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2012 MAZDA5 OVERVIEW
- The Redesigned Mini-Minivan Delivers Unexpected Design, Functionality and Performance -
May 11, 2012
All new from the ground up, the 2012 Mazda5 offers unexpected levels of design, functionality, packaging and performance simply not found in any other vehicle sold in North America today. Since its introduction as a 2006 model, its unique combination of flexible seating arrangements, sliding doors, stylish design, outstanding handling, fuel efficiency and safety standards has made the Mazda5 beloved by its owners. The Mazda5 is certainly unique: it doesn’t fit into a mold, and neither do its owners; it suits a family, but thrives in an active lifestyle setting; it can’t be defined by a segment. One could say that the Mazda5 is a vehicle done right where everything else isn’t.
In approaching the development of the all-new 2012 Mazda5, Hideki Matsuoka, Mazda5 program manager, Mazda Motor Corporation (MC), set out to further evolve upon the best of what the previous generation model had to offer. The MC team aimed to create a new multi-activity vehicle (MAV) that combined superior environmental performance with a new expression of stylish design. Matsuoka’s concept for the next-generation Mazda5 was to bring to the market a “contemporary smart choice.”
“This concept expresses our goal to build a new family mover for the global market,” said Matsuoka. “That vehicle is the 2012 Mazda2, which offers a smart solution to the user’s every need by establishing a balance between diverse functionality and outstanding performance.”
The key values in the development of this second generation Mazda5 were: smart and emotional design; intuitive, easy-to-use functionality; the highest standard in quality; and a refined and dynamic driving performance that did not compromise its environmental impact.
The 2012 Mazda5 incorporates motifs from Mazda’s Nagare “flow” design language which, inspired by the beauty of nature, presents an elegant look not found in any existing vehicle today. It’s an appealing look that captures the eye upon first glance.
Changes for Mazda5 continue under the skin, too, as the vehicle is powered by an MZR 2.5-liter engine, which replaces the previous generation’s MZR 2.3-liter engine, and can be paired with either the all-new six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission.
Smart, Emotional Design That Captivates
Adopting the expression “Seductive Smartness” as the design concept, the all-new 2012 Mazda5’s styling is aimed to achieve a higher balance of functionality and design, while at the same time giving it a stylish new look that is immediately distinguishable from the clunky, box-like designs found on conventional offerings in the market.
Mazda5 is the first production vehicle to be born of the Nagare “flow” design language, which brings an elegant, experiential look to the vehicle. Previously, the Nagare design theme had only been featured on concept vehicles. Nagare incorporates the beauty of nature, in particular the forces of wind and water, to lend an intuitive sense of motion to the respective designs. When applied to Mazda5, Nagare not only expresses the essence of dynamic performance and the elegance inspired by the beauty of nature, but also the care taken in developing and manufacturing the vehicle to coexist harmoniously with the environment. In addition, its elegantly flowing lines also contribute to aerodynamic performance and a quieter ride.
In styling the 2012 Mazda5 the design team viewed the overall image as a single bead of water with ripples intentionally left on the surface, such that the body’s lines expresses the ensuing ripple effect. The flow of motion begins at the front grille and passes smoothly over the headlamps, hood and fenders. It then continues over the sides of the body, rear combination lamps and tailgate into a continuous stream. The various lines and motifs appear only to disappear again, creating a repeating theme of change and fusion that guides one’s eyes with its expression of beauty. The overall effect is a look of quality, emotional styling and elegance that intensifies the joy of ownership.
The five-point grille shares the unique design of the family “face” that is found on every Mazda. This makes it immediately distinguishable as a Mazda product, and lends it a dynamic and sporty expression that is true to its DNA. The “flowing” lines of the hood and headlamps gather in the center of the grille to create a powerful sense of motion. And the curved lines that form the mesh pattern adopted for the grille lend the impressions that the mesh flows out from the center to the sides, which expresses the essence of Nagare design.
The fog lamp bezels were designed to form a continuous line with the side shoulders and wheel arches to present a wide, dynamic image. This blends beautifully with the gentle S-shaped contour established by the flowing lines off the sides of the front grille and up toward the headlamps. In addition, the mesh pattern surrounding the fog lamps creates a design that flows back toward the rear of the vehicle. The deeply sculpted form of the area around the hood and fog lamps gives the front a firm countenance that emphasizes its aggressive-looking styling. The hood is laid out taller than the previous generation Mazda5, evoking a stronger presence.
The Nagare design motif applied to the sides of the body gracefully continues the dynamic flow of the lines from the headlamps and front fenders, and then carries that flow to the rear fenders and rear combination lamps in beautiful fashion. In the same spirit, the rails for the sliding door are blended skillfully with the same character lines.
By connecting the flow from the front and sides through to the rear fenders, rear combination lamps and all the way to the tailgate, Mazda5’s design creates an exquisite and consistent body line. Adding further appeal and lending the rear end a wider, more stable look, is the powerful line cut by the prominent rear fender shoulders combined with the placement of the rear combination lamps, which are laid out lower than on the previous generation vehicle. The finishing touch is the extended rear quarter and rear window glass panels that completely cover the D-pillar to emphasize the fresh, flowing design.
The headlamps on the Mazda5 also play a prominent role in the overall design of the vehicle. The headlamp design starts with the stretched look that distinguishes Mazda and Nagare is introduced in the form of a supple S-shaped 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 continuing on to the tailgate to form a beautiful design. In the creating this look, the Mazda5 blends the trailing end of its sliding door rails smoothly into the rear combination lamps to create a simple yet stylish expression.
Premium Interior with Nagare Flair
Motifs adopted from the Nagare design language also can 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. The same feeling 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 create a look of top quality, all the while emphasizing the stylish design of the Mazda5’s cabin.
Based on an innovative packing concept, the first-generation Mazda5 offered value that far outclassed other vehicles in the marketplace. A fine balance as struck between sporty, dynamic styling, versatility and outstanding practicality, earning the Mazda5 high praises from media and consumers alike.
With an overall length of 180.5 inches, width of 68.9 inches, height of 63.6 inches and sitting on a 108.3-inch wheelbase, the 2012 Mazda5 delivers roomy comfort while being surprisingly compact. The long wheelbase helps give it extraordinary passenger space for its modest external dimensions, and the short front and rear overhangs enable better handling and parking ease. Despite the wheelbase, the Mazda5 features an impressive tight turning circle of 36.7 feet, making it remarkably easy to maneuver in tight situations. With a low drag coefficient of 0.30, Mazda5 is aerodynamically efficient, cleaving the air quietly and maximizing fuel economy.
A very popular feature of the previous generation that is carried over is the superbly practical, easy-to-operate manual sliding side doors. The doors hug the vehicle’s sides when open and create a wide opening for easy ingress and egress to the rear seats – even for third-row passengers. This creates minimal impact when choosing a parking space because the doors require little side clearance to be opened.
Despite its compact makeup, the Mazda5 features a comfortably 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). The seats slide and recline and can be folded flat without needing to remove the 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 easy access to the third row.
The third row seats are split 50/50. They can be tipped forward individually and folded flat to create a flat load area, ideal for carrying mountain bikes or bulky sports equipment. With the rear-most seats folded flat, carrying capacity is a spacious 44.4 cubic feet. Even with all six seats in the “up” position, the luggage area is still large enough to carry a standard baby stroller and baby’s accoutrements behind the third row.
Interior storage space includes an abundance of compartments, including a vast, illuminated glove box and half-liter bottle holders in each front door pocket. Additionally, under-seat storage in the second row seats can be easily accessed by folding the cushions forward. The right side second row seat also offers a fold-out tray with basket to keep safe all the little “things” that family drives collect.
The Mazda5 also features “theater-style” seating. The stepped floor referred to earlier means each row is mounted a little higher than the one in front to improve visibility for all. The driver, too, benefits from excellent visibility, improving primary safety as well as making driving more enjoyable.
Efficient Performance Matched with Zoom-Zoom Dynamics
Mazda5 customers will benefit from a healthier injection of Zoom-Zoom for 2012, attributable to an increase in displacement from 2.3 liters 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 four-cylinder engine featured in the all-new 2012 Mazda5 is a light, compact design that offers higher performance yet better fuel efficiency than the previous generation.
The MZR 2.5-liter engine produces its maximum output of 157 horsepower at a lower rpm than the previous 2.3-liter engine (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.
The Mazda5 engine uses a cast aluminum cylinder block and high-strength, thin-walled sleeves as well as compact, lightweight pistons. The result is a design that weighs in about as light as the outgoing 2.3-liter motor. Improvements were also made to the flow within the intake valves that reduced exhaust resistance while using Sequential Valve Timing (S-VT) to deliver optimum intake valve timing whether dawdling in traffic or carving around an onramp. Mazda’s Variable Induction System (VIS) also is utilized to improve low- to mid-range torque. The MZR 2.5-liter engine gives a linear feel to acceleration, accurate vehicle response and a light, relaxing driving performance.
The 2012 Mazda5 can be equipped with either an all-new six-speed manual transmission (Sport models only) or a five-speed electronically controlled automatic with manual shift mode. Despite an increase in power and displacement, fuel efficiency ratings show no loss over the previous generation’s MZR 2.3-liter engine with an EPA-rated fuel economy of 21 city/28 highway (all transmissions).
A uniquely Mazda Active Adaptive Shift (AAS) protocol, which has earned high acclaim on the renowned Mazda RX-8 sports car, provides the new five-speed automatic transmission with the performance and response that Mazda5 customers expect. Part-throttle downshifts are delivered in sync with the nudge of the accelerator during passing. When the car is braked aggressively in anticipation of cornering, the transmission also downshifts to add engine braking and to prepare for an expedient exit from the bend. A wider overall ratio spread assists accelerations from rest while also providing quieter and more efficient highway cruising.
Mazda5’s steering system delivers a precise, linear feel thanks in part to Mazda’s Electro-Hydraulic Power Assist Steering (EHPAS) system. Adopting an electric pump, the system also contributes to improved fuel economy. Rubber couplings added to the steering shaft joints help realize an even smoother, linear steering feel. The steering system also includes tilt and telescopic adjustment that lets any member of the family find the most comfortable driving position, regardless of height or build.
Suspension layout for the previous generation Mazda5 used MacPherson struts in the front and a multi-link suspension in the rear that employed separate coils and dampers as part of its input separated system. The dampers used were a twin tube type and the rear dampers included integrated rebound springs. The inherent functions of these components earned the suspension high acclaim for delivering superior handling stability.
The all-new 2012 Mazda5 continues to use this suspension system. The spring rates have been increased to realize a new level of linear roll and to improve straight-line stability when driving at highway speeds. Stiffness is increased in the lower arm mount bushings for the front suspension for a more direct, linear feel to steering.
Well Thought Out, Well-Equipped Models
Available in three trim levels, Mazda5 is offered as an entry-level Sport, feature-full Touring or top-of-line Grand Touring. All models offer the versatility, features and style consumers in the market for a multi-activity vehicle want and at a price they can afford.
The Mazda5 Sport is well-equipped and comes standard with the all-new six-speed manual or available five-speed automatic transmission. Standard features include 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels with P205/55R16 all-season tires, power door locks and windows with a driver’s side one-touch up/down feature, power mirrors, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, air conditioning with pollen filter, AM/FM/CD/MP3-compatible audio system with six speakers, an audio auxiliary jack, steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, remote keyless entry system and 50/50 split fold-flat third row seats.
The Mazda5 Touring takes everything already offered on the Sport model and pumps it up a notch. Mazda5 Touring is equipped with a five-speed automatic transmission, all-new 17-inch aluminum alloy wheel designs with P205/50R17 all-season tires, sport side sill extensions, rear liftgate spoiler, fog lamps, Bluetooth® hands-free phone and audio connectivity, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob as well as a trip computer.
Moving up to the fully-loaded Grand Touring model adds a power moonrooof, leather-trimmed seats with heated front row seats, driver’s seat lumbar support adjustment, xenon high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights with low beam and manual leveling, heated door mirrors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, an in-dash six-disc CD changer, Sirius Satellite radio with a complimentary four-month subscription and an anti-theft alarm system.
360 Degrees of Standard Safety, Security
The 2012 Mazda5 not only offers a high level of performance and stability but also a high amount of safety features – standard. All Mazda5 vehicles are equipped with a long and impressive list of safety offerings, including six airbags (advanced dual front, front-seat mounted and full-length side curtain), anti-lock brakes (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) with Brake Assist, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with a Traction Control System (TCS), tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), “Triple H” body construction, side-impact door beams, “crushable” brake and accelerator pedal assembly, three-point safety belts for all seating positions, front seatbelt pretensioners with force limiters as well as Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH).
For 2012, all Mazda5 also are equipped with Mazda’s Brake Override System. This system prioritizes the brake pedal over the accelerator pedal should both be engaged simultaneously, allowing the vehicle to be brought to a safe stop.
Also, all Mazda vehicles come with the Mazda Certified Roadside Assistance Program. Using either the toll-free number or free Mazda Assist app for iOS- and Android-operated mobile devices, owners and their family members can contact roadside assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year throughout the United States and Canada. In addition, the New Vehicle Limited Warranty includes a comprehensive three-year/36,000-mile warranty, which covers every part of the vehicle except those subject to normal wear, a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty and a five-year/unlimited-mileage corrosion warranty.
Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif. and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through nearly 900 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario; and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.
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