Mazda MX-Flexa / Mazda5

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  • sugoiyasugoiya Member Posts: 12
    I think the newly designed MPV will wind up being a short-wheelbase version of the Ford/Mercury minivans. Remember that Mazda doesn't have the money or facilities to create USA only, Europe only, or Asia only cars. Therefore, all of its cars are limited in size by the narrow streets of Japan and Western Europe.

    That being said, I do believe that Mazda must increase the size of the MPV somewhat. I would like to see something on par with the discontinued 2003 Toyota Sienna. I may not have overlooked that car a few years ago if it had all the convenience features our 2002 MPV has.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    that's true. Mazda does not have the resources to build cars that are specific to one certain market like Honda and Toyota. (Notice the Camry and Accord sell better in the states then they do abroad)
  • jausionsjausions Member Posts: 1
    Mazda defines its MPV minivan as being sport spirited. I think this is a major selling point against the competition for anyone looking for something else than a boring minivan. It is already "depressing" to have to drive a minivan, so why make it boring on top of it?

    To me a Mazda MPV should:

     1. Have sport tuned suspension,

     2. Handles tight curves with minimum body roll (stabilizer bars),

     3. Have independent rear-suspensions,

     4. Be available with a 5-speed automatic transmission with overdrive (Sport AT). Nothing say "not-sport" as a gear shifter at the steering wheel (beside a lot of people complained that it's blocking the other controls on the dashboard)

     5. Have a swift engine (may I suggest turbo charge to maximize MPG)

     6. "Slide-by-side" of the middle row should be able to "slide" on both sides of the car. This is important when you park along a curb and want to unload on the safest side (i.e. not on the traffic side)

     7. Have 60/40 independent fold flat rear bench.

     8. Be a tiny bit wider than current model to allow more room in the rear bench, but not too much to not end up with a van (that is keeping "mini" in minivan meaningful.)

     9. Being able to fold flat the rear bench (or part of it) and snapping the middle row seats on top of it.

     10. Have rotating front seats for "indoor" picnics.

     11. Have flat reclining front seats.

     12. Being able to put the middle row seats in a rear-facing position,

     13. Have multiple moonroofs.

     14. Be available in bright red (you said sport minivan, right?)

     15. Have ABS disk brakes standard.

     16. Have front, side and curtain airbags standard.

    Please vote!

     -Philippe
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    I like all of them!
  • samnoesamnoe Member Posts: 731
    But ABS and side airbags are safety features, not sporty. But I do agree that we need them!
  • spacewagonspacewagon Member Posts: 16
    Do you guys know that Mazda is stopping producing MPV in 2005-06? How come you say 2006?

    Replacements are 2?
    1. Wushu 7-8 seaters.
    2. From Detroit and Motor Trend:
    MX-Flexa or Mazda4 (which will reach NA dealership in early 05 and JP/EU in 04 Fall) 6 seaters

    Talk on the MPV someone states that this will be the last year for the Mazda MPV (04). Somewhere I saw that the MX-Flexa was going to replace the MPV.

    Detroit News says that Mazda will show the Flexa to the US audience in NYC's car show in April.

    According to Car&D: "So this MX-Flexa concept will appear in the coming months as the Mazda 4—and will also be available in the U.S.
     
    at least from 2 places i read about this:

    "four-door, six-passenger tall wagon that will be introduced in Japan and Europe later this year and reach U.S. dealerships in 2005, badged as the Mazda4."

    Check the sites:
    http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/frame.mv?file=car.mv&num=1899

    http://www.vtec.net/forums/one-message?message_id=210852

    http://www.motortrend.com/autoshows/coverage/112_04_genevamotorsh- ow/index13.html#1
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Member Posts: 1,207
    It is similar to MPV but minus 1 seat if it is a 6 seater. The other minivan makers put an extra seat, 8-seater instead 7 to the minivan. I don't get a clue why Mazda is doing opposite.
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 42,064
    Europe and Japan (and sometimes canada) get lots of neat modest dimensioned people movers that never come to the US. I personally think mazda should bring over the 4, but it probably won't happen.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD

  • bottgersbottgers Member Posts: 2,030
    I also think they should bring over the Micro Sport too, but that probably won't happen either.
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    The Flexa/4 is NOT a replacement for, nor intended to compete with traditional minivans. If Mazda wants to play that game, they need a Freestar variation built off the Mazda6 platform. The Flexa/4 is simply a tall, compact sport wagon/van that can carry more than the 5 passenger max of a traditional wagon. It bridges the gap between a Mazda3 Sport, for example, and the "maxi" minivans (that really shouldn't be called "mini"vans anymore). With Mazda3 Sports going for about 20K here in Canada and Odysseys and Siennas starting around 30K+, a mid-20's Flexa would bridge the price gap nicely as well.
    Add sporty performance and decent gas mileage and it's a win-win for those of us who don't need or want the bulk of a traditional minivan.
  • bigdadi118bigdadi118 Member Posts: 1,207
    I heard that Mazda will bring out the Mazda-3 station wagon.
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    Don't think there is a 3 wagon at this point (maybe you're thinking of the just-released Mazda 6 wagon). 3 sport (5-door) is kind of a psuedo-wagon but the next, logical step up would be the 4/Flexa.
  • jaserbjaserb Member Posts: 858
    Mazda showed a small minivan concept called the MX-Flexa at the Geneva auto show that's very close to a production vehicle. The latest Car and Driver claims that it will be coming to the US market as the Mazda4. Based on the excellent Mazda3, the concept has Mazda's 2.3L 4 cyl, dual sliding doors, and seating for 6 in three rows of two. Here's Edmunds' Geneva coverage:

    http://autoshow.edmunds.com/news/autoshow/articles/101372/page024- - .html?tid=edmunds.e.autoshow..leftnav.25.*

    Compact 6-7 passenger MPVs (not to be confused with the Mazda MPV) are extremely popular in Europe and elsewhere. Mazda's taking a risk by being the first to test this segment in the US market, where we tend to like our "mini" vans roughly the size of an aircraft carrier. This is a slick looking, nice handling, compact people mover with a fuel efficient 4 banger, sliding doors, and seating for 6. I say bring it on!

    This could be the first "cool" minivan.

    -Jason
  • barlobarlo Member Posts: 23
    Jason thanks for the link, that is one cool looking mini van. Did Car and Driver give any indication as to when it would be coming to the american market.

    Thanks Barlo
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H EdmundsAdministrator Posts: 11,122
    I've changed the name of this discussion to reflect what others are hearing about a new mini-van from Mazda.

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  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 42,064
    priced right, I think this could be a real winner. Perfect size for a small family (2 kids) that needs cargo room, and occasional extra seats. What's not to like, more room and seats available than a 6 wagon, with more versatility.

    Now just offer it with the 5 speed, and have a market niche all to yourself.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD

  • jaserbjaserb Member Posts: 858
    C&D didn't give a timetable, but the language they used was declarative, not speculative - the first mag I've seen stating that the Mazda4 WILL be coming here.

    So, Kirstie - since you nuked the Vans discussion is there any chance of getting this topic cross-linked to the vans board?

    -Jason
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    Nothing against the current MPV.....it's the only "true" minivan on the market and probably the only one I would consider. That being said, it's more-compact size doesn't translate into noticeable gains in fuel economy (in fact, it's worse than some of the larger vans) and it isn't a whole lot cheaper either, once you equip it comparably. We are a small family of 3 who only occasionaly need to carry 6....the Mazda4/Flexa would be perfect. For a family of 3-4, there's loads of luggage space. Priced halfway between a Mazda3 Sport and the current MPV, it would be affordable. Fuel economy with the Mazda 6's 160hp 2.3l four would be great and it should be sporty and great fun to drive as well. It should definitely be a no-brainer for the Canadian market and should be a success in the US as well. Mazda's current MPV is not selling very well(for the reasons mentioned above...compact size but fullsize price and fuel economy)....if they want to play in the full-size minivan market as well, they could probably scoop the excess Freestar capacity from Ford and sell their own version. Marketed as as sporty, multi-seat crossover (sort of a grown-up Matrix), the Flexa/4 would be a welcome addition to the marketplace. It doesn't hurt that it looks stunning as well, and that gas ain't gettin any cheaper.
  • audia8qaudia8q Member Posts: 3,138
    We had a conference call with mazda the other day and they did say that the north American market will get something very similar to the MZ3 based flexa vehicle being displayed at the NY auto show this week. They did not give us a timetable but my guess would be a 2006 badged model.
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 42,064
    We have a Nissan Quest now, which isn't particularly efficient with the use of interior space. From the pictures, it looks like the 4 might have darn near as much usable room (or at least enough to make do the 1-2 times a year I fill the van up). I'd much rather drive something like this than a barge like a Sienna (huge inside when (if) you need it, but always big outside).

    Add in 30 mpg highway and a reasonable price, and you might wean more people out of Explorers, etc.

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD

  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    ...will be shown at the Paris autoshow in September with sales to follow shortly thereafter. This is roughly the same schedule as the "3" a year ago. "Sportiv" "concept" shown in Geneva in March, "3" unveiled in Paris and on sale (even in North America) before Christmas. Hopefully the "4" will follow suit and we won't have to wait until 2006.
  • jaserbjaserb Member Posts: 858
    I've been seeing a ton of them around here. I'm normally a hatch/wagon guy but I think the sedan is just plain slick. It looks much more upscale than I expected. As for the 4/Flexa, Mazda has done a great job with packaging and clever features on the MPV and I expect they'll do the same on the 4.

    I'd be OK with a '06 time frame, since that's when I'm likely to seriously start shopping. I'd be happier with Spring '05, though, to make sure any bugs have been worked out and demand has stabilized.

    -Jason
  • audia8qaudia8q Member Posts: 3,138
    The 3 has been a grand slam for us and mazda...We can't replace the "s" models as fast as we are selling them. I think the general consensus has been that the 3 has created a benchmark for this class of car....I'm only guessing on a timeframe for the Mx-flexa/MZ4 but I hope it shows up sooner than later.
  • creakid1creakid1 Member Posts: 2,032
    "The other minivan makers put an extra seat, 8-seater instead 7 to the minivan. I don't get a clue why Mazda is doing opposite."

    This is the modern-day sports car, since people don't really care about those low-to-the-ground Porsche/Supra anymore, & would rather get the high-center-of-gravity Cayenne instead.

    An SUV is today's "normal car", while a PT Cruiser w/ low platform height is a race car by comparison.

    The Mazda4 is the only 3-row-seating race car today. & here's why it's so important having 3 rows.

    My cousin likes their $37k Lexus RX300 mainly b/c their Sienna is too long to be driven everyday w/ even worse steering. But as soon as they need to travel long distance such as to Vegas, they still have to use that Sienna even w/ ONLY 5 aboard. Only b/c rest of the family don't want to sit 3 across in the 2nd-row seat.

    The Acura MDX SUV's 2nd-row seat isn't even high enough to be comfortable! So the PT Cruiser is the perfect solution w/ limo-like room for 4 w/o high center of gravity just like the Mercedes S-class, but it's still too much of a loser. So the PT Cruiser-height Mazda4 w/ 6 window seats is the winner, as long as the 3rd-row seat is much better than the '95 4-cyl Odyssey. & it's also the more reliable & longer-wheelbase version of the new Volvo V50 wagon. I wonder if the Mazda4 has fore-&-aft travel for the 2nd-row seat to either providing adult-size leg room for the 3rd row or limo-like leg room for the 2nd row when the 3rd row isn't occupied?
  • odmanodman Member Posts: 309
    I'm 6'5" and found the Mazda3 to be too cramped, so the taller Mazda4 will likely have much more room. I'm surprised they went for sliding doors rather than swing out doors like the Toyota Wish or Honda Stream. This will make people think of it much more as a minivan than a sport-wagon.

    I'm also surprised they went with the 2-2-2 configuration -- sure the center seat in a 2-3-2 configuration rarely gets used, but for a family of 4 that sometimes needs to bring Grandma or a friend along, it is easier to jump into the center seat than to have to climb over the back to the rear row. This is especially the case when you want to carry 5 people and some cargo. Yes, I know, that's what the MPV is for, but that van is too inefficient for my tastes.

    Can anyone find interior dimensions on the net? (e.g. front, center, rear legroom, hiproom, headroom, cargo capacity)
  • odmanodman Member Posts: 309
    Sales success always depends on how much value is being offered for the price. Japanese micro vans have always come up short because they quickly bump up into Big 3 minivan territory (e.g. the '98 4-cyl Odyssey was CAN$30k when short wb Caravans were going for $23k).

    Currently, the Mazda3 starts at $16k-$18k for the GX/GS, and $21.4k for the GT. The Mazda3 Sport goes for $20-$21k. Base MPVs go for $26-$29 for the GS/GX, but reach $37 for the GT.

    This suggests that a Mazda4 should hit around $24-$26k. This is about where the PT Cruiser starts, and just under the Caravan (before incentives). I also think it will be cross-shopped by the CR-V ($27k) and Matrix ($18k+), especially if AWD ever becomes available. At $24-$26k, I see it being a hit.
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    The Flexa is a concept but it should carry over pretty much intact to the production version of the Mazda4. I did hear that the production version will seat 7 (2+3+2). Maybe they'll offer it both ways. Haven't seen any interior dimensions on the net yet but will have a look. They will be greater than the current Premacy, for sure but a bit less than the current MPV.
  • mascmasc Member Posts: 21
    The next MPV coming out in 2006 will be called Mazda4 (most probably). And it will be built on a stretched Mazda6 platform and use the same engine as the 6 so if the 6 gets a new engine from Ford or better yet Mazda itself, it will be used in the Mazda4 as well.
  • jaserbjaserb Member Posts: 858
    The Mazda4 is the production version of the MX-Flexa concept shown at Geneva earlier this year. It is built on the Mazda3 platform and will be SMALLER than the current MPV by quite a bit, with AFAIK only the 2.3L 4-cyl engine available. I doubt the 3 platform will handle a V6. Mazda4 will probably go on sale in Europe this fall, should be here in the US well before 2006.

    My guess is you're talking about either the next MPV or a future "Ford Freestyle" type SUV-Minivan-Station Wagon thing.

    Rich, any more insight?

    -Jason
  • mascmasc Member Posts: 21
    sorry, i made a mistake. i misread the news article. i was talking about the next generation MPV not the Mazda4.
  • badbackbadback Member Posts: 3
    My car owning strategy is to buy new and drive the vehicle for more than twenty years. (I drive less than 5M miles per year.) I'm thinking that there may be little or no support system (parts, computer chips, electronic diagnostic and programming equipment, trained personnel, etc.) for the MPV a dozen or so years out if Mazda is to very soon replace MPV production with an all new minivan concept. I would appreciate any ones thoughts regarding this vehicle longevity issue?
  • nedc2nedc2 Member Posts: 192
    I wouldn't worry too much, the engine isn't unique to the Mazda, in North America the MPV uses the same 3.0 l Ford Duratec derived engine as the 6, an lots of other Ford vehicle, with some Mazda specific changes. It'll be around for a while. In the rest of the world the MPV gets the 2.3 l 4 cyl. A larger future MPV may get a larger V6 in NA, derived from the upcoming Ford Duratec 35, or it may use the 3.0 l. The big concern with a vehicle like the MPV, is that because it's less popular, if you get into a major accident it can be much more expensive to repair as there is a much smaller supply of used chassis parts, from wrecks etc. to pick from.
  • vcarrerasvcarreras Member Posts: 247
    and no more information on the Flexa until now.

    http://www.autoweek.com/cat_content.mv?port_code=autoweek&cat- _code=carnews&loc_code=index&content_code=09869994

    Let us hope that the Flexa and other sport wagons/van (Toyota WISH, Honda JDM Odyssey) come our way.
  • odmanodman Member Posts: 309
    I hope the Flexa shows up across NA, but if it's only in Canada, we'll take it!

    Let's hope Wish/Ody/Stream follow
  • pappy55pappy55 Member Posts: 41
    Our 8 year-old mini-van (Ford Winsdstar) is dying a slow death and I will be in the market for a family hauler in a year or so. This is what I'd like to see in North America for the Flexa/Mazda4:

    2+3+2 seating configuration
    high MPG
    keep the price reasonable (low $20k?)

    I'd buy one tomorrow if I could. This is the perfect vehicle for our needs (3 kids). SUVs are total overkill and I've become less enthusiastic about minivans. They just don't seem to do any one thing well and they are getting pricey. A wagon type vehicle would be great-seating for 5 with room for an additional 2 when needed.

    Also keeping an eye on the Ford Freestyle, but it is a bit too big for my taste. And it's a FORD!

    I will cross my fingers that Mazda brings it here in a couple of years...
  • stickguystickguy Member Posts: 42,064
    I agree that for many people, minivans are just way bigger than they really need. The 4 could be perfect for a small family that needs flexible cargo room, and only rarely more than 4 seats. Maybe they could even (gasp!) make it available with a manual transmission!

    2020 Acura RDX tech SH-AWD

  • pappy55pappy55 Member Posts: 41
    Oh yeah, I'll take mine with a 6 speed manual transmission and sport suspension.

    (one can dream, no?)
  • odmanodman Member Posts: 309
    You need the Honda Odyssey that's sold in Japan (the successor to the 1st Gen Odyssey we had here from '95-'98). The 1st Gen Ody's were initially panned as being too small and underpowered, but the '98s had VTEC, and the rental Windstar I had wasn't much bigger inside. 26mgg at 70mph in 90+ weather with the AC cranked and a full load of family and stuff can't be beat. The Japanese market versions now come with V6s and are much hotter. I'd buy one too to replace my '98.
  • pappy55pappy55 Member Posts: 41
    Yeah, that looks pretty slick. Checked out the Honda Japan web site. Can't read Japanese, but the pix and movies are great. They could keep the US Odyssey barge and call the Jp version the "Odyssey Jr."

    But I'm a long-time Mazda fan. Give me the Mazda4!

    With gas prices the way they are here, I don't see why the Japanese makes don't start bringing vehicles like that to the U.S.
  • odmanodman Member Posts: 309
    And since Honda shows no inclination of bringing the JDM Odyssey or the Stream over, those of us looking for an efficient minivan will have to hope the Mazda4 comes sooner rather than later.
  • vcarrerasvcarreras Member Posts: 247
    JDM Odyssey is being sold in Australia.

    http://www.honda.com.au/flash.htm

    You can read the specs in English. Think it has at least 160hp BUT if the rumor mill is correct will come to NA with 200hp as an Acura. Sure hope so.

    The FLEXA will be shown at the Paris Auto show I think in September for the European market. Let's HOPE we get it here in Spring of 05 as an 06.
  • creakid1creakid1 Member Posts: 2,032
    "4" sounds like "death" in Chinese language, etc. Mazda decided to think of a new name for the production Flexa.

    I wonder how well the A4/S4 sells in these countries.
  • npaladin2000npaladin2000 Member Posts: 593
    YES! I want to drive the "Minivan of Death!" :) Death to huge gas hogs everywhere! :)

    They'll probably just rename it for the Chinese-speaking market.
  • creakid1creakid1 Member Posts: 2,032
    in America, but I guess the Die hatsu...really killed the sales here.
  • jaserbjaserb Member Posts: 858
    Alfa Romeo did exactly that for the 164 - it was the 168 in China. With the success of the Mazda3 in the US I doubt Mazda will want to change the name to something that will not be associated with the 3.

    -Jason
  • creakid1creakid1 Member Posts: 2,032
    as originally planned.
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    I think it will be a tougher sell in the States, with their "bigger is better" syndrome and agree that Mazda should market it as a bigger, more versatile small car/wagon rather than a smaller more efficient minivan. Their US press releases seemed to be callng it an SUV/mini-minvan crossover but I don't really get the SUV part. Although I like the styling, it does follow the minvan form factor pretty closely...perhaps a more SUV-like nose would go over better in the US.

    I'm interested in the reaction at the Montreal show (as compared to the Detroit show), as Canada (and Quebec in particular) should be a lot more receptive to this vehicle. Pricing will be important though, and the low to mid-20's ($Can) that's been mentioned should do the trick. Any more and you start encroaching on both the MPV, the KIA and the short-wheelbase domestic minivans.
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    Some info and the first production pix can be found here http://www.autoindex.org/news.plt?no=901
    of the vehicle now to be called the Mazda5.
    6+1 seating sounds interesting.....I would imagine it's 2+2+2 with the middle row having a 2nd row middle seat option much like the new Odyssey. If fuel economy is good and Mazda gets the pricing right, and assuming they bring it to North America (or at least Canada), this will probably be our next vehicle.
  • vcarrerasvcarreras Member Posts: 247
    Will this be the MPV replacement or do you think it will be sold as a new model? Sure does look nice and from what I see here would prefer this over the Honda FD-V. I'm sure more information will be coming out soon and sure do hope it comes to NA. Wonder about the 6+one seating.
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    http://www.whatcar.com/News_Article.asp?NA_ID=210719
    Not sure they've got the availability date right (Sept. 2005) as I translated one of the German sites and they were saying it would be shown this Sept. in Paris and be on the market by the end of 2004 (similar to the Mazda 3....soncept shown in Geneva in the spring, production version in Paris in Sept and available late fall). They do give a bit of info on the +1 seat though. It's supposed to replace both the MPV and the Premacy in Europe (and even the Tribute in England!) Can't see them keeping the MPV around just for North America, so can see them giving us the 5 and then doing a version of the Freestar (God knows, Ford has a lot of extra capacity there) for those who want or need a Maximinivan.
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