I'll echo the earlier comments. This Mazda 5 is a very logical and practical, especially given our national interest in fuel economy. Here's a vehicle that will seat six people and still let you bring along some belongings, but it won't suck down a barrel of oil every hour at cruising speeds and it's incredibly easy to maneuver through parking lots and city traffic.
I haven't sampled a 5 with the manual transmission, but I had no issue with this 5's automatic. Shifts are respectable and I don't feel like the automatic zaps all the power out of the engine like so many four-cylinder/automatic combinations out there. Aside from the slightly funky looks and mediocre power, I don't understand why more people aren't buying the Mazda 5. I doubt everyone who drives a minivan actually needs that much room and the low price of a 5 would have me thinking twice about how much room I really need. Perhaps this vehicle is just too logical for the American consumer.
Phil Floraday, Senior Online Editor