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2012 Mazda 5 Introduction

The 2012 Mazda 5 is an all-new model. For 2012, Mazda 5 has been redesigned inside and especially outside, where it uses Mazda’s Nagare, or flow in nature, design, the first Mazda to be designed using this philosophy.

The Mazda 5, a small, six-seat, front-wheel-drive minivan, currently resides in a class of one, since no other manufacturer offers a minivan in this size class (although the Ford C-Max will be coming along later in the 2012 model year). For comparison purposes, Mazda uses the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4, which are not true minivans, since they don’t use sliding doors as the Mazda 5 does, and are generally $2400-$2800 more expensive.

Using the patented Mazda upside-down pentagon grille up front and the Nagare or flowing design up over the front fenders and down the sides, the 2012 Mazda 5 has been made to look much, much bolder and sportier than its predecessor, without the slab-sided approach usually reserved for minivan bodies. The body has been reshaped with sculpted sheetmetal, a severely laid-back windshield, with a rear roof spoiler on the Grand Touring version. The body has a remarkably low coefficient of drag for a minivan, 0.30, which helps with wind noise.

The new grille, hood, fenders, lamps, bumper and air intakes up front complement new body-colored door handles and mirrors, new taillamps, a mechanically operated liftgate, and new 16- and 17-inch wheels. Underneath, there’s a redone suspension that takes a lot of the body roll of the previous model out, and an improved disc/drum braking system.

Under the hood, there is a single engine choice, the same 2.5-liter double-overhead-cam 16-valve four-cylinder engine that powers the Mazda 3, with variable valve timing to give it low-rpm torque and high-rpm horsepower. The engine is rated at a modest 157 horsepower and 163 foot-pounds of torque, five horsepower and 15 foot-pounds more than the previous 2.3-liter engine provided, and one more mile per gallon on the highway than the 2.3.

The interior layout of the new Mazda 5 is unusual in that it provides three rows of two seats each, with bucket seats in front, so-called captain’s chairs in the second row, and a split folding bench seat in the third row, where the smaller kids and dogs will reside. All the seats have been redesigned to offer more long-trip comfort and durability.

But this is an economy minivan with a starting price under $20,000, so there is no blind-spot warning system, adaptive cruise control, or any of the other higher-priced safety gear. Nor is a built-in navigation system available, since Mazda believes most young family buyers will opt for a portable Garmin, Magellan or other stick-on system.

The Mazda 5 was last offered as a 2010 model. There was no 2011 model, in preparation for this all-new 2012 second-generation Mazda 5.

The prices and incentives shown above may vary from region to region and are subject to change. Inventory is subject to prior sale. Vehicle information is based on standard equipment and may vary from vehicle to vehicle. Please contact us via phone or email for specific vehicle information. All prices plus tax, title, license, dealer adds and documentation fee.

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