Seating for six; space-efficient layout; versatility; steering and handling; fuel-efficiency; new, more stylish look
The new Mazda5 will be offered in three different trim levels: base Sport, mid-level Touring, and top-grade Grand Touring. No matter the model, it comes with a 157-horsepower, 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and either a 6-speed manual gearbox (Sport only) or 5-speed automatic transmission.
The engine makes just four horsepower more than the previous 2.3-liter engine, but it produces 15 more pound-feet of torque at a lower peak, so it should feel considerably more responsive in combination with the new Sequential Valve Timing system and Variable Induction System, meant to boost low- and mid-rev response.
The steering and suspension of the Mazda5 is very carlike--based on the Mazda3 small-car family--so it handles much better than most people-movers and utility vehicles. That's thanks in part to Mazda's electric hydraulic steering system, which uses a hydraulic setup combined with an electric power-steering pump. This year's new model has stiffer springs and an even more direct steering feel.
Inside, the Mazda5 has seating for six, in three rows. The two front seats are bucket seats with armrests; the second row has captain's chairs that slide and recline, and can also be folded flat for long cargo; and the third row is a two-place bench, split 50/50. It can be tipped forward and folded flat for an expanded cargo floor. The second and third rows are easy to get to through sliding side doors that, Mazda says, can be operated with one finger.
The Mazda5 has an impressive set of safety features, including electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, front side airbags, and side-curtain bags that protect all occupants. A new brake-override system automatically cancels throttle input if the driver also steps on the brake.
Sport models include air conditioning; power windows, mirrors and locks; a tilt/telescopic steering wheel; steering-wheel audio controls; a 6-speaker sound system; cruise control; remote keyless entry; and 16-inch alloy wheels. Touring models add some appearance and tech extras, including a rear spoiler, side-sill extensions, fog lamps, leather steering-wheel and shift-knob trim, a trip computer, a Bluetooth hands-free interface and larger 17-inch alloy wheels. At the top of the line, the Grand Touring adds xenon HID headlamps, leather upholstery, heated mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, heated front seats, a 6-CD changer and Sirius satellite radio.
A moonroof and sound-system upgrade are the only major options on the Mazda5, though a DVD entertainment system will be offered.
The Mazda5 is all new for 2012, with a resculpted, dynamic look on the outside, better interior detailing and a slightly larger, more powerful engine--without affecting fuel economy. And with the stylish new look inside and out, around the idea of "seductive smartness," it doesn't give up any interior space or functionality.
The Mazda5's sliding side doors might lead some to dismiss it as a minivan, but they shouldn't; there's nothing else on the market quite like this unique vehicle, which combines some of the attributes of a minivan (but smaller) and a crossover utility vehicle (but lower). The Mazda5 has excellent passenger design: It takes up about the same parking footprint as a compact sedan, but it has comfortable seating for six. Mazda says that even with all six seats up in place, there's enough cargo space for a standard baby stroller. Also, the sliding doors are easy to operate and are easier to manage when in tight parking spaces. Furthermore, this model is already known for its entertaining driving character, and with a little more power and steering and suspension tuned even more for handling, the Mazda5 is one family choice for those who like the twisties.
Vehicle Price: 20,420.00
*Estimated payments are for informational purposes only and don't account for acquisition fees, destination charges, tax, title, and other fees and incentives or represent a financing offer or guarantee of credit from the seller.
Equipment that may affect values (standard equipment is pre-selected):
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