Mazda MX-Flexa / Mazda5



  • adu1adu1 Member Posts: 47
    Mazda would be very wise to include the DSC (stability control) on the U.S. version (or at least make it available), particularly given the forthcoming gov't. report on how such systems cut single-vehicle crash rates dramatically. It certainly will be a factor in my vehicle purchasing decision next year...
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    Thanks for the triple zoom heads-up, adu1! I think thses are the best pix/most detailed info out there yet. All I can say is WOW and I WANT ONE! I'm hoping we get the option of having the +1 seat...just for the flexibility of having it when you need it (with relatives over this weekend, we could've used a 7 such, we had to take 2 cars. This vehicle will be absolutely perfect for us.
  • vcarrerasvcarreras Member Posts: 247
    Looks like we will get in in August 2005. That's GREAT!
  • vcarrerasvcarreras Member Posts: 247
    the 5 sooner then the USA? I keep looking at the pictures and really don't like the rear. I liked the MX-Flexa rear better especially the lights. Not sure if what is being shown is the actual production model.

    The Detroit News article stated that the Honda FR-V is probably not coming here. I wonder why Honda has made that decision. Come on Honda/Toyota bring the Elysion, WISH and Corolla Verso!
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    ...a six seater, that is, when it arrives in North America. Something to do with the +1 version (7 seater) not meeting crash regulations in North America (which is strange, because the middle position in the 2nd row seat is probably the safest place to be in a crash in any vehicle. Anyway, after seeing the +1 seat and how it works, it's probably no great loss, althought the flexibility of having it to use in a pinch(pun intended?!) would have been nice. The ultra-thin base stores under the left seat cushion but the seat back only twists sideways but still remains between the seats...kinda awkward if you ask me. Anyway, I guess we'll keep the storage area under the left seat cushion and hopefully will get the little table that swings out from under the right seat cushion. I still think it's the perfect vehicle for us, or anyone who wants a sporty, highly flexible, multi-seat vehicle.
    Oh, here's a link that shows how the middle seats work...
    Canada should get it by spring, I'm told...
  • vcarrerasvcarreras Member Posts: 247
    of rear lights being shown. Some of the pictures show a clear lens with the lights. Others have a red lens (normal looking) I like the red not the clear. Hope when it arrives that it is everything we hope (think) it is.

    Wonder what Toyota/Honda will do. Maybe take a wait and see if the 5 sells well. I'd still prefer a WISH or Elysion but if they don't come then there's the 5.
  • barry42barry42 Member Posts: 64
    I'm 70ish going on 100 but I still can tell a sound looking automobile when I see it !!
    I spent all of my adult life in the Ol' USA but now thru several dumb decisions I find myself here in Guatemala for the rest of my life !!
    As Barry Maguire would say " I'm Car Crazy " Six months ago I got fed up with my Chevy Blazer -- sold it for just a couple of pennys and bought a Mazda3 HB !! What a wonderful car -- the suspension is by far the best suspension I have owned -- and now I read it will be the same on the Mazda5 !!Well to make a long story even more painfully long -- the better half has taken a liking to my Mazda3 HB !! I was about to start negotiations for a Mazda3 Sedan for her and I found this Beautiful Mazda5 in the threads above !! My wife can take the Mazda3 HB and I'm happy for her !! I hadn't thought about a van but this is just the right sized van for this country !!
    Let's see who gets there "5" first !!

  • barry42barry42 Member Posts: 64
    I bought a Mazda3 about 6 months ago and in researching the car I discovered that Mazda will back up the lights some times with silver some times red and sometimes black it all depends on the market and the model !! Be sure to go to there is an excellent article there !! Look for the part that mentions about two different configurations !! My Mazda3 HB is not the same sheet metal as the Mazda3 Sedan !!
    Happy Hunting !!Barry42.
  • vcarrerasvcarreras Member Posts: 247
    from Autoweek.

    barry42 thanks for your comments about your 3. What is a Mazda3 HB? Good luck in Guatemala! Have you found your 3 holding up there with thr rough roads? How about the 2.3 liter engine. Does it have the power to go up the hills/mountains?
  • barry42barry42 Member Posts: 64
    The Mazda3 HB is the Hatchback model !!
    The roads here are terrible -- most trucks are overloaded - badly - and the right lanes are all broken up and some patched !! The 3's suspension is so well designed it takes the car thru the mess quietly !! The suspension is a little stiff for some people but it makes cornering sure and predictable !!
    The motor is 1.6liters -- the tranny is automatic and with the car fully loaded it takes hills effortlessly, !!
    Both the suspension and the motor - tranny combination would be perfect for the 5 !!
    My only problem is I can't find out when the 5 is coming to the local dealers !!
    Please tell me when you see the 5's arriving in the Ol' USA !!

    Cheers !! Barry42.. - 1
  • vcarrerasvcarreras Member Posts: 247
    Thanks for the information. The Mazda5 is scheduled to arrive here in the USA in August 2005. Can't wait! Here it will have the 2.3 liter engine developing 160hp with a 5 speed auto tranny.
  • barry42barry42 Member Posts: 64
    I can't wait until August !!
    I think these smaller engines do much better with an auto tranny !! My little 1.6 liter in the 3 revs more than I'm used to -- strong accelerating between 3000 and 4000 revs -- cruising between 2000 and 3000 revs !! The 2.3 liter hooked up to a 5 speed auto tranny sounds slick in a 5 !!
    I saw somewhere that the Canadians are expecting the 5 in the spring !! We will just have to see !!

    Cheers !! barry42.
  • adu1adu1 Member Posts: 47
    Vcarreras, where have you read that the Mazda5 will have a 5 speed automatic trans. avail. when it comes to the U.S.? (Ford's press release only mentioned a four-speed automatic for some markets.) The five-speed autobox would make it even likelier that I would buy a Mazda5 next year -- please clarify if you can! Thanks!
  • barry42barry42 Member Posts: 64
    5 speed or 4 speed -- who cares -- if it is a 4 speed just let it rev a little more -- it can take it !!
    At least the 5 appears to be a lot better than an Elysion or WISH or Verso -- what do you say vcarreras ??

    Cheers !! barry42.
  • adu1adu1 Member Posts: 47
    Thanks for the 2 cents, Barry, but I *do* care about whether it's 5 speeds or 4 for the automatic transmission. FYI, it can make a noticeable difference in noise levels and fuel economy on the highway, as well as help with acceleration. So I'm hoping to find out more from vcarreras...
  • jimjpsjimjps Member Posts: 146
    The Canadian Driver site thinks it will be a June intro up their way. I read that a 5 speed manual is standard, and I hope so. BTW, I assume the MZ5 is made in Japan like the MZ3. Looks like there is a GFX (ground effects) model - (the blue one pictured) and a non-GFX model - (the silver one pictured). I wonder if we will get a choice? If not I hope it's the non-GFX here in the US.
  • carlisimocarlisimo Member Posts: 1,280
    I applaud Mazda for taking risks and trying to start trends. They've been doing it a lot lately.

    I don't know if this'll get many Americans out of compact SUVs, but I'll wish it luck.
  • jimjpsjimjps Member Posts: 146
    Ford press release sez:

    "In North America, the MAZDA5 will have a 2.3 liter version of the MZR engine. These four-cylinder, 16-valve DOHC engines are matched with a smooth action five-speed manual transmission. A four-speed automatic is also available in select markets."

    I take this to mean we get a 5 speed stick and a 4 speed auto optinal. Seems to make sense as these are the only Trannys currently used with the Mazda/Ford 2.3 that I am aware of.
  • vcarrerasvcarreras Member Posts: 247
    Sorry for some reason I was thinking 5 speed auto which is what the MPV has. Mazda SHOULD put a 5 speed auto in the 5. Better all round performance and more efficient. I really don't think they will bring the 5 speed manual to the US market. Guess I was dreaming - living in the perfect world! Again my mistake. Have to get new glasses.
  • barry42barry42 Member Posts: 64
    FYI-- If It makes a noticeable difference in noise levels , you have bought the wrong car !!
    FYI--If it makes a difference in highway fuel economy , the car manufacturer chose the wrong diff gear ratio !!
    I think if they supplied the Mazda5 with a 5 speed tranny -- you would want a 6 speed -- the only thing is you probably couldn't afford to pay for it !!
  • adu1adu1 Member Posts: 47
    To be honest, barry42, no one asked for you to respond to my inquiry to vcarreras (who, like myself, understands the difference that the extra gear can make when a small, 16-valve four-cylinder is tasked with moving a substantial vehicle). After your message, I politely indicated (as a cue to vcarreras) that I still hoped for more information. I do now see that your statement that you're "car crazy" may be partly true...

    More productively, your post inspired me to look into more details about the Mazda5 and its likely curb weight (not yet released by Mazda, as far as I know; FYI, the car's weight has an impact on the car's performance with a given engine-transmission combination...). As a result, it now seems quite unlikely that, as you claimed, "the motor is 1.6 liters -- the tranny is automatic... the motor - tranny combination would be perfect for the 5 !!"

    Based on the best information available, the Mazda5 is likely to weigh several hundred pounds more than a Mazda6 sedan (see below) -- that may be too heavy even for the 2.3/four-speed automatic combination for many American consumers. You see, Americans like good acceleration AND low noise levels on the highway... and may not buy a vehicle that doesn't provide those characteristics. With a small-ish engine, the best route to acceptable acceleration and noise levels is more gears (thus, Honda's move from four speeds to five with its CR-V automatic and Accord automatic, for example).

    For those interested in the details (developed using the excellent data at

    The European Focus C-Max (the Mazda's "C1" platform-mate) has a base curb weight of 1344 kg (w/ 1.6 liter gas engine) vs. a base Mazda6 (w/ 1.8 gas) weighing 1345 kgs So a C-Max and a Mazda6 in the same market weigh about the same. Relative to the C-Max, the Mazda5's wheelbase is stretched 110 mm (4 in.) and its overall length is up 170 mm (6 in.). (On top of that, it has more seats plus sliding rear doors -- I believe they add more weight vs. the hinged doors on the C-Max.) How much weight is the extra size, etc. is likely to add? The only Euro class competitor currently offering two wheelbases (to use as a gauge) is the C-Max-size Renault Scenic, which adds 130 kg (287 lbs.) in growing to the Mazda5-size Grand Scenic.

    So if the Mazda5 does add a couple of hundred pounds relative to the C-Max (and, thus, to the Mazda6), is that a problem? Well, if the U.S. Mazda6's curb weight were a couple of hundred pounds heavier, the 2.3/four-speed automatic combination could be marginal for American tastes. In this context, it seems that the Mazda5 really could use that fifth gear for its auto trans. And, in one sense, it should not really be a question of cost/price: Honda is able to offer a five-speed automatic (along with ABS, side airbags, and curtain airbags) on the Accord for $ 16,955 and on the CR-V (with those same safety features plus stability control!) for $ 19,995.

    Bottom line: real U.S. customers don't like to have to drive foot-to-the-floor too often (and there are many real-world situations -- like highway on-ramps -- where decent acceleration is a basic safety concern), or to have to glibly tell their spouse who's lamenting the engine noise at 75 mph on the interstate, "Who cares... just let it rev... it can take it !!" Let's all remember that the Mazda5 will need to compete in a competitive marketplace. Yes, it will bring some unique attributes about which I'm quite intrigued (having loved the practicality of the European class competitors when driving there). But my spouse wants better acceleration in our next vehicle (current car is '02 Accord -- 2.3 w/ four-speed auto) -- a Mazda5 won't end up in our driveway without it. And my household isn't the only one that values these attributes. *Mazda* will care if customers don't buy the Mazda5 due to disappointing acceleration or highway noise levels...
  • vcarrerasvcarreras Member Posts: 247
    You don't know how stupid I feel misleading everyone that the 5 was going to have a 5 speed automatic. It was probably wishful thinking on my part that it stated that and in some markets there would be a 4 speed auto. Again sorry.

    However my mistake has brought in excellent comments and what we the consumer are looking for. adu1 you hit the nail on the head with your comments above. Weight/power ratio will be an issue here. Ford/Mazda has to see this and introduce the correct product if not it will flop.

    Honda and Toyota are beginning to put their 5 speed automatic in some of their 2.4 liter 4 cylinder vehicles and I'm sure they will be offering even more for the 06 model year. Mazda introducing the totally NEW 5 should put their latest technology in this vehicle. This includes a 5 speed automatic.

    Does Mazda offer a 5 speed automatic in any of their other 4 cylinder products?

    Let's hope they read the Edmunds Fourm.
  • barry42barry42 Member Posts: 64
    It shows that you were listening !!

    FYI: In all your useless dissertation you missed one thing -- whether the engine is 1.6l,or 2.0l, or2.3l -- they all have plenty of power to drive each of the cars mentioned above with good acceleration and have a quiet engine for you !!That is if the gearing is chosen correctly !!
    I'm afraid you are listening to too much hype given by some car manufactures !!

    There only three possible reasons to want more speeds in an automatic tranny :
    One : so you will buy the car !!
    Two : so you can have hard acceleration -- but that won't satisfy your objective of good fuel efficiency and remember each time you add a set of gears you steel some of the torque and power from the driving wheels !!
    Three : so you can go down the street and tell your friend that you have more gears than him !!

    adu1 I'm really sorry that you don't use your talent to find ,for all of us , Specs ,options list,Interior and exterior colors available etc.
    for the MAZDA5 !!

    adu1 : You must learn to control your anger !!
    I hold no resentment of you !!

    Cheers !! barry42
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,129
    It seems like there was a misunderstanding - I don't think barry42 means any ill will, but sometimes things come across differently than intended. Let's just start over and re-read our messages before hitting "post" and think about how others may perceive the words.


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  • barry42barry42 Member Posts: 64
    HOST is right -- Idon,t like you -- I don,t dislike you -- I don,t know you !!

    But let me tell you what is behind my comments !!

    Many people wanting to buy a reasonable priced orential four banger have only experience driving american cars with V8 engines that have torque curves with the fat part in the lower rpms !! Habitually it is difficult for them to drive the 4 bangers at the higher revs where the max torque is and so they become disapointed with the acceleration capabilities !!

    I went to the 3Z cite you suggested and really enjoyed the info I found there !! I know it was somewhat of a comercial but there is a lot of good data there !! I want more -- and if you can help me find it I would appreciate it !!

    My main problem with your comments is this !!
    A car manufacture trys their best to put a car on the market that people like and will buy-- I'm sure you know this !! From what I have seen so far , I like this crossover and I will buy It !!
    {That is unless the specs has something I can,t Accept}But If I find something I don"t like I will go Quietly away !!

    I think we have to trust the manufacture that he did the best job possible at ballancing all the design factors to provide acceptable factors !!
    The only other thing we can do is go and have a test drive to help us make the buy or no buy decision !!

    What am I trying to say !!Learn everything you can about a product before you buy !! If there is a feature you don't like go quietly to the other manufacturer and don't spoile for the rest of us by downgrading a product!!
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    Not wanting to confuse things further but one of the Japanese sites (it's autoascii or I think) has a Mazda5 pic with a 6 speed manual! I think a 6 speed manual / 5 speed auto would be perfect (we need the auto as my wife won't drive a stick). I know Mazda has a 5 speed auto for their Mazda 6 "6" (+ the MPV) but not sure if they have a 5 speed auto for any of their "4"'s. The Mazda5, as adu1 so ably pointed out, would be a good place to start.
  • barry42barry42 Member Posts: 64
    I'm interested !! Please give us another web site -- the other two you gave didn't get me anywhere appropriate !!

    Cheers !! barry42
  • adu1adu1 Member Posts: 47
    Don't knock yourself too much for a simple mis-reading of the press release. You're absolutely right that, "Weight/power ratio will be an issue here. Ford/Mazda has to see this and introduce the correct product if not it will flop." I hope that the 5 does NOT flop for performance/noise reasons because the conclusion that manufacturers may draw is that Americans don't want vehicles of this type (mini-minivans, really). I think many Americans *could* be interested in this kind of vehicle, but it needs to do a decent job of meeting their performance expectations. (Those types of expectations are why, for example, Mazda took the U.S. MPV from 2.5 liters to 3.0, and from four speeds to five for the auto trans. Decent performance fits in better with "zoom zoom," too!)

    But does anyone besides me (I reportedly have anger that rages so incredibly fiercely as to frighten children and the elderly) want to explain to the class why it might be, um, less than optimally insightful... to maintain that, regardless of transmission type or number of gears, "whether the engine is 1.6l, or 2.0l, or 2.3l -- they all have plenty of power to drive each of the cars mentioned above with good acceleration and have a quiet engine for you !! That is if the gearing is chosen correctly !!"
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569

    Mazda press release and triplezoom pics I've seen, as far as automatics go, show a sport-shift auto but it's only a 4 speed, as far as I can tell. Plus, all the press info to date says 5 speed manual/4 speed auto, though the pic in the link above clearly shows a 6 speed manual.
    Other press info states that the Mazda5 will be responsive but not a "tire burner" (not their exact words but that's the impression I got).
    I'm hoping the 2.3l engine, said to put out 170hp, will be tuned to deliver more torque than the versions in the Mazda6 and Mazda3. I do think a 5 speed auto would go a long way to maximizing the performance/fuel economy of this engine.
    Bottom line, I want good performance (and the ability to tow a small (<1000 lbs) pop-up camper combined with excellent fuel economy (30 city 40 hwy would be nice) and a quiet, relaxed highway cruiser. If the 5 delivers on these, it'll be our next vehicle.
  • barry42barry42 Member Posts: 64
    Thanks for the site !! Your thread is right on !!
    One possible explanation is that Mazda after the Pre-production with 4 auto/5manual had a change of heart and from the parts bin, decided to put the 5auto/6manual in !!That would make all of us happy !!
    But, I think we need more evidence !! I'll be watching !!
    Thanks again and cheers !! barry42
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    One other thing about Mazda automatics (at least, the 4 speed variety)...they tend to rob gas mileage to the tune of 2 mpg city and 5 mpg hwy. Not sure why, as other manufacturers (Honda & Toyota, for example) can equal or even better their manual trasmission's mileage with their automatics. Maybe Mazda's 4th gear is geared too low. Whatever the reason, it's all the more reason to put in a 5 speed auto. Either that, or my wife better learn to drive a stick pronto. The gas mileage penalty is too high a price to pay, imho.
  • jimjpsjimjps Member Posts: 146
    I noted the wheels are 17" and they look like 50's. No doubt 205/50/17 - just like the 3 hatch. Got me thinking that this really is a Mazda3 hatch even in length and width, except it is 6" higher and has a 4" longer wheelbase. The rear suspension is probably the same as C-Max (compact unit) to give a little more cargo room and already calibrated for the load. So back to dimensions- there is more frontal area than the 3 because it is 6" higher but I think this is partially compensated for by a better drag coefficient. The 3 hatch is .34. The MZ5 looks like .31 or .30. How much more does the 5 weigh? I would guess between 150 and 200 lbs. So what I'm getting at is the 160hp 2.3 would seem sufficient and certainly the easiest option for Mazda. The 3 has been criticized for it's gearing, causing the engine to rev on the high side at highway speed, but that gear ratio would probably be just about right for the heavier 5. My expectation is we will get the exact same engine and transmission combination as the 3 and that is OK by me as long as I can have a manual transmission. I don't think the V6 will fit and I can't see them getting much more torque out of the 2.3.

    The 3 is really an excellent car, I just want more room, and now here it is. I have really liked this type of vehicle since driving Megane Scenic's in Europe several years ago. It's been a long time and congrats to Mazda for finally delivering the goods to us poor deprived North Americans :)
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    I think the 5 is a few inches longer than the 3 hatch....maybe about the same as a 3 sedan. The hatch & sedan both weigh in a little over 2800 lbs. The 6 wagon is about 10" longer and almost 3500 lbs (that's with the V6 though) and the 6 sedan with the 4cyl is just under 3100 lbs. The C-Max, btw, ranges from a little over 2900 lbs to just over 3400.....500 lb difference in models seems quite a lot...don't know what the heaviest one is loaded up with. Anyway, I'm hoping the 5 comes in around 3000....maybe 3100 tops. Most reports say the Mazda 6 sedan with the 2.3l is more than adequate. I'll seriously consider the 5 speed manual though, if the automatic is only a 4 speed and revs at hwy speeds are objectionally high. Seems like 17 inchers are standard, at least in North America. That's ok....I can go down to 16's for winter tires. Hope the ride is sporty yet comfortable with not too much road noise. If we're not getting the +1 seat, I hope we still get the flip out table/console for the second row. I'd like to see flip-down armrests for both 1st and second row seats as well (so far I've only seen one for the driver's seat). Would like to see the hard-drive sound system make it's way over here as well but would settle for an MP3/Audio in jack on the stereo (like the Element). Anyway, I think I'll test-drive a few 3's and 6's with the 2.3 engine and manual and automatic trannies to get a feel for how the 5 will perform.
  • vcarrerasvcarreras Member Posts: 247
    on our way to the Mazda dealership this evening to drive/purchase(?) an 04 MPV which are selling for less then 20K. In my mind I was questioning the Ford Duratec engine and some problems with Mazda's 5 speed automatic which I had read here on Edmunds.

    Well I decided to pull in first to the Honda dealership (next door to Mazda) to see the new Odyssey. They had two EX's and the salesman let me drive one. We could not believe the silky smooth engine/transmission and a ride that was incredible. The EX has things we don't need so asked about the LX. None in stock but could have one in less than a month. I asked about the price thinking it would be cost plus but no. Anyway purchased a Silver 05 LX for $25390 less our trade (93 Villager with 108K) which they gave me $1800. Hope to have the Ody in a couple of weeks for our drive from the Houston area to Atlanta and Florida.

    I thought I could hold out for the Mazda 5 but with this trip I needed something now.

    The Ody is large, but it does not feel that big. I am sure it will be huge next to a 5. Ody selling points were Honda reputation/durability, all the safety (side curtain protection) standard and what a drive. ABS, 4 wheel disc brakes, dual air all standard. I also own a 95 Honda Accord EX (100K) which hasn't given me one bit of problems.
    FYI..a 05 Toyota Sienna LE equipped like the LX Ody was $27300!

    I will keep in touch and let you know our impression on the Ody and how our trip goes. I will still be thinking about the 5 to see what Ford/Mazda decide with their engine/tranny combination.

    Good luck..
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    vcarreras....The Ody is one fine vehicle. I'm sure the "5" will be no match for it's smooth power and effortless cruising. Base Ody's here start noth of 32K.....the "5" is expected to start under 24K, so that's a fair piece of change. We're a small family of 3 (one 12 yr.old)
    so while the Ody would be nice (a luxury, even), the "5" should be a good fit, providing it has adequate power, relatively quiet cruising, good fuel economy and enough space for our needs. It looks like we'll have to wait until June, though I would think we'll get an up close look at the Toronto Auto show in February. Anyway, I'm sure you'll be more than happy with your Ody.
  • vcarrerasvcarreras Member Posts: 247
    Ended up buying the Silver 05 Ody EX which I drove last night and now have it in the garage. It is large but feel it will be good for us since we are planning some nice long trips. We also keep vehicles nearly 10 years I so think the purchase was a good one. Must say it was much more then I wanted to spend ..
  • jimjpsjimjps Member Posts: 146
    The 5 actually does have the same footprint (length and width) as the 3 hatch. Well, very close. The 3 hatch is 176.6" long and the 5 is 177.4". It will fit very nicely in my garage.
  • creakid1creakid1 Member Posts: 2,032
    I did when I test drove the Mazda 3S 5-sp manual, & was concerned about the engine noise at higher rpm than the 2.0 4-sp auto's lower-rpm top gear.

    Guess what? I can hardly tell if this Mazda engine got any louder after passing the 3000 rpm mark, unlike the Toyota Corolla's 4 banger.
  • dapontdapont Member Posts: 21
    Anybody remember the 1990 Nissan Axxess microvan, imported to the US only in 1990 before the Quest was introduced? Just the right vehicle for two, one of whom uses a wheelchair. I've flogged it for fifteen years now with no serious repairs, but the transmission has given up and it's time to replace it with a Mazda5, the dimensions and specifications of which are nearly identical with the Axxess. Can hardly wait to see and touch it; may nip up to Canada to check it out next spring. Here's a long description of Mazda5 with lots of photos:
  • barry42barry42 Member Posts: 64
    I have a Mazda3 HB with 4 speed auto and experience little if any noise at highway speeds !! I've noted from the specs that each motor -- tranny combination has different gearing !!
  • odmanodman Member Posts: 309
    Hey Dapont, I totally agree about the Axxess. Definitely a car that was ahead of its time. They sold very well in Canada from 1990-95 (overlapping with Quest years). They were offered in 5-pass and 7-pass versions, and you could get either FWD or AWD. And even though the newest ones are now hitting 10 years of age, you see lots on the road. They are very practical and rugged. Hopefully the Mazda5 will be the same.

    It's too bad Mazda is going with the 2-2-2 seating configuration. I really believe the 2-3-2 is critical for success. Yes, most won't use the middle seat, but having it allows people to use it in a pinch. North Americans buy cars and trucks in terms of what they might want to do, not what they actually need to (how many minivans actually haul 4x8s?).
  • jimjpsjimjps Member Posts: 146
    I drove a Mazda3 hatch around 75 mph. It was revving higher then I'm used to but it is a very smooth engine so it was not really annoying like an older high-winding Acura Integra I've driven that seemed like a beserk sewing machine.
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    I looked at these in the early 90's as well....
    liked them but thought they were a bit overpriced at the time (base model was more than a Caravan/Voyager (17+K vs 16K) and the AWD model was over 22K. Also looked at the Eagle Summit, whose AWD model was also around 23K. Despite their higher cost, they sold pretty well in Canada and you still see many around, as well as tons of 1st gen Odysseys. I think Mazda will have a ready-made market for the 5 from people wanting to trade their now 6 yrs and older Odysseys who are turned off by the mega-sized "mini"vans now on the market. I agree with Odman that the 7 seat option would be nice, even if you rarely use it. I would prefer to see a completely removeable middle seat in the 2nd row as opposed to the stowable seat base/pivoting but non-removeable seat back of the current +1 Mazda5 design. Anyway, it looks like we're only getting 6 seats for now, so I guess that'll have to do. I do like the size of the 5 and hope the 170hp 2.3l four will be enough to motivate it, as well as being economical to run too. Would really like a 5-speed auto but may have to settle for a 5 speed manual if they only offer a 4 speed auto. I guess a test drive will help that decision. Saw a piece in Canadian Driver about the stars of the Paris show, the "5" being one of them. Hope the price they mentioned (28K) is way off base....I think Mazda would be shooting themselves in the foot if they think they can charge more for the "5" than an MPV. 23-24K to start sounds more reasonable, given that the "5" is based on the "3", not the "6" and that 3 sedans start at 16+K and 3 hatches are around 20K. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to break 24K, even loaded up with leather and all the bells & whistles for a nicely equipped "3".
  • odmanodman Member Posts: 309
    I own a 1st Gen Odyssey and put a good friend of mine into an Axxess when he needed practical, reliable space on a low budget. I love both, but they are starting to age. I've since looked at the newer Mazda MPVs, but their fuel economy is unimpressive and their general demeaner is more of a cut-down big van than a true small van.

    I had high hopes for the old Honda Stream, but its replacement, the odd-looking 3-3 seater they showed in Paris, left me cold. The Toyota Wish would be about perfect, but is unavailable, so the Mazda5 is the first one that we really have a shot at. Has anyone seen fuel economy ratings for it yet (preferrably citing the 2.3)?
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    The 2.3 in the Mazda 3 gets 31/42 mpg with the 5 speed manual and 29/38 with the 4 speed auto (miles per imperial The same engine in the Mazda 6 gets the same highway ratings but drops to 29 and 27 respectively for city mileage. I would imagine the "5" will be much the same as the 6, maybe slightly worse depending on aerodynamics, weight and gearing.
    Maybe 28/40 for the manual and 26/36 for the auto.
    Not bad, but as I've said before, the automatics seem to take a big chunk out of your gas mileage.
    A 5 speed auto would probably be closer to the 5 speed manual as far as mileage is concerned and would probably get better performance out of the engine to boot. If they do stick with the 4 speed auto, I'll seriously consider the manual to get the best mileage possible.
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    For those desperate for more pix, movie clips etc, here's a link to Mazda's Japanese site. Most of the text is in Japanese but you can navigate around the site in English, so it's fairly useful.
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    It's interesting that (according to the Mazda Canada spec page), the 2.3l engine in the Mazda 3 puts out 160 hp @ 6500 rpm and 150 lb-ft of torque @ 4500 rpm while the same engine in the Mazda6 puts out [email protected]/[email protected] repectively.(slightly different tuning, I guess)
    I've seen a h.p figure of 170 for the 2.3l in the Mazda5 but no torque figure as yet, but let's hope the torque is bumped up respectively as well, especially for when you're carrying 6 aboard or loaded up with stuff.
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    The figures given for the Flexa concept are [email protected] rpm and [email protected] rpm which, if I'm converting them correctly, are approximately
    169hp/158lb-ft. I guess we'll just have to see how that specs out for the real life "5".
  • starlightmicastarlightmica Member Posts: 58
    I would think that the Mazda5 7 passenger won't be available in the US to prevent cannibalizing MPV sales. The M5 is meant to pass European NCAS crash testing which I thought was harder than NHTSA.

    I hope that DSC comes over as an option - it's widely available in Europe but it's hard enough to get side airbags on the Mazda6, FWIW. I see that child seat rear tether points on the 3rd row are visible on one of the two prototypes they released pictures of, hoping that those come standard, too.

    The Mazda5 could be an ideal kid mover that's easy on gas and the budget, with all the safety features to boot. I'm looking fowards to it - looks likely to be our next vehicle purchase and it doesn't have any direct competition - yet.
  • wheelz4wheelz4 Member Posts: 569
    dapont......yes, the 5 is reminiscent of the late lamented Axxess but it is a bit bigger in all dimensions...5-7" longer, about 3" wider and 1/2 an inch taller, with a 5" longer wheelbase. Not to mention 20-30 more horses (depending on final specs). Hopefully it won't be much heavier (the Axxess ranged from 2934 to 3254 lbs. Can't wait for this winter's crop of autoshows so we can see our version in the flesh.

    2006 MPV should grow a bit (or maybe a lot), so wouldn't expect the 5 to cannibalize sales too much once the re-design goes through. I don't think Mazda will be pushing the 5 as a minivan anyway...more of a multi-activity vehicle that happens to seat 6.
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