As a mini-minivan, there's not much room behind the 2008 Mazda5's three seating rows, but clever engineering makes good use of what space is available.
The 2008 Mazda Mazda5 is equipped with two captain's chairs in the first two rows and a 50/50-split bench in the third. As Cars.com reports, "the second-row seats can slide and recline," and the front seats "leave you feeling good even after hours at the wheel [though] they're fairly snug and may not be comfortable for all types." Very tall drivers "wanted longer cushions and more rearward travel," according to ConsumerGuide, who also find the second row to have "good legroom...abetted by the slide and recline adjustments."
Cars.com explains the appeal lies in the Mazda5's ability to "offer surprising utility in a package that's not as mundane as many small cars." They state "there's very limited space behind the third row...when those six seats are occupied," but the "measly cargo area can be expanded to 44 cubic feet by folding the third row down." With the second row folded down, too, the Mazda5 yields 79 cubic feet of cargo room, with enough length to fit a five-foot two-by-four. The rear door is a liftgate, and as such, it "barely clears six-footer heads," but the low floor aids loading. In addition, the sliding doors "provide outstanding entry and exit to the 2nd row but not to the 3rd row, which requires serious contortions," says ConsumerGuide.
In this Mazda, 2008 brings abundant small-item storage hidden beneath seats and below the floor. Mother Proof details them: "plastic storage bins under both of the second-row seats...a table with two cupholders on the passenger side that folds out into the aisle between the seats...the table surface pops out to reveal a [nifty] toy net...[and] there's another bin hiding under the floor of the rear cargo area."
Build quality is a "pro," according to ConsumerGuide, who explain "hard-plastic surfaces are tempered somewhat by rich graining and good overall assemble quality." The windows aft of the front row are tinted.
Cabin noise is an issue in the Mazda5. Cars.com notes that the "cabin gets a bit loud when going [fast], with both wind and road noise contributing to the din." Mother Proof characterizes the noise as "annoying" and "ever-persistent." They surmise the Mazda 2008 warranted no additional noise insulation "[in order] to provide an economic package." ConsumerGuide notes, "coarse pavement induces audible tire thrum that resonates through the large, open interior."