Wednesday, 24th of November, 2010
By the way sitting on the front porch drinking Coke in 80 degree weather the day before Thanksgiving does remind me of a lot of things to be thankful for.
Thursday, 11th of November, 2010
Good for: Secret drag racing parties - The 2.5L I4 was surprisingly capable of hauling this little SUV around. The optional 3.5L V6 could make it a stop light sleeper and you only lose 1 mpg. Cramming the 3rd row seat option in the back is impressive - share the fun with all your friends. Illuminated cupholders enhance the mood. The controls resemble a car in every way, but offer the altitude of an SUV from the seats.
Compromises: Can't lock the door with the remote if any of the doors are still open - quite a problem if you want to lock the doors before grabbing a bunch of luggage, or a laptop and coffee. I double-checked the manual and this is a "feature". The real feature to get is the "Smart Key" proximity system, but it is available only in the Limited trim. Steering wheel is not lined up with the driver's seat - possibly due to RHD conversion to LHD?
Overall reaction - None: Toyota still makes somewhat interesting cars, but lacks the attention to detail that enthusiasts look for.
Monday, 1st of November, 2010
Good for: Zoom-Zoom with Room-Room - The Mazda 5 is equipped with 4 captain chairs, which will accommodate 4 adults better than the typical cheap mid-sized car. A 3rd row allows this mini-minivan to seat 6. Standard climate control with separate rear controls also help keep everyone comfortable.
Compromises: Same 2.3L I4 found in the Mazda 3 has been recruited to tow a much heavier vehicle.
Overall reaction - Two thumbs Up: Mazda built an affordable and comfortable 6-seater with an interesting mixture of van-like versatility and a car-like driving experience. It is cool for a minivan to have a manual transmission option and a real handbrake.