Apr. 20th, 2017

dmilewski: (Default)
I test drove a Mazda 5 2013 6-speed manual last night. Here's what I learned.

The dealbreaker for this car was the strange throw on the stick. I kept jamming my arm into the seat as I shifted down, requiring a strange arm motion to work right. As I commute 7 miles each way, with much stop and go, jamming my arm into the seat is a recipe for misery. The ergonomics just weren't there for me. I also found the clutch touchy, more so than my wife's Matrix, which is already a touchy clutch for my taste.

I didn't like the dash. It set too high. Half the road was occupied by the dashboard.

I found the seats vaguely uncomfortable, but not in a serious way.

Otherwise, visibility was fine. The vehicle handled roughly as I expected, driving easily with one hand. I prefer a slightly larger wheel. I found no excess play. The cargo area was even larger than I hoped for, even though all the reviews said that it had a small cargo area. Those people were smoking crack. (Although to their credit they were comparing down from full-size minivans.)

If I had to drive this vehicle, I would, but I would pick the automatic.

The lesson learned here is that I want something even more car-like. The mini-van direction is not a useful one for me. The length and width of what I want seems right, which is about the length and width of my old Subaru Outback '96. 

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