When I drove the Mazda5 Grand Touring for the first time, I pulled into the grocery store parking lot and turned to my daughter and commented that the car felt really familiar. A quick text confirmed that my sister owns a Mazda5…so we’ve had plenty of experience piling kids and bags into the back.
So here’s the thing – I didn’t want to love the Mazda5. I thought it was too small. But by the end of the week I had fallen in love and didn’t want to give it back.
Looking at the outside of the car, it doesn’t look like a minivan (I suppose that’s a good thing for most people!). On the inside, it looks a little bit more like a minivan, but the legroom and cargo space in the back are quite limited.
My problem is that I tend to look at vehicles through my “mom of many kids” eyes. After driving the Mazda5 for a week and falling in love with the way it handled on the road, I started looking at it differently. Instead of looking at it as a standard minivan, I was able to see it as an incredible larger option for a family of 4.
Perfect car for a family of four
Take my sister as an example. The Mazda5 is a perfect car for herself, her husband, and their two girls. When it’s just the four of them, the girls have plenty of space in the middle row, and the back row of seats can be folded down for extra cargo space (44.4 cubic feet of storage space when third row seats are folded down). When they need to tow around a few extra friends or cousins, the back row of seats does the trick.
My favorite feature
The Mazda5 is insanely easy (and fun) to drive, but my favorite feature is the maneuverability. I have been driving for over 22 years – I’ve had plenty of opportunities over the years to parallel park, but until the week I drove the Mazda5, I dreaded parallel parking situations.
As it happened, I had the Mazda5 through the week that my oldest daughter was in the hospital for an appendectomy and recovery, and there was a lot of back and forth driving between the hospital and home and the store. There was also an insane amount of parallel parking. I have never loved parallel parking so much. The Mazda5 zipped in and out of the parking spots, and I was literally exhilarated every time I made it into a tight space in just one try.
Another thing to love about the Mazda5 is the sticker price. The 2013 Mazda5 Grand Touring (the model that we drove) is priced at $24,470 – a great price for a family car with extra space. The two other models are priced even cheaper. The Mazda5 is not loaded with luxury features, but it has the RIGHT features – the features a small family needs.
Would I buy the Mazda5 for my family? No. I wouldn’t recommend it for a family with more than 2 kids, even though there are technically 6 seats (I still have a hard time calling it a minivan). But I would highly recommend the Mazda5 for a family of four.
2013 MAZDA5 specs
The following features are just a few of the things that come standard on the 2013 Mazda5:
- Rear back-up sensors
- 44.4 cubic feet of cargo space with the 50/50 split fold-down third row seatback
- Convenient sliding rear doors and easy-access rear liftgate
- Two-seat-per-row layout: Three rows. Six passengers
- Second-row captain’s chairs recline for extra comfort and relaxation
- Standard safety features: advanced front air bags, front side-impact air bags and side-impact air curtains for all three rows
- New rear backup sensors on Touring and Grand Touring models
- Automatic climate control with pollen filter standard
- 2nd-row foldout table with dual cup holders and storage bin
- 2nd-row under-seat storage
- Cargo area under-floor storage
- Bluetooth® Phone & Audio Connectivity
- 157-hp 2.5L DOHC engine with variable valve timing
- 5-speed Sport AT
- EPA-EST 22 city/28 Highway MPG with AT
Note: I received a Mazda5 to drive for a week. No compensation was received. All opinions are my own.
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