Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I always make good choices

Before I bought my car I researched a ton of vehicles. I narrowed down my choices to the Mazda5, Toyota FJ Cruiser and the Scion XB. All cost right around $20K or so. The winner of course was the Mazda5. The Mazda5 has won award after award this year. Turns out I made a good choice.

I have driven 4800 miles since I leased it. That comes down to about 600 miles a month. I'm very happy with it. I get 24-28 MPG which is really good considering how little I drive and the average trip is the 14 mile round trip to and from the airport. Once again I predict I will be way under miles at the end of the lease. I predict I will have about 22K miles on it in May 2011. I am on a 36K mile lease. Hopefully I will be "positive" on the car and be able to trade it in before than and "make money" like I did on my Acura. My next car will likely be a purchase. If we have a kid it will likely be the Mazda5. If we don't have a kid it will be a two door two seater.

Here is an article about the most recent Mazda5 win. Oh and it list it as Crossover/ WAGON!


New 2009 Mazda Mazda5 [ 2008 , 2007 ]


in Affordable Full Size Wagons

Based on analysis of 47 Mazda5 reviews and test drives.

MSRP: $17,995 - $22,675

Invoice: $16,865 - $21,229

MPG: 22 (Est) City / 28 (Est) Hwy

Get local dealer price quotes:

U.S.News Scores


  • Sliding rear doors minimize dents and dings

  • Best wagon and minivan features in one package

  • Three rows of individual captains chairs

  • Lots of cargo space

  • Engine not at sporty as other Mazdas

  • Limited cargo space with all seats up

Mazda Mazda5 - What the Auto Press Says

The 2009 Mazda Mazda5 ranks 2 out of 8 Affordable Full Size Wagons. This ranking is based on our analysis of 47 published reviews and test drives of the Mazda Mazda5, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.

The Mazda Mazda5 is proof that a little sacrifice can lead to great reward. Combining minivan-like comfort with wagon performance and fuel economy, the Mazda5 is a fun choice among family haulers and is the winner of the U.S. News Best Car for the Money award for compact crossovers, beating industry stalwarts including the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V.

It isn't perfect, though. The styling is odd for some people's taste, and while sportier than most wagons or vans, the Mazda5 doesn't have the zoom-zoom of other Mazda models. Still, the 2009 Mazda5 is a solid attempt to create a car with the cargo space and practicality of a minivan, while keeping the size of a wagon. "What are they putting in the guava juice at Mazda's design headquarters?" U.S. News reviewer Rick Newman writes. "Whatever it is I want some. In a market filled with nichebusters and me-too copycats, the No. 4 Japanese automaker keeps finding ways to turn out clever, affordable funmobiles that are a bit more creative than the competition."

The 5 is available in three trims, the Sport, Touring and Grand Touring, all of which have the same four-cylinder engine. It's part of Ford's C1 platform, along with the Mazda3.

  • "This sporty van combines the ride of a sedan, the convenience of a hatchback, the easy access of a minivan, and the utility of a small SUV. Inside, seating for six in three rows offers great flexibility, with a flat-floor design for maximum legroom." -- Car and Driver

  • "We recommend it to small families with kids under five or six years old, with the caveat that we'd like it better if traction control and electronic stability control were available." -- New Car Test Drive

  • "Mazda5 comes along with many of the attributes of a minivan -- except the frumpiness. It is actually a ball to drive." -- U.S. News

  • "It fits neatly into tight spaces. It presents no visual obstruction to other drivers. But it can carry six passengers and judicious amounts of their stuff." -- Washington Post

  • "The 5 has an unmistakably road-friendly character apparent in its responses and ease of parking, and the edge in visibility doesn't hurt." -- Automotive.com

  • "Who's it for? Well, after living with it a bit, I'd say it's for youngsters, oldsters and many inbetweeners." -- The Auto Channel

  • "As small vehicles go, this one's big. And as minivans go, this one's cool." -- USA Today

Mazda5 Performance - 7.7 (Good)

Even if the Mazda5 is missing some of the brand's trademark zoom-zoom, New Car Test Drive writes, "It tucks into tight parking spaces, thanks in no small part to a turning circle that bests all the competition by several feet. Everyday errands are run with a reasonably clear conscience, and without requiring a home equity loan, thanks to respectable fuel mileage." Continue with our full Performance Review for the 5's fuel numbers. continue

Mazda5 Exterior - 7.5 (Good)

Reviewers can't quite decide what the Mazda5 looks like, but most agree it won't suit everyone's taste. Road & Travel Magazine says it "sports a no-apologies look of fun." But U.S. News' Rick Newman calls it "tall and ungainly." Our Mazda5 Photo Gallery will allow you to judge the 5's appearance for yourself, or continue with our full Exterior Review to read reviewers' appreciation for the Mazda5's sliding doors.  continue

Mazda5 Interior - 8.0 (Very Good)

The Mazda5's interior is all practicality, from the seats, to the space and the design.. Check out the Mazda5 Photo Gallery for pictures of the inside, or continue with our full Interior Review to read about the level of comfort found in the 5's three rows.  continue

Mazda5 Safety - 9.6 (Excellent)

The 2008 Mazda5 gets great government crash test scores. Our full Safety Review gives details on the 5's passive and active safety features.  continue

Mazda5 Reliability - 7.0 (Good)

The 2009 Mazda Mazda5 reliability score shown is the Predicted Reliability rating provided by J.D. Power and Associates. This score is based on trending the past three years of historical initial quality and dependability data from J.D. Power's automotive studies, specifically the Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) and the Initial Quality Study (IQS). Mazda offers a basic warranty for three years or 36,000 miles. Check out the full Reliability Review to learn more about Mazda's extended coverage.  continue
Review Last Updated: 12/15/08

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