With a starting price of just under $18,000 for the base Sport, the 2009 Mazda Mazda5 is quite a deal for a sporty, economical people-mover, provided you watch the options; fully loaded top-line Grand Touring models can top $28,000.
Kia has a lineup of vehicles that are especially friendly for urban dwellers who want a lot of people-hauling ability and yet need to fit into a compact-only parking space.
The Sedona is one of the few remaining minivans sold in a maneuverable short-wheelbase version.
But there's also the Rondo, a vehicle that looks a little odd but does everything right in terms of passenger transport and interior comfort.
The Rondo has hinged rear doors, however, and only offers an automatic transmission.
The Kia doesn't have the Mazda5's tight handling, though with either of the Rondo's four- or six-cylinder engines, it feels peppier and more refined than the Mazda5.
Among other offerings, the RAV4 is one of the few compact SUVs to offer a usable third-row seat, though only for short trips or small kids.
The perky Scion xB might suit those who don't really need a third row of seating, as its stylish, boxy body affords a roomy interior.
Get FREE Dealer Quotes
|2009 Mazda MAZDA5Browse Used Listings||2009 Scion xBBrowse Used Listings||2008 Kia RondoBrowse Used Listings||2008 Kia SedonaBrowse Used Listings||2008 Toyota RAV4Browse Used Listings|
|22 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy||18 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy||16 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy||19 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy|
|N/A||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas V6||Gas I4|
|N/A||Small Station Wagon||Mid-Size Station Wagon||2WD Minivan||2WD Sport Utility Vehicle|
|4-Door Wagon Manual Sport||5-Door Wagon Manual (Natl)||4-Door Wagon I4 LX Base||4-Door SWB||FWD 4-Door 4-cyl 4-Speed AT (GS)|
|N/A||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|N/A||4 Door Wagon||4 Door||4 Door||4 Door|
|N/A||Manual w/OD||Automatic w/OD||Automatic w/OD||Automatic w/OD|