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QUALITY | 7 out of 10
very limited space behind the third row for any luggage
spacious second-row captain's chairs
Occupants sit higher than in most cars
The Mazda5's standout feature has been and continues to be its easy access
Clever engineering makes good use of what space is available behind the 2009 Mazda5's three seating rows.
The vehicle's unique 2+2+2 design gives up seven-passenger seating in favor of more individual room, notes Motor Trend. 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." Front-seat passengers get inboard armrests, while second-row passengers include outboard armrests for added comfort.
The sliding doors in the 2009 Mazda Mazda5 "provide outstanding entry and exit to the 2nd row but not to the 3rd row, which requires serious contortions," says ConsumerGuide. 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 liftgate "barely clears six-footer heads," notes Motor Trend, but the low floor aids loading and "the liftgate has two stops, one for people of average height and a higher stop for taller folks, making it easier to reach for people of any height."
The 2009 Mazda Mazda5 has abundant small-item storage, including hidden trays beneath the second-row seats and rear cargo floor, notes ConsumerGuide. 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." Cars.com sums it up well: "the Mazda5 manages to offer surprising utility in a package that's not as mundane as many small cars, and that will appeal to some shoppers."
The functional cabin uses "price-appropriate materials," 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. Overall, ConsumerGuide rates the 2009 Mazda5's build quality high.
Road and wind 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." ConsumerGuide reports "coarse pavement induces audible tire thrum that resonates through the large, open interior." Mother Proof deems the noise "annoying" and "ever-persistent" and says "conversation is strained at highway speeds, especially with folks in the backseat."
The versatile 2009 Mazda Mazda5 can carry six in a pinch, but not luggage for six at the same time.