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Average User Score
4.2 ⁄ 5 stars
Based on 4 reviews
2010 Mazda MAZDA5 Overview
Overall User Score
Based on 4 reviews
If you need the utility and convenience of a minivan, but can’t allow yourself to drive a lumbering box on wheels, then take a peek at the 2010 Mazda MAZDA5. It has three rows of seating, 142.1 cubic feet of interior volume, easy-to-use sliding doors, excellent safety features, and enough interior storage to hold all the toys, sippy cups, and extra-large lattes a family might carry – all the things you need in a minivan. But its sleek lines make it look more like a station wagon, and Mazda's engineering allows it to handle more like a car.
The MAZDA5 comes in three trims – Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring. All three are powered by a 2.3-liter, 16-valve four-cylinder that produces 153 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 148 lb-ft of torque at 4,500 rpm. The Sport comes with a five-speed manual transmission and gets 22 city/28 highway mpg, while the Touring and Grand Touring get a five-speed automatic transmission with Adaptive Shift Logic (optional on the Sport) and get 21/27 mpg. Critics like the smooth shifting from both transmissions, but a universal complaint among test drivers is the lack of power coming from the engine. It’s fine for around-town driving, but passing or merging on the highway requires a heavy foot on the gas pedal.
Some critics lamented the lack of certain safety features on previous MAZDA5 versions. Apparently the manufacturer listened, because new for 2010 is standard Dynamic Stability Control and Traction Control for all trims. This is part of an impressive safety package that also includes advanced front air bags with multiple sensors, front side-impact air bags and side-impact curtain air bags, antilock brake system with Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Brake Assist, side-impact door beams, collapsible steering column and foldaway brake pedal assembly, and a tire pressure monitor.
Those safety features will provide peace of mind, but Mazda also made sure owners can handle the MAZDA5 with ease and safety. Its ride is firm without being harsh and supple enough to handle wavy or bumpy surfaces. The MAZDA5 has a solid grip on the road, body lean in cornering is very slight, the steering is alert with a tight turning circle, and the braking is reliably straight with a nice feel to the pedal. The engine may lack some of Mazda’s “zoom zoom,” but other than that, the MAZDA5 has the fun-to-drive feel that has become a Mazda trademark.
Performance and safety features top the list of MAZDA5 positives, but the interior isn’t too far behind. The cabin is simple yet stylish, with rich graining providing a nice contrast to some of the hard plastic surfaces, reachable and understandable controls, and quality construction evident throughout.
The Sport trim features automatic climate control, cruise control, power windows and locks, remote entry, two 12-volt outlets, a 6-way manually adjustable driver’s seat and a six-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo. The Touring interior upgrades include a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and a 6-CD changer for the stereo to go along with the exterior additions of foglights, a power-sliding glass moonroof, LED taillights, side sill extensions, and rear liftgate spoiler. The Grand Touring additions include Bluetooth, heated and leather-trimmed front seats, heated mirrors, and an available navigation system with 7-inch touch screen.
Like the vehicle itself, the MAZDA5's seating performs in a minivan manner with a twist. All three rows have captain's chairs - no benches here - giving each passenger his or her own seat, which all happen to sit up high and provide excellent sightlines. The front and second-row seats offer ample headroom and legroom, but the third row is best suited for children.
When all three rows are in use, cargo space is limited behind the third row. It can handle a full load of groceries, but that’s about the limit. With the third row folded down, however, the MAZDA5 offers 44.4 cubic feet of space. If you need even more room, fold down the second row, and you'll have a cargo van that drives like a car and looks like a stylish family wagon at your disposal.
by Tim O'Sullivan
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