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Is a mini-mini van like the Mazda5 realistic for us?

Have a Dodge caravan right now-it’s okay for certain reasons. Lots and lots of room-too much actually-we end up keeping extra stuff in the back forever…

Also it does great in the snow (we live in new england so that’s important)-(although not so much this year : )

We have 3 kids & would like to be able to fit at least 1 extra person to bring along one of their friends, etc.

Love the idea of downsizing a little but is it realistic for a family of five? Also love that the Mazda5 gets such good gas mileage-obviously that’s always a plus.

I’m assuming the Mazda 5 comes with 3rd row seating. I wanted my wife to downsize when we replaced our Ford Windstar with a Toyota. Both RAV4 and the Highlander came with 3rd row seating. However, my petite 10 year old had trouble fitting in the 3rd row of either vehicle. We ended up with a Sienna with usable 3rd row sitting.

How old are your kids? A year or two down from now you may not be able to fit them into the Mazda, especially if they’re into sports. At least bring the kids and see how they fit into the vehicle you’re shopping for.

Ed B.

I would pile the family into the van with something like the average luggage you might take on a weekend trip or something (empty suitcases?). Go to a Mazda dealer, pile everyone & everything in and see how you’re feeling about it.

I’ll lay odds that keep your Caravan or get another something like it.

well, we definetly wouldn’t buy it without putting everyone in and trying it out. It prob won’t work because 2 of them do play hockey. We also like the look of the Highlander but it’s a lot more money. A used Sienna might work-I do want to get something realiable. The kids are 9, 7 and 5.

Fit yes, for short trips. But if there’s much luggage involve, probably not. But why guess, drive one home, pile all your luggage and kids inti it, and go for a ride. It may seem inconvenient, but buying the wrong car is worse, and we’re not walking in your shoes.
Hope you find something that works.
Personally, I wouldn’t downsize this cycle.

Believe me, we are going to be super picky and make sure we get the best bang for our buck this time around. So it doesn’t sound rediculous to take it for a test drive w/everyone in it and all the stuff we usually cart around.

I liked the Highlander too, but even used it cost more than the Sienna LE we bought. The only repairs needed in 3.5 years were the radio/CD which failed a few days after we bought (replaced with a new unit) and a rattle in the sliding doors. My wife is very happy with it. It has not been part of any recalls (so far).

Note: Siennas (starting 2007 and newer) and other Toyotas with the 3.5L V6 have had problems with a small VVT-i rubber oil line that ruptures with age. The fix is to replace it with an all metal line. Toyota hasn’t been too forthcoming about this in my opinion. For more info.

Don’t want to scare you, but it’s worth checking out.

Ed B.

Look at it this way; your kids aren’t getting any smaller. The Mazda is going to just get more and more cramped as the years go by.

I’d be very doubtful a Mazda 5 would fit your needs, family 5 + friends + hockey + getting bigger…

I know mileage is important, and if you’re using a minivan to commute with instead of a compact, they make little sense. But regardless of the comparative mileage on the window, when you compare “passenger and luggage” miles per gallon and total weight carried in safety, I really can’t think of any thing that’s as economical as a minivan. Five people and gear in comfort, convenience and safety at 25+miles per gallon. In those terms and use ,it is tough to beat. Siennas are quite and smooth, Odesseys handle like good sedans, both are reliable, safe, roomy ,feature laden…and the most expensive, but you get what you pay for.