Taking the minivan plunge

We’re now officially minivan owners… arguably. No one seems to agree on what our new vehicle is. We traded our CRV on a Mazda 5 a couple of days ago. It’s a quirky little vehicle that not too many people are familiar with: two sliding doors, rear liftgate, three rows of seating, and front wheel drive. Sounds like a minivan so far. However, it weighs about the same as a Honda Accord, is only three inches longer than my sister’s little Saturn SL1, and I can look right over the top of it, which classifies it as a mid-size hatchback/wagon. Add in the 17″ wheels, low profile tires, auto/manual transmission, general sporty appearance, and handling no tall vehicle can match, and the issue is further confused.

Cross-shopping for competing models, we found that the price was considerably lower than most minivans, SUV’s and three-row wagons, and the mileage was considerably better as well. Admittedly, it’s a little small in the third row of seats, but the idea is to have a couple of extra seats when you need them, and a flat cargo area when you don’t. We took a short ride with Dusty, myself, Evan, my mom, my dad, and my sister in the car, and it was reasonably comfortable. I’ve ridden in the third row for a 1.5 hr drive and it was just fine- better than the back seat of my truck anyway.

Now, I know I’m going to get a little grief for trading cars again- with good reason. We had the Saturn for 2 years, the Mini for 6 months, and the CRV for just under two years. In our defense, this was the vehicle we were looking for when we got the CRV, except they didn’t make it yet. Coming from the Mini, handling was an important issue. Nothing against the CRV (it was a nice vehicle, nothing to get excited about, but a comfortable way to get from point A to point B), but we were really looking for wagon, and failing to find one we liked in our price range, we got the SUV. The new Mazda handles like a car (zoom zoom!) without the body roll, has more seating, and should get the same or better mileage. This is one “minivan” we don’t mind owning!

Oh yeah, a picture… well, we just left our camera at the in-laws after a visit, so I’ll just link to it on MazdaUSA.com.

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