$17,995 - $22,675

2009 Mazda Mazda5 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2009 Mazda Mazda5 was new.


Performance: 7.5

The Mazda5 is a good performer.  Its only shortcoming is that it fails to measure up to the standards set by sporty Mazda offerings like the Mazda3 or MX-5 Miata. Nevertheless, compared to other wagons, minivans or crossovers, the Mazda5 performs well.

  • "You'll probably see pigs fly before you ever encounter a Mazda that isn't enjoyable to drive. The new 5 skirts the edge though." -- Newsday

Acceleration and Power

Most of the disappointment over the Mazda5's performance comes from its engine, which many say is underpowered. Reviewers also say you shouldn't expect to save much in gasoline, but you should achieve average fuel economy. The EPA rates the 5s at 22 miles per gallon in the city, 28 on highways with a manual transmission, and at 21 mpg in the city, 27 on highways with the automatic.

  • "The 153 horsepower 2.3 liter four-cylinder engine that feels so good in the Mazda3 could do with a light power infusion." --Kelley Blue Book
  • "It shows some energy getting away from the light, but there's a little lag between pressing the pedal and the engine springing to life. The only way to smoke the tires in this machine is to douse them in gasoline and strike a match," -- Chicago Tribune writes.
  • "One thing you do not want to do in the Mazda5 is race for that small opening in freeway traffic that's moving 30 mph faster than you." --The Sacramento Bee

Handling and Braking

The Mazda5 redeems itself with its handling, which lives up to Mazda's reputation for sportiness. The Mazda5 has a MacPherson strut front suspension with an independent multi-link rear, which gives the car a sporty ride. Reviewers are also pleased with the Mazda5's brakes.

  • "the guts to move nimbly and quickly through urban traffic, and the ability to steal your heart in the process." -- The Washington Post
  • "The driving dynamics and ride compliance of this unconventional troop carrier still have Mazda written all over them," -- Motor Trend
  • "The ride is controlled but not harsh, and though the steering might be a bit over-assisted, it is reasonably direct. This is no sports car, but it handles much better than a minivan or SUV." --Kelley Blue Book
  • "light and sprightly, not like you're driving the Partridge Family bus." -- Edmunds
  • "Stopping distances are commendably short, and the brake pedal has a nice feel." -- MSN

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