Mazda Mazda5 vs. Toyota Sienna

January 20, 2015

As Mazda introduces a totally new technology with its Mazda5, the current Toyota Sienna has taken a proven design and made it even better. Can the upstart Mazda5 overtake the Toyota Sienna?

See a side-by-side comparison of the Mazda5 & Sienna >>

What the Mazda5 Gets Right

The Mazda5 features Mazda's new KODO design language, a four-cylinder engine and a five-speed automatic transmission (or six-speed manual) -- all on an innovative, lightweight frame. The result is exceptional fuel efficiency for a minivan: 21 mpg city and 28 mpg highway.

Standard on the Mazda5 are 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, keyless entry, a height-adjustable driver seat, automatic climate control, rear vents with fan controls, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a six-speaker sound system with a USB port and AUX jack. With the third-row seat folded, there's 44.5 cubic feet of cargo space.

What the Toyota Sienna Gets Right

The Sienna comes with a 266-horsepower inline six-cylinder, a six-speed automatic transmission, 17-inch alloy wheels, sliding rear doors with power windows, three-zone air conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, full power accessories and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and auxiliary input. The 3.5-liter motor gets 28 mpg highway -- paired with a 20-gallon fuel tank, the Sienna has a 400-mile range.

The minivan has enough power and space to handle cross-county vacations and trips to soccer practice with equal ability and ease. Improved from last year is a suspension that makes for nimbler handling and a tighter ride. The center-row seats are removable if more cargo room is needed.

Which is the Better Choice?

While the Mazda5 features a new design and generous standard features, its drivetrain isn't well-suited for mountain travel or carrying heavy cargo. It seats only six passengers, and the sliding rear doors are strictly manual operation.

The Sienna, meanwhile, dropped its four-cylinder engine and has improved its drivability over past years. It seats eight adults with plenty of legroom for rear seat passengers. And a convenient storage compartment behind the third-row seats conceals important articles such as cameras and laptops.

Our Verdict: Toyota Sienna

The Mazda5 is ideal for small families and light duty -- but the Sienna has better all-around minivan credentials.

Take a closer look at the Mazda Mazda5 >>

Take a closer look at the Toyota Sienna >>

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!