Mazda5 2010 Review

The small-minivan idea is a good one, yet most minivan models have either grown or Ч in the case of Mazda's MPV Ч disappeared. Complete with three rows of two seats each and the genre-defining sliding side doors, the Mazda5 is arguably the only small van on the market Ч a microvan. It's so much smaller than others in its segment that comparing it with minivans is pointless. It's closer in size Ч inside and out Ч to compact crossovers, but its closest competitor is the Kia Rondo, which has a similar layout and an optional third-row seat, but four conventional hinged side doors.

On its own merits, the Mazda5 is pleasant enough to drive and live with, and its starting price and cargo space are impressive. It's when you compare its passenger space with that of the Rondo and small SUVs that you wonder if its benefits extend beyond the sliding doors.

The Mazda5 comes in three trim levels: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. Our test car was a Touring equipped with a rear bumper guard and satellite radio as its only options. Click here to see changes from the 2009 model year.

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