Pros: Spacious body design provides excellent passenger and cargo versatility; compact platform and well-tuned steering provide great maneuverability; surprisingly fun-to-drive character
Cons: The 3rd-row seats are sized for small children; front seat legroom is stingy; road and wind noise can become pronounced in highway driving
CG Says: Mazda’s unique “mini minivan” is unchanged for 2014. Part midsize car, part minivan, the Mazda 5 is an unusual vehicle. The 5 borrows elements of its basic design from the Mazda 3 compact car. It even shares one of its drivetrains with it. The 5, though, is like a minivan in that it has two sliding rear side doors, and it can seat up to 6 passengers via flip-up 3rd-row seats. The Mazda 5 strikes a wonderful balance of versatility, driving enjoyment, and value for money. Large families and those who need heavy-duty hauling capability will want to look elsewhere. For everyone else, don’t let the fact that this wagon looks like a “mini minivan” dissuade you from putting the 5 on your shopping list.