There simply aren't many natural competitors to the 2014 Mazda 5.
It's best described as a 7/8ths-scale minivan, and we'd probably say that base versions of the Dodge Grand Caravan and Toyota Sienna are its most direct rivals.
But both of those rivals don't feel nearly as nimble; on the other hand they can be upgraded with richer interiors and more features.
The Ford Transit Connect is getting completely redesigned, and this time around Ford will be selling a full-on Transit Connect Wagon passenger version--essentially a minivan, and a more direct rival to the Mazda 5.
The Ford wasn't yet available to drive or on sale at the time of this review.
In the other direction are the Toyota Prius V and Ford C-Max.
They're both a little smaller than the Mazda 5 and skip the third-row seating altogether, and they're better described as tall-roof hatchbacks.
Both models include advanced hybrid powertrains, and while the Prius V gets better real-world mileage than the C-Max, the Ford is our pick between the two for handling and drivability.
|2014 Mazda MAZDA5Browse Used Listings||2014 Dodge Grand CaravanBrowse Used Listings||2014 Ford Transit Connect WagonBrowse Used Listings||2014 Ford C-MaxBrowse Used Listings||2014 Toyota Prius VBrowse Used Listings|
|21 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy||17 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy||20 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy||44 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy|
|Regular Unleaded I-4||Regular Unleaded V-6||Regular Unleaded I-4||N/A||Gas/Electric I-4|
|2WD Minivans||2WD Minivans||Special Purpose Vehicle 2WD||N/A||Mid-Size Station Wagon|
|4-Door Wagon Manual Sport||4-Door Wagon SE 30th Anniversary||4-Door Wagon SWB XLT w/Rear Liftgate||N/A||5-Door Wagon Two (SE)|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||N/A||Front Wheel Drive|
|Manual w/OD||Multi-Speed Automatic w/OD||Automatic w/OD||N/A||CVT w/OD|