- Seats up to six passengers
- Van-like sliding rear doors
- 28 mpg highway
The 2014 Mazda Mazda5 shines as a minimalist alternative to minivans, with better fuel economy and a lower base price than other people movers on the market.
Minivans these days have grown to the point that the “mini” in their name seems to be a misnomer. More traditional offerings like the Toyota Sienna or the Honda Odyssey have grown to the point where they almost as large as full-size SUVs.
And that’s really where the rubber meets the road with the six-seat Mazda5; it is a low-cost, fuel efficient alternative for active families that want plenty of individual seat space for family members, but still want good fuel economy and a smaller footprint.
Viewed from the side, the Mazda5 does have a profile is similar to a minivan, just smaller in every dimension. It has the same two sliding doors and a rear liftgate, and a few distinct styling elements that separate it from the pack, like the wavy folds that add texture and drama to the sheetmetal. Up front lies the easily recognizable “smiling” Mazda grille. 16-inch wheels and halogen headlights are standard, while sporty touches like foglights and a small rear spoiler are optional.
Under the hood there is only one engine option: a 157-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder that outputs 163 pounds-feet of torque and is mated to a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission. Thanks to its smaller size which doesn’t need a large engine, the Mazda5 is a head-above the competition when it comes to fuel economy rolling in at 22/28 mpg city/highway with the automatic (the manual lowers city mpg to 21).
Inside, the Mazda5 seats six across three rows (two in each row) and thanks to its high ceiling, offers an airy feeling cabin that isn’t claustrophobic. Automatic climate control, cruise control, USB port, and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel are also standard. For those who want to spruce up the Mazda5 even more, options include leather upholstery, heated front seats, and Bluetooth connectivity.
Standard safety features include all-disc antilock brakes, an electronic stability system, and side curtain airbags for all three rows.