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Review (2/2)

2012 MAZDA5 Delivers Unexpectedly Delightful Design, Functionality and Performance

Source: Mazda | Published: Sat Nov 20, 2010

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The headlamps on the new MAZDA5 play a prominent role in the overall design of the vehicle. The headlamp design starts with the stretched look that distinguishes Mazda headlamps; Nagare is introduced in the form of a supple S-shape design. This line blends with those on the front grille, hood and fender arches to heighten the individualistic character of the vehicle. Direct electrodeposition coating is used to enhance the contrast of textures within the lamp housing. The overall effect is that of an original and extremely stylish new design.

The rear combination lamps pick up the flow from the character lines on the sides of the body and the sliding door rails, and continue it on to the tailgate to form a beautiful design. In creating this look, the MAZDA5 blends the trailing end of the sliding door rails smoothly into the rear combination lamps to create a simple, stylish expression.

Premium Interior

Motifs adopted from the Nagare design language can also be found throughout the interior, from the lines above the dials and along the instrument panel to the stitch pattern in the seats and the design of the seat fabric. The overall ambience established is that of a sporty, high-quality cabin.

The driver-oriented design of the interior positions the peak of the meter hood as the tall point, with all lines flowing from there to comfortably wrap around the driver. The instrument panel flows from the cockpit to the center panel and on to the passenger-side dashboard in a rippling effect that suggests a liquid sensation to the design. The same flow continues on through the lines of the seat pattern, connecting seamlessly with the second and third row seats to create a strong sense of unity throughout the interior.

The cockpit presents a sporty look that hints at what the MAZDA5 will be like to drive, from the look of its twin deep-set gauges to the genuine leather that wraps the steering wheel and gear shift knob. The center panel is fitted with chrome plating and silver-trimmed control knobs that creates a look of top quality, all the while emphasizing the stylish design of the new MAZDA5's cabin.

Practical Functionality

Based on an innovative packaging concept, the first-generation MAZDA5 offered value that far outclassed other vehicles in the marketplace. The fine balance it struck between sporty, dynamic styling, versatility and outstanding practicality earned the MAZDA5 high praise from media and consumers alike.

A very popular feature of the previous generation that is carried over is the superbly practical manually operated sliding rear side doors that can be operated with one finger. The doors hug the sides of the vehicle when open, and create a wide opening for easy entry and exit to the rear seats - even for the third row of passengers. This not only provides far superior access compared with conventional front-hinged doors, it also is a benefit in tight parking spaces because they require little side clearance when open.

Despite its compact makeup, the MAZDA5 features a spacious cabin. Three features contribute to its roomy interior: a low profile fuel tank, a compact multi-link rear suspension, and a stepped floor. The latter permits excellent legroom for all - especially those sitting in the second and third rows. The ingeniously flexible interior takes convenience and versatility to a whole new level, and can be configured for two, three, four, five or six passengers, plus commensurate amounts of cargo.

The second row has separate captain's chairs for added levels of comfort (and to minimize the "he's touching me" joy when little ones share a bench seat). They slide and recline and can be folded flat without removing their headrests. They also feature a one-touch lever that automatically tips the seatback forward and slides the cushion to its front-most position to allow access to the third row.

Bigger Engine

MAZDA5 customers will benefit from a healthier injection of Zoom-Zoom for 2012, attributable to an increase in displacement from 2.3 to 2.5-liters. This new engine is similar in most details to those found in the MAZDA3, MAZDA6 and CX-7. Mazda's MZR engine family is widely regarded as one of the world's most advanced forms of fuel-efficient, high-energy propulsion. The MZR 2.5-liter featured in the new MAZDA5 is a light, compact design that offers higher performance yet better fuel efficiency than the previous generation.
The MZR 2.5-liter produces its maximum output of 157 hp at a lower rpm than the previous 2.3-liter (6,000 rpm), and also delivers more torque (163 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm) throughout its operating range for a more satisfying and relaxing driving experience. In addition, a tall sixth gear allows quiet and comfortable cruising.

MAZDA5 can be equipped with either a six-speed manual transmission (Sport models only) or a five-speed electronically controlled automatic with manual shift control. Despite an increase in power and displacement, fuel efficiency ratings show no loss over the previous generation's 2.3-liter engine.

Three Models

The 2012 MAZDA5 is available in three trim levels - the entry-level Sport, Touring and top-grade Grand Touring. All three trim levels offer the versatility, features and style consumers in the market for a multi-activity vehicle want, at a price they can afford.

The well-equipped MAZDA5 Sport is powered by a 157 horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and is available with either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission. Standard features include 16-inch alloy wheels with 205/55 R16 all-season tires, power mirrors, air conditioning, power windows and door locks, AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo with six speakers, audio auxiliary jack, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, remote keyless entry system, one-touch up/down driver's window, 50/50 split fold-down third row seats and steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls.

The MAZDA5 Touring takes everything on the MAZDA5 Sport and pumps it up a notch. MAZDA5 Touring is equipped with a five-speed automatic transmission, 17-inch alloy wheels with 205/50 R17 all-season tires, sport side still extensions, rear liftgate spoiler, fog lamps, Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob and trip computer.

The top-of-the line Grand Touring model adds a power moonroof, xenon high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights, automatic on/off headlights, heated door mirrors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, anti-theft alarm system, driver's seat lumbar support adjustment, heated front seats, in-dash 6-disc CD changer, leather-trimmed seats and Sirius satellite radio.
The Touring model is available with a Moonroof and Audio Package which includes a power moonroof, in-dash 6-disc CD changer and Sirius satellite radio.

Mazda MAZDA5: Photo Gallery, Review (1/2) and Specifications

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