Well I just thought I'd chime in. I just recieved my 2006 Strata-blue, manual, touring Mazda5 a couple of days ago and love it!
Came from an Element and have no regrets. I ordered through an auto buying service and got it 200 over invoice and a great deal on my trade and had it delivered right to my house from Atlanta and I am in High Point, NC. They worked hard finding the exact one I wanted and only had to wait a week. (Got it strait off the boat from Japan!) The Strata-blue is one amazing color on this ride!
The ride is smooth, relatively quiet and very responsive. My first tank of gas got me 26mpg doing city, hwy w/ and w/o air. First thing I did was get the windows tinted and just that made it sooo very sexy! The air conditioning is just fine...don't know what all the fuss is about...wheeeew, I was nervous about that! It does get blown just a tad in high winds but nothing like the boxy Element did. The stereo is pretty good for stock. I miss the Element's Sub but this one is not as muddy. You do get dirty wheels pretty fast but that's par for every car these days. The quality feels great and w/ all the creature comforts this 5 has you feel like you're in a vehical well worth over 30,000 or at least I do.
It has a couple of scratches on the doors(the window part, not the paint)and feels like the tires need balencing. A little wobble between 40 and 60mph, anyone expirienced this? Could it just be the tires? I will get my first taste of Mazda customer service come Monday and see how they handle these concerns.
It looks great in person, better than the pics and I am partial but that SBlue is just awesome....already have had few comments on the color alone(that's all I will say about that).
Now I just hope it last me a while. I put 30,000 miles on my cars a year(travelling musician)so I hope it lasts as long as my Hondas and Toyotas!(my first Mazda).
Just thought I'd say hello and give you all my first impressions. Not many out there and the ones that were really helped me in my decision in buying it! So thanks!