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2014 Mazda MAZDA5 Overview

Got 5 co-workers or half a soccer team or a family of 6 who have to be schlepped to work, play and school? Live in a good-sized city? If you enjoy actual driving rather than just hauling, check out Mazda’s urban-ready 2014 Mazda5 6-passenger (in 3 rows) compact minivan. With a sportier steering and suspension system than your typical mini, this downsized wagon is kind of a kick to drive, plays well with downtown traffic and parking spaces, and yet still manages some 97.7 cubic feet of cargo area with the rear seatbacks folded. And those sliding rear passenger doors sure make entry and exit a little easier and safer.

Expected to once again be available in 3 trims—the base Sport, the midlevel Touring and the flagship Grand Touring—this sprightly mini should see no significant changes for 2014, and it still must compete against Honda’s legendary Odyssey and Toyota’s up-and-coming Sienna.

Once more for this year, the ubiquitous and less-than-inspiring 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine powers the Mazda5 lineup. The Sport version carries a standard 6-speed manual transmission and doubtless remains eligible for the 5-speed shiftable automatic transmission that comes standard with the higher trims. Mileage, meantime, should remain a tepid (for its size) 21 mpg city/28 highway in the stick-shift-equipped Sport and 22/28 in the automatic-toting editions.

Though not exactly laden with luxury, this miniature Mazda hauler does offer, in its base Sport variation, 16-inch alloy wheels, cloth upholstery, second-row captain’s chairs, full power accessories, cruise control and telescoping tilt-wheel steering. Then there’s the standard climate control and the simulated alloy steering wheel mounting audio and cruise buttons to complement the single-CD player with its 6 speakers and USB port.

Adding 17-inch alloy wheels and a rear spoiler to its swoopy profile, the midlevel Mazda5 Touring additionally boasts standard rear parking sensors, a leather and simulated alloy steering wheel, and Bluetooth hands-free calling.

The top-shelf Grand Touring, meanwhile, tacks on a standard power sunroof (optional for the Touring), heated power outside mirrors, leather upholstery and heated front seats, not to mention satellite radio.

Further options, lineup-wide for the most part, include remote engine start, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror with built-in remote garage door opener, rear-seat DVD entertainment and a roof rack.

Finally, standard safety equipment for all 2014 Mazda5 trims includes 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, 3-row head airbags and front side-mounted airbags. Turn-signal-integrated mirrors come standard in all trims, while the Touring and Grand Touring throw in front fog/driving lights, standard, and the Grand Touring adds dusk-sensing high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights and a remote antitheft alarm.


Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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