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Is the Mazda 5 a Good Family Car?

Updated on May 8, 2012

The Minivan Alternative

Do you need a vehicle larger than the average sedan, but don't want to drive a bulky minivan? The Mazda 5 is a sporty family car that bridges the gap between a zippy sedan and a roomy minivan.

Mazda 5 Overview

The vehicle seats six people for the US model, and can seat seven in some European models. The car has three row seating, and the rear seats fold flat to increase room for cargo. The car is fuel efficient, with up to 28mpg, and has a five star crash rating. Second row captain's chairs eliminate "turf wars" among children in the back seat.

Family Friendly Features

The second row captain's chairs have a storage bin under each seat. An emergency stash of diapers, extra toys, and other items can be stored in these bins. The captain's chairs give each child a seat of their own, and a center console provides cup holders and a storage bin for the passengers in the rear seat. With the third-row seats folded down, there is plenty of room for toting sleds, sporting gear, and luggage for family road trips. Joining the carpool is not a problem, as the third row seating allows for a total of six people in the car. Sliding rear doors make entering and exiting the vehicle easy, even in tight parking spaces.

Important Considerations

While the Mazda 5 is an excellent vehicle for families with two children, the second row seats must be folded forward for a passenger to enter the third row. This can be cumbersome when car seats have to be removed for people to enter the third row. While car seats can be placed into the third row seating area, it takes a bit of flexibility to reach into the back and secure car seat buckles. Families which need a vehicle with third row seating on a regular basis may want to consider a minivan rather than the Mazda 5.

In addition, the cargo room nearly disappears when the third row seat is in use. There is a small space in the rear of the vehicle, sufficient for carrying a small amount of groceries, but a set of luggage will not fit in the vehicle with both third row seats in use.

The Mazda 5 does not offer an all-wheel-drive or 4WD option, so families living in the snowbelt should consider purchasing snow tires for the winter season.

The Final Word

The Mazda 5 is an excellent choice for a family of 3 or 4 who needs the occasional use of a third-row seat, and would like more cargo room than a typical sedan offers.

Kelley Blue Book Review of the Mazda 5


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