Comfort and Quality » 7
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QUALITY | 7 out of 10
“Yes, there are miles of plastic”
Car and Driver
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
Thanks to some design and engineering magic, the 2010 Mazda5 fits three seating rows into a vehicle with a compact-car parking footprint. Even more surprising, the 2+2+2 arrangement allows lots of room, as long as you’re one of the front four.
The second-row seats in the 2010 Mazda5 are just as comfortable as those in front, according to some reviewers. 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." Front-seat passengers get inboard armrests, while second-row passengers include outboard armrests for added comfort.
Not all reviewers praise the special division, though. Very tall drivers "wanted longer cushions and more rearward travel" in front, reports ConsumerGuide, who also find the second row has "good legroom...abetted by the slide and recline adjustments." Also, ConsumerGuide says the sliding doors in the Mazda Mazda5 "provide outstanding entry and exit to the 2nd row but not to the 3rd row, which requires serious contortions."
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 2010 Mazda Mazda5 seems perfectly configured for small or growing families; there’s abundant small-item storage, including hidden trays beneath the second-row seats and rear cargo floor, according to ConsumerGuide. 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."
Getting into the up-close look and feel of the materials, reviews aren’t as overwhelmingly positive. ConsumerGuide reports that the cabin uses "price-appropriate materials," but build quality is high and "hard-plastic surfaces are tempered somewhat by rich graining and good overall assemble quality."
A few reviewers note the coarse sound of the Mazda5’s engine, which Cars.com says is "smooth-revving" but "can sound buzzy at higher rpm." Road and wind noise is also an issue. ConsumerGuide reports "coarse pavement induces audible tire thrum that resonates through the large, open interior." Cars.com notes that the "cabin gets a bit loud when going [fast], with both wind and road noise contributing to the din." MotherProof deems the noise "annoying" and "ever-persistent" and asserts "conversation is strained at highway speeds, especially with folks in the backseat."
The 2010 Mazda Mazda5 can carry up to six people, but it’s not an exceptionally refined or comfortable experience.