Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Devon hops in the smallest minivan you can buy (used)

Mazda5 (II) – Frontansicht, 25. August 2013, Düsseldorf.jpg
The Mazda 5 is living proof that you don't need a large 4x4 to carry a family around in comfort. It's dinky size means that it's a easy to park and good on gas. All while offering a clever six passenger configuration. In the land of the large 4x4, can Mazda convince buyers going small is all the rage?

Likes: Decent amount of space in the cabin, tons of equipment standard for such a low asking price, low running costs and impressive handling.

Dislikes: Firm ride over some surfaces, interior plastics don't feel up to par, may prove to be too small for some families.

Performance: The Mazda 5 comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 160hp. It does a good job of pulling the 5 around town and on the motorway. Fuel economy is decent too. It's not the sportiest engine, and you'll have to rev it hard to get up to speed with the automatic. We'd stick with the base trim for the manual gearbox.

Ride & Handling: The 5 can handle pretty well for a car of its size and weight. However, the trade-off is the ride is a little too firm for some taste. The pay off is solid body control, which is combined with impressive grip and quick steering. This makes the 5 more engaging to drive than other MPVs.

Refinement: The 2.4-liter engine operates very smoothly. There's some wind noise when you pick up speed on the motorway, road noise however is pretty much subdued. All six passengers will love how refined the cabin feels. It's airy and comfortable on long journeys.

Behind the wheel: There's plenty of adjustments for the steering wheel and front seats, so drivers can get comfortable easily. All-round visibility is pretty good thanks to a high driving position, and many functions that can be controlled by the buttons on the steering wheel. The stereo controls on the dash are a bit confusing.

Space & Practicality: The 5 can carry six passengers in somewhat comfort. The second row passengers will feel comfortable, while third row passengers will feel a bit cramped. Plus the boot isn't massive with all the seats up. You'll have to fold down the third row seat to carry anything more than a few suit cases. Headroom and legroom is generous to all but the third row. Which should be left to the kids.

Equipment: The Mazda 5 comes well equipped. Even the base model will satisfy most buyers. Alloy wheels, climate control, stability control and six speaker sound system come standard. Top of the range adds Xenon headlamps, rain sensing wipers, heated front seats and moonroof.

Buying & Owning: The Mazda 5 comes with a low asking price. You'll have to step up to the higher trims to really get the toys that you want. Resale value is strong so your investments will be well protected. Discounts are available, but aren't anything to brag about. Running costs should be low thanks to decent fuel economy.

Quality & Reliability: Mazda's record on mechanical reliability is pretty impressive. So you shouldn't have any worries on that score. The cabin has a solid feel that inspires confidence that the car will last. While many rivals offer classy, soft touch plastics. The 5's is hard, scratchy and rather dour.

Safety & Security: The Mazda 5 comes with advanced front, side impact airbags and side-impact curtain airbags. Traction control, and stability program are standard as well as sophisticated braking system to help you avoid trouble. On the security, all 5's come with both alarm and engine immobilizer.

The Mazda 5 doesn't look like your conventional minivan. It's smaller than a conventional minivan, but that doesn't mean it's not as good. You get a six passenger seating configuration, sliding doors and a long list of features that justify the low asking price. Although the 5 maybe too small for some families, its still a great MPV all round. With responsive handling and low running cost takes the sting out of owning one. Helping the Mazda 5 one attractive offer too good not to consider.

Devon M 

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