It seems that the time has come for Multi-Activity Vehicles, or MAVs. The original Honda Odyssey, Mitsubishi Expo LRV and their brethren were ahead of their time, but as minivans continue to fade, gas prices rise and consumers begin leaving behind their SUVs for cars that can handle worth a damn, the MPV begins to make sense. I found this nice rundown of the Mazda5 that, after reading about the vehicles features, begins to make a believer out of me in the potential of this class. The Mazda5, in particular, seems positioned well to make a huge impact. With demand for the Mazda3 far outstripping supply, the 5 stands to gain merely from overflow sales, although owners won't be disappointed with the Mazda3 suspension and powertrain that carry over, or unique features like three rows of six individual seats that are each stepped 2-inches higher than the row in front of it. Plus, pricing starts at $17,995. Not bad for what's basically a Mazda3 with a lot more utility.

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