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Pros: handlinglove it's sporty feel, i'm going to buy a new 5
Pros: MPG for the size, sliding rear doors, smooth trany, high quality handling for the price
Cons: Performance tires are expensive to replace, front seat could have a longer bottom cush
Advice: If fun behind the wheel is important to you, get the 5spd and enjoy.This has to be the best deal on the market today. 29mpg in mixed driving conditions with the 5spd, smooth I-4, impressive handling for the price, useful cargo/seating layout, one of the better cruise control systems I've used, sliding rear doors prevent my young daughters from dinging the cars next to us, and the base model 5spd can be had for around $17k even with a 50k mile warranty. Mazda needs to spread the word on the 5, not enough people realize how good it is. I've logged 50k miles on my 2006 model, it is also decent in New England weather.
Pros: Utility/mpg ratio
Cons: space between second row seats makes a hole when seats are folded flat
Advice: Check out the room before you buy a bigger van or an SUV!I've put 16K miles on my 2006 5sp which is carried over to the 2007 model year, and I just love it. Fit and finish are beyond reproach-with Mazda's famous high-wear seat fabric, quiet highway cruising, and great ergonomics. I get way better than the predicted mileage-never getting below 24.5 and averaging 27-29 in mostly around town driving. 30 mpg highway trips are not uncommon. The 5 sp. makes for fun driving, and the car handles extremely well-less body role than anything in its class. Contrary to other reports, my normal-sized friends can ride in the third row, and egress is easy with the second row seats sliding far forward. With the back 4 seats folded flat, there is enormous room-I can't understand why more people don't buy this car-perhaps becaue Mazda doesn;t advertise it!