2008 Mazda MAZDA5 User Reviews
- Not Available
- No trim specified for this review
- Great fuel economy, handling, features, value
- factory alignment settings and tire choices
Purchased As Used
The Mazda5 is perfect for my family. I am 6'4", my wife is 5'11". My 5 year old is the size of a 9 year old and my 2 year old is in a car seat. After spending all day in this car we were still comfortable. Not bad for a vehicle that is identical to a Japanese Domestic Model (to date Mazda is the only one importing the Japanese model to sell in the U.S., everybody else does North American specific models. We are missing out on a bunch of really nice vehicles from Subaru and Nissan.) The 2008 model has a 5 speed transmission and vents to the second row, so I would recommend not getting a pre-08. The vehicle is peppy not fast, which is fine for normal traffic. Neck-breaking acceleration is not what a van is for and I don't understand why everyone complains about this. The vehicle will hit 100mph with no issues and cruises at 85 with no trouble. Brake feedback is a little numb, but push the pedal further and it will stop. The steering feedback is second to no van on the market and better than 90% of the sedans. A curvy road is fun in this car. This of this as a Miata for 6 and you will be fine. We have refuse to refer to this as a van. Looks more like a "fat hatchback". The third row is small but to us that is a positive. We don't want to become the neighborhood bus but short hops are fine. That is great for visiting in-laws.
Now the cons. The factory Mazda Zoom Zoom settings have the tires with lots of negative camber. Great for road racing not so much for tire wear. Get a good alignment shop to flatten this out and you will gain tire life, but loose a little of the razor sharp handling. This problem is compounded by the low tire life naturaly exhibited by mazda's tire choices (why they put these ultra soft tires on all their low profile choices is beyond me. There are stickier tires with higher tread lifes out there. Must be a great price to Mazda on these is all I can think of.) I suspect Pirelli P-Zero Nero M&S (if the size is available) would be a great non-directional choice for this van (you can't do a true tire rotation with directional tires), maintain tire traction, and increase tread life.
Conclusion: For a small (in numbers) family the 5 is perfect. Remember the tire and alignment tips when you get your first replacement set and you won't go wrong. Standardized drive line parts with the Mazda3 means parts are easy to come by for non-"stealer-ship" service. If you want a muscle car for a mini-van stick with the Nissan Quest (same engine Nissan uses in the Maxima and the 350Z), but if you want a nimble little sports car that can handle 6 people, the Mazda5 is your choice.
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