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FEATURES | 7 out of 10
conspicuously absent from the options sheet are a sunroof, Bluetooth connectivity, iPod integration, a USB jack, a trip computer, and xenon headlights
Cat and Driver
The price is right and for the utility you get, there aren't many better choices.
There's no longer a factory-installed navigation system
With a base price of about $20,000, the Mazda 5 offers great minivan value that's rivaled only by the least expensive Dodge Grand Caravan. The base Mazda5 Sport has more standard features, too, with power locks, windows, and mirrors; automatic climate control; an AM/FM/CD player with an auxiliary jack and new this year, a USB port; a tilt/telescopic steering wheel; cruise control; keyless entry; and steering-wheel-mounted cruise and audio controls. Satellite radio is available, but the display panel's a little primitive: it’s only capable of displaying a few characters (it will scroll some entries but not others with the press of a button).
On the Mazda5 Touring, the automatic transmission becomes standard, as do 17-inch wheels; leather trim on the steering wheel and shift lever; and a trip computer. Rear parking sensors also are standard. Bluetooth with audio streaming is also standard; it's useful, but we still typically have connectivity issues with, and a battery suck with most devices when we forget our USB cable to keep them charged.
In top-of-the-line Grand Touring form, the Mazda5 also comes with a power moonroof, heated mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, xenon HID headlamps, heated front seats, and Sirius satellite radio (a stand-alone option, too), all for around $25,000.
The Mazda5 lacks some advanced tech features. Most glaring: there's no navigation option. Mazda is looking into offering a GPS in the minivan, but it hasn't made the lineup this year.
Without a navigation option and other tech features, the Mazda 5 can disappoint shoppers looking at rival minivans.