full load passing easily on the highway or zipping through traffic in town.

Under the hood is found a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine capable of 157 horsepower and 163 lb.-ft. of torque. Those numbers really aren’t offering bragging rights to the car, but it is plenty of power to take care of this micro-minivan. When partnered with the five-speed automatic transmission the fuel economy is a respectable 22 city/28 hwy mpg. The base Sport model is offered with a six-speed manual transmission capable of fuel efficiency of 21 city/ 28 hwy mpg.

Once inside the cabin, the intelligence of the vehicle is evident with an interior that is very functional. Functional is one of the most important features any family is in search of in a family vehicle and this vehicle offers plenty of it. Offering space for up to six passengers, fold-flat second and third rows of seats, and storage in under the seat cubbies in the second row captain’s chairs, Mazda certainly had the family in mind when designing this vehicle. The third row is a bit cramped and is better suited only for children. Up front is a very well-appointed dashboard that allows the driver to easily control all aspects of the driving experience. When the Grand Touring model is chosen, the steering wheel and the seats all receive leather trimming to offer a very nice and upscale feel to the interior.

From the outside, even though the Mazda 5 is simply a smaller version of a minivan there is plenty of interesting features. Starting up front with the smiling front grill and wrap-back headlights the vehicle appears to be very happy to gobble up some pavement. Heading toward the rear brings a nicely smooth curvature from the hood to the windshield and on back that allows owners to be very pleased to own a vehicle that does appear to have some aerodynamic characteristics. On the side panels in an interesting body molding that sweeps from front to rear and finally the vehicle sits nicely on some very well-designed cut-spoke wheels.

Starting out with the Sport model offers standard features that include cruise control, automatic climate control, remote keyless entry, a manual driver’s seat with height adjustment, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and a six-speaker audio system with USB and auxiliary ports. Heading up to the Touring model adds backup sensors, Bluetooth connectivity, automatic transmission, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, side sill extensions and a rear spoiler. The Grand Touring model adds leather upholstery, a power moon roof, heated front seats, and rain-sensing windshield wipers to the vehicle. All models offer six airbags, traction control, anti-lock brakes and electronic brake-force distribution as standard safety features.

The optional equipment offered for the Mazda 5 really ups the comfort and entertainment factor including a rear seat DVD entertainment system with a seven-inch monitor and two wireless headsets, a remote engine start, and a rearview mirror with a compass and HomeLink remote transmitter. Mazda dealers offer a Garmin navigation system for those who want it as well as a roof rack to haul extra fun stuff on top of the vehicle.

As a very affordable micro-minivan the Mazda 5 comes in with a starting price tag for the Sport model of $20,935, a very reasonable price point for a smart, zippy, and easy to love family vehicle. The automatic transmission can be added to this model for an additional $1,000 to make driving a bit easier. Heading to the top of the line, the Grand Touring model that is fully loaded comes in at a still very easy to live with price of $26,000; an easy enough price to put in the budget and a whole lot of vehicle for the money.

Any family in need of a second family vehicle but really don’t want to head to a full minivan should check out the Mazda 5. This vehicle will surprise anyone shopping for a great family vehicle as both fun and functional. Easily keeping with the Mazda mantra of “zoom zoom” the Mazda 5 will quickly have owners forgetting it’s a family vehicle and simply enjoying the ride whether it’s for work or play, this is a great choice.

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