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Mazda 5 vs Kia Rondo

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  • I won't jump into conclusions on which car has faired better based on this number until I see a trend but, to me, this means that if you are still on the market for a compact people mover the facelifted 2008 Mazda5 is worth taking a look at (as there is no advertising for it really).

    Are there any numbers for the US 2008 Rondo available? It would be interesting to see if it is a market target effect or just a good month car sales in general...


    MAZDA ACHIEVES BEST JANUARY IN 14 YEARS
    Sales up 10.2 Percent; MAZDA5 and MAZDA6 Record Best-Ever January

    IRVINE, Calif. – Coming off a year in which its sales grew more than 10 percent, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) today reported its best January since 1994 with sales of 21,212 vehicles for January 2008, accounting for a 10.2 percent increase versus last year.

    MAZDA6 celebrated its best-ever January with sales of 6,333 units, up 27.0 percent over last year. Not to be outdone, the MAZDA5 multi-activity vehicle, which has been freshened for 2008 and only on the market for a short time, also celebrated its best-ever January with sales of 1,699 units, accounting for a 28.4 percent increase.

    Mazda CX-9, which was recently named North American Truck of the Year, reported sales of 1,850 units while its sibling, CX-7, recorded 2,555 units sold. January sales were led in volume by MAZDA3, which reported sales of 6,579 units.

    “After closing 2007 as the fastest-growing major car company in the U.S., we kicked off 2008 signaling our intention for another strong year,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO, MNAO.


    http://media.ford.com/mazda/article_display.cfm?article_id=27597&make_id=227
  • radar1radar1 Posts: 25
    Looks like the Rondo did much better than last year, and almost twice as well as the Mazda5 in January. I think this is just the 2007 model; I don't think the 2008 Rondo has hit the showrooms yet.
    Rondo 3,226 in Jan 2008 vs 478 in Jan 2007.
    SOURCE Kia Motors America
  • 2008 Rondo not yet in the showrooms? Oh well, KIA may be working on the 2008.5 model instead then.

    Thanks for the info. As I said, I won't jump into any conclusions until I see a trend, but it is good to see that the compact people movers did well this month, especially for an SUV dominated market.

    Oh, and question: When the 07 Rondo was released in the US Market? Is it fair to compare Jan 07 to Jan 08?
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    yet again the Mazda 5 did better in Canada by selling 735 units for January 2008 compared to 663 units for the Rondo. This could be a mixture of '07's and '08's.
  • Thanks for the info, very close. Some Canadian owners have mentioned that about 50% of Mazda5s have been sold in the Quebec area, mainly Montreal (Parlez vous Mazda5? :D). Compared to the market size, Compact People Movers seem far more popular in Canada that in the US in my non-expert opinion...
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    I'd would agree with you, its quite a different market to the US, also its true that they do sell a lot of Mazda's in the province of Quebec.

    Also the Mazda 3 was the 2nd largest selling car in Canada for 2007 with sales of 48,236. Taking into account that the US population is 9.5 times larger than Canada thats equivalent to 458,242 units.

    The number one seller is the Honda Civic and in 3rd place is the Toyota Corolla.
  • yeah, like he said..rondo. I knew a ronda and she was just about as ugly as the kia. Did you LOOK at the car? To me it looks like a toon. Nicely equiped toon. I don't think the Kia will hold its value as well as the "5" which is something that you need to consider at sell/trade-in time. The 5 handles like a sedan (thus the zoom-zoom). The Kia shakes on the freeway and is like the wagon that it is. However, to each his own.
  • ooooo, that's good thinkin!!
  • bgwbgw Posts: 116
    The KIA shakes on the freeway, sleepwalker? How do you know, have you driven one? If you have, then it needed a wheel balancing.
    My 07 EX V6 is the most stable and solid vehicle on the highway I have ever owned, and I have had my share of Hondas, Subarus, Dodges, Chev's and Fords.
    I drove the Mazda5 and really liked it, however it is not rated to tow at all and the V6 Rondo is rated at 2,500 lbs. That made the difference for me.
    I personally feel that the Rondo, particularly in Urban Grey which mine is, is a very nice looking vehicle, cleanly designed with more than a hint of Porsche Cayenne or BMW X5 in the rear 3/4 view.
    As for value, I guess we will have to wait and see. The 10 yr warranty will be a factor.
  • Sleepwalker said:

    "yeah, like he said..rondo. I knew a ronda and she was just about as ugly as the kia. Did you LOOK at the car? To me it looks like a toon. Nicely equiped toon. I don't think the Kia will hold its value as well as the "5" which is something that you need to consider at sell/trade-in time. The 5 handles like a sedan (thus the zoom-zoom). The Kia shakes on the freeway and is like the wagon that it is. However, to each his own."
    --------

    Me personally, I'm keeping my Rondo for the long haul, so resale value is irrelevant. Yes, the Rondo handles like a wagon and I like the way it handles. As for the shaking, unless you were test driving it during an earthquake, I haven't noticed an inordinate amount of shaking. In fact, the smooth ride is one of the Rondo's strengths.

    (Parts of the remaining post is meant to be humourous--whether it's actually humourous or not is another story--and is definitely not meant to be a vicious attack against sleepwalker, who is merely a convenient foil. I could have addressed this to anybody, really. Perhaps I'm pushing it, but I don't think I've crossed a line or strayed off-topic, but that's for the Mod to decide.)

    You're not secure enough of a man to drive a vehicle that looks like a "toon", sleepwalker? You care that much about what other people think? Perhaps you may believe that a real man would drive only a real vehicle--not a Rondo, that's for sure--but a real hot and sporty number. I think, however, that a real man doesn't give a damn what others think and drives whatever vehicle he pleases.

    I certainly agree that the Rondo isn't as long and sleek as the Mazda5, so if you need to drive the Mazda5 as compensation for a certain lack, be my guest. As The Family Guy's Peter Griffin once said, "Every guy you see with a big house or a fancy car or a shiny gold tooth is really just saying, 'Don't look at my penis.'"

    So there I am, driving through the city in my fugly Rondo, with throngs of people lining the streets and pointing and laughing at me. Hey, what do I care? I got it where it counts. I got your Rondo for you right here, jerky.

    If you only hang out in forums that support and reinforce your own tastes, you start getting delusions of grandeur and start believing that your own vehicle is the greatest and prettiest vehicle ever conceived by Man or Martian in the whole Universe plus other dimensions. Would you believe that I've read comments that state that the Mazda5 is one ugly dog, too, that it's just another odd-looking mini people hauler, that they wouldn't be caught dead in one? What, that's just crazy talk, eh? The people who are saying that must be on the wacky tobaccy, whereas the people who say the same thing about the Rondo must be enlightened beings.

    Okay, I get it that the Rondo doesn't conform to what is considered stylish for cars these days, and the Mazda5 does (yea for conformity!). I get it that there are probably more people out there doing the dry heaves when they see the Rondo as compared to the Mazda5. Look at the Rondo's large green-house windows! How 1980s. Check out that low beltline! Dude, low beltlines only look hot on women's jeans. Get a load of that jellybean profile! If your car doesn't look like a flying wedge, get out of town.

    The Rondo is utilitarian to a fault, making no apologies for its lack of sports-car aspirations when it comes to its handling, performance and, yes, looks. The Rondo, quite simply, is a mini-minivan disguised as a tall station wagon (targeting those people who have an adverse reaction to sliding doors and all that it connotes, I suppose). If the Rondo is ugly, it's ugly for the very same reason any minivan is ugly--it's all about the utility and versatility, baby. As this World of Wheels review states:

    Styling? Well, what can you say? Let’s say such nondescript styling really works well with Rondo’s overall mission of substance over style. Curious, too, that when many manufacturers bust a gut to make their crossovers all macho and SUV-like, we have Kia opting to make a crossover more minivan like. But again, if the most efficient use of space means a minivan profile, then that’s what we should get.

    The point is, the Rondo isn't even trying to look cool or slick. The Rondo ain't a pretender--it is exactly what it is. If the Rondo were trying to look stylish but missed the mark, then blast away. But why criticize it for lacking what it wasn't trying to achieve in the first place? If you want cool and slick, get the Mazda5 (because, apparently, the 5 has plenty of that). Personally, I couldn't care less if my practical, everyday ride is not cool or is presumably ugly. Good heavens, who cares?

    Well, there are people out there who do care. And as the old saying goes, to each his own.

    Are you confident enough of a man to drive a beast like the Rondo and risk the ridicule of friends, family, co-workers, pets, ungulates, blow-up dolls? I guess I am.

    (That ends the funny. BTW, if I sounded like a defensive and insecure [non-permissible content removed] for saying all of that--well, you're right. I'm insecure, and secure. How Zen is that?)
  • you wrote The Kia shakes on the freeway and is like the wagon that it is. However, to each his own.

    Well I have an EXV6 and I can say without a doubt that this is not true.

    On the highway, I took it up to around 100 mph and the car was so steady that I could have let go of the steering wheel and it certainly did not feel I was going this fast. This is when I decided that the cruise control that came with it was a very good thing to have.

    I dont think you ever driven a Rondo because you would not say such things.
    In addition, about holding it value, I dont really care, I intend on keeping my Rondo for many years to come.
  • After looking at all the responses for about a couple of years I have come to the non-expert conclusion that although the Mazda5 and the Rondo are functionally very similar it seems that they are not purchased by or they don't attract the same audience.

    Mazda5 audience: young families, small kids, the Zoom-Zoom component is key (i.e. low profile tires, handling, looks, even manual transmission). They are not too focused on extremely fancy amenities i.e. leather but more into more appealing exterior and interior (i.e. electroluminescent gauges, better designed dashboard, aux input) along with versatility to haul the family around (including sliding doors).

    Rondo audience: more mature audience, no kids or no kids anymore, like comfort such as leather, V6 and superb sound, but no longer worried about how it looks (interior or exterior) as long as it is functional, oh and it needs to fit adults in the 2nd row seats. In summary: the comfort of a big car but in a compact model.

    I won't go into details (again) about space and versatility and if one is better on here or there because there is no winning argument for 2 very different audiences. And the ones who have seen the space and seating versatility pics posted everywhere can attest on their own, no very long explanations needed.

    There are of course audience exceptions to the rule, but that, in average, seems to be the case. I'm sure several will reply that is not true, but we are a small sample anyhow. My 2 cents
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    about the comment that the Rondo shakes on the highway,

    WRONG- I have a '08 EX 5-seater with the 2.4L and its great on the highway, very smooth, handles great, lots of power and quiet. Personally I like its looks and is extremely functional and doesn't look like anything else on the road. I also notice that it is much more stable in side winds that my other vehicle that was 10" lower. I also appreciate the large "greenhouse" visibility which adds to the safety of this vehicle.
    Its the top seller KIA vehicle in Canada.

    MM - always a pleasure to ready your comments.
  • mrbwa1mrbwa1 Posts: 42
    It is unfortunate that many people online post snap judgments or post topics suck as my car/boat/camera/etc is better than your car/boat/camera/etc. Both the Mazda 5 and Kia Rondo off good approaches to a problem. Neither vehicle is really "better" than the other, each simply fills different needs.

    My wife an I have a Mazda5, but also looked at the Rondo. My wife was apprehensive about Kia historical reliability. This is not really fair to the latest Kias, but is an unfortunate hurdle to clear for prospective buyers. Honestly, the big selling point for us was the sliding doors on the Mazda5. Our 2 car garage is extremely small, making it difficult to get 2 decent sized cars in there along with all of our stuff. The sliders are much easier for us in this tight space.

    Other have often posted about the Kia's V6, especially for towing. while it is not a factor for me, I can see the draw, as the Mazda5 is not rated for towing at all. Also, the ability to seat 5 and have generous cargo room is missing in the 5. For us, it is not a big deal, but adding any visitor into the 5, along with the baby stroller fills it right up.

    On a side note, I think the Rondo looks VERY different depending on the trim level and paint color, wheres the 5 looks about the same in all levels/colors. Also, looks are overrated in cars (except maybe the Pontiac Aztec.... I just don't get that one)
  • Question mrbw1a. What car seat and stroller do you have? Those things are massive. I have seated 5 adults and a baby on car seat with a large stroller in the back of the 3rd row and yes is packed, but my car seat is much wider than the width of a regular adult, so the captain chairs of the 2nd row are much better in my case as they provide the extra space needed for the car seat. A 2nd row full "bench" would not have been able to let me sit 2 adults and a baby seat. If you see the pics, I actually managed to fit the large stroller in the back of the 3rd row. In summary, I would not have seen a difference with a 7-seater with my big baby car seat :(.

    Purely commuting with adults, yes, I agree, 7-seater > 6-seater. For babies, it is funny how those small sized troublemakers can need more gear than 2 adults all together :)

    And yes, I agree, I'm also able to load/unload (including baby of course) my Mazda5s inside the garage in a cold Winter morning. The space is tight, so with no sliding doors, I would not have been able to do so.

    image

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  • becpbecp Posts: 2
    First off .. I'm mid 40's.. no kids drive lots and a gadget freak ... so a basic model is just not me. I just spent a few weeks test driving the M5, Rondo, Legacy Wagon, and looked at the Tuscon, Outlander, Compass, Rav4, Matrix and countless others that did not seem to fit my criteria.

    Although I really wanted an AWD vehicle my thought was to get the most features within my budget of $500.00 / mo all in... including warranty beyond my payments term.

    Features I was used to not going to do without were leather, nav, stereo and sunroof... and enough room to sleep in the back (no its not intended to be my home lol)

    This took Honda and Toyota out of the picture unless I wanted a smaller Fit size vehicle... I have owned the 92 Accord EX Wagon (My fav vehicle so far .. I sold it still in great running condition with 498,600 Kms ) and 95 - 4Runner that had everything but leather which convinced me I wanted leather

    Tuscon just didn't so anything for me .. not sure why, it just didn't...

    Jeep kind of scares me as it is a domestic vehicle... living in Windsor for 20 years taught me that some of us just dont care enough about making a good vehicle every day we go to work ... BTW Never buy one made on a Friday or Monday of a long weekend was the word of caution from workers ... NOT kidding .. but calm down patriots, I just traded in my Eddie Bauer Explorer.

    The Rondo was my first test drive on the first day of my Ï want to buy a new vehicle excursion... It had it all .. includiung the warranty ... ok so the sunroof was more for the back seat .. so what , I took it out and I really loved the way it handles (even on hwy) and loved everything about it .. untill i noticed I was starting to feel uncomfortable .. my arms had no place to rest ... I am used to that centre console and side arm rest... I started thinking of what I liked in the Explorer so I turned on the stereo .. and it was poor .. not even fair .. I would consider it poor ... when back at the dealership .. I asked about arm rests and stereo upgrade and told no to armrests and that was the upgraded stereo ...

    Next door was the Subaru dealership ..Legacy was my dream vehicle ... I absolutely LOVED that vehicle ... but to get most of the top features on my list it had to be the GT model or after market products (sunroof and nav) which again scares me ... hmmm do I scare too easy ... perhaps lol)

    So I went to see about the Mazda .. and I too only seen them on the road ... I loved the sliding doors ... rode pretty darn good... lots of room ... and wow I can get it fully loaded within my budget ... 6 year financing and 7 year warranty ... I bought the black one out of the showroom with 8km on it ...

    Never did get into the Outlander .. ohh well
  • Thanks for the compliment, conwelpic. I'm never sure how people will react to my posts because I usually say what's on my mind unfiltered and I'll go on about it (and sometimes regret it later). I often focus on the emotional and subjective aspects of vehicle ownership rather than on mere facts and figures. To me, if you don't discuss that stuff, you're missing half of the picture. I don't think people are used to that style of writing, maybe on a blog, but not on a forum.

    I always enjoy your posts, mrbwa1. Sometimes, people try to be balanced but you can often sense that they're holding back what they really think. I don't sense that in you.

    Coolmazda5, for my own situation, I've utilized all seven seats in my Rondo on the rare occasion with a mix of adults, kids and up to two child seats with an umbrella stroller behind the third row (a larger stroller will not fit). With six occupants, a larger stroller can fit by folding down one of the third-row seats. I've had no problems seating two adults and a child seat (maybe not your child seat) in the second row. It's a given that sliding doors would make loading even easier, but I've had no major difficulties loading the vehicle with adults, kids or child seats in my rather thin two-car garage.

    becp, welcome to the forum. The Rondo does have armrests up front, one on each of the doors and a shared armrest (more like an elbow rest, really) on the center console. I'm sure you must have noticed them, but perhaps your height is a factor? I'm over six feet tall and my arms rest quite comfortably on the armrests. I have no real opinion about the stereo because I'm one of those rare individuals who mostly drive with the sound system turned off.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    Can't see the photos.
  • Do you have any pics of actual people seating or things fitting in the Rondo? I think I have asked this earlier, but just in case. Pictures give more sense to the discussion... "A picture is worth more than 1000 words"
  • Weird. I uploaded them here in CarSpace to avoid any non-compatibility issues. What about the links?

    http://www.carspace.com/coolmazda5/Albums/mazda5%20cargo/mazda5_stroller_001.jpg- - - /photo/v./photo.jpg

    http://www.carspace.com/coolmazda5/Albums/mazda5%20cargo/mazda5_stroller_003.jpg- - - /photo/v./photo.jpg

    And I have added the ones with the car seat. Captain chairs just make it work well, the baby seats are extremely wide

    image

    image
  • mrbwa1mrbwa1 Posts: 42
    coolmazda5: thanks for the photos. I remember seeing them a while back and they look like a similar stroller. Our son was born Jan 24th (Our 1st), so we really haven't had too many outings. I'm still getting the hang or fatherhood right now. We have also have my 2 1/2 yr old nephew in a booster seat in the 5 a few times and the 6-seat configuration is very nice there. He also loves the 5 because he can operate the sliding doors due to their low effort! Surprisingly, with a toddler in the middle row and the seat all the way up, he had a nice foot rest on the back of the passenger seat and I had decent room back in the 3rd row "economy class" section. (The wife is usually driving "her" car).

    I'll also second the amazing amount of space that baby "stuff" takes up in a car! Another nice thing about the 5 is the shallow tray in the back. I just checked and ours is filled with extra wipes, diapers, etc.

    All and all, I think the 5 has some very kid-friendly features that helped sway opur decision. BUT, if I were putting in a bunch of adults, or perhaps needing to tow, than the Rondo has some advantages there.
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    becp - congratulations on the purchase of the '08 Mazda 5, I'm sure you will enjoy it very much.
    However I was extremely surpised regarding your comment
    "my arms had no place to rest ... I am used to that centre console and side arm rest... I started thinking of what I liked in the Explorer so I turned on the stereo .. and it was poor .. not even fair .. I would consider it poor ... when back at the dealership .. I asked about arm rests and stereo upgrade and told no to armrests and that was the upgraded stereo ... "

    this is totally opposite to my findings, the combination of the door rest and the centre console armrest makes it very confortable and just at the right height and I also find that if you are using the transmission manually, that resting your arm on the console armrest to shift is the ideal height - couldn't be more perfect set up. I have the seat all the way back and I'm 5'-11".
    Regarding the stereo - I find it outstanding and listening to my CD's through the six speakers, I couldn't ask for a better sound. It's so easy to operature, maybe it wasn't set up right? Very puzzling comments, almost like you are not driving the same vehicle I own.

    some pictures
    carrying a large item in the back of my Rondo

    image

    possible storage capacity in the 5-seater model

    image
  • Finally some pics. That gives a better "picture" to potential buyers. What is in the box? I think I posted these long time ago, but here we go again, I'm not tracking where all my old posts are:

    Here is a swing set (2 seater). The store did not think it would fit :D. I just had to tie the liftgate and drive through back roads.

    image

    image

    And here is trip day (4 seater):

    image
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    don't see your pictures in this last post, I see mine. The pictures on your early one with the stroller came out fine.

    The box weighed nearly 200lbs and was 56" long, 33" wide and 25" high, I had quite a bit of room to the back of the front seats when it was in place.
  • I'm afraid to say that mine was bigger than yours, sort to speak (that sounded nasty) although I think less heavy

    Damn Carspace web site, it is so weird and user unfriendly, I see them OK on my side even if I don't log in. Oh well, that is one of the reasons I don't use it often.

    What about the links:

    http://www.carspace.com/coolmazda5/Albums/mazda5%20cargo/1.jpg

    http://www.carspace.com/coolmazda5/Albums/mazda5%20cargo/3.jpg

    http://www.carspace.com/coolmazda5/Albums/mazda5%20cargo/4.jpg
  • I resist to use any other forum site for pics hosting so to respect this CarSpace forum rules, but here are the links to the car seats if you are still interested, if not, well, just don't click on them :P.

    Tested on Firefox and Internet Explorer...

    http://www.carspace.com/coolmazda5/Albums/mazda5%20cargo/mazda5_car_seat_width_1- 7.jpg/photo/v./photo.jpg

    http://www.carspace.com/coolmazda5/Albums/mazda5%20cargo/mazda5_car_seat_width_1- 8.jpg/photo/v./photo.jpg
  • becpbecp Posts: 2
    Thanks conwelpic and medicineman !!
    Im a perdy skinny guy and 5-11 myself ... so that is odd how it fit you .. It was just not doing it for me... Im my previous SUV's the seats were higher so I guess I could be closer to the steering wheel so my elbows were able to rest on the door armrest and console... The ability to move the steering wheel around has always helped me get comfy in a vehicle ... but in the Rondo, when my legs were comfortable with the seat back I also noticed my arms were stretched out ...I played with the seat and drove for about a 1/2 hour adjusting all the time trying to get it right ... I had to reach out to the steering wheel ... believe me I wanted it to be comfortable ... M5 has very limited seat adjustments, not powered ( that feature I loved in my Explorer to adjust all different ways... so Im lucky it works for me or I may still be shopping or settled for the Legacy Touring addition)

    As for audio .. being in the music industry most of my life... I was trying for a sound I enjoyed ... again it just wasn't doing it for me (I had no CD's with me on any test drives and rely on radio most of the time anyways)

    I think the real deal breaker for me was that I had to get the 7 seater to get the options I wanted and to fit my monthy budget, it would have forced me to have a substantial pay out after the finacing term available ... but make no mistake, the Rondo was impressive ... the way that the back seats of the Rondo layed out flat was excellent ... the protective backing on the seats .. it was roomy ... I was in luv lol ... seeing your pics with the seats folded down bring a tear to my eye (kidding of course)

    Bottom line ... the M5 won my over... I am loving it ... up to 600km WEEW HEWWW! lol ... no regrets yet lol
  • Okay, I took some pictures with the strollers and child seats in place. BTW, I didn't bother asking anyone (i.e., the wife) to sit in the car to demonstrate the car's roominess (or lack there of). When I told her what I was doing, she basically mocked me for wasting my time on this--and she's pretty much right. Ahh, she always provides a dose of reality.

    First thing you'll notice in the pictures is that I only have the base for the baby seat. The baby was sleeping in the seat inside the house when I took these pictures and I don't think the wife would have been happy if I took the seat (with or without baby) just for this photography session.

    Second thing, I hope everyone appreciates the effort it took to take these pictures, because I lost some blood over this--literally. While I was taking the last couple of pictures, I noticed that there was a reddish smudge on the seat and couldn't quite figure out what the heck it was. Then I noticed that my thumb was bleeding. I had somehow sliced it while moving stuff around in the garage (I guess). On closer examination, I found even more red spots in the vehicle and on the strollers. Needless to say, I wasn't doing the happy dance. So nobody better ask me to take any more pictures because you're just opening up a can of whoop [non-permissible content removed]!

    Lastly, the pictures are fuzzy because I used my cellphone camera. Sorry about that.

    Here's the umbrella stroller behind the third-row seats. Obviously, a larger stroller won't fit back there. Notice underneath the stroller that there's a handle flush with the floor --lift up the lid and you got some storage space below.

    image

    A larger stroller can fit after storing a third-row seat. Notice the third-row armrests on each side--lift up the lid on top of the armrest and you got a little more storage space. (In the first picture, see the red spot on the top-right set of wheels on the larger stroller? That's my DNA.)

    image

    image

    Here are the two child seats. The blue thing is the base for the baby seat (it's latched into place although you can't see the anchors). The other seat is an older booster seat that uses the seatbelt to hold it in place. Last summer, I shoehorned my ten-year-old niece between the child seats on a couple of occasions--I don't think I would try that with an adult. (Notice the smudge on the seat cushion between the two child seats? Again, my DNA. Blood, that is. What fluid did you think I was talking about?)

    image

    image

    This final picture is just showing the entry way into the third row.

    image

    As you can see, the door opening is wide and the seat slides forward by at least a foot, so it's really no problem getting back there. If there's a child seat in the way in the second row, you'll have to remove it. I usually have only one child seat in the second row (contrary to what the pictures imply, I only have one kid), so you can always enter on the other side without removing the child seat.

    The one thing that I couldn't demonstrate was two adults plus child seat in the second row. Obviously, I'm not talking about two CFL linebackers here. I'm talking about my and my wife's kin, who all happen to be around 5'5" to 5'9" (so yes, I'm the freakishly tall monstrosity of my family).
  • coolmazda5, sometimes I see your pictures and sometimes I don't. I finally see them now. Actually, I probably could have seen them by clicking the links, but I was too lazy.

    That baby seat looks ginormous compared to our Graco. I know that you can access the third row without moving any seats by using the narrow middle aisle, but can you actually squeeze past that humongous baby seat to get to the middle aisle? Or do you have to remove the baby seat first, or enter on the other side of the vehicle?

    About your box being bigger than conwelpic's box (insert joke here)--you do realize that your box doesn't actually fit in your vehicle whereas conwelpic's box does fit in his vehicle, right? I think the giveaway is that your box is protruding out the back of your vehicle.

    Anyway, time for a couple of more hours of shut eye.
  • Here you go, the pics reduce the amount of reading and clarify things. Thanks for posting them. My comments:
    Not all kid car seats are created equal. There is infant, toddler and booster (I think). The toddler is the widest of all it seems. My seat is a toddler's one. I had a Graco like the base you have there and yes, with that one I was actually able to lower the armrests of the captain chairs.
    I only see the base and the booster on your pic. The seat is the one that takes more width, not the base, so I believe the total available width is reduced with the seat installed
    Yes, we are able to squeeze in a person to the 3rd row through the mid aisle, but seating 5 adults and 1 baby is an exceptional case (once, twice a year?). Usually our cars are configured as a 4 seater. The free 2nd row seat once folded allows to put some extra bags or stuff that needs no movement. The tray under the seat is perfect
    LOL, of course my box does not fit perfectly, but when it saves you $175 shipping and 2 extra days for delivery by fitting in your car, that to me is the value of the Mazda5 versatility. Also, the eyes and mouth of the guys at the store when I parked my "compact" car in the loading area and we were able to fit the box, was worth a picture as well. It is a full unassembled swingset, I don't do it everyday
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