Midsize car; Built in
  • 4-door wagon
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $8,600 – $21,200*

2012 Mazda 5

2012 Mazda 5

2012 Mazda 5

2012 Mazda 5

  • Cargo room
  • Ride/handling
  • 3rd-row seat room
  • Road and wind noise

Mazda 5 deserves serious consideration as a well-made, sensibly sized wagon that’s sedan nimble, minivan versatile, and priced right. It also delivers good fuel economy and outstanding room for four plus lots of stuff–four adults, a little cargo and, in the 3rd-row seats, two tykes.


Part midsize car, part minivan, the Mazda 5 was an unusual vehicle. It was not quite the genre bender the BMW X6 was, but that didn’t mean this vehicle was easy to pigeonhole into a class, either. The 5 borrowed elements of its basic design from the Mazda 3 compact car. It even shared one of its drivetrains with it. The 5, though, was like a minivan in that it had two sliding rear side doors, and it could seat up to 6 passengers.

We expect that buyers of the Mazda 5 knew that this is the vehicle they wanted and likely didn’t cross shop. It had no direct competition. The closest vehicles we were able to think of are entry-level versions of the Dodge Grand Caravan, Subaru Outback, and Toyota Venza.

The 5 was sold in base Sport, volume Touring, and top-line Grand Touring trip levels.

The Sport was pretty well equipped with automatic climate control, tilt and telescopic steering wheel, cruise control, and the full complement of power accessories.

The Touring added a Bluetooth wireless cell-phone link, leather-wrapped steering wheel, fog lights, rear spoiler, and 17-inch wheels.

Grand Tourings had leather upholstery, heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors, a sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, and xenon headlights.

Only one option package was available, and it was for the Touring Model. It included a power sunroof, 6-disc CD changer, and satellite radio, all of which were standard on the Grand Touring.

Rear DVD entertainment and remote engine start were among the standalone options.

All Mazda 5 models used a 157-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. The Sport came standard with a 6-speed manual transmission. Optional on that model and standard on the Touring and Grand Touring was a 5-speed automatic.

The Mazda 5 was only offered with front-wheel drive.

EPA estimated fuel economy for the Mazda 5 was 21 mpg city/28 mpg highway with the manual transmission and 22/28 with the automatic. Regular-grade gasoline was recommended.

Yearly Updates

2012 5
Aside from the addition of addition of rear-obstacle detection to Touring and Grand Touring models, the 5 was largely unchanged.
2013 5
There were no significant changes to the 2014 Mazda 5.


transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

All Mazda 5s had a 157-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. Sport versions came standard with a 6-speed manual transmission. Optional on Sport and standard on the Touring and Grand Touring was a 5-speed automatic. All were front-wheel drive.

dohc I41
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.5/152
Engine HP 157
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 163
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed automatic
6-speed manual

1. With the 5-speed automatic transmission, the EPA fuel-economy estimates changed to 22/28 in 2013.

Road Test

Regardless of transmission, the 5 is responsive from a stop and in around-town driving. It falls just short of feeling quick, however. It’s reasonably peppy on the highway too, though passing maneuvers require plenty of throttle input. The manual transmission is well-geared, delivering a good balance between overall acceleration and highway cruising. The automatic shifts smoothly and provides timely downshifts.

In Consumer Guide testing, a manual-transmision Sport averaged 25.2 mpg. Our extended-use Touring model averaged 25.1 mpg over a total of 14,738 miles. Mazda 5 uses regular-grade gas.

The ride is a good balance of comfort and control with little of the abrupt firmness found in some other Mazdas. This vehicle does a good job absorbing small-to-medium bumps, and only large dips taken at moderate speed pound through to the cabin.

Mazda 5 is surprisingly sporty. Grip is good and body lean is modest in corners. The responsive steering provides good road feel, and a tight turning circle aids in close-quarters maneuvering. Strong crosswinds induce a bit of wander, but nothing that we would consider excessive.

Mazda 5’s engine is a bit noisy at full throttle, but it cruises quietly enough. Wind rush is present at highway speeds, and coarse pavement induces audible tire thrum, but neither intrudes enough to be a deal breaker.

Most switchgear is simple and handy with clear markings. Many climate and audio settings are displayed on a small screen mounted high on the central control area of the dashboard. Much information is displayed in this compact area, so until you know where to fix your gaze it can take a bit of concentration to find the information you’re looking for. The radio has numerous control buttons; again some acclimation will be required. The 5 has an auxiliary stereo input jack and Bluetooth audio streaming from compatible devices, but the lack of a USB port in the 2012 models was rather disappointing for a modern car. Mazda did add a USB port starting with the 2013 models though.

Mazda 5’s cabin uses price-appropriate materials and is an attractive environment that tends toward sporty simplicity. Most surfaces are hard plastic, but they are tempered somewhat by tasteful graining and good assembly quality. Grand Touring’s standard leather upholstery looks nice but doesn’t feel particularly rich.

The standard tilt and telescopic steering wheel and pump-handle seat-height adjuster help situate the driver. The passenger seat is not adjustable for height, and some may feel that it is set a bit low. The comfortable seats have just enough lateral support, but tall drivers will almost certainly wish for more rearward travel. A 6-foot 2-inch tester had adequate legroom, but there was little clearance between the lower dash and his shins. Headroom is good, even under the available sunroof.

The Mazda 5’s terrific 2nd-row headroom and decent legroom is abetted by slide and recline seat adjustments. The 3rd row only suits small children, especially for foot space. The sliding doors provide outstanding entry and exit to the 2nd row. Even the third row is reasonably easy to enter thanks to the 2nd-row seats’ slide-and-fold action.

Large side and rear openings ease loading. There is little more than grocery-bag space behind the 3rd row, but all rear seats fold to make a nearly flat floor and can be arranged for a wide variety of passenger or cargo loads. There is abundant small-item storage that includes hidden trays beneath the 2nd-row seats and rear cargo floor. A clever console tray and cupholder flips out from under the passenger-side 2nd-row seat bottom, a very nice convenience.


Model Tested: Mazda 5 Touring

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.


Acceleration - 5
Fuel Economy - 7
Ride Quality - 7
Steering/Handling - 6
Quietness - 6


Controls/Materials - 6
Room/Comfort Front - 6
Room/Comfort Rear - 7
Cargo Room - 9


Value - 8

Total: 67


4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
108.3 180.5 68.9 63.6
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
55.4 15.9 6
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.7 39.4 40.7 39.4
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2012 Not tested 4-door wagon


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

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

Side Impact Test

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


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

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

Trouble Spots


Recall History

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


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.