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14 April 2008 @ 12:50 pm
Mazda5 car review  
So at least one person wanted to know what my opinion of my new car was, so I figured there might be other people interested,

I've owned the car two weeks now and have put ~250 miles on it.

EDIT: Three weeks.

This isn't a complete review. I've left out many of the things you can get from reading other reviews. Please feel free to ask questions if there is a topic you really wanted to know about. I don't have a good mpg number because I've only done one fill up since getting it so I don't have a good 0. Now I do, so the next fill up should hopefully give me a proper mpg number.

so here are my notes:

The road noise is defiantely noticable, though it might be in contrast to the quiet engine noise.

There are so many small storage compartments and the glove compartment is well thought out.

It's easy to feel the extra weight of the car. The engine and brakes are adiquate for stopping the car, but it takes much longer to stop the car gently because of the extra mass.

The sliding doors will latch open, which is great for making sure they stay open on slopes, but takes a little bit of getting used to operating the handle to close a door.

When I climbed into the back, I hear a few small cracking noises, so it might be possible to cause damage by loading something too roughly into the back or loading something htat as a very concentrated
pressure point.

Because of the north american removal of the Karakuri seat, there is a space between the 2nd row seats when folded, I don't know if this will acutally be a problem. It is kind of a problem that with the third row down and the 2nd up, there is a place for things to leave the cargo area. I've added in a folding devider to hopefully prevent that.

You definately sit higher than the normal compact sedan. This leaves me feeling like I've gone over to the dark side of car ownership.

I LOVE my manual mode. *beam*

I wish it wouldn't beep when I use the steering wheel volume controls (I wonder if I can turn that off.) I can! All turned off.

The back seat air vent only blows cool air. This is less than useful in the winter. Have yet to had a chance to test it in the summer.

It beeps when the passenger takes off their seat belt with the car still moving. I like this, my passenger has not.

The rattle in the dash that some reviews reported is clearly there, but not really a bother if you know it's common.

All the reviews are correct that empty, it has some pep, but that you can really feel the higher-than-small-car curb weight and the lack of power when you are heavily loaded. I've had 3 adults and myself in the car, and it was still easy to drive and didn't feel sluggish, so I think even at it's most loaded, it will still be more than drivable, just not perky.


Again, if there is an aspect you'd like me to write in detail about, let me know. These are the things I thought of as "notable." In general, I like the car, other than I worry it might be a bit bigger than I 'need' and concequently has worse gas milage than is ideal. It has a lot of nice design touches and standard features.
Gergzkzkz on April 14th, 2008 05:23 pm (UTC)
I think -- unless you shell out (read "waste") money on a car with unnecessary power -- basically *all* cars are noticeably unperky if they're overloaded. When my family drove down to the Cape from Montreal with four bikes on the roof and a week's worth of stuff the car basically maxed out at about 120km/h -- and that was a pretty damn peppy car under normal circumstances.

The rear vent not working sounds like a problem to me. You're saying even once the engine is hot you get blasted with toasty hot air in the front and the air in the back is still cold? I think it's normal that it be cooler than in the front but it ought to still be warm. You could try closing all the front vents and see if you get more in the back.

But I would bring this up with the dealer, there's no logical reason it should be blowing cold air in the back. The whole point of having vents there is that the back passengers often complain that it's too hot or cold, especially in larger vehicles.

There might be a dial somewhere to adjust the temperature in the back? Or there could be a broken "blend door" which is shut and not opening when you turn the temperature to hot in the back.
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on April 14th, 2008 05:27 pm (UTC)
It actually says right in the manual "cool air only." The 2nd row vents are new in '08, so they might not have quite perfected it yet. It was my most disappointing surprise so far.
Gergzkzkz on April 15th, 2008 12:13 pm (UTC)
boo, that is disappointing. I assumed there was no logical reason because hot air is basically free. But maybe there just wasn't enough airflow to support that many vents. They would have had to embiggen all the ducts and fans or something like that.
Natashahoneyartichoke on April 14th, 2008 06:59 pm (UTC)
what's a karakuri seat?
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on April 14th, 2008 07:45 pm (UTC)
In non-North American markets it's a 7th seat that fills in the space between the two second seats.

In that picture you can see the seat back. The seat itself is still folded into the seat next to it.
Natashahoneyartichoke on April 14th, 2008 07:50 pm (UTC)
why don't they have them in the US? seems like it would be useful...
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on April 14th, 2008 07:53 pm (UTC)
My understanding it doesn't conform to some safty law about how seats or seat belts are attached to the frame. I think I was told that all seats have to be directly bolted to the floor, so since this is attached to the seat next to it, it fails the requirements.

Yes, it would really make the car much nicer.
Gergzkzkz on April 15th, 2008 12:15 pm (UTC)
For what it's worth the biggest complaint I got about the matrix was from rear passengers when three people were seated there. Not that there wasn't enough room but that the indented faux-bucket seats were uncomfortable when you were squeezed outward by the center passenger and so you were kind of sitting half on the side of the indentation.
Gergzkzkz on April 15th, 2008 12:17 pm (UTC)
I wonder if you could buy the parts and have one added.
(Anonymous) on April 15th, 2008 03:42 pm (UTC)
Not that I've found. Plus I don't know what the effect of the North American redesigns have on the 7th seat. It would likely be a very expensive experiment even if I could try it. They added extra arm rests for the North American model.

Does your other post mean you have a Matrix? It was near the top of my list and I still wonder if I should have gotten that instead.
Someone I am is waiting for my courageforgotten_aria on April 15th, 2008 03:45 pm (UTC)
Oops, that was me.
Gergzkzkz on April 16th, 2008 12:52 am (UTC)
Sold it when I moved here. I thought it was brilliant but kind of crap too. The back was super convenient for moving and carrying lots of stuff. The seats fold perfectly flat giving you a flat plastic bed. And you don't have to fold up the seat cushions first, so folding the seats up or down is a one hand thing that can be done in two seconds.

But lots of parts seemed to be kind of chintzy. The paint on the plastic skirt in front was so chipped up from stones it looked like hell. And it was held on with plastic clips two of which broke. And the clutch went shockingly early.

And it was rubbish to drive in the snow. Without winter tires it was basically undrivable. Even with winter tires it was a lot worse than my friend's saab. It's just quite light for its size.

I guess what I'm saying is that the ideas were great, but the execution "needs work". I think it's been through a minor rev since that model though so it might be a it better. But your mazda sounds like it's a better product overall.