I love the 2011 Mazda5 like I love Kung Fu.
It is one of the few martial arts that have something for everyone. Styles were conceived to beat other ones. Combine a few, like crane and tiger styles, and you are unbeatable. Tiger is power – attack – strength and crane is grace – defense – beauty…
Okay, that’s a bit too much of an analogy for this simple mini-minivan to live up to.
Or is it?
The Mazda5 is a unique vehicle. There are some people who can truly appreciate its utilitarian beauty; namely, young families.
Here are five reasons that the Mazda5’s Kung Fu is mighty:
1. Its punch is not mighty, but it is swift – like eyeball-snatch-move. The 157 horsepower engine cranks out 163 lbs of torque. The Mazda5 scissor-kicks its motion with a smooth five-speed automatic or (it’s chi-lovin’) six-speed manual transmission. That’s right sparring partners, this is the ONLY minivan/wagon sold in the United States that has three rows AND a manual transmission option. WoooYAAA! Strong Kung Fu.
2. No drunken-style for this mini-minivan. It has a proper four-wheel (fully) independent suspension with beefy 18-inch wheels. Its stance is wide, it corners flat and it actually provides feel through the steering to the driver! This makes the Mazda5 one of the few vehicles in its class that can be entertaining. This is because it’s based on the already excellent Mazda3 platform. Whhhayaaah!! Strong Kung Fu.
3. Five little Shaolin warriors can travel with you with the third row up. Small adults can fit back there, but it is best left for little ones only. With the third row in use you can fit a few swords and a couple bottles of Gatorade – and that’s about it. Third row down and you have enough room for 44.4 cubic feet. Fold the second row flat and you’ll have over 90 cubic feet of cargo room. Hiiiyaaa! Strong Kung Fu.
4. The 2011 Mazda5 is very easy to park and maneuver. Like monkey style, the Mazda5 changes direction quickly, effortlessly and it’s a snap to park. Its overall length is shorter than most midsized crossovers and its long wheelbase assures a good highway ride. Sha-CHOP!! Strong Kung Fu.
5. Cheap to run, cheap to own – like a good Bruce Lee movie. Okay – that was a lame analogy… sorry. But the Mazda5 IS a good buy at under $20,000 – and it IS an efficient ride by averaging about 25 mpg in combined driving. Ska-Dooosh! Strong Kung Fu.
Sure, there are a few problems: seats are comfortable, but they are on the small side for larger folks. Legroom is only so-so up front. Interior plastics are not great and there are some cheap switchgear components. The exterior is fairly clean and almost handsome, except for that odd-ball grin on the grill.
Otherwise – it’s a hell of a good machine for an outstanding price.
Best of all, it is unique in its class, for a few more months. Ford is bringing the popular (in Europe) C-Max to the United States. It is about the same size as the Mazda5 – but with a much nicer interior.
Fortunately for Mazda – Ford has not practiced enough of its Kung Fu and is weaker in one way… it has NO manual transmission to offer.
Still, it will be a worthy opponent for the Mazda5 and will force its master to fight at a higher level.
To be completely honest my spouse has had a Mazda5 for five years and loves it. So, as you can imagine – I am a tad biased. I still say the Mazda5 is great for small families AND that it’s Kung Fu is powerful.
Hell, it’s carried the equivalent of the chunky Kung Fu Panda (me), Kung Fu Tiger (she-who-must-be-obeyed), Kung Fu Monkey (kiddo #1) and Kung Fu Gorilla (kiddo #2) around for half a decade and has had very few issues.
…Powerful Kung Fu indeed…
Automotive media, racing, vehicle evaluation, wrecking yards, and car sales are just a part of Nathan Adlen’s vehicular past. He writes out of high octane passion! To read more reviews by Nathan Adlen or just to enjoy more of excellent writing please visit him on at his examiner.com page HERE.
If you like the new Mazda5 you may also like the Toyota Venza. Check out the Venza one minute review for time-crunched car shoppers below: