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Thread: Mazda A5..

  1. #1
    jrm
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    Mazda A5..

    Anyone got one of these. They seem real functional and an element alternative..


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  2. #2
    Nice no rass
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    Sorry, looks like any other mini van on the market from the last 15 years. From looking at the Mazda site...it looks like any other mini van on the market that tried to copy a few interior design elements of the Honda Element 4 years later, but still missed the boat. Seriously, two competely different products IMO. The Element is geared toward outdoors people with no kids, the A5 is geared towards mini van owners with... 3.5 kids.

  3. #3
    a.k.a. BicycleKicks
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    Yes, it's awesome

    Quote Originally Posted by jrm
    Anyone got one of these. They seem real functional and an element alternative..


    Yep. I keep my bike inside it using a fork mount clamp bolted to a piece of plywood. The rear wheel of the bike fits in between the 2 rear bucket seats. I keep one of the rear seats folded down because you have to tilt the bike to one side to get it out if you have the seatpost in.

    You could not keep 2 bikes upright in it unless MAYBE if you take the seatposts out they might fit side by side... however, I have not tried it. I also have 2 bike trays on the factory available roof rack which works great.

    Some of the things I like about this car are that it has a relatively low roof for using the roof racks, I can keep the bike inside of it, it gets good gas mileage, I have the 5-speed which rocks! (drives like a car, not like a breadbox), and you can get it with a bunch of options like nav system.

    True, my biking friends looked at me funny when I bought it, but EVERY one of them has ended up really liking it... especially after a road trip.

    By the way, I have 1 wife, 1 kid, and 1 dog and they all fit inside the car WITH my bike and everything else we take with us on vacations/weekends.

    I'll try and post a pic of it with my bike inside later on today.

    EDIT: like the other guy said, it's not an Element... the design inside and out is obviously opposite. However, Mazda is trying to market it to the young active crowd, but not as hardcore as the grunge crowd (from a marketing perspective, I do not necessarily share this opinion) and they're right about it. I windsurf too, and this car is as practical as just about any SUV (sucky utility vehicle) for hauling and carrying a lot of stuff.
    I read that on the internet.

  4. #4
    a.k.a. BicycleKicks
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    Here are the pics...

    2 bikes on the roof.... looks pretty good if you asked me...

    and a pic of my fork mount arrangement inside the car... tight squeeze between the saddle and roof... *maybe* without the seatposts you could fit 2 bikes, but it would be close.

    BTW... if you take the seatpost off when the bike is ON the roof, you can fit below almost any drive through... clearance is something like 8'6"-8'9" on mine without the seatpost.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    I read that on the internet.

  5. #5
    jrm
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    thanks..

    for the help and pics. I noticed you went with the grey and thats the color id go with if i buy one. Right now i drive a 4runner. I have the same QR piece of plywood set up as you. Ive gotten 2 bikes and gear in there but it was tight. Chances are ill be using my hitch rack on the mazda but in some instances id be travelling with the bike in the car.

    I looked at the element and their pretty cool but i feel like id be getting more for my $$$ with hte mazda. I like the unique styling of the 5. I dont know if youd cal it a suv or mini..mini van though. I want something thats fun to drive, i can sleep in and something that gets to the outdoors and back. I like the driver ride height. Also the performance numbers look nice for what the 5 is.

    Ive found a dealer on line thats got one. I going to go there before they open and check it out in person.
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    a.k.a. BicycleKicks
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    Caution regarding a hitch!

    Quote Originally Posted by jrm
    for the help and pics. I noticed you went with the grey and thats the color id go with if i buy one. Right now i drive a 4runner. I have the same QR piece of plywood set up as you. Ive gotten 2 bikes and gear in there but it was tight. Chances are ill be using my hitch rack on the mazda but in some instances id be travelling with the bike in the car.

    I looked at the element and their pretty cool but i feel like id be getting more for my $$$ with hte mazda. I like the unique styling of the 5. I dont know if youd cal it a suv or mini..mini van though. I want something thats fun to drive, i can sleep in and something that gets to the outdoors and back. I like the driver ride height. Also the performance numbers look nice for what the 5 is.

    Ive found a dealer on line thats got one. I going to go there before they open and check it out in person.
    Mazda says NO HITCHES on the 5 ... I want one too, but will wait until after I roll past the 50k mile warranty to put one on IF they are available.

    Also, sleeping in there would be tight... it's not a long vehicle.... bring a tent
    I read that on the internet.

  7. #7
    ballbuster
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    Dang....

    That thing looks kinda sweet, actually. I like how it's basically a car-based minivan, but available in a stick, and gets 27 MPG (on paper). A 6 speed with a super tall cruising gear would be icing on the cake. AWD would be nice, too. In reality, I've never been stuck with just front wheel drive, tho. I never go anywhere where it may be a problem. Just the occasional fireroad like at Boggs or Tamarancho.

    Too bad about the hitch situation. I would love to hang a hitch rack on the thing, or be able to pull a 1500 pound no-brake trailer for the occasional home project. Heck, I can do this with the GTi.

    3 row seating rocks. I'm thinking for kids as well, since now I have one, and will probably have another. We're getting by okay with the GTi, but second kid or going somewhere with friends is going to mean a second vehicle.

    When my mom was shopping for a new wagon, she checked out the 5 station wagon a couple years ago. It was decent, especially for the price, but felt a bit cheap and rough compared to the Jetta wagon she ended up buying.

  8. #8
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    My wife has a Mazda 5 and we absolutely love it! The interior is very flexible and functional. And the sliding doors rock if you have small children. We've hauled all sorts of large, odd shaped items.

    However, I found putting my bike in the back a little too difficult and will be buying a hitch rack for it. There are several manufacturers that make hitches to fit the 5, and as long as you don't run wiring for a trailer then I don't think Mazda can deny warranty claims or anything. At least, that is what I've read elsewhere.

  9. #9
    ballbuster
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    Nice

    Quote Originally Posted by wankel
    My wife has a Mazda 5 and we absolutely love it! The interior is very flexible and functional. And the sliding doors rock if you have small children. We've hauled all sorts of large, odd shaped items.

    However, I found putting my bike in the back a little too difficult and will be buying a hitch rack for it. There are several manufacturers that make hitches to fit the 5, and as long as you don't run wiring for a trailer then I don't think Mazda can deny warranty claims or anything. At least, that is what I've read elsewhere.
    I googled some reviews on the Mazda 5 last night. Apart from a few nit-picky things, the only real complaint was that it was soft on engine power. One review said over 10 seconds from 0-60, but didn't specify if that was the stick or auto. I used to drive a 1980 VW Rabbit that was about 10 seconds, and didn't think that was bad at all. One other review said the auto transmission did a fair amount of hunting to keep up with power demands, but I would be considering the manual, so this would not be a problem.

    They also said that the rear seats were not removable. Well, anything is removable if you have the mechnical inclination! It would be nice to remove the thrid row seats for more cargo room, but I don't think this alone is a deal breaker.

    The zero towing capacity might be a deal breaker for me, tho. There have been times that I needed to haul a small flatbed trailer, even if it wasn't very fast. I wonder what the limitation is? Engine thermal capacity (radiator size)? Brakes? Clutch slip?

    I'm glad to see that there are hitch kits out there for this thing, as you say. I think a hitch rack will be manditory to keep the dirt and mud out.

  10. #10
    34N 118W
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    Good job! like

    I've seen these around and they've caught my eye. Any real-world mpg numbers? The dual sliding doors are nice and the hitch mount issue is a deal maker/breaker. No roof racks please, mostly for mileage & noise reasons.

    otherwise its a pretty nice little package for a cyclist.

  11. #11
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    The 5 made our short list as well but ultimately decided against it. The power is OK for a single passenger but I have a feeling it will be pretty miserable in the mountains loaded up. The real nail in the coffin though was the lack of electronic stability/traction control. I will not buy another car without them. It's unfortunate for my wallet but, hey, that's where my priorities lie. If it weren't for those two things (power/stability) I'd be all over it. It's a very cool little car/minivan/suv/whatever!
    [SIZE=1]"The mouth of justice contemplates wisdom."[/SIZE]

  12. #12
    ballbuster
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    Another tidbit

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Bob
    The 5 made our short list as well but ultimately decided against it. The power is OK for a single passenger but I have a feeling it will be pretty miserable in the mountains loaded up. The real nail in the coffin though was the lack of electronic stability/traction control. I will not buy another car without them. It's unfortunate for my wallet but, hey, that's where my priorities lie. If it weren't for those two things (power/stability) I'd be all over it. It's a very cool little car/minivan/suv/whatever!
    Somebody on one of the Mazda message boards said the M5 actually has a factory hitch receiver option in other countries outside North America. For some reason, only the NA version has the towing restriction.

    Can anybody out there back this up? I'm going to do some more research myself.

    Didn't think of the ESP option, but that too may be a deal breaker for me. ABS, Airbags and ESP are the features that save lots of lives on modern cars. There was legislation around making them mandatory on all cars in the US because they were so effective.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    Didn't think of the ESP option, but that too may be a deal breaker for me. ABS, Airbags and ESP are the features that save lots of lives on modern cars. There was legislation around making them mandatory on all cars in the US because they were so effective.
    It will be required standard equipment in 2012 models. One look at this preliminary report from the NHSTA convinced me that ESC is pretty damn important, more important than airbags and probably second only to seat belts.

    http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/...te/809790.html

    This full cost/benefit analysis is kind of interesting too.

    http://nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/DOT/NHT...s/ESC_PRIA.pdf
    [SIZE=1]"The mouth of justice contemplates wisdom."[/SIZE]

  14. #14
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    While it is not going to win any drag races, it has more than adequate power. We have the auto (wife doesn't like to drive manuals ) and the shifts seem quite smooth. Of course, you can also shift your own gears if you like. It would be nice if it had an extra gear, though.

    By most accounts, the fuel mileage is actually better than the stated values. I also wish it had either TC or AWD for the winter, but good snow tires help with that. Come to think of it, the diesel engine they have in Europe would be nice too.

    All of the rear seats fold flat to the floor very easily. The second row also has handy storage areas under the seats and a table that flips out between them. In Japan, I believe there is also a middle seat for the second row, which would be a nice option here.

    The car is obviously capable of towing as the tow hitch is a factory option in Europe...not sure why it isn't allowed in North America.

    The real strength of this car is the handling. It is actually fun to drive! I bet the manual transmission would make it even better. Personally, I think the car looks fantastic for a mini-mini-van/large hatchback.

    You might want to check out the following links:
    http://www.mazdas247.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=194
    http://mpvclub.com/

  15. #15
    ballbuster
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    I took a look at one..

    Quote Originally Posted by jrm
    Anyone got one of these. They seem real functional and an element alternative..


    ... and the interior was really well built. I was surprised. THe last new Mazda I looked at was a bit plasticy and cheap looking inside. This was much nicer in materials and build.

    I think I want one, but will probably have to get one a couple years old.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    Somebody on one of the Mazda message boards said the M5 actually has a factory hitch receiver option in other countries outside North America. For some reason, only the NA version has the towing restriction.

    Can anybody out there back this up? I'm going to do some more research myself.

    Didn't think of the ESP option, but that too may be a deal breaker for me. ABS, Airbags and ESP are the features that save lots of lives on modern cars. There was legislation around making them mandatory on all cars in the US because they were so effective.
    Stumbled on this thread and I can confirm that Mazda 5 as it is called in Europe has hitch receiver option (fixed or removable) and has ESP with traction control (it's called DSC with TSC) as standard equipment. I looked at this one for my next car but ultimately decided to go with more comfortable vehicle.

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