The Mazda5 is a three-row, six-passenger minivan manufactured by Mazda Motor Corporation. As the successor to the MPV, the Mazda5 was designed to appeal to those looking for multi-passenger transportation that is stylish, fuel efficient and affordable. While smaller than its competitors in size and cargo capacity, the Mazda 5 provides superior handling and nimble maneuverability in traffic. A refreshed update for 2012 adds more power and refinements to the existing platform.
For the 2012 model year, Mazda replaced the 2.3 liter inline four-cylinder engine with a 2.5 liter I4 that produces 157 horsepower and 163 lb-ft of torque. The Mazda5 is available with a five speed automatic transmission that includes manual shift control, and can be equipped with a six speed manual transmission on the base model. Exceptionally responsive handling is the result of an electric power assist steering system, as well as a revised multi-link rear setup that uses a different sway bar to achieve superior spring and damping rates. Fuel consumption has been EPA estimated at 21 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. The Mazda 5 design team is headed by Hideki Matsuoka and the vehicle is manufactured in Hiroshima, Japan.
The Mazda5 was introduced into the North American market for the 2006 model year. It was actually the second generation evolution of the Mazda Premecy, which was a minivan sold in Europe and Asia. The Madza 5 could comfortably accommodate six passengers across three rows of seats. 2007 saw the introduction of the Grand Touring model, and 2008 introduced a number of luxury amenities. The Mazda5 was completely redeveloped in 2011 and the current model is based on the Nagare flow design" concept which incorporates appealing elements of nature into the body style.
The 2012 Mazda5 integrates the five point front grille design shared by every emerging model in the lineup. The flow lines of the hood, headlights and body panels help create a compelling sense of movement. The Mazda5 has three available trim levels including the Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. The base model is equipped with keyless entry, complete power accessories, cruise control, automatic climate control with rear vents and a six speaker sound system. The Touring adds foglights, Bluetooth and 17 inch alloy wheels. The Touring also has an optional upgraded sound system and moonroof. All of these features are standard on the Grand Touring which also includes xenon headlamps, heated front seats, leather upholstery and heated mirrors.
In 2010 Consumer Reports selected the Mazda5 as the best "Family Hauler". About.com named the Mazda5 the "Best Family Car Under $20,000" in 2010. Edmunds.com called the Mazda 5 one of the "Top 10 Best Dark-Horse Cars of 2010".
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