New Car Review

2015 Mazda5: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader January 2015

While its wheelbase and overall length are not much greater than the average family sedan, the 2015 Mazda5 offers far more versatility, room and functionality. Bigger than a wagon but not quite a full-size minivan, the Mazda5 fits into a unique niche that may suit many families to a tee. The Mazda5's sliding side doors make entry, exit and access to the third-row seat easy, and the fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engine will go easy on your wallet. The Mazda5's sleek styling also helps it get noticed, with deep grooves cut into the side sheet metal and a wide-mouthed grille that makes the Mazda5 look as though it's grinning all the time.

Mazda has wisely avoided many of the add-ons that have turned most minivans into very expensive, very large rolling luxury wagons, so you won't find an options sheet with a V6 engine or power-operated side doors. You also won't find a power lift gate, a high-end audio system or power folding rear seats. The benefit of leaving these options off the table is a price point that starts at around $22,000 for the Sport trim and tops out around $28,000 for a fully loaded Grand Touring with everything tossed in. Try doing that with a Nissan Quest or a Honda Odyssey.

What's New for 2015?

The Mazda5 is a carryover model, with no upgrades planned for the 2015 model year. The manual transmission option has been dropped.

What We Like

Sliding side doors for ease of entry; good fuel economy; clever use of interior space; great handling

What We Don't

Engine not terribly powerful; no navigation or backup camera option; no second-row bench seat option

How Much?

$22,060-$28,045

Fuel Economy

The Mazda5's 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine is rated at 157 horsepower and 163 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy estimates are 22 miles per gallon in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.

Standard Features & Options

The 2015 Mazda5 comes in three well-equipped trims: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. All 2015 models come standard with a 5-speed automatic.

The Mazda5 Sport ($22,060) includes a 5-speed automatic, 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels, power door locks and windows with a driver's side 1-touch up/down feature, power mirrors, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, air conditioning with a pollen filter, an AM/FM/CD/MP3-compatible audio system with six speakers, auxiliary audio input and USB connection ports, steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, a remote keyless entry system and 50/50-split fold-flat third-row seats.

The Mazda5 Touring ($23,190) brings 17-in aluminum alloy wheels, sport side-sill extensions, a rear lift gate spoiler, fog lamps, Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio connectivity, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, rear backup sensors and a trip computer.

The Mazda5 Grand Touring ($25,590) adds a power moonroof, leather-trimmed seats with heated front-row seats, driver's seat lumbar support adjustment, HID headlights, heated side mirrors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, Sirius Satellite Radio with a complimentary 4-month subscription and an anti-theft alarm system.

Options are limited to some dealer-installed items such as fog lights, remote start, a DVD entertainment system and satellite radio.

Safety

Mazda equips every Mazda5 with a set of front-seat side-impact airbags and side-curtain airbags covering all three rows. Driver control is enhanced via the standard anti-lock braking system, electronic traction control and dynamic stability control (DSC). Traction control helps eliminate wheel slippage on snow and ice, while DSC can help the driver regain control when the car skids from its intended path.

Currently, there is no crash-test data for the Mazda5.

Behind the Wheel

With its stiff suspension and taut steering, the Mazda5 is a joy to drive. It rounds corners with the grace of a lithe sport sedan, albeit not nearly as fast. We found the ride pleasant, although it can get choppy over rough pavement or when encountering numerous expansion joints. We credit the Touring's 17-in tires for the great handling as well as the somewhat firm ride. Interior noise levels are a bit higher than we'd expect in this type of vehicle, but not annoyingly so (unless you're trying to use the Bluetooth). You might think the Mazda5 is a tad underpowered. But this engine has a healthy dose of low-end torque, and the attached 5-speed automatic transmission does a great job of milking every drop of power when it's needed most.

Other Cars to Consider

2015 Dodge Grand Caravan -- The base Grand Caravan is priced similarly to the Mazda5, but it has a much larger interior and a V6 engine, plus more available features.

2015 Nissan Rogue -- The Rogue offers more ground clearance, the options of all-wheel drive and 3-row seating, and it gets better gas mileage. The Rogue also offers more high-end features such as Bose Audio, a panoramic moonroof and navigation.

Used Mazda CX-9 -- A 2010-2013 CX-9 will give you all the sporty fun expected of a Mazda with more room, more features and more power. The fuel economy, however, won't come close to the Mazda5.

Used Toyota Sienna -- A 2010-2012 Toyota Sienna offers more room and power, plus the option of all-wheel drive. Get a certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle and you'll get an extended warranty for added piece of mind.

AutoTrader's Advice

We'd opt for the top-of-the-line Grand Touring version of the Mazda5. Sure, it costs more, but at just a shade over $25,000, it's still less expensive than most well-equipped sedans and comes with such features as heated side mirrors, leather seating, driver's seat lumbar support and HID headlamps. We think that's a pretty good deal.

Find a Mazda 5 for sale

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2015 Mazda5: New Car Review - Autotrader