Author Topic: Minivan recommendations? Mazda5?  (Read 847 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Minivan recommendations? Mazda5?
« on: November 15, 2023, 07:42:24 AM »
I currently drive a 2009 Honda fit - bought it used in 2017 and it only had 13k miles on it (under $10k!).  Manual transmission, does great in the snow and crappy weather.  It's just been me and my pooch for the past 8 years but now I am doing more driving for relatives, taking older family members to doctor's appointments and whatnot and I'm looking for a bigger, more comfortable vehicle for when I have 3 or 4 people in the car.  In the Fit, the heat doesn't really warm up the folks in the back too much.

I also sometimes transport firewood, and frequently fill up 5 gallon glass jugs of spring water to drink at home.  I was looking at used minivans and saw that the 2012 Mazda5 comes in a manual, there are only a few of these vehicles available.  Manual transmission is not a MUST but I do enjoy having it and feel safer driving in the snow and heavy rain in a manual.

Any used minivan recommendations to send my way?  Or other vehicles I should be looking at?



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Re: Minivan recommendations? Mazda5?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2023, 08:01:53 AM »
I loved my manual Mazda 5 and drove it into the ground, finally had to give it up this year. I called it my miniminivan because the third row only sat two and it was pretty cramped for taller adults, and you basically have to choose between third row or trunk space. The bucket seats in the middle row are nice and roomy though. Mine had a lot of rust by the end, being a 2007, but I think they fixed that in later models, something to be aware of. I found it handled snow and rain just fine, with winter tires (where I live they're mandatory, and safer anyway).


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Re: Minivan recommendations? Mazda5?
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2023, 09:25:27 AM »
The other one I'd look at is a Dodge/Chrysler Caravan, Grand Caravan, Voyager, Pacifica, or whatever models they've made. All these models (gas only, the hybrid has fixed bucket seats) allow all their seats to be easily and quickly folded into the floor opening a 8x4 + floor area, which would be great for firewood and general hauling. Others van models are still pretty great, but to access the full space you'd need to remove the seats from the vehicle with various degrees of difficulty.

Chris Pascale

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Re: Minivan recommendations? Mazda5?
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2023, 10:09:09 AM »
I would get another Honda Odyssey if I was going to replace the van with a van. We have not been kind to it, and it's still going.

Just Joe

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Re: Minivan recommendations? Mazda5?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2024, 12:02:51 PM »
Friend has specialized in white Caravans. They are plain vans that are perhaps unloved on the used market but have served him well with a minimum of repairs and cost.