by Philippa Lane
The Mazda5 Grand Touring is a compact minivan that is mixture of a wagon, van, and a compact with all of incredible features, sporty feel, comfort, and style that you would expect from Mazda.
Mazda's new sub-compact crossover vehicle is a bit smaller than many other minivans available today, but because of its smaller size it is more versatile than its competitors, has the ability to handle sharp turns with ease, offers better parking options, while still being able to seat up to six passengers comfortably and haul a variety of cargo on a daily basis.
The Mazda5 Grand Touring was first made available to the public in 2006 and during that time, many Americans were not interested in smaller minivans or compact utility vehicles, but that started to change with the introduction of the Mazda5, because of its sleek design, inexpensive price, easy handling, and unique style. Now the Mazda5 has increased in popularity with a completely redesigned exterior with Nagare wind-blown styling that distinguishes itself from other minivans.
While the majority of the auto industry has chosen to make larger and more grandiose vehicles, Mazda has decided to make a minivan that is almost the same size of the original Dodge Caravan with a price tag starting just under $20,000 and the well equipped Sport priced at around $19,990.
The Grand Touring is available in three trims- Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, and is powered by a four-cylinder 2.5-liter engine with 157 horsepower and is available in either a 6-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission.
My first impression of the Mazda5 Grand Touring is that it is a family vehicle, because it can seat 6 people comfortably and is not too big, neither is it too small for long driving excursions.
The second row bucket seats can slide/recline and I like that there is storage compartments beneath the second row seats to store or hide small items such as books, toys, bottles, or other miscellaneous items that you want to stow away and still have easy access to. The compartments come in handy especially if you have small children. Standard safety features include anti-lock brakes, seven airbags, electronic stability and traction control, engine immobilizer, and adjustable head restraints. The Grand Touring trim features a security system, automatic Xenon headlights, Bluetooth, phone, audio-wireless streaming, a trip computer, MP3 decoder, driver up/down power windows, and rain sensing wipers.
Even though the Mazda5 Grand Touring is stylish and inexpensive, there are just some things that could be improved upon. The stereo system needs some improvement as well as the heating system, which does not provide enough heat to warm up the front cabin, even when set to a high setting. There are also some interior space limitations for very tall passengers and the third row does not provide enough leg room, except for very small children. If travelling only with adults, it is best to just leave the third row folded flat to store more cargo. Also, the center console and dashboard area consist of large areas of hard black plastic and it is not easy to read some of the numbers on the display area because of the overall layout, but the interior design is understandable and is not a major issue, because of the Touring’s affordable price.
The leather seats in the front and second rows are quite comfortable and supportive and the sliding doors make for easy access into the rear cabin and I found that to be a plus. The Grand Touring drives smoothly and handles well in the city and on busy highways. The Mazda5 gets a solid 21 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway.
If you have been looking for a small minivan that is stylish, inexpensive, and fun to drive, then the 2012 Mazda5 Grand Touring is the perfect choice. It is a great compact minivan for the price and may just be exactly what you need.
To find out more about the Mazda5 Grand Touring, go to http://www.mazdausa.com/