Mazda MAZDA5 Origins
Many import automakers tried their luck at plying compact minivans on the U.S. market back in the 1990s. However, at the time, American drivers were still enamored with full-size minivans and just beginning their love affair with the SUV. Yet rising fuel prices have led many American drivers to ditch their gas-guzzling sport utilities, and Mazda has decided to take another run at the U.S. auto-buying public with the MAZDA5, a compact vehicle that truly puts the ""mini"" back in minivan.About the Mazda MAZDA5
The MAZDA5 is a compact minivan that, despite its small size, accommodates up to six passengers. The MAZDA5’s compact size also helps ensure that the vehicle gets excellent fuel economy while facilitating handling capabilities that surpass those associated with conventional full-size minivans. In addition to excellent gas mileage, good handling, and a surprising amount of interior space, the MAZDA5 has the sporty look that one associates with a Mazda, and it is relatively affordable.Mazda MAZDA5 Features
The MAZDA5 returned to production in 2012 after a one-year hiatus. Time off seems to have done the 5 well, with Mazda having completely redesigned the model for 2012. At a glance, the new Mazda offers several key improvements over previous years’ models. For starters it’s more powerful, offers more comfortable seating, and has sleeker styling.
The 2012 MAZDA5 comes in three trim levels: Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring. The entry-level Sport model comes equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels, power accessories, keyless entry, cruise control, automatic climate control, a height-adjustable driver’s seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and a sound system that boasts six speakers, a CD player, and an auxiliary audio jack.
Stepping up to the Touring model adds 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a trip computer, Bluetooth capability, and a rear spoiler. Opting for the Touring edition also allows for the option of the Moonroof & Audio package that includes a sunroof, satellite radio, and a six-CD changer. The line-topping Grand Touring model includes all of these features along with automatic xenon headlamps, heated mirrors, automatic wipers, driver lumbar adjustment, heated front seats, and leather-upholstered seats. Additional extra options include remote ignition, a DVD entertainment system, an iPod interface, and a portable navigation system by Garmin.
All versions of the 2012 MAZDA5 contain the same 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine. Rated at 157 horsepower and capable of producing 163 lb-ft of torque, the MAZDA5’s four-cylinder mates to a six-speed manual transmission that comes standard on the Sport model. Choosing the Sport model also allows buyers the option of a five-speed automatic that comes standard on both the Touring and Grand Touring versions. EPA-estimated fuel economy with either transmission is 21/28 mpg city/highway.
Standard safety features across the line for the MAZDA5 include stability control, traction control, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist, front side airbags, and side curtain airbags.
While the MAZDA5 does offer less interior space than a standard minivan, the compact model certainly makes the most of what it’s got. Second row seating consists of captain’s chairs that slide and recline, while the passenger-side seat boasts a pop-up center table and storage space that can be placed between the chairs or stowed in order to create a walk-through to the third row of seating. The 5’s sliding rear door makes it easy to access all rows of seating, which is great for piling the kids in and out.
The MAZDA5’s dash is practically laid out but sleekly styled with controls that are easy to reach and use. Front seats offer comfort, but may lack the desired amount of knee-room for taller occupants.Mazda MAZDA5 Evolution
The first generation of the MAZDA5 was issued in 2006 and continued to be produced until 2010. Like the current model, first-generation versions of the MAZDA5 offered seating for six while leaving a relatively small footprint. First-generation models of the MAZDA5 house 2.3-liter inline-four engines that produce 153 horsepower. Transmission options consist of either a four-speed or five-speed automatic. Mazda also offers a five-speed manual transmission for lower trim levels.
Trim levels for the first generation of the MAZDA5 include the entry-level Sport and the upmarket Touring.
The first generation of the MAZDA5 underwent a slight style refresh in 2008 when front and rear exterior modifications were made. At the same time Mazda added a new center control panel along with electroluminescent gauges. Stability control became standard on all versions of the Mazda MAZDA5 in 2010.