It sure was nice seeing the 2013 Mazda5 Grand Touring Minivan as I walked out my front door…
…especially when it looks this sleek and sporty, am I right? I have ridden in a minivan or two in my life — I’ve never owned one, because they just weren’t my “thing,” you could say — but never one like this. Even as you look down the grill of the Mazda5, it’s hard to believe you’re looking at a “minivan.”
In fact, one could go so far as to say that Mazda has actually re-invented the wheel here. Well, the minivan, anyway. I don’t even know where to begin. Obviously, this is not a huge vehicle, as you can see from the exterior…so it’s not like they pulled off some voodoo trickery and when you open the doors the interior is the size of a Hummer limo. It’s not. But I also am not going to use the word “cozy,” ya know, like the realtor’s code word for “tiny,” because it’s simply not tiny. It’s…well, a good size. Whatever that is. I’m 5’8″ and W is 6’2″. This is how he fit — with no complaints, mind you — in the front seat:
So, you can see that the leg room in the front seat is quite reasonable. It goes without saying that I had plenty of leg room, since I have significantly less leg that needs room. Anywho, let’s take a peek at the back seat, shall we?
Giddy up, partner! Look at that back seat! Supple leather seats with arm rests? Are ya kidding me? And, there’s a fold-out table with cup holders. Maybe this is a limo, after all. Now, leg room in the back seat is going to (obviously) depend on how the front seat is situated as well as how the back seat is situated. My daughter is 15 and, as you can see, on the petite side, and this is how she fit in the back seat:
OK. So, if you’re shopping in the Big & Tall section (rather than the Petites section), you probably aren’t going to be super comfy if you’re climbing into the back seat of the Mazda5 Grand Touring minivan. But, let’s be honest…you’re probably putting kiddos in the back seat, right? Maybe even a car seat or two…not a 6’3,” 300-pound Iron Man contestant. So, it’s pretty reasonable, given that we’re talking about a sporty minivan that seats six. Unless you want your minivan to be an unwieldy, overwhelming tank-like vehicle, you’re going to have to compromise on a few things.
When the back row of seats are upright, you don’t have a huge amount of storage space in the rear. Of course, if you’re going grocery shopping, you’re most likely (hopefully) not going with five people…so you can put the third-row seats down and you’ll have plenty of storage space.
Plenty. Like, seriously…plenty. And, to top it off, it couldn’t be simpler to put the second row seats back into position. Couldn’t. Be. Simpler. See for yourself:
That took about 3.2 seconds and no effort at all. Like, none. I have major back problems as well as issues with my left shoulder (little stuff like repaired torn cartilage, bone spurs, arthritis…ya know, the works), yet as this picture demonstrates, I lifted the back seat with my left hand. While holding a camera. I cannot stress enough how simple and effortless it is to put the second-row seats up and down. I would go so far as to say that they could be operated while holding a child in one arm. Or while pregnant. Or while holding shopping bags. You get the idea.
OK, now let’s get into the nitty gritty. The little things that are oh-so-big features when it comes to an investment like a new vehicle. Where to begin…how about the comfort of the front seats, for one?
I don’t know about you, but I don’t usually feel like I’m lounging when I’m driving my regular car. But, yes, those are nice supple leather seats with armrests. There’s not a ton of console space between the seats but it has what you need — and, if you’re anything like me, my current console actually provides too much storage and tends to get “junky.” Mine holds change and receipts and makeup and deposit slips and stamps and…yikes! Too much, plain and simple. The console space in the Mazda5 Grand Touring Minivan is simple and efficient. It provides two cup holders and one simple storage area. Boom. It kinda forces you to a) not “junk” up your vehicle (which I definitely need help with) and b) be efficient with your space. It’s a win-win.
As you can see, there’s room for the necessities. It’s really all the room I needed — and I didn’t even use all of it. Oh, you’re probably wondering what those buttons are right by the cup holders. Let’s take a closer look, shall we? We shall.
Seat warmers, folks, seat warmers! And, yowza, do they heat up your seat quickly — you will be toasty in minutes! Why, yes, that is a USB/AUX port for your convenience. How sweet of you to notice! And it comes in awfully handy while you’re driving, as does this feature:
Those there are some safety features, folks…because you should have your hands on the wheel while you’re driving — we forget simple facts like that, especially when you have cool technology like…THIS:
This is fun. And it lights up all pretty. And it’s user-friendly. And it pretty much provides a ton of information in quite a little space. Smart.
What else, what else? Ohhh…it handles divinely. I’m used to sitting up a little higher in my vehicle, so I thought the Mazda5 Grand Touring minivan, which is rather close to the ground, was going to be a major adjustment. Not! Once I drove down the block, I was right at home in this minivan. And, the control! Wow. It’s amazing. I cannot sing the praises of this vehicle loud enough. It rides smoothly and “tight,” if you know what I mean. It was a real treat to drive, let me tell you. And, after begrudgingly handing over the keys after my test drive was up, I even more begrudgingly got into my own vehicle to go to the store. True story: About halfway down the block, I put my vehicle in Park and jumped out to check the tires, because I was just sure I had a flat tire, as it seemed to be riding roughly. Guess what? No flat tires. This was my “normal.” That’s how drastic the difference was between the smooth ride of the Mazda5 and my vehicle (which, might I add, is just a 2007).
Some of the features of the Mazda5 Grand Touring Minivan:
- Rain-sensing front wipers (say what?!?!)
- Power heated mirrors
- Auto On/Off headlights
- Side sill extensions
- 2nd Row under-seat storage…look (I LOVE this!):
- Covered rear cargo storage
- Automatic climate control
- 2nd row cool air vents
- USB audio input (awesome)
- Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio system (awesomer!)
- AM/FM/CD/Sirius satellite radio
- 36-month/36,000 mile Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty & 60-month/60,000 mile Powertrain Warranty
- Anti-theft Alarm System
- Anti-theft Engine Immobilizer (sweet!)
I could go on and on and on (obviously) about how smart and efficient (28 mpg highway/22 mpg city) and sleek and sporty the Mazda5 Grand Touring Minivan is, but I’ll leave you with this, which shows just one more angle of this sleek machine:
The 2013 Mazda5 Grand Touring minivan — which was named “Minivan of the Year,” might I add — starts at $19,940. Giddy up! Or, I should say, ZOOM ZOOM!
I was not compensated for writing this review. A big thank you to Mazda for allowing me to test drive this sweet Mazda5 for a week. My opinions are 100% honest and 100% mine.