2006-2010 Mazda 5 review

Overall rating:4 Star Rating: Recommended
Updated: August 18, 2013
2010 Mazda 5
2010 Mazda 5

Mazda 5 is the most fuel efficient 'mini' minivan. It's also the only minivan available with a manual transmission. It seats six and has sliding rear doors. Similar to the Mazda 3 it's based on, Mazda 5 is nimble and actually fun to drive, however it's not as roomy as regular-size minivans. Inside, the 5 is simple and practical; the interior fit and finish is pretty good. The driver's seat has height adjustment and the steering tilts and telescopes, but tall drivers may find that the driver's seat doesn't slide back far enough. The second-row access is easy; the second-row bucket seats recline and slide back and forth. With the seats slid all the way back, the second-row legroom is generous. The third-row seat is suitable for small children. The second and third-row seats fold down. With the third-row seats in use, the cargo space is very limited, so if you are planning to use Mazda 5 for long family trips, a roof box is a good option.

2006 Mazda 5
2010 Mazda 5 interior
2006 Mazda 5
Mazda 5 seat arrangement. Photo: Mazda

Fuel Economy: The 2006-2007 Mazda 5 automatic gets 19 mpg city and 24 mpg highway. With some minor tweaks, the fuel economy was improved for 2008; the 2008-2010 Mazda 5 auto is rated at 21/27 mpg city/highway. With 20% city, 80% highway use, the 5 is estimated to travel 372 miles (599 km) on a full 15.9-gallon (60.2 liter) tank. Opting for a manual transmission will get you even better mileage; the 2010 Mazda 5 with a five-speed manual transmission gets 22 mpg city and 28 mpg highway.

Handling: On the road, Mazda 5 is very agile and maneuverable; it handles more like a sporty wagon than a minivan. The ride is firm, but comfortable. The 2.3L 4-cylinder engine is peppy around town, but might feel underpowered with a full load.

Safety: Antilock brakes are standard. Stability Control system was added for 2010. In the NHTSA frontal crash tests, the 2008-2010 Mazda 5 got five stars for both the driver and the front passenger. In the side-impact tests, Mazda 5 scored five stars for the driver and four stars for the rear passenger.

Mechanical: Mazda 5 has a 157-hp 2.3-liter 4-cylinder DOHC engine, which is pretty reliable and is easy to maintain. This engine has a timing chain; there is no timing belt.
Transmission choices included a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic (5-speed automatic from 2008). Rear brakes are disks only. The 5 has McPherson struts in the front and multi-link independent suspension in the back. The power steering is electro-hydraulic, with a conventional hydraulic steering rack and electrically-driven hydraulic steering pump.

Reliability: Consumer Reports rates the 2006-2009 Mazda 5 'below average' with the suspension and brakes receiving the worst scores; however, the engine and transmission are rated well. According to a Mazda service expert we spoke to, common problems are fairly minor and not very expensive.

Pros: The 5 is maneuverable and nimble. It handles sporty and you can get it with a stick shift. The fuel economy is not too bad and maintenance costs are reasonable. It's also easy to work on, which is a big plus for a DIY owner.

Cons: The 5 is not as roomy or comfortable as conventional minivans. One of the common complaints we found is that the air conditioner feels a bit weak for the rear passengers in early models; the second-row cool air vents with fan-speed controls were only added for 2008. The seats are pretty firm and the cushions are fairly short, which might be a problem on long trips. Tall drivers could find front legroom tight. The road noise is more noticeable than in other minivans.

Overall: If you are OK with limited space and a 4-cylinder engine, a used low-mileage Mazda 5 could be a good option for a city minivan. As long as it was maintained well by previous owners, Mazda 5 should last for a few years without major problems.

Common problems: The top engine mount fails often but it's not very expensive to replace. Rear shock absorbers may leak after certain mileage, but they are also reasonably priced. Other suspension components, like front struts and control arms, may need to be replaced at higher mileage. If not rotated regularly, rear tires could wear unevenly. The Check Engine light with the code P0126 could be caused by a bad thermostat.

What to look for when buying a used Mazda 5: We recommend opting for 2008 or newer Mazda 5. Avoid high-mileage models; over 120,000 miles is probably too much. It helps if you can check the service records to see if the vehicle was maintained regularly - lack of maintenance can cause many problems down the road. When checking a used Mazda 5, low oil level could be an indication of excessive oil consumption. A loud high-pitch whining noise coming from the right front corner while turning the steering could indicate a worn power steering electric pump. Watch out for leaking shock absorbers. Check all the electrical accessories, including the remote, locks, power windows and the air conditioner. Check if the engine undercover is not missing.
During the test drive, watch out for noises and vibrations; a humming/rumbling noise from the tires can indicate cupped tires. See if the vehicle holds the road well and doesn't pull to one side. Read more what to look for when buying a used car. Before buying, have the vehicle inspected by a mechanic of your choice.
Guides for used car buyers:

Maintenance: Regular oil changes are important to keep your engine in good shape. Rotate your tires regularly. Mazda 5 is a light-weight vehicle; if you want better traction during winter, install winter tires. Transmission fluid needs to be changed when dirty; usually every 35,000-50,000 miles. A cabin filter is often neglected; it needs to be replaced every 25,000 miles (40,000 km) or 2 years, or more often when driving on dusty roads. Here is the link if you need to download an owner's manual.
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2007 Mazda 5 specifications

Overall length:
Overall width:
Overall height:

181.5 in (4610 mm)
69.1 in (1755 mm)
64.2 in (1630 mm)
108.3 in (2750 mm)

Turning circle:

34.8 ft (10.6 m)

Seating Capacity:


Engine: 2.3L 16-valve DOHC 4-cylinder with VVT
153 hp @ 6,500 rpm (SAE net)
148 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm

EPA Fuel Economy (US mpg, L/100 km):

Manual transmission:

Automatic transmission:

city: 19 US mpg (12.4 L/100 km)
hwy: 25 US mpg (9.4 L/100 km)

city: 19 US mpg (12.4 L/100 km)
hwy: 24 US mpg (9.8 L/100 km)

Recommended Fuel: Regular unleaded

Fuel Tank Capacity:

15.9 US gal (60 liters)

Engine Oil Capacity

With oil filter replacement: 4.5 US qt. (4.3L)