2012 Mazda5 GS Manual
2012 Mazda5 GS Manual. Click image to enlarge
Long-term test arrival: 2012 Mazda5 GS manual

Manufacturer’s web site
Mazda Canada

Review and photos by Jonathan Yarkony

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2012 Mazda5

Our first few weeks in the Mazda5 have shown us some of the impressive abilities of this MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle), but that it is not without its limitations. As the first update on this vehicle, I aim to focus mainly on its interior, as that was the most significant aspect of the vehicle that prompted us (okay, me) to book it for a Long-Term Test.

While I usually like to start with a spiel about styling, I’m gonna’ live on the edge and fly by the seat of my pants and get right into child car-seat installation. After all, I’m guessing that a very high percentage of Mazda5 owners or those looking at it have children and need to install at least one or more rear-facing infant seats, front-facing toddler seats, or booster seats for older kids. If you follow our site regularly, you may have noticed the Mazda5 making an appearance at the Car-Seat Clinic we covered several weeks ago, in which we had the experts from Baby Car Seat Experts Inc. inspect my efforts and demonstrate proper installation.

2012 Mazda5 GS Manual
2012 Mazda5 GS Manual. Click image to enlarge

The Mazda5 proved a good host for the rear- and forward-facing child seats I had to test. My own installation of my daughter’s forward-facing seat was judged sufficient (phew!), which was greatly aided by the long fore-aft travel of the second-row seats, which makes it easy to reach the anchor for the top tether, and then leaves enough room in front to put one’s weight onto the child seat and pull the lower anchor straps tight. The LATCH (or UAS) anchors are easily found and accessed, and the reclining seatback can also be adjusted to a perfect angle to ensure that the seat is properly positioned to ensure that the base of your child’s spine is at a 45-degree angle. For more on proper car-seat installation, visit the sites referenced in the article above, or better yet, find a clinic or consultant in your area to check it in person.

While we don’t currently have a child in the rear-facing seat, I brought it along for educational value and to prepare for future arrivals. It too installed securely, although I’d recommend that if the driver is tall and the third row potentially occupied, install rear-facing seats on the passenger side to give the driver more room without backing right into the car seat. Pinning the infant seat right against the front seat may seem secure, but it is not how car seats are meant to work, so always try to leave an inch or more of room between the front seats and rear-facing child seat.

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