Review: 2012 Mazda5

Posted on 01. Jun, 2011 by in Auto News

In the United States, unlike other parts of the world there are not many options for those who need space for more than five people who want to stop but not the maneuverability of a small car. Kia, the segment has a jump, but withdrew the Rondo from the U.S. market a few years ago. Chevrolet has decided to not even test the waters with Orlando. Sun Mazda currently has the segment for itself. But the Ford C-Max comes in less than a year. Is the revised 2012 Mazda5 have what it takes to fend off the challengers?

The revised Mazda5 retains 9/10-scale minivan shape and dimensions, but the previously clean, simple surface disappeared. A bulbous nose sports a wide grin and bulging fenders like those on the related Mazda3 sedan and hatchback. The sides now have waves stamped in them, the first (and possibly the last) production design of the Mazda "Nagare" design language. These waves flow along the rails for the sliding doors in taillights, now disposed horizontally instead of vertically and conventionally and is in the D-pillars. Darkened Glass is in the taillights' former location. In my eyes, the previous Mazda5 and C-Max are both attractive, but the 2012 Mazda5's exterior design is gutsier and noticed most.

The revised Mazda5 a stronger designed interior. Though with more restraint than in the current Mazda3 This is partly a good thing: Only the hood over the instruments that rises to form a point seems to be exaggerated. The instruments gondolas protect against glare, so this cover is not only pointless, it is not necessary acute. An appealing upscale detail: red stitching and black leather on the Grand Touring seats. But the eye of a designer is required elsewhere. The door panels remain flat and easy, and the center console looks like a cheap aftermarket accessories instead of a factory part. Some hard black plastic it is not cheap, but not the stuff that covers much of the 2012 Mazda5 inside. By and large, the C-Max has ordered the interior more attractive and, if perhaps overly styled Ed: see images in the gallery to judge for yourself.

In terms of functionality, the Mazda5 is regaining some point with one big exception. Both vehicles have sliding doors, without so need to worry about the kids dinging adjacent cars in parking lots. Power can opener are not available, but to open the doors and so light that they are hardly necessary to close. From the driver's seat both seem more like a car than a crossover, but the Mazda driving position is better than the C-Max, with a more open view to a less imposing instrument panel. The front seats are comfortable in both vehicles, although the Mazda strengthened better. The Mazda second row bucket would be almost as comfortable as those forwards, if not a little too low to the ground. The Fords are flatter and have unusually low backs-the headrests have to be raised about a foot suitable for adults.

The third-row seats both microvans are tiny and very low to the ground. In Mazda, adults up to 5'10 "will fit in the literal pinch, knee against the second row seat back and head brushing the headliner. Some legroom, by displacing the second row of seats are an inch or two open to the front, and there is enough space to do so-Mazda claims 39.4 second row legroom, magically to 4.2 cm from the apparently similar in 2010 and almost as much as in the first row. Fords The third row is still rudimentary, to the point where Ford Billing is a 5 +2- seater rather than a 7-seater. The difference is only an inch or two, but if you're near the minimum mean an extra one or two inches, the differences between people and not suitable suitable. Pre-Teen Children? They will fit in either order.

Mazda in ventilation, a two-stage fan blows through openings in the rear of the center console treated. The air through these openings is not as cold as the through the front openings, and the location is not as effective as a complete unit with rear air vents in the ceiling, but it's better than nothing.

In the Mazda, there is just enough room behind the third row to fit a single row of grocery bags. In Ford, it's less cargo capacity (the specs in only three cubic feet vs. 11.3 in the Mazda) and the load floor up. Shopping bags have turned on the relative of the vehicle to be operated so that only about half as many fit. In both vehicles, the head restraints must be lowered before folding the seats, this does not happen automatically. In as the front passenger seat fold to extend the hold towards the instrument panel. While this would have a useful function, including the way in which the second row seats folded.

So, you are more likely to be able to children placed in two rows and make a grocery store run in the Mazda. But on the way to travel and the third seat is folded to accommodate luggage either. Here the C-Max is having a benefit for families with three children. Tucked in the right second row bucket seat is a means, it is possible to seat three children in the second row. Mazda offers a similar place in the Mazda5 overseas, but in the United States there are only a foldout tray. So if you have to seat seven people and sometimes five plus luggage on others want the C-Max is the only option.

I have not driven the C-Max, but I have driven the 2012 Focus on which it rests. Although the C-Max drives and the Focus, and the extra weight and the microvan rel likely take their toll, the Mazda5 has some clear advantages driving.

Both microvans be powered by 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, good for 157 hp and in the Mazda 168 in the C-Max power. (A 168-horsepower turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder will also be offered as an effective option in the Ford.) Differs less torque, 163 vs. 167 foot-pounds. The Ford Power should benefit more than its extra curb weight 3743 vs £ 3457 be canceled. Although the Mazda5 power to weight ratio is not promising, in the city of its acceleration is just adequate with the five-speed automatic. It helps that the automatic almost always selects the right gear. It is possible to manually set the gear, but this is rarely necessary, even in spirited driving. A six-speed manual is only available in the Mazda when to trim even in its base. If it is to stop at the time, the Mazda brakes feel reassuringly solid and linear.

Mazda's trip computer reported low twenties in suburban driving and high twenties on the highway-cracking 30 requires a healthy boost. The EPA says 21 city, 28 highway. The new Honda Odyssey, a much larger vehicle, fits the latter amount. Mazda in defense, it is a new family of more efficient engines along the way. The C-Max will probably do about the same with the base engine, a sixth gear in its conventional automatic compensation for their additional mass, while Ford for 30 target is located on the highway with the turbo.

The Mazda carves its greatest advantage when the road a curve. Feedback about their driving and seat of pants is just as good as in the Mazda3, and quite a bit better than the vast majority of cars sold today, including the 2012 Ford Focus. You can clearly feel the front tire carving their line. Similar to the Mazda5 feels more agile and responsive than most compact hatches, despite its 3,500-pound curb weight. Lean and body motions are well controlled and precise placement of the car quickly becomes second nature. Offered by the three-row vehicles in the U.S., it is easily the most engaging and most on a winding road fun-to-drive. At 70 + on the highway when the steering feel twitchy and high body sides are sensitive to crosswinds-the Mazda5 is in his element at lower speeds. The ride is firm and sometimes a touch busy, but generally still comfortable. Noise levels are moderate.

Judging from the Focus, the C-Max is greater feel heavier and less agile. It is probably well under control, but not nearly as captivating way or fun. On the other hand, it will probably go quiet and cushily than the Mazda.

It is too early to discuss the reliability of both for 2012. But the first generation Mazda5 suffered very few suspension problems, the answers to the True Delta Car Reliability Survey is based. Perhaps parts for the Mazda3 based insufficient upgraded to handle the extra pounds the 5? Rust is a common problem in Mazda, where the roads are salted, and the Mazda5 is no exception.

The Mazda5 pricing is up to $ 900 with the redesign, but remains low for a three-row vehicle. The base trim lists for $ 19,990, while the leather-covered Grand Touring lists for $ 24,670. A Honda Odyssey EX-L is about $ 7,000 more. Even after a $ 3,000 adjustment for its additional features (with the car price comparison tool) Compact SUV with third-row seats are closer in price, but still quite a big higher. The least expensive of them, the Mitsubishi Outlander SE lists for about $ 1,000 more, while the Toyota RAV4 is about $ 2,800 higher before adjusting for feature differences, and about $ 4,100 higher then (mainly because leather is not the optional third row of seats) available. The real competition, of course, the C-Max will be. Pricing was not announced, but judging from that of the corresponding focus should be within $ 500 of its Mazda5.

Both the Mazda5 and (soon) the Ford C-Max offers practical solutions for people who need three rows of seats, but who do not want the bulk (and higher price) that usually comes with them. Ford has less controversial styling, higher-quality materials, and (probably) a smoother, quieter ride. Families with three children appreciated the stowable seventh. The Mazda has a bit more space for rear passengers and cargo, and should retain his title as the best handling three-row people hauler. It is also the only car still offered with a manual transmission in the U.S. So while the C-Max will be more likely to win over mainstream car buyers, should the Mazda5, the choice remains for enthusiasts.

Mazda provided. The vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review

Michael Karesh operates True Delta, an online source of automotive pricing and reliability data.