Compact car; Built in Japan
  • 4-door wagon
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $7,000 – $14,500*


2006 Mazda 5


2006 Mazda 5


2006 Mazda 5


2006 Mazda 5

Pros:
  • Cargo room
  • Control layout
  • Handling/roadholding
  • Passenger room and comfort
Cons:
  • Acceleration (w/automatic)
  • Noise

Mazda 5 combines sportwagon flair with minivan versatility in a well-made, sensibly-sized package to suit a variety of lifestyles. In addition to appealing fuel economy, you get outstanding room for four adults and, in the third row, a couple of youngsters. Not everyone calls it huge fun to drive, but Mazda 5 scores well on features for the price.

Overview

Mazda’s first crossover wagon bowed for 2006 as a longer, taller spinoff of the front-wheel-drive Mazda 3 compact car. Competitors to the compact wagon included the Chrysler PT Cruiser, Pontiac Vibe, and Toyota Matrix, but the Mazda 5 essentially stood in a class of its own.

Though it offered many of the benefits of a minivan, including sliding doors, the Mazda 5 was smaller in size than the crop of competitive family vans, promising more adept maneuverability. Mazda called it a “multi-activity sports vehicle.” Vehicles of this size are popular in Europe and Japan, but the Mazda 5 was virtually unique in the U.S. market.

Mazda 5 wagons came in Sport and uplevel Touring trim. Shared with the Mazda 3 were a 157-horsepower 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine, standard five-speed manual transmission, and an optional four-speed automatic with a manual shift gate for driver-selected gear changes when desired.

Sliding rear side doors were standard, as was six-passenger seating, in a 2-2-2 format. “Theater-style” elevated second-row seats and a split third-row bench folded in any combination for extra cargo space, but were not removable. Second-row seats also reclined and slid fore/aft for apportioning space between the second and third rows, and included under-seat storage.

Standard equipment included antilock brakes, 17-inch alloy wheels, front side airbags, and three-row head-protecting curtain side air bags. A sunroof, CD changer, rear liftgate spoiler and side sill extensions were standard on the Touring model, and available for the Sport. An optional navigation system was exclusive to the Touring edition.

Yearly Updates

2007 Mazda 5
A new, more luxurious Grand Touring version of the Mazda 5 wagon debuted for 2007. In addition to a standard four-speed automatic transmission, the Grand Touring added leather upholstery, heated front seats, and xenon headlamps. Mazda’s navigation system was optional for the Grand Touring and also the Touring with automatic. DVD entertainment was optional for all models.
2008 Mazda 5
The 2008 Mazda 5 received exterior and interior styling changes. The exterior changes included a new front fascia, grille, headlights, and taillights. The interior was updated with restyled gauges, center console, 2nd-row air vents with fan speed control, and additional armrests. Also new was a 5-speed automatic transmission, replacing the previously offered 4-speed.
2009 Mazda 5
A sunroof became standard on Touring and Grand Touring and was no longer available on the Sport.
2010 Mazda 5
The 2010 Mazda 5 gained new safety features: traction control and an antiskid system.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Sole engine for the Mazda 5 was a 2.3-liter four-cylinder rated at 157 horsepower, working with a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. In 2008, a 5-speed automatic transmission replaced the previously offered 4-speed.

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.3/138
Engine HP 157
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 148
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
5-speed automatic
22/27
21/26
21/27
21.9
24.1

Road Test

Acceleration is responsive in most situations with the manual transmission, which demonstrates slick shifting coupled to smooth clutch action. Performance is adequate with the power-sapping automatic, but some passing maneuvers demand planning. Takeoffs and passing sprints feel sluggish even without a load, though using the manual shift gate compensates somewhat.

Fuel economy beats some rival models. Expect overall real-world averages to mirror the EPA rated city mpg. Test Touring models with automatic averaged 21.8 to 22 mpg.

Ride quality ranks as firm but never harsh or unpleasant, with little pitch or float, and generally good small-bump absorption. Rock-solid structural feel enhances the sense of comfort. Some jolting may be felt over sharp bumps and pavement seams, but the Mazda 5 is nicely settled on wavy surfaces.

Surprisingly sporty, the Mazda 5 operates with good grip and modest body lean in corners, aided by responsive steering. Fine road feel is accompanied by a tight turning circle for appealing maneuverability. Directional stability is very good even in strong crosswinds. Still, a Mazda 5 is less agile and fun than the shorter, lower Chrysler PT Cruiser and Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe.

Overall quietness is marred by an engine that throbs at idle and is a bit noisy at full throttle, but cruises quietly. Wind noise is modest at highway speeds, but coarse pavement induces audible tire thrum that resonates through the large, open interior.

Switchgear is simple and handy, but climate controls are easy to hit by accident when moving the shift lever. Gauges are hard to read in some daylight conditions. So is the pop-up dashboard screen for the optional navigation system, which works well otherwise. The Mazda 5’s stylish cabin belies this vehicle’s modest new-car pricing, with upscale soft-touch surfaces, metal-look accents, and sturdy good-feeling fabrics. The transmission’s gear selector sprouts from the lower middle of the dashboard, which may seem odd at first.

Seats are elevated more than in most cars, but visibility is not the best to right-rear and dead astern. The broad dashtop imparts a minivan feel, offset by the standard tilt/telescopic steering wheel and pump-handle seat-height adjuster. Firm front seats are rather flat with short cushions, but seem comfortable enough and offer just enough lateral support. Head room is good for six-footers, but leg room a tad skimpy even with seats at full stretch. Very tall drivers might prefer a longer cushion and more rearward seat travel. All rear seats are a bit small and hard for best adult comfort, and the cramped third row is strictly for youngsters. Terrific second-row head and leg room are augmented by slide/recline adjustments, but some testers have felt that the seats are too firm for best comfort. Sliding doors provide easy second-row access; third row demands major contortions.

Cargo loads easily through low-lip side doors and liftgate, which just barely clears six-footer heads. Only grocery-bag space exists behind the third row, which offers less total volume than most rivals. On the other hand, the four rear seatbacks drop easily to nearly flat, and can be arranged for different passenger/cargo loads. Abundant small-item storage includes hidden trays under second-row seat cushions and the rear cargo floor.

Ratings

Model Tested: Mazda 5 Touring w/auto.

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 4
40%
Fuel Economy - 6
60%
Ride Quality - 6
60%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 4
40%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Front - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Rear - 7
70%
Cargo Room - 7
70%

Other

Value - 8
80%

Total: 62

Specifications

4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
108.3 181.5 69.1 64.2
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
44.4 15.9 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.7 39.4 40.7 35.2
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2006 Mazda 5 4-door wagon

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Front Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Engine stalling
Description: The engine may stall at low speed if the throttle is gently depressed then released requiring reflash of the engine control computer. (2006-07)
Ignition switch
Description: The key reminder chime may not stop when the key is removed and/or the keyless entry may not work requiring a revised ignition switch. (2006)
Keyless entry
Description: The retractable style remote keyless entry (RKE) does not work and the LED does not glow due to poor contact in the battery compartment. (2007-09)
Spark plugs
Description: The engine may run rough and miss after a rain or car wash due to water collecting around the number 1 spark plug. (2006-07)
Steering problems
Description: The power steering becomes heavy due to a fluid leak at a fluid return hose connection. (2006-07)
Sunroof/moonroof
Description: Sunroof may squeak due to wear at the guide pins. (2006)
Vehicle shake
Description: Vibration may be felt at cruising speeds and can be corrected with revised motor mounts, but the new mounts may then cause vibration at idle. (2006-07)
None
Description: The navigation system may display the wrong map or no map if the vehicle was sold in one location then resold in another, especially if the battery was disconnected. (2006-07)
Check-engine light
Description: The check engine light may illuminate even though there is no detectible drivability issues due to a valve in the intake system jamming. (2006-08)

Recall History

2006
Description: Heat buildup could occur in exhaust system, resulting in fire.
2006
Description: Mazda 5 in Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming: The side door latch mechanisms may experience water intrusion allowing the latch mechanism to freeze in cold weather. Dealers will inspect and repair or replace affected parts.
2007-09 Vehicles manufactured from April 2, 2007 through November 30, 2008
Description: These vehicles may have a condition in which a sudden loss of power steering assist could occur at any time while driving the vehicle. Power steering assist is suddenly lost reducing the driver’s ability to steer the vehicle as typically expected, and increasing the risk of a crash.
2009-2010 vehicles manufactured from June 29, 2009, through April 28, 2010.
Description: Water may not have been removed completely from the harness connector of the fuel pump due to variations in the fuel tank leak check process performed before vehicle assembly. The connector pin may corrode, potentially causing the pin to break. This could lead to an inoperative fuel pump, engine stall and the inability to restart the engine increasing the risk of a crash. Dealers will inspect the fuel pump connector and if necessary it will be replaced and the harness will be repaired free of charge.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.