New 2012 Mazda MAZDA5 is a Fuel-Efficient Alternative to the Minivan
The completely redesigned 2012 Mazda MAZDA5 will be one of the first 2012 models to hit dealer showrooms in early 2011. While not exactly a runaway success in the current market, Mazda hopes that a sportier design and larger interior will help win families in the new year. Given its vast interior cabin space and good fuel efficiency, drivers may want to consider the MAZDA5 as an affordable minivan alternative. Keep reading to find out what's new on the 2012 MAZDA5 and review specs, features and mpgs.
What's New - 2012 Mazda MAZDA5
The MAZDA5 follows many of the styling cues that the public has already seen on the 2011 Mazda Mazda3. This includes a smiling front grille that boasts a five-point design. All in all, the vehicle exudes a much sportier persona and sheds some of its quirky uniqueness that shoppers have shied away from in the past.
Inside, the MAZDA5 enjoys a growth spurt that results in quite a bit more interior volume. Maximum seating grows from six to seven passengers thanks to a second-row center seat that can be turned into a storage bin for added versatility. Additionally, seats are now wider and thicker to help improve comfort across all three rows. Power-sliding side doors mimic the utility of larger minivans. Maximum cargo space expands to an enormous 52.7 cubic feet.
A number of cosmetic changes also grace the new MAZDA5 model. The most noticeable of these changes is the redesigned dashboard.
MPGs - 2012 Mazda MAZDA5
While the vehicle's outer shell has changed significantly, last year's 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine returns to deliver a vehicle that is zippy and fun-to-drive when compared to other high-volume vehicles. As such, fuel figures should be identical or similar to last year's EPA ratings. If figures remain unchanged, then the 2012 model will earn 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway (24 mpg combined). In comparison, the most fuel-efficient minivan (2011 Honda Odyssey) earns 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway (22 mpg combined).
Engine specs for the MAZDA5 are currently listed at 157 horsepower and 148 lb-ft. of torque. In international markets, Mazda intends to include idle-stop technology that reduces CO2 emissions and serves to boost overall fuel efficiency. If included in the North American model, shoppers can expect a boost in efficiency of around 3 mpg.
Pricing and Features - 2012 Mazda MAZDA5
Despite the many upgrades made to the 2012 MAZDA5, the base price for the vehicle receives only an incremental cost increase. The base MAZDA5 Sport trim starts at $19,990 ($595 higher than last year's base trim). For that price, drivers get automatic climate control, full power accessories, six-speaker stereo, CD player and auxiliary input. Safety features include anti-lock brakes, stability control, traction control and three-row side curtain airbags.
The mid-level MAZDA5 Touring starts at $21,990 and adds a number of performance-oriented amenities. Standard features include side sill extensions, rear spoiler, larger wheels, fog lamps, leather-wrapped steering wheel and Bluetooth. Satellite radio, power moonroof and six-disc CD changer are available as options.
The top-tier Mazda MAZDA5 Grand Touring comes with an initial asking price of $24,670 and includes xenon HID headlamps, automatic headlamp control, heated side mirrors, heated front seats, leather-accent upholstery and rain-sensing wipers.
Find a 2012 Mazda dealer near you.
Photos by Andy Giraud of Andy Giraud Photography.