2012 Honda Odyssey vs. 2012 Mazda 5: Which One Should I Buy?

Passenger vans may be one of the most maligned classes of vehicles. From being called "Mom-mobiles" to being mocked extensively by those who have not experienced the comfort and ease of getting into and out of a van, vans just tend to get the short end of the stick. Why is this? Jealousy of the comfort and style that van users are enjoying, maybe!

The Honda Odyssey and the Mazda5 passenger vans are some of the better passenger vans in the group and while the Odyssey is quite a bit more expensive, both options are solid and offer good safety ratings as well as features. The Odyssey is certainly more refined and offers more options, but if you are looking for a simple people-mover that has a high degree of comfort, then the Mazda5 is perfectly acceptable as well.

Mazda 5 2012
2012 Mazda 5

Interior Comparison

As expected, the Odyssey offers more bells and whistles than the Mazda5, but the optional features for the Mazda5 make it a strong contender if loaded up. The important pieces are standard on each van - things like cruise control, an abundance of cup holders, power front and rear windows. Where the Odyssey differentiates itself is in the standard trip computer, service interval warnings, exterior temperature display, additional cabin lighting, and illuminated vanity mirrors. These little touches really bring the interior to life.

Seat Comparison

One of the joys of having a van is that the seating is notoriously comfortable, and these two vans do not disappoint. With 7-way power seats on the Odyssey and 6-way power seats on the Mazda5, both vans give you plenty of ways to settle in for a long trip with family. The Odyssey offers one additional seat standard for a total of 7 passengers but the split on the 3rd row bench of seats is slightly different: 50/50 for the Mazda5 instead of 60/40 for the Odyssey.

Fuel Economy

You may not expect vans to get excellent fuel economy as they look more like a large truck than anything, but the newest vans get excellent mileage: up to 28 mpg highway for the Mazda5 and 27 mpg highway for the Odyssey. Acceleration isn't terrible, either. Overall safety ratings for both offerings are favorable. Your decision between the two may come down to aesthetics and overall budget - if you can afford the perks, go with the Odyssey to get some neat extras.


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Attila

19 years of experience
906 reviews
Attila
19 years of experience
Cadillac SRX V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Edison, New Jersey
Attila was great! Very knowledgeable and actually detected a fault during a pre-purchase inspection that would have cost me later.
Lexus ES350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fords, New Jersey
He is very good—offered all the significant details we needed from the inspection. Helped us figure out what needed to be fixed.

Shawn

12 years of experience
285 reviews
Shawn
12 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
Toyota Sequoia - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Akron, Pennsylvania
Shawn was very prompt in communicating with me and was good at helping me decide whether to purchase a used car. He help me avoid a car with a repaired rusted frame that could be a danger to my family's safety since we were planning on using the car to tow a travel trailer!

Luis

18 years of experience
320 reviews
Luis
18 years of experience
Honda HR-V L4-1.8L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Warren, New Jersey
Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

Robert

20 years of experience
1089 reviews
Robert
20 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, Colorado
He did a pre-purchase inspection for me. He was knowledgeable and fast, and knew what he was looking for. I really appreciate all the pictures and documentation he took of the state of the car before purchase. He noted potential issues with the car that I wouldn't have been able to notice. Would recommend.
GMC Savana 1500 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Golden, Colorado
I trust Robert. He gave me a list and we will take care of it the week of June 29. I will know then that my vehicle is ready for the winter and is safe to drive. I look forward to getting things ready for another winter of careful driving.

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