2012 Mazda GS Manual
Mazda5 goes to the beach. Click image to enlarge
Long-Term Test Update 4: 2012 Mazda5
Long-Term Test Update 3: 2012 Mazda5

Long-Term Test Update 2: 2012 Mazda5
Long-Term Test Update 1: 2012 Mazda5
Long-Term Test Intro: 2012 Mazda5

Manufacturer’s website
Mazda Canada

Review and photos by Jonathan Yarkony

Photo Gallery:
2012 Mazda5

Odometer: 9,354 km
Observed Fuel Consumption: 8.5 L/100 km
Costs: $1,060.94 (Gas $1,000.54; Oil Change $60.40)

For this last post on the 2012 Mazda5 long-term tester, we will share some recent experiences and look back on our time in the Mazda5.

In its last month, we put on almost as many kilometres as we did in the first three months combined. When Roger left for Mont Tremblant, it showed just a tick over 5,000 km, and we took it up to over 9K with that trip, a quick run to Buffalo, a weekend trip to Prince Edward County, and a camping trip near Sauble Beach, Ontario.

We’ve also seen the Mazda5 start to deliver better fuel economy, the long highway trips showing readings as low as 7.2, bringing our total long-term average down to approximately 8.5. Our last tank of gas showed 8.2 in a mix of city and highway driving, so that could very well be its post-break-in real-world consumption, well in line with its Transport Canada estimates 9.7/6.8 L/100 km for city/highway cycles.

2012 Mazda GS Manual
2012 Mazda GS Manual
The Mazda5 on our camping trip near Sauble Beach. Click image to enlarge

Our longest, and most demanding trip was the route up to Sauble Beach, Ontario, loaded to the rafters with tents, cooler, camping gear, and beach toys behind the second row, and some stuff spilling onto the two second row passengers since we had been designated the cargo van for this trip with others travelling in compact cars. Thoughout our time with the Mazda5, the third row was mostly used as cargo space, but it was great to have the flexibility to add a fifth and sixth passenger, though we would have needed a roof bag or box had we been transporting six people for a camping trip.

Although visibility was slightly impinged, the 2.5L four-cylinder felt as smooth and steady as ever. With variable valve timing, its 157 hp is decent across a broad range, but its true strength was the 163 lb-ft of torque available at 4,000 rpm, but much of it delivered earlier, allowing its driver to get up to speed without fuss, and easing the learning curve with the manual transmission. It was also nice that it required only regular grade gas.

Around the campsite and in driving onto a beach, the Mazda showed incredible range in that it also handles rough surfaces very well, with long enough suspension travel to soak up uneven terrain even if it is not an off-roader, but it is more than enough for most anything us suburban adventurers will ever reach.

Our other trip was a quick one to visit my family in Picton, Ontario, a quaint little town in Prince Edward County, about two and a half hours from Toronto. The Mazda5, with its comfortable highway ride and quiet cabin, made the drive seem much shorter than that.

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