When the new 2012 Mazda5 came to my driveway for a week, I wished I had a passel of kids to put in it. I didn’t, but my right-hand researcher did. Meghan, and her precious Charlotte, went on a road trip with three kids under the age of four. They had diaper bags, duffels and other gear required for a couple of nights in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Initially she was skeptical about heading out on the highway in a “seemingly tiny” Madza 5, but she came back a convert.
Big family plus compact car usually equals disaster. That was the old equation in the auto business. But lately, some very creative solutions have been rolling off assembly lines. Case in point: the 2012 Mazda5 is a compact minivan crossover with room enough to seat up to six, but it wears a profile that slides easily into a tight parking space or an urban garage.
Mazda, the ‘zoom-zoom’ automaker, introduced the first version of the Mazda5 in 2005, calling it segment-busting and class-defining. We agree and we like its small footprint, roomy interior and zippy ride. The latest edition gets an updated look, improved fuel economy, and a host of new standard features. This Japanese manufacturer has sold close to 150,000 of its ‘5’s; the 2012 version is on sale now, starting at $19,990.