The 2015 Mazda5 may not be able to standout against regular minivans when it comes to passenger and load capacity and creature comforts. However, trust that it can provide you with an engaging driving experience, courtesy of its carlike maneuverability, sharp steering and lively suspension.
NEW FOR THE 2015 MAZDA5
o Six-speed manual transmission has been dropped this year
o City mileage drops one point to 21 mpg
o A couple of minor equipment shuffling
UNDER THE HOOD
All 2015 Mazda5s are fitted with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers an output of 157 horsepower and 163 lb-ft of torque. With the help of a five-speed automatic transmission, the power produced by this engine is directed to the 5’s front wheels. EPA fuel economy rating checks in at 21/28 mpg.
ON THE ROAD
The Mazda5 will not win a lot of races with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder under its hood. The engine feels sluggish, especially when the 5 is loaded, but produces enough power for day-to-day to use. The five-speed automatic may not be on par with more modern CVTs, but it is up for the job, moving between shifts with great ease.
What the Mazda5 lacks in power, it makes up for its dynamics. It provides handling that is more athletic than any minivan in the market, making it the most enjoyable vehicle to drive in the segment. Steering is well weighted and feels natural on highways or curvy roads, while suspension is a bit firm and brakes have strong stopping power. Ride quality is just right despite the taut suspension tuning, though bumps are more apparent than in full-size minivans.
INSIDE THE 2015 MAZDA5
The Mazda5 may have a body that is shorter than most mid-size four-door sedans. But, it can accommodate up to six people, which is a feat for its dimensions. While the third row seat is best reserved for kids, there is plenty of headroom and legroom at the second row and front seats.
Storage is also not an issue as there are plenty of areas inside where you can stow items, such as the compartments underneath the second row seat cushions and the fold-out center storage on the front passenger-side seat. If you intend to haul more, you can easily fold the third row seat to open up 44.4 cubic feet of cargo space. This can grow bigger if you also fold the second row seat.
Overall, the Mazda5’s interior is flexible and user-friendly, ditching controls that are complicated to operate. Perhaps the only things that are not so endearing for this minivan are some of the interior materials that look and feel a bit chintzy, though this should not be disappointing at all considering the 5’s price range.
Available in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trim levels, the 2015 Mazda5 offers buyers loads of value in terms of standard equipment.
The base Sport trim is equipped with features like tilt/telescoping steering wheel with cruise and audio controls, height adjustable driver’s seat, 50/50-split folding rear seats, automatic climate control, AM/FM/CD audio system with six speakers and USB and audio jack inputs, full power accessories, keyless entry and 16-inch alloy wheels.
On top of the Sport trim’s standard equipment list, the Touring trim adds a trip computer, leather trim for the steering wheel and shift lever, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth connectivity, rear spoiler, fog lamps and 17-inch alloy wheels.
Stepping up to the top-of-the-line Grand Touring trim delivers niceties, such as leather upholstery, heated front seats, driver’s seat lumbar adjustment, satellite radio, heated mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, automatic xenon headlamps and sunroof.
Standalone options that can be had on the 2015 Mazda5 include auto-dimming rearview mirror, remote ignition and a DVD entertainment system for the rear seat. Unfortunately, there is no navigation system available.
Photo credit: mazda.ca