2008 Mazda5 Review at 7,500 Miles: Questions Answered, Honda Odyssey vs. Mazda5

9 Responses
  1. Ari

    Hey, I think if you set cruise control at exactly 60 MPH you will get something like 31 MPG. Try it, it might work. It works for most cars….do it in a Prius and you get something like 65 MPG. I’m not saying it’ll work, I’m saying it’s a possibility.

  2. Mandy

    Hi. With what rental car company were you able to rent a Mazda 5? We are strongly considering purchase and want to rent before we buy this time around. But am having trouble finding a rental… We’re in CA. Thx!

  3. Mandy

    Oh hey, another thought for ya. I’m trying to justify getting the Mazda 5 for my family of 4, over waiting until April for the new Honda hybrid, the “Prius-buster”, which promises to cost less than 19k. Got any ideas for me, especially since we both share the view that we should have the smallest car possible with the best gas mileage?

  4. John

    Great review! Thanks for the long term “real world” POV. I am looking to purchase a Mazda5 for the same reasons you purchase yours. There will be four members to my family soon and the 5 is my definite choice for our next vehicle. We had a 2001 Odyssey that we sold last year because it was a gas guzzler and had too many mechanical issues. We bought a Mini Cooper and that car seemed to handle our family (parents and a 7 year old) of three just fine. We’ve been on weekend road trips and the Mini was confortable. Yes, all our luggage fit inside the car too. Yes, the Mini is tight on road trips but it worked well and nobody complained about space.
    We’ve been fine in the Mini Cooper and my compact sedan this past year. I don’t see the need for a full sized Minivan again. The Odyssey was great for road trips, but unless we take the In-Laws the Odyssey was just not necessary 95% of the time. I think the Mazda5 is the perfect size for a family of four in the urban jungle of Souther Cal.
    I look forward to your futre entries about the 5.

  5. Newton

    Mazda 5 is the best general purpose family car I’ve ever owned. Seats 2 adults and 2 children with a sizable amount of travel gear comfortably. Handles extremely well as the OP said, like a car. The little 4-banger will get up and go too – the car is light enough not to bog it down.
    The interior is roomier than the exterior would have you believe (how did they thwart the space-time continuum like that?). Much of the controls and dash have a cheap, “plasticky” feel to it, particularly the shifter, but it’s not bad enough to impact the driving experience.
    Under the hood, the cheap plasticky-ness continues with the engine cover, battery cover and inlet ducting. You will be replacing a couple of those plastic ‘rivets’, but they’re only a buck and a half. Changing the oil is not an ordeal as with some cars.

    All-in-all, we love this car.

  6. Natasha

    I’ve had a Mazda3, for 7 years now, and it’s a great little car, except the exposed brakes keep costing me at the mechanic’s in New England climate. Now that we have kids, I’m thinking about going to a Mazda5, for more carrying capacity, and I’m wondering if you’ve run into similar issues with the Mazda5. I’m not as familiar with how bad Chicago winters are for cars – I’m from the Boston area, and the salt and potholes are terrible… The mechanic tells me the open design on Mazda3 wheels is the problem; does Mazda5 have the same thing?

    1. Chicago has plenty of salt and potholes, no question. I am not sure what problems you have had, but we haven’t had anything too bad on the 5. I’ve swapped pads a couple times, and we might need to do new rotors soon, but in the 3 years/~45,000 miles nothing out of the ordinary. That being said, the brakes are the same between the 3 and 5 for the most part (I think the 5 has slightly larger rears, but I don’t recall for sure) as are the wheels, so in theory, the problem might remain.

      What problems do you have? Do other cars in the area have similar issues?

  7. Natasha

    They had to replace calipers and brake pads on the rear wheels, after they started overheating and rotors on the front. It has about 45,000 miles now (haven’t been driving much in the last few years). Mechanic says that basically there is nothing to protect these mechanisms from the salt and gunk that just get directly in there. Otherwise I’ve been really happy with the reliability – sounds like the same is true of the 5. I don’t know about other cars; we have a honda accord that does not have the same issues though.

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