Competing for Space

The interior is well-engineered and well-executed, but there's no avoiding the fact that there are six seats in a relatively small space. This isn't uncommon, but many models sacrifice space in just the rear seats, while the Mazda5 distributes legroom more evenly. As the table farther down this page reflects, the Mazda5 has less front-seat legroom than the Rondo and a few compact crossovers. The Mazda5's dimensions seem only slightly smaller Ч 1.1 inches at most compared with seven-seat versions of the Rondo and Toyota RAV4 Ч but at 6 feet tall I felt more crowded behind the wheel than the specifications suggest.

Lowering the driver's seat also moves it rearward, but I preferred to ride higher to improve forward visibility. (The A-pillars extend pretty far forward, and it's hard to tell where the car's nose ends.) I'm not suggesting I was crowded to an unsafe degree, but it was tight enough that I personally wouldn't invest in a Mazda5. It's a shame, because letting the front seat move a bit farther back would open up the model to more buyers.

    See also:

    Beep Sounds
    Air Bag/Front Seat Belt Pretensioner System Warning Beep If a malfunction is detected in both the air bag/front seat belt pretensioner system and the warning light, a warning beep sound will be h ...

    Operating Tips
    Operating the Climate Control System Operate the climate control system with the engine running. NOTE: To prevent the battery from being discharged, do not leave the fan control dial on for a lo ...

    The Drive
    The Mazda5's 2.3-liter four-cylinder has to rev pretty high to get the car moving quickly. Our car had the optional five-speed automatic transmission, which adds $1,440. The five-speed manual migh ...