we own the 2009 mazda 5 and have been pretty happy with it. the 3rd row seat can really only sit kids. if they are up you have no trunk space. although you can split the third row, one up and one down. kids have no prob getting in and out. I guess it will depend on size of your older kids. if they are teenagers then maybe go for bigger car.
if you are okay with the space limitations when third row is up I would go for it.
b/c it is smaller, you can park easier and i think handle better. no major repairs and better gas mileage.
for us it was having a third row and the sliding doors and price that sold us.