Mazda5 offers solid alternative to crossovers

It’s not every day I can say I’ve been road testing a vehicle for 11 years, but such is the case with the evergreen Mazda5.

This is a comparison between two Mazda5s. The first is a 2017 Mazda5 GT and the other is a 2006 Mazda5 GS, which has been a member of my family since 2005.

At the start of this century, the minivan was still the king of transport.

I’ll bet there’s not a person under 30 who can’t say they weren’t transported to hockey/soccer practice, school or cottage country in a minivan.

A decade ago there was still the “regular” and “full-size” minivan, the classic example being the Dodge Caravan and the Dodge Grand Caravan respectively.

The Mazda5, based on the Japanese home market Premacy, came to Canada in 2005, being sold as a 2006 vehicle.

Going on strong after some 11 years, the 2017 Mazda5 (GT model shown) had little differences except minor exterior and interior design changes.

Back in 2005 when the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) was still relevant, the Mazda5 was named Best New Multipurpose Family Vehicle of 2006 in AJAC’s Canadian Car of the Year program.

I was still a member of AJAC in those days and I remember driving the Mazda5 entered in the competition impressing me so much I bought one.

Now part of the reason was I knew Mazda Canada’s “Super Wrench”, Danny Manning, had personally been over every Mazda entered the Car of the Year, meaning it would be perfect. Read more...

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08 Jan 2017

By Jim Robinson