Mazda MX-Flexa / Mazda5



  • kaiankaian Member Posts: 36
    I may very well be buying the Mazda5. This will be a second car in the family, with the main family vehicle being the Toyota Sienna. It will be used mainly for commuting, but I'll need the ability to pick up three kids as well, two boys ages five and three, and a new baby due in August.


    I've jotted down some useful facts comparing my current 1997 Honda Accord with the cars I'm considering including the Mazda5. While this doesn't necessarily have all the features I care about listed, it does have most of the important ones.


    1997 Honda Accord: Length = 188.4" Width = 70.1" Height = 55" Turn Circle = 36.1'

    2005 Scion xB: Length = 155.3" Width = 66.5" Height = 64.6" Turn Circle = 36.0'

    2005 Toyota Matrix XR: Length = 171.3" Width = 69.9" Height = 61.6" Turn Circle = 36.8'

    2005 Mazda3 5-door: Length = 176.6" Width = 69.1" Height = 57.7" Turn Circle = 34.1'

    2006 Mazda5: Length = 177.0" Width = 69.1" Height = 63.6" Turn Circle = 34.8'


    I liked the height of the Scion xB, as it gives lots of room but doesn't seem as big as a minivan or SUV. I'm glad to see the Mazda5 is an inch shorter than this. It's not a minivan at all, it's more like a tall wagon.


    For length and width, smaller is better for me for parking situations (in addition to the turning circle), and the Mazda5 is smaller than my Accord, although not as small as the Scion xB.


    Now inside, paradoxically, I want room in the back for the kids, and better storage than the Accord:


    1997 Honda Accord: Rear Leg = 34.3" Rear Hip = 51.4" Luggage Capacity = 13.0 cu. ft.

    2005 Scion xB: Rear Leg = 38" Rear Hip = 50.6" Luggage Capacity = 21.2 cu. ft.

    2005 Toyota Matrix XR: Rear Leg = 36.3" Rear Hip = 47.8" Luggage Capacity = 21.8 cu. ft.

    2005 Mazda3 5-door: Rear Leg = 36.3" Rear Hip = 53.9" Luggage Capacity = 17.1 cu. ft.

    2006 Mazda5: Rear Leg = ?? Rear Hip = ?? Luggage Capacity = ??


    Rear Leg Length is important so the kids don't kick me (they do in the Accord), and the Rear Hip Width needs to be large to accommodate three kids (except on the Mazda5 due to seating for six). I need to figure out what my minimum width requirement is, as I have not yet measured all the seats, as I actually will need to buy the booster (my oldest is about outgrown his current seat) and rear facing seats. While I don't know the numbers on this for the Mazda5, just looking at the pictures available I have no doubt I'll get three car seats in, and the room between the first and second rows should be fine.


    My current conclusion from this is I'm about to drop the Matrix from consideration, as I suspect that Rear Hip room will be a dealbreaker, and there's really not much it excels in compared to the other choices. And I honestly like the looks of it the least compared to the others.


    There's a lot to like on the Scion xB, but my concerns are the relative power (which I've read is generally acceptable all things considered), the lack of side air bags (which I don't currently have on the Accord but would obviously be good to have), and that Rear Hip room is a little shorter than what I already have, so I really need to make those measurements on the kids' car seats.


    My main concerns on the Mazda5 will be pricing, and I hope the MPG is competitive, which I suspect it will be. It's larger than the Scion, but smaller in length and width than my Accord. And my final concern, of course, is to buy something before August. :)
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    "...the Mazda5 will mainly be purchased by retirees and empty nesters"


    You must be kidding. Those are the last people who would buy the M5. This is a multi-purpose, family hauler for families on a budget, or families who want a second vehicle for a daily commuter/workhorse. These are families who need a vehicle that can serve many purposes, including ferrying around their kids, and stuff kids haul around and/or a couple of their friends. Why would an empty nester need a tall wagon with 6 seats?
  • dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    Diesel - ummmm, yummy! Bring it over.


    Don't forget the plus one seat - one more thing that the Europeans have that we don't.


    Regular doors would also be nice. Easier for kids to close.
  • odmanodman Member Posts: 309
    Actually, empty nesters are among the biggest buyers of minivans. While they certainly don't need the rows and rows of seats, they DO appreciate is the high seat height and easy ingress/egress(arthritis means nothing to most people in this forum), the smooth, quiet ride, the affordability and the conservative styling.


    However, I don't think we'll see many in Mazda5s. Why? Because most retirees seem to prefer domestic fare, not Asian brands, and even among Asian brands they are more likely to think of the Sienna/Odyssey than the 5.


    I think it will be "pre-nesters" and "early nesters" who like it the most. A woman in my office just got engaged and she thinks the Mazda5 would be the perfect vehicle for them, even though they won't have kids for a couple of years. It's just the most versatile, small vehicle out there.
  • odmanodman Member Posts: 309
    A low sulpher diesel would be sweet. I could imagine them being popular for those unfortunate ex-urban commuters who drive 1 hour+ each way to work (400-series highways in Ontario).


    BTW: that raises another point -- what's the cup holder situation? Plenty of room in every row for the Horton's double-doubles and a box of Bits?
  • odmanodman Member Posts: 309
    Thanks for posting the comparative dimensions Kaian. This will be crticial in downtown markets where manoeverability is key. An old Dodge Spirit I once owned had a circle of 40'. It was a pig. My wife's CR-V can turn on a dime by comparison.


    I wonder if the Mazda5 will take sales from Tribute/CR-V/RAV4 owners? Sure it doesn't have AWD, but neither do the base versions of those models. Thoughts?
  • mdaffronmdaffron Member Posts: 4,421
    "BTW: that raises another point -- what's the cup holder situation? Plenty of room in every row for the Horton's double-doubles and a box of Bits?"


    odman: Please refer to my post 368 from a couple of days ago.


  • mdaffronmdaffron Member Posts: 4,421
    I maintain my position: Why buy it?


    Now it's got all the gear ratios of a manual tranny, but it makes the car heavier and your wallet $900 lighter.








    Oh, and please don't use that old "Waah, but I have a lot of city driving!!!" excuse. I'm 39 years old, I work in a downtown highrise, park in a parking deck and have a 21-mile (each way) commute in downtown traffic, and I've been driving manuals since I was 20. I even drove manuals for Domino's and Pizza Hut during college -- LOTS of stop-and-go driving. Oh -- and I'm a big guy, 280 pounds. So don't tell me about having to be FIT to do it either!


    The Mazda is a fun-to-drive car. The manual gearbox makes it even moreso by making the car lighter and giving you more control. I hear a lot of concern here over price, gas mileage and the ability of the 2.3-liter engine from the Mazda3 to make this several-hundred-pound-heavier sucker move well. Well, doesn't sticking an automatic tranny in it defeat all three of those concerns?


    Mazda makes some of the smoothest manual trannies in the business. They get rave reviews on a regular basis from publications like Car&Driver and Automobile magazine. I don't understand all the hoopla over these newfangled, heavy, expensive and complicated automatic transmissions -- gotta tell ya, I've been to Europe. I was hosted by dignitaries from my city's sister city. I was driven all over the place in all manner of cars from a tiny Renault to a big-honkin' (for over there) Ford. In the dozen or so cars I rode in, I never saw an automatic transmission. The city's Public Affairs Director drove me around town in the Town Hall Exec's city-issued business car, a Ford Mondeo. It too was a STICK.


    They're laughing at us!


    Sure, offer an automatic for the old fogies, the frail and the physically impaired. But c'mon -- this is a sporty little wagon! Do yourself and the car a favor, and get a stick! Or would you rather just buy your Buick now, so you'll be ready for retirement that much earlier?


    (Can you tell I'm passionate about this subject?) :)


  • jrct9454jrct9454 Member Posts: 2,363 start the morning. Of all things to assume superior airs about, your choice of transmission sure seems like an odd one. I've owned 50+ cars since 1962, probably evenly divided between manuals and automatics. For a variety of reasons, which I don't think anyone has to defend, we currently prefer automatics, and with the increasing sophistication of the new designs, I expect we've owned our last manual trans car.


    We travel to Europe every year, and drive only manual transmissions. It's a cultural preference...and hardly indicates anything beyond that. Seems to me the choice is offered for a reason - so no one needs to have somebody else's preferences forced on them. What I'm passionate about is having the choice.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    Yes manuals are a cultural preference.


    We are a culture of Big Macs, Lazy boys, remote controls for everything, all you can eat buffets, constitutional right to cheap fuel, bigger is better, image is everything - etc. etc. That is why we prefer automatics.


    Unfortunate for those of us who will only buy a manual, as cars are built for the majority. Those who like manuals do have somebody elses preference foreced on them as more and more cars are not offered with manuals.


    Shifting is no more of a bother while driving than chewing is while eating. Like chewing it enhances the experience.


    BTW both of my retirement age parents drive manuals in DC area traffic.


    I think the M5 being offered with a manual is a huge step in the right direction.
  • josh28josh28 Member Posts: 14
    Tall sport wagon. Sleek. Nimble.


    All the right words. I can't wait to see it for myself.


    Thanks, Odman.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 32,415
    I can assure you that they do not give a flying fig whether the car has a 4 or 5 speed automatic transmission.


    Marketing, marketing, marketing. Its not whether the majority of buyers actually care about something, its whether the marketing has told them they need to care about something. I can't begin to count the number of times a non-car person has come to me for advice and pointed out "well, I heard this one has a widgety-woo and this other one here doesn't, so I'm leaning towards the widgety-woo-equipped car." Of course, they have no idea what the widgety-woo does or if it will help them in the least, but they know they want it because they were told by marketing that its important.

    Fairly steady: '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '21 WRX, '20 S90 T6, '22 MB Sprinter 2500 4x4 diesel, '97 Suzuki R Wagon; '96 Opel Astra; '08 Maser QP / Rotating stock, but currently: '92 325i, '97 Alto Works, '11 Mini Cooper S

  • mdaffronmdaffron Member Posts: 4,421
    I've seen some talk about CVTs (continuously variable transmissions) being something new and high-tech.


    Anyone remember the Subaru Justy in the late 80s?


    I forgive you if you don't. It didn't last very long, because it had a CVT and was slow and unreliable. It didn't last very long.


    I also had a Honda scooter (150cc -- not a moped, it was a street-licensed motorcycle by DMV standards and did highway speeds) with a CVT. Slow and slippy were its traits.


    Think it's bad enough with only a 3-speed automatic? Try a one-speed automatic. Better yet, try it in the mountains.


  • mdaffronmdaffron Member Posts: 4,421
    How about we just try to keep this discussion on-topic? I'm sure Edmunds has some discussion devoted to 5-speed tiptronics and how they compare to manuals. This is a discussion about an upcoming car that does not offer a 5-speed automatic transmission. So what's the point of it being discussed here?


    We know the Mazda5 is coming. We know it will have the choice of a 5-speed manual or a four-speed automatic with a pseudo-manual shift feature. We know it will have two rows of bucket seats and a third-row set of two seats that meet each other in pseudo-bench fashion, but are independently collapsible like the second-row seats. We know it's slightly longer and taller than the Mazda3 wagon, but far from the size of a "normal" North American minivan. We know it's based on the Mazda3 suspension and chassis, and it has two sliding doors and a plastic liftgate that will have two stops for the gravitationally challenged.


    This discussion exists to discuss the Mazda5, not some theoretical car the Mazda5 could be. It's not out to compete with Jettas, nor is it out to compete with Caravans. Mazda already has the 3, 6 and MPV to fill those slots. This is a niche vehicle, and I really don't think complaining about Mazda's transmission choices here is going to have much of an effect at the design office in Hiroshima.


    Can we please discuss the upcoming vehicle and the traits it HAS instead of slamming it for what it DOESN'T have?


    That's all I'm asking. I think the hosts would agree. If it doesn't fit your needs, maybe you need to look elsewhere and let those of us who like Mazda's idea discuss it.



  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,130
    Bingo - the vehicle-specific discussions exist so that we can talk about features specific to that car. It's not a comparisons topic, and we've discussed manual vs. automatic elsewhere. Use the search tools to check active/archived topics.


    Here's a hot tip: If you already dislike this vehicle, you're probably in the wrong topic. Move on.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • kaiankaian Member Posts: 36
    Ok, I'll stay on-topic. :)


    I think the pictures of the Mazda5 that are out there generally do a disservice to the vehicle in regards to its' scale. My first impression of it was that it was much closer to a minivan than it actually is. The best image that dispelled this impression for me was the Quicktime panorama from the Paris show linked elsewhere in this thread, which shows a couple of people in the middle row, another person hovering near the passenger seat, and other bystanders that give this a sense of scale. And as I said in my other post, I was very happy once I compared the exterior dimensions and found it to be shorter in width and length than my current vehicle and similar in height to the Scion xB.


    I just wish I had a bit more info. It's coming "late summer" but I wish that could get narrowed down to a specific month. I'm in California and all the seasons blur together for me. ;) Will Canada get it before the States or simultaneously?


    I'm curious when the Mazda web site will give more information on pricing, colors, etc. According to this site, there will be Sport and Touring trims. I'm interested in Touring myself.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 32,415
    I respectfully disagree ... to an extent.


    EVERY topic on Edmunds about a specific car has those, even many owners of that car, who say "i wish it had XXX." What's wrong with that?


    If you reduce a topic to only praises, well then that's not much of a discussion, is it? I mean, what are you going to discuss in such a topic? "i like it better" and "no, i like it better." puh-lease.


    Now, let me clarify by saying, personally, I would get a manual tranny with the car, but that did not stop me from joining in with those who said a 5-speed auto should be available.


    I said I disagree to an extent, and that extent is that, yes, there is a certain limit where the reigns have to be drawn back in. But telling everyone who has something negative to say about it to leave is not the way.

    Fairly steady: '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '21 WRX, '20 S90 T6, '22 MB Sprinter 2500 4x4 diesel, '97 Suzuki R Wagon; '96 Opel Astra; '08 Maser QP / Rotating stock, but currently: '92 325i, '97 Alto Works, '11 Mini Cooper S

  • kaiankaian Member Posts: 36
    Does anyone know how similar is the audio setup in the Mazda5 to the Mazda3?


    One thing I hate about Mazda options is that you can't get a moonroof without getting a 6-disc CD changer. I barely ever use CDs anymore; instead, I hook up my iPod to an Auxiliary Input on my aftermarket deck. I wish I could get just the moonroof with the standard stereo, but that's not possible on the Mazda3 and I suspect that will also be true for the Mazda5.

    So I'll need to figure out how to modify the deck to let me play my iPod, so I'm thinking I could check out Mazda3 information sites on clues for this if the decks are similar.


    In the grand scheme of things this is a relatively minor point, but I'm hoping that more companies will put in auxiliary inputs on the stock decks like Honda did with the Element.
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    Have you driven an automatic made after 1990? They're not that crude anymore, you know. In fact, many cars are just as, if not more, fun to drive with an automatic.


    And stop stereotyping who drives automatics. You'll be surprised. You've managed to insult folks who drive automatics, not to mention the elderly and the physically impaired (Are you saying the elderly are not capable of handling a manual? If I was an elderly person, I would be insulted. It's not exactly rocket science, you know. Your father obviously didn't think so)
  • audia8qaudia8q Member Posts: 3,138
    I wish I could get a better time frame than summer...but the factory guys can't even give me a specific month.....I pointed out to our factory rep today that if mid summer is the timeframe the cars need to be ordered in the next allocation cycle (mid Feb)....Unless the factory does a port allocations which means the factory decides what gets built and just ships the cars and we get what they send.
  • mbadjurambadjura Member Posts: 4
    Whats the purpose of them, other than a gimmick to look different/better? I really don't think much of them and it seems out of place in a vehicle like this...wish Mazda had just used a conventional auto in the 5. Like it better on the floor also
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    IMO, most, if not all, of these gated shifter are not only a gimmick, but a pain the butt. I'd take a conventional one anytime.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    I agree on the gated shifters being a gimmick. They are harder to use. Some things just get stuck in the upscale category for no apparent reason. I would also put all the fake titanium and wood trim accents in that same group.


    If every time you upgrade a car you give it features that 2/3 of the people are crying out for, then eventually you have a car that nobody likes, because every time you may be alienating 1/3 of the people. Look what happened to the Thunderbird in the 70's and 80's - keep giving people what they want and eventually you have a huge boat that nobody wants.


    I think car makers need to stop worrying so much about focus groups and studies, and concentrate on building good vehicles that are flexible. To me that meens not excluding people for no apparent reason. Adding a third seat option in the middle row greatly changes the usefullness of the vehicle, and if done as a pop up seat does nothing to change the existing bucket seats. Who does it hurt? Offering a manual tranny when most want automatics does not hurt anybody either, so why complain about it.


    I was intriguid by the new Freestyle and its' myriad of configurations (bucket or bench in the middle, solid or split bench in the back) That is where Mazda should be headed. They can't take on the H's and T's of the world directly, but if they offer cars that are built how people want them that is a nice niche to have.
  • kaiankaian Member Posts: 36
    "Adding a third seat option in the middle row greatly changes the usefullness of the vehicle, and if done as a pop up seat does nothing to change the existing bucket seats. Who does it hurt?"


    Apparently the main reason for not having the +1 pop up seat it is that it does not meet North American safety tests standards.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    That makes much more sense to me than the blather about not having the image of a people mover.


    It would be nice though if they did like the freestyle (and the Pacifica) and had two versions of the middle row - then everybody can be happy. Maybe they are working on that for next year. Pacifica started out as two only in the middle row and then they added the option for a bench. Even the first generation Odyssey had a bucket seat option as well as the bench seat.
  • kaiankaian Member Posts: 36
    " It would be nice though if they did like the freestyle (and the Pacifica) and had two versions of the middle row - then everybody can be happy."


    Exterior width of a Pacifica is 79.3", Freestyle is 74.4", Mazda5 is 69.1"
  • odmanodman Member Posts: 309
    "Even the first generation Odyssey had a bucket seat option as well as the bench seat."


    Yes, and I bought one with the buckets and have since wished for the bench. With my wife and two kids, when we're going to dinner with Grandma it would be easier to squeeze three of us in the middle row than to send someone over to the 3rd row. Not the end of the world, but inconvenient.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    I have one with the bench and 3 kids are very comfortable. 2 adults and 1 kid are comfortable, and 3 adults are a little snug in the shoulder area, but plenty of leg and head room - both of which are more important to me.
  • dan bitmandan bitman Member Posts: 158
    but it meets the more tougher Euro safety standards, where +1 is available?

    IMO,the +1 pop up seat is left out for NA market, due to the misconception that this feature on top of the sliding doors would be seeing as a mini-minivan, not as a "space wagon"...And association with an extended Vibe would be around the corner.

    Anyone who knows what ergonomics means and have seen the interior of M5 at different NA auto shows, realizes that the 3-rd row seats even for ONE adult, is a joke. It is a joke even in the inflatable Pacifica.


    I also believe that over there in "Hiroshima" as somebody put it, attention should be paid to what's brain storming on this forum. Here are the first and most motivated buyers of this new product in NA.


    Would be interesting reading on Mazda 5 site, beside the poetic images of "rich in user friendly practicality, enabling passengers to interact with each other in comfort", to explain why a +1 seat in the 2-nd row is not that "friendly practical" for us, but it is over the pond. Hear that, Hi-ro-shi-ma?
  • kaiankaian Member Posts: 36
    "but it meets the more tougher Euro safety standards, where +1 is available?"


    I don't know anything about the relative standards; I was repeating what I read from a Mazda represenative at the Mazda5 forums on the Canadian Mazda website (


    "Anyone who knows what ergonomics means and have seen the interior of M5 at different NA auto shows, realizes that the 3-rd row seats even for ONE adult, is a joke. It is a joke even in the inflatable Pacifica."


    If the third row is "a joke" then the Mazda5 would functionally be a 5-seater even with a third seat in the second row, so then why not get a Mazda3 or Mazda6, or one of many other five seat vehicles?


    I looked briefly at the Honda Element for my needs (I require seating for five, two adults and three kids), but that only seats four, with a similar problem with seating, and I believe they also have a sister model abroad that seats five that they refuse to bring here. So I just crossed that vehicle off my list and went onward with my search.


    I'd like the +1 seat myself, and if they can safely and legally bring it over I hope they do so. But even without the +1 seat the Mazda5 is compelling for me. But I'm also considering traditional five seaters like the Scion xB.


    I've already sent my feedback directly to Mazda, and I hope they consider it, but now I'm going to judge the Mazda5 for what is actually here (er, what is coming, you know what I mean) and see if it is the right vehicle for me.
  • dan bitmandan bitman Member Posts: 158
    "If the third row is "a joke" then the Mazda5 would functionally be a 5-seater even with a third seat in the second row, so then why not get a Mazda3 or Mazda6, or one of many other five seat vehicles?"

    ....because folding the 3-rd row seats,with 5 seats in place, you get ample,almost minivan-ist cargo space..And especially when having 3 kids as you mentioned, you can't ignore this aspect, right?

    With the 3-rd row seats up, cargo space behind is...again..just a "joke".

    Yes, I can assure you that Euro standards for crash and pollution are higher then in the US ( don't know about Ca).

    But M5 has already a very admirable structural engineering design for its class.

    But you know, seeing is believing....

  • kaiankaian Member Posts: 36
    "...because folding the 3-rd row seats,with 5 seats in place, you get ample,almost minivan-ist cargo space..And especially when having 3 kids as you mentioned, you can't ignore this aspect, right? "


    My needs are different from yours. For me the Mazda5 would be the second commuter car that only needs to carry all the kids for short trips, about ten miles or so at a time. My wife has a Toyota Sienna eight seater (2-3-3) for the really long trips; I mostly need just commuting but I will need to do short trip pickups with the kids. So for me the competition for the Mazda5 for me isn't a second minivan but something like the Scion xB.


    Even if I could get the +1, I'd probably still need to use the third row for my kids, as I doubt the +1 would support a child seat. Eventually it would come in handy when the kids are bigger, but right now it would mostly be put away if I had it. Meanwhile, the problem of "three across" when all three are in child seats (one booster, one forward, one rear facing) will be a challenge for me in most five passenger vehicles, but the problem is solved in the Mazda5.


    That's what the Mazda5 brings to me, the ability to space the three kids out in two rows. I can put my two boys in the third row, put the baby in one of the two second row seats, with the other easy to open to get to the back, or available for an occasional adult passenger. Or I can put one boy in back, one in the second row with the baby, knock down the other third row seat and have decent space. The kids will be less likely to fight because they won't be right up against each other. That's pretty flexible for me.


    On any occasion the Mazda5 isn't enough I'll push the task off to my wife and the minivan. The +1 would be nice, and I love the way it works, but I can live without it. I could probably handle most of my needs in the Scion xB as well, but the back seat hip width is going to be tight and it doesn't have the side airbags, and it might be underpowered. All those doubts are solved in the Mazda5 it seems to me.


    For you, if your needs are to seat five in two rows and then have a lot of space, the Mazda6 wagon might be more suited for you (albeit more expensive). Or perhaps the Toyota Matrix, or one of many others?


    Since you consider the third row unacceptable, then the North American Mazda5 really seats four and pretty much is similar to the Honda Element as I mentioned before. If you haven't sent feedback directly to Mazda I suggest you do so to make sure they know your needs.


    I suspect though that getting the +1 or a three seat bench in the second row won't happen for the 2006 model year as it seems those sort of plans won't change that quickly. (But perhaps I'd be surprised.)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Wow, Pacifica is a wide body, eh?


    I also think selling price is a good $10 grand higher or so. Did you know if you load one up with heated leather, DVD, and Nav, it can hit an MSRP of $40k?


    OK, $35k after massive rebates, but still. It's a much higher price point.


  • dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    I think Pacifica is about 1,200 lbs heavier than the 5, so it is a little portly.
  • kaiankaian Member Posts: 36
    Quoting from a Car and Driver article here: "The Pacifica is a lot bigger than it looks. It's wider than a long wheelbase Chrysler minivan and only 1.7 inches shorter."


    And it only get 17-18 City MPG.


    It's easy to see a picture of the Mazda5 and think it's a small minivan with the sliding doors and styling, or to compare it to SUVs like the Pacifica because of the three rows, but that's all deceiving as many of the Mazda5 pictures don't give a proper sense of scale.


    Quoting again from this triplezoom article:


    "With an overall length of 4,505 mm (177 inches), width of 1,755 mm (69.1 inches), height of 1,615 mm (63.6 inches) and a wheelbase of 2,750 mm (108 inches), the Mazda5 manages to deliver the roomy comfort of a space wagon, while limiting overall size. For reference, the length exceeds the compact Mazda3 five door model by just 85 mm (3.35 inches), the height by 150 mm (5.91 inches); while the width is the same on both cars."
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    If I had a minivan, I wouldn't consider the M5. My interest in the M5 reflects dan bitman's, to a degree. I only have 2 kids, but the M5 give me versatility. I can ocassionally carry 5 (very comfortably) or 6 (not so comfortably) for short trips. Fold the seats for trips to Costo and Home Depot. And most importantly, for ski trips, I can lay the skis down the middle, not infringe on passenger space, and still have ample luggage space. To tell the truth, when I first saw this vehicle, the first thought that popped into my head was "ski trips". Hence my wish for AWD.


    Also, I think with almost minivan-like headroom and upright seating position, it would be a more comfortable vehicle even as a daily runabout. In some ways, the M5 is a second chance at a 1st generation Oddyssey that I wished I had bought!
  • kaiankaian Member Posts: 36
    "If I had a minivan, I wouldn't consider the M5."


    Well, that's my wife's and I need my own vehicle -- my Honda Accord will be too small once the new baby arrives in August. If you have alternative suggestions for me I'd love to hear your advice as I'm still doing a lot of research.


    I think if I had only two kids, and wanted AWD with decent space, I might be considering something like the Subaru Outback (32-34 cu. ft. w/seats up) which can seat five although I don't know how comfortable the fifth passenger would be. Or the Element, I think you can get that with AWD, but again only seats four, but with two kids that's all you need on the average day.


    However, I don't have a need for AWD. I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I barely know what snow is. :) I'm always in urban/suburban Mediterranean environments. ;)


    "Also, I think with almost minivan-like headroom and upright seating position, it would be a more comfortable vehicle even as a daily runabout. In some ways, the M5 is a second chance at a 1st generation Oddyssey that I wished I had bought!"


    Most of what I know about Odysseys are the current models. Do you know the dimensions of the first generation regarding width and length?


    I agree with you vis a vis the headroom and seating position making the Mazda5 a good runabout and commuter. The Scion xB also has those qualities (and actually an inch more headroom), which is part of why I have that on my list still.
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    I just think the functions of a minivan and the M5 overlap to a certain degree. But that applies more to me personally. Because you have 3 kids, and if you need to carry all 3 around on a regular basis, then I can see your interest in the M5.


    Right now, we have 2 sedans, and again, they more or less serve the same functions. I've considered a wagon (including the Outback), small SUVs (such as CR-V), but none of them offer the space and versatility and configuration for passenger/cargo that I want. Because we go skiing quite a bit, I want to be able to carry skis without the use of a roof rack. The Volvo XC with its 4-2-4 back seat is very attractive, but I simply can't justify the high price. (Actually, have you considered a V70 with the 3rd row seat option?)


    And, regarding the 1st generation Oddyssey, I just pulled out my brouchure on the '98 model, and the dimensions are 187.60" (length), 70.55" (width), and 64.64" (height), with a curb weight of 3450 lbs. Somewhat bigger than the M5, but still very tidy dimensions. And it's got an Accord-quality interior. I should've bought one of those suckers! (I opted for a '97 CR-V, which was a very good vehicle, but wasn't as versatile).
  • kaiankaian Member Posts: 36
    "(Actually, have you considered a V70 with the 3rd row seat option?)"


    I briefly looked at the V70 (and the V50, which appealed more to me), but they are too expensive. I'm trying to stay near or under the $20,000 US mark.
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    The V50 is a very stylish wagon. Somewhat space-challenged. But you're right, both are very pricey, once you add a couple of necessary option packages.
  • kaiankaian Member Posts: 36
    Even without options they are pricey. Edmunds has the 2005 Volvo V50 2.4i Fwd 4dr Sport Wagon (2.4L 5cyl 5A), which I believe is the base model, listed as $24,156 invoice price.
  • odmanodman Member Posts: 309
    "In some ways, the M5 is a second chance at a 1st generation Oddyssey that I wished I had bought!"


    This is exactly the situation I'm in -- I will eventually need to replace my '98 Ody and want something that offers tidy dimensions, good 4-cylinder fuel economy and decent performance. We don't really want a big minivan. The Mazda5 is on the small end, and we had hoped the Honda Stream would come, but that doesn't seem to be coming. The current MPV looked promising but its quality has been so-so, and its fuel efficiency not that great.
  • minicoopercatminicoopercat Member Posts: 17
    I for one, am very happy to see this type of vehicle brought to the US. Having lived in Europe for 6 years, I find these ("mini" minivans or "plus size" wagons) very appealing for my family of 4. I'm actually in the market for one right now and had my eyes on the VW Touran until now. I don't need (or really want)to deal with the massive size of the Ody, Sienna, T&C, etc on a daily basis. These allow my family to travel safely and comfortably, have ample cargo room, plus the ability to carry one or two of our kids friends if needed. I would never expect to seat adults in the 3rd seat or else we would definitely buy something bigger. I hope these catch on in the US, because I believe they are a viable alternative to the large minivans, SUV, pick-ups, etc. Bigger does not always mean better.
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    You're lucky, you got the last model year before they supersized it. Yours has the tachometer and the upgraded engine. If you've maintained it, it can easily last you another 5 years.
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    "Bigger does not always mean better."


    I'm with you on that one. I suppose there are families that do need a big minivan, but to me, the current crop of minivans are a misnomer -- they're not mini at all!


    I've rented minivans for vacations. And they are great for long trips, but like you, I can't deal with their size as a daily commuter. I wouldn't be able to get into half of the underground parkades around here!
  • dan bitmandan bitman Member Posts: 158
    Hello minicoopercat,

    Did you say "I'm actually in the market for one right now and had my eyes on the VW Touran" ??

    I know Touran very well from Europe,....but do you know of any deployment of its selling here in the US???

    Like a DIESEL Touran?? No way,no way, this can't be true:))

    Any tips would be appreciated:))

  • odmanodman Member Posts: 309
    In Europe, these kinds of vehicles are called 'monocabs'. Monocab means '1-box design', just as a sedan is a 3-box (engine compartment, passenger compartment, trunk). The highly talented Anne Asensio at Renault created the segment with the Scenic (she also designed the Twingo minicar, and was lured to GM a few years ago). GM's (the Zafira) is doing very well too. In Japan, monocabs have also existed for a while, but their styling has been much more angular.


    As I understand (correct me if I'm wrong), the Mazda5 shares the same architecture as the new European Ford Focus and the Volvo S40/V40. Thus, it is also very closely related to the European Ford C-Max monocab. The VW Touran is similar in size and would do very well in North America if VW would ever wake up and see the obvious.


    Monocabs excel because they offer large, versatile space on a tidy compact car's platform. That means they can get by with small 4-cylinder engines -- important in regions with high gas taxes or with low incomes (like Canada, eh?). They are becoming popular in Brazil/Argentina/Mexico, as well as Asia (Thailand, China, etc).
  • starlightmicastarlightmica Member Posts: 58
    A few previous attempts to market monocab class cars in the US haven't been successful. A few that I can remember: Dodge/Plymouth (Mitsubishi) Colt Vista, the Mitsubishi Expo/Expo LRV, and Nissan Axxess. Minivans smaller than the current DCX/Odyssey/Sienna size vehicles haven't sold either, such as the Mazda MPV and 1st generation Honda Odyssey.


    We'll see if this is now the time for these vehicles in the NA market. One thing that would be greatly in their favor would be climbing gas prices - we've arelady seen a decline in big SUV sales and a rise in small and mid-sized SUV's, as well as a rise in minivan sales in 2004.


    If not - big rebates :)
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    "A few previous attempts to market monocab class cars in the US haven't been successful."


    I think timing is everything. What didn't work then, may work now, or vice versa. Remember the AMC Eagle AWD wagon. It was viewed as kind of an oddball, and didn't last long. Well, fast forward to the present, and hmm...let's see, Subaru Outback, Volvo XC70, Audi Allroad. Similar concept?
  • odmanodman Member Posts: 309
    All of the cars that you list suffered from a common ailment: weak power, or perceptions of weak power. If the Mazda5 can't live up to 'zoom-zoom' then it will fail too. It certainly has to be capable of beating the suburban housewife in her Caravan off of the line.
This discussion has been closed.