Javelin SuperDork
Jan. 6, 2011 10:58 a.m.

Anybody own one? Drive one? I know they are basically a tall Mazda3, and I like those. One with a real, live manual transmission showed up locally and I am intrigued by it's weirdness...

ST_ZX2 Reader
Jan. 6, 2011 11:10 a.m.

I'm seperated from my wife--but she drives one. 2008 5-speed. Had a motor replaced under warranty--spun main. I am tall and find it rather uncomfortable. It does drive and handle well for what it is, but could use a bit more power.

I had a Mz6 and had the same issues about it going through oil. Seems the 2.3 can have an issue with the PCV sticking open...so you'll want to check levels pretty often

tuna55 Dork
Jan. 6, 2011 11:11 a.m.

want one, badly, for the kids. Sat in one, reasonably comfortable in the second row for adults. The second row doesn't fold flat. That could be an issue depending on kid/cargo configuration.

ST_ZX2 Reader
Jan. 6, 2011 12:01 p.m.

Second row goes pretty flat; cushians flip forward and seat backs go down...3rd seat goes down...all pretty flat when said and done.

JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
Jan. 6, 2011 1:52 p.m.

My wife loves hers ('07 Sport auto). Only issue we've had is a broken seat adjuster which was replaced under warranty. The seats do fold nearly flat—probably flatter then just about anything but a stow-n-go Chrysler minivan—but there are pretty good gaps between the folded seats. I've heard them referred to as dog leg breakers. So if you're going to put the pooch in the back, be aware.

We have birds, though, so that doesn't matter.

But, yeah. Awesome, awesome vehicle. And so far lots of my take-off MS3 parts have bolted on (wheels and rear bar, anyway). Dana gets a pretty steady 26mpg, and hers is the four-speed auto and not even the later model five speed auto. I'd imagine manuals do even better. And quality-wise, after 33k miles the thing still seems as solid as the day we drove it off the lot. Materials have held up well, and there have been no rattles or squeaks to speak of that have developed.

jg

mndsm Dork
Jan. 6, 2011 1:55 p.m.

^ Good to know. I have my ms3 takeoffs, and the possibility of twins looming, so I need to know quick if I need to replace the wife's car.

Lesley SuperDork
Jan. 6, 2011 2:04 p.m.

I've only driven the manual, and I really liked it. Only issue I know of is the squeaky suspension bits, which have apparently been remedied for 2011.

tuna55 Dork
Jan. 6, 2011 2:21 p.m.

I need to add to my comment about the seat flatness. If you fold just one middle row seat, it's not flat as in not even with the floor. You couldn't say put a dog on that seat and leave the others up.

MA$$hole New Reader
Jan. 6, 2011 2:39 p.m.

Co-worker's wife had one for about a year or two. The car was in for warranty work more than Lindsay Lohan is in & out of rehab!

bluesideup Reader
Jan. 6, 2011 9:51 p.m.

We've owned ours just over a year and put 30 to 35k on it. I highly recommend the 5 speed auto over the 4 speed AT. Our Mazda3 felt a lot slower even though it was lighter because it had the 4 speed auto. I've heard the manual trans is good but geared a little low so the engine turns fast at highway speeds (like over 500 rpm faster than the auto trans).

Ours is an 08 sport with the AT and mixed average mpg is 24-25. Highway is 30mpg if you keep it under 75. They can carry a lot of crap and don't take up a lot of space. The Mazda5 isn't as feature packed as the bigger vans but they are great if you don't want something huge, don't need to pretend to tow a houseboat, and want decent mileage.

We've had no problems with ours at all.

FlightService Reader
Jan. 6, 2011 10:08 p.m.

2008 Mazda5 with a slush box. I recommend 08 or newer. I am getting similar gas mileage to the other. Very nice car. I am 6'4" and 235 lbs and I am completely comfortable in the car.

I love it. Handles great for a van...er sorry "sport wagon" LOL

I don't think you will be disappointed.

amiller34 New Reader
Jan. 6, 2011 10:09 p.m.

We love ours as well, 2010 Touring AT, not a lot of power but it's adequate, my wife really liked he smaller size but big utility, third row seating when needed and when down can swallow $500 of Costco crap. We have also managed 30mpg on 55-60mph highway work and typically get around 26. 4 year old loves the low step in height. Ours replaced a 2001 Toyota Highlander Limited and we would never go back.

JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
Jan. 7, 2011 7:10 a.m.
MA$$hole wrote: Co-worker's wife had one for about a year or two. The car was in for warranty work more than Lindsay Lohan is in & out of rehab!

That's a bummer. Do you know what some of the issues were?

jg

MA$$hole New Reader
Jan. 7, 2011 7:19 a.m.
JG Pasterjak wrote:
MA$$hole wrote: Co-worker's wife had one for about a year or two. The car was in for warranty work more than Lindsay Lohan is in & out of rehab!

That's a bummer. Do you know what some of the issues were?

jg

jg - There were numerous electrical issues with the car that it kept it service a lot. Things operating when they shouldn't have been or not working at all. Some kind of gremlin. He eventually had enough of the issues & Mazda's service department that he traded it in on an SX4.

pinchvalve SuperDork
Jan. 7, 2011 7:39 a.m.

I drove the 5 a lot when comparing it with the Kia Rondo. To me, it felt like a really large Honda Fit (not a bad thing at all) while the Rondo felt like a small Dodge Caravan (also not bad). I was looking for price and practicality so I went with the larger and cheaper Rondo, but a 5-speed sport was very appealing.

Rumnhammer Reader
Jan. 7, 2011 8:05 a.m.

My wife drives a 08 Touring with the 5sp auto, great car! we love it. Transports the kids plus all my wifes stuff. We have about 55k on it so far and the only issue was the power steering glitch that Mazda tried to say was not their fault. I pushed the matter all the way to Mazda North America and it was finally made a recall. I think mine was the first one fixed under recall. Other then that small issue, we have had no problems with it and we get about 30mpg on the highway.

I'd like to see a flash program available for it. so it would get even better milage. All Mazdas are tuned rich, so if you could lean it out on highway cruse a bit you could probably get another 5 or so mpg.....

I'm actually putting new brakes on it today as a matter of fact. Rotating the tires too. that reminds me the stock toyos that came on it suck! Stupid loud and didn't handle all that well either, I was glad when they wore out. The car handles even better now with replacement tires.

Chris Rummel

davidjs Reader
Jan. 7, 2011 8:23 a.m.

One thing to keep in mind - you can seat six or have a trunk... there's not much room back there with the rear seats in use.

Brother in law has one, and they really like it.

We're thinking about it if we can get our Grand Caravan lemon bought back, not sure if we need a full-size or not.

Clay Reader
Jan. 7, 2011 9:04 a.m.

Based on my recommendation, my mother got one and loves it. She never really needs the third row and keeps it down, but she likes the utility. We like hers, but when we were moving up in size with our second kid we really wanted more space. We drove hers once with two people in the third row (and car seats in the middle) and there was only room in the trunk for 2 purses. We wanted to seat 6-7 AND have some trunk space. Ended up getting a 05 Odyssey and love it, but for the same money we could have gotten a 07 Mazda5 with a third the mileage.

ReverendDexter SuperDork
Jan. 7, 2011 10:00 a.m.

2010 AT here as the wife's car.

Anything I could say would pretty much echo what's already been mentioned. If you want to seat 6 you're not carrying their stuff, lots of room inside relative to the external dimensions, reasonably peppy (though could use more power), handles decently (though some stiffer suspension could really wake it up). I'm 6' and 220 lbs, and I fit just fine in any of the front 4 seats... I've never tried to sit in the jump seats in the back, but they don't look like they'd fit anyone larger than an average 12 year old.

One thing I really appreciate is that Mazda has the directions for the manual mode shifting correct. TOWARDS you to upshift, AWAY from you to downshift. Now, admittedly I don't use the manual shifting mode very often... not nearly as often as I expected to, but at least when I do it makes sense. The AT Subarus I've driven have that backwards, and I've shifted the wrong way a couple times (eek).

Only real complaint is how the AT handles California stops. It feels like it's trying to stay in 2nd though the roll, then lugs a bit before realizing it should really be in 1st gear, and the subsequent downshift is a little rougher than I feel it should be when you're just cruising around.

bluesideup Reader
Jan. 7, 2011 11:54 a.m.

Ours does the same downshifting thing on California stops.

When we bought it our 5 had god awful RS-As on it, now that those are getting thin what would you guys recommend for tires?

I like riding in the far back seats and putting the middle seat down so I have a rolling barco-lounger style setup. Make the wife drive while I watch movies in the back. I'm 6'5" so it's nice to stretch out. My brother in law rode back there for a short trip with 6 on board and he said it wasn't bad, he's 6'1" and 240lbs.

mndsm SuperDork
Jan. 7, 2011 12:25 p.m.

*Specs. Barring that bad idea- I had a set of Yokohama YK520's on my mz3 and they were good.

Javelin SuperDork
Jan. 7, 2011 1:12 p.m.

I don't have to worry about any of the sluchbox problems as I am only buying a manual. (My left leg would have atrophied driving the P71 for the last 2.5 years had I not done so many brakestand burnouts).

Found 2 manual trans/cloth seat 5's worth checking out, and for good prices as well.

doc_speeder Reader
Jan. 7, 2011 1:51 p.m.

We bought an '09 with the 5sp auto in November of '09. Piled on 35,000 kms so far in the last 13 months or so. No issues whatsoever. The sliding doors are great with kids ( and work way slicker/lighter than any domestic vans) and the ride and handling are very nice. Very solid, no squeaks, rattles etc. I'd recommend one in a heartbeat.

Sonic Dork
Jan. 7, 2011 2:01 p.m.

My girlfriend's parents picked up an 09 Touring automatic with cash for clunkers. It now has 30k totally trouble free miles. They wanted something that could seat 6 in a pinch, or stuff. Their old 97 quest was a good size, but they didn't want one of the jumbo modern minivans. They cross shopped the crv and the 5 was much nicer to drive and cheaper, better mileage, etc. They really like it. The stock tires are terrible. It has some snows on it for the winter, which are much quieter

Rumnhammer Reader
Jan. 7, 2011 4:13 p.m.

Well, I got done the brake job on the 5 today, Really not too bad. As far as brake jobs go. Only had two snags, first the front rotors were stuck fast! We used a 5lb sledge and some PB blaster to free them. And in the rear you need a special tool to crank the rear calipers back in, we when out to Pep boys and got a universal one that fits 5 different styles. Well, the Mazda was not one of those 5 types! That sucked, but ended up using a c-clamp and a pair of channel locks to screw it in.

Other then that it went pretty quick as Brake jobs go, and the 5 has nice beefy retainer springs that shockingly didn't break! I like that!

The tires I replaced those crappy oem toyos with are General Exclam UHP's in the stock size. I got them from the Tire rack. These tire are fantastic! a great replacement for the Toyos. They ride great, are much better in the rain, and dry. And the best thing they are so much quietier that it is like an entirely differnt car!

Chris Rummel

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