2012 Mazda5: Car Seat Check

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This Car Seat Check was originally published in June 2011 on MotherProof.com.

The 2012 Mazda5 is a small minivan that seats six passengers in three rows of seats. The second-row captain's chairs can travel forward to create more legroom when it's needed in the third row.

For the Car Seat Check, we use a Graco SnugRide 30 rear-facing infant-safety seat, a Britax Roundabout convertible child-safety seat and Graco high-back TurboBooster seat.

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The front seats are adjusted to a comfortable position for a 6-foot driver and a 5-foot-8 passenger. The three child seats are installed in the second row. The booster seat sits behind the driver's seat, and the infant seat and convertible seats are installed behind the passenger seat. We also install the infant seat in the second row's middle seat with the booster and convertible in the outboard seats to see if three car seats will fit. If there's a third row, we install the booster seat and a forward-facing convertible.

Here's how the 2012 Mazda5 did in Cars.com's Car Seat Check:

Latch system: The Mazda5 has two sets of lower Latch anchors in the second row. While the anchors aren't visible in the seat bight (where the back and bottom cushions meet), they're just between the cushions and can be easy to use depending on the style of Latch connectors. There are two tether anchors in both the second and third rows. The second row's tethers are at the base of the seatbacks. In the third row, the tethers are midway down the seatbacks.

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Booster seat: In the second row, our high-back booster seat fit well. The seat belt buckles are on stable bases and sit high enough for kids to easily use.

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The booster fit well in the third row, but we ran into a few problems with the seat belt buckles. The buckles are floppy and sit close to the booster's base. This increases the likelihood that the car seat will ride over the buckle, making it difficult for kids to buckle up independently.

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Convertible seat: Our convertible car seat's rigid Latch connectors made it difficult to hook them to the anchors in the second row. We solved the problem by reclining the seatback to open up the seat bight. Our car seat's large base caused problems when installing it in the second row, too. We had the same problems when installing the convertible in a rear-facing position in the second row. Once installed, there was plenty of room for this car seat in either position.

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The third row doesn't have Latch anchors, so we used the seat belt to install the forward-facing convertible. The car seat fit well after we removed the head restraint.

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Infant-safety seat: In the second row, there was plenty of room for this rear-facing car seat. Our infant seat has traditional Latch connectors, so we didn't have problems using the Mazda5's Latch anchors.

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How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

How many car seats fit in third row? Two

Editor's note: For three car seats — infant-safety seat, convertible and booster seats — to fit in a car, our criterion is that a child sitting in the booster seat must be able to reach the seat belt buckle. Parents should also remember that they can use the Latch system or a seat belt to install a car seat.

Comments 

Amanda B

Did you have problems with foot space for the child sitting behind the infant safety seat?

jenn

hi! i need to know if i can fit a rear facing car seat in the very back row? which seat fits? thx jenn

miguel de la paz hernandez sanchez del hermano programmador

Jenn, it appears it will fit. But there are no anchors! Personally, I wouldn't do it. You would have to use the seat belt.

BJP

Thanks for this useful review. We are car shopping with a baby on the way, and this blog is exactly what I was looking for.

Megan

I have the Mazda 5 with three carseats currently in as well. We have graco nautilus in third row and in second row an evenflow high back booster and a Chicco key fit. We previously had an alpha omega elite in second row which we had tried in the third row the alpha omega elite was too deep for the back row so there was no leg room. You can fit a maclearn double stiller in the back still if you only put one seat in the third row or if you put two seats in the back you can fit a single umbrella stroller. The Non high back boosters don't work in the third row because the belts launch point at the shoulder ends up too far in front of the child for me too feel safe with it. I'm switching out they keyfit shortly trying to decided what I want this time.

Megan

Forgot to mention I love this car! Gas mileage make it totally worth it and I fit where other cars don't the sliding doors equal less head bumps for the kids when getting them in all in all I love our Mazda 5 have had it for 3 years now.

Kate

Any tips on how to access the third row more easily with car seats installed in the second row? Our Graco Nautalus and Graco infant seat base prevent the second row chairs from folding forward, making it nearly impossible to get in the third row. Any tips or advice? Loving our new car otherwise!

Mike

If you have an infant base attached to a second row seat with the latch system, you should be able to slide the entire seat forward (when the infant carrier is not attached to the base of course) to access the third row. Once the child is in the third row, you can slide the 2nd row seat back and replace the infant carrier. If you use the seatbelt to attach the infant base, then you won't be able to slide the seat forward.

Jas Liu

Can I have a graco infant seat and a Cosco scenera installed in the 2nd row and still able to fold down the 3rd row? Thanks!

Keri

Hi,
I'm thinking about buying this mini-minivan. I'm working with a graco nautilus, two graco hbb and a baby trend infant seat. I'm wondering how feasible it is to have the infant seat in the back row and then load it in through the hatch... Will it fit in the back row to allow this?

ar

I have this minivan as well. Have used it with three car seats.

In my opinion, the easiest way to place three carseats is to have one car seat behind the driver and the other two in the third row. That way the kids can enter from the passenger side. I have never had to have four installed.

The slide on the second row seats is very stiff, hard for smaller kids to scoot the seat forward to enter. My kids usually enter the third row by squeezing between the two captain's chairs in the second row but they are skinny agile people. One of my kids has a friend who is about 5'7" and heavy who cannot get into the third row easily.

Jas Liu, I normally have the third row folded down with two car seats, so it definitely works.

Keri, I think you could load through the hatch if you had long arms and were agile, although with great difficulty. There isn't too much space to lift the kid through. You could put half the back row down, that would make it easier. I would probably put the infant seat in the second row and let the walking kids get in the third, if they can latch themselves. Also the third row needs the seatbelt as anchor as there are no rings in the seat crack.

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