As a non-mini van owner, it’s hard to participate in carpooling when our vehicle only holds one extra child but the 2013 Mazda 5 Grand Touring, provides mini-van styling and seating in a more compact form.
What We Liked
Ample seating. The Mazda 5 is a family friendly car that accommodates a total of six passengers thanks to two rows of seats- captain’s style chairs in the middle and bench seating to hold three in the back- for the nice MSRP of $24,470. The second row features under-the-seat storage so those getting in and out don’t have to trample belongings left on the floor of the car. The third row also folds down to provide a 50/50 split.
Sliding doors. The doors slide just like those in a minivan which eliminates the worry of kids flinging the door into the vehicle next to yours. Unlike some minivan models, the doors aren’t automatic but they were easy enough for our 6 and 9 year old to operate without me worrying about their fingers getting slammed in the door.
The Mazda 5 Grand Touring model we tested didn’t come with a tech package with a lot of fancy extras but then again, not all vehicle owners need things like a backup camera or a large screen if they don’t rely on in-car GPS. The Mazda 5 comes with a strip of a screen that displays a lot of information in a small space. It not only shows the time, internal and external temperature, audio source, and distance in miles until the gas tank is empty. Luckily the screen is easy to read despite the quantity of information presented in a small space.
The Mazda 5 makes it easy to connect a phone for hands-free talking via Bluetooth and features a USB port underneath the gear shift. The USB port isn’t hidden so you couldn’t keep an iPod plugged in at all times without risking having your car being broken into.
- Kid friendly vehicle height. The height of the Mazda 5 made it easy for the kids to get in and out of the car. Sometimes vehicles have a higher frame making it difficult for little legs to get in and out without assistance but the Mazda 5’s height is perfect for preschoolers and up to clime in and out of with ease.
- Visibility. The Mazda 5 features large windows throughout, making visibility easy. The kids also liked the height of the captain’s chairs that allowed them to see perfectly out of the front and side windows.
- Sliding second row. The second row of seats slides forward to provide easy access to the third row.
- Leather seats. I love leather seats for their durability and it’s nice that they’re included at this price point.
Oliver was also a fan of the vehicle height that allowed him to jump in and out of the sliding doors with ease. He found that even his large 90 pound self could sit in the captain’s chair when they weren’t occupied by the kids but his wide hips (or girth?) prevented him from going between them into the back seat . Oliver is a large Yellow Lab and while he was too big to fit comfortably between the captain’s chairs, other smaller dogs wouldn’t have any trouble. He also could have been a little more patient to have waited for me to slide the captain’s chair forward so he could have gotten in the back but patience is not a dog virtue.
Instead, Oliver was perfectly content sitting on the floor in front of the second row of seats. He also loved that the windows rolled down completely allowing him to stick his head out the window and tongue to flap in the breeze.
Since $25K doesn’t buy tons of bells and whistles, I’m not going to ask for the world but I do wish the car had the following:
Deeper trunk space. The depth of the back without the third row of seats folded down is wide enough for maybe 3-4 grocery bags. It would be nice to have a little more space back there without having to sacrifice passenger seating when doing a Costco run.
An actual center console between the two front seats would be great for the ability to hide items out of site. Instead the car featured a dual cup holders and an open bin type receptacle for holding items.
Hidden USB ports would be another nice feature for that covered center console.
I tested the 2013 Mazda 5 Grand Touring in Liquid Silver with a black leather interior with a MSRP of $24,470. For the price, it has just enough bells to make it an appealing choice for families who are looking for more seating than a typical sedan. Some might shun this vehicle for the lack of whistles but at the same time, the budget friendly price means sacrificing some of the fancy extras that drive up the cost in other cars.
Mazda provided me with the 2013 Mazda 5 and a full tank of gas to facilitate this review. No additional compensation was received for this post and all opinions are my own.