Found pics some may find useful....adapter (b/c the receiver is recessed) with a helicoil in it to make it anti-rattle...
We bought our '09 Mazda 5 in 2013, and I bought and installed a Class 1 tow bar within a couple of weeks, with the intention of using it only to haul our bikes around. I don't remember the hitch manufacturer (and the car's not home as I write) but think it was a Reese. In any case, it has the square 1-1/4" receiver. Installation was quite easy. I dropped the exhaust system at the back only, and had good access. No drilling was required. The fit was perfect.-Class rating is a dummy/quick reference/101 guide. Tongue is calc as exactly 10% tow but up to 15% should be safe (there are ways to measure this individually)
-The car's hitch rating is determined by the lowest/weakest link, which is always the car itself (weak chassis, transmission, suspension, brakes, 'what the mfg says', etc.), not the hitch. Fitting a Class 5 hitch on a subcompact car does not automatically increase it's tow. The Mz5 is build on a "compact" car chassis. While it looks bigger and sorta, kinda like a minivan - it is not. They are typically build on mid to full size sedans and are much heavier/stronger framed.
-Keep Archimedes' lever principle in mind! Extenders/Converter/Adapter are ok for tow but I would avoid them for tongue.
-Not all hitches are created equally.
I use this to carry 3 bikes, plan to fit 4 once the youngest bike can fit tube top; it looks like a tight fit. Also, the provided 2--> 1.25 adapter is not desirable. Have to invert it, which leaves very little departure angle. I'm working on making an adapter. It is the only bike on the market that has the unique parallelogram design to allow access to the hatch (with or without hydraulics to assist in lifting). Note the rack itself is 42 lbs! I would recommend the 3 bike aluminum version b/c it is lighter. There's also the "swing away" type racks but they too are really heavy and really aren't meant for Class 1.
Good information, thanks! I've recently installed a Rola roof rack. Could tie the strap to it instead.Stabilize straps are a doable alternative but you do need to be very careful, especially for GT owners. The rear spoiler on the GT is one piece with the hatch door. We*ve had owners in the past who used the trunk (via strap mount, similar to stabilize strap setup) bike racks which lead to cracks on the top of rear hatch. 1st gen rear hatch is made of mostly composite. 2nd gen uses steel (unsure if parts or some). Look for past posts with pics. This was one reason why I look for alternatives (also have roof mounted bike trays that I don*t use anymore).