Best 2013 Minivan for the Money: Mazda5
Average U.S. price: $19,952
Inexpensive, fuel efficient and fun to drive, the Mazda5 scores 8.2 in U.S. News' study."In my personal opinion, the Mazda5 is one of the most overlooked cars on the market today," Page Deaton says. "It's a lot smaller than most minivans -- but if you can give up a little cargo space, you'll gain so much in maneuverability and fuel efficiency that it's worth it." The Mazda5 combines sporty handling with a smaller size than most minivans, making the vehicle easy to drive and park. The minivan's 157-horsepower four-cylinder engine also offers an impressive 22 mpg/city and 28 mpg/highway when outfitted with automatic transmission. On the downside, the Mazda5 seats only six people and has less storage space that most minivans. Many car reviewers have also found its engine a bit weak, while J.D. Power only gives the Mazda5 2.5 stars out a possible five -- indicating slightly below-average reliability. (Neither the IIHS or NHTSA have crash-tested the minivan to date.) Still, Page Deaton says the Mazda5's positives far outweigh its negatives. "It's a great little car," she says.