2013 Mazda5 Grand Touring
Macho factor: Low price, solid fuel economy and athletic handling
Gas mileage: City 22 miles per gallon; highway 28 miles per gallon
Although it can’t hold as many passengers or as much stuff as the other picks here, the Mazda5 is ideal for owners who are willing to trade some space for better fuel economy and a dash of driving fun. And there’s the affordable purchase price: the lowest on this list.
Mazda calls its Mazda5 a multiactivity vehicle. It seats up to six, but the second-row captain’s seats and the 50/50 split third-row bench can be folded flat to open up the cargo-carrying space. Folding the third row flat creates 44 cubic feet of space. The reclining second-row seats also slide to create more legroom.
Producing the best fuel economy among these picks, a 157-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine teams with a five-speed driver-shiftable automatic transmission. Agile and surprisingly responsive, the Mazda5 carries on the car company’s sporty attitude. Among the long list of standard features are automatic climate control, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, satellite radio, and leather-trimmed seating.