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2015 Mazda5: What You Need to Know

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 3/12/2015 Stefan Ogbac
© Mazda

New for 2015

The 2015 Mazda5 is no longer available with a manual transmission.

Vehicle Summary

The 2015 Mazda5 is a smaller-than-average size minivan with seating for up to six passengers. Its only engine is a 2.5-liter I-4 with 157 hp and 163 lb-ft of torque mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is average, at 21/28 mpg city/highway.


The 2015 Mazda5’s driving dynamics are “the most car-like of all the minivan alternatives” with a well-tuned chassis based on the last generation Mazda3, giving the car sharp handling. Steering feel is also a strong point. Acceleration is decent considering the car’s weight, with enough power for passing and merging maneuvers at highway speeds.

Interior space in the 2015 Mazda5 is decent for passengers in the first and second rows; however, the third row is cramped and the center passage to get to them is on the narrow side. Cargo space, on the other hand, is generous, with up to 97.7 cubic feet of volume with the second and third rows folded. However, not many tech features are offered on the Mazda5, since the optional navigation system was discontinued after the 2012 model year refresh. On the other hand, Bluetooth and USB connection are standard while a rear seat entertainment system is a dealer-installed option.

The NHTSA has not crash tested the 2015 Mazda5. In IIHS evaluations, a 2014 earned a good score in two categories, acceptable in head restraints and seats, marginal in side impact, and poor in the small overlap front test (good is the highest possible score).

What We Think

While the 2015 Mazda5 remains a viable choice, its aging powertrain and lack of tech features prevent it from being a competitive offering. In a 2012 First Test review, we said that the minivan has a usable interior with many storage cubbies and plenty of space for cargo when the second and third rows are folded. However, it isn’t ideal for hauling adult passenger due to its cramped third row. Additionally, it doesn’t have as many tech features as found in two-row crossovers or larger seven- and eight-passenger minivans such as a rearview camera, blind spot warning, and navigation.

In a 2014 First Test review, we said that the minivan drives well despite being so tall, but the overly aggressive anti-lock braking system (ABS) intervenes in an abrupt manner, causing the car to become unsettled.

You’ll Like

  • Good driving dynamics for a minivan
  • Generous cargo space

You Won’t Like

  • Dated powertrain and interior
  • Cramped third row
  • Not much tech features

Key Competitors

  • Ford C-Max
  • Fiat 500L
  • Honda CR-V
  • Toyota RAV4
  • Dodge Grand Caravan


2 star


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