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Mazda5 Owners Accessories & Modifications



  • Funny, a big detractor that has kept the 5 out of my driveway up to this point is those big fat 17" wheels. I'd love a 15" option where I can get better gas mileage and increased winter traction.
  • Steve,
    I understand how a smaller wheel with a higher sidewall tire may provide better snow traction (depending on the tread design and depth), but I was wondering if you could explain how a smaller wheel would provide better fuel economy. Are we assuming that the overall size of the tire+wheel combos are the same? If not, then I do understand the reasoning (decreased rotating weight). I guess the more pertinent question is, if the overall size of the wheel and tire combo is the same, is there any fuel economy to be gained/lost by changing the size of the wheel? I understand that, in general, if you increase the size of the wheel, the sidewall height would have to decrease and you end up with a choppy riding car (which debatably looks better, depending who you ask). Assuming the overall size is the same, would the fuel economy suffer as a result? :confuse:
  • If the overall diameter is kept the same, Steve's mileage gains would have to come from decreased rolling resistance from a narrower tire. The best of both worlds would probably be to keep the 17" wheels and go to a taller (higher numeric aspect ratio) but narrower tire. That would keep the size of the contact patch the same but give you less rolling resistance and maybe 5 or 6% higher mileage. You would give up some acceleration, and you would probably use up the margin of error built into your speedometer, so when the speedo said you were going 75, you'd be going 75, not 71.

    To my eye, the 17's look wierd, but not everyone agrees, so the stock alloys would probably be easy to resell. 16s or especially 15s would open up more tire choices. Since the 5 is sold with 15s in Europe, there shouldn't be a clearance problem. If you can remember (sigh) what your 5 looked like (or see the wheel photo in Performance paragraph far down on ) there is big clearance between the wheels and the brake calipers.

    A related note for when you get your 5 back: Check your tire pressures. On new delivery, mine were low; this may account for some of the mileage discrepancies among the various reports at the neighboring forum.

  • wmiiiwmiii Posts: 10
    Just found an online dealer that has custom manufactured clear floormat protectors for the 5. You can even get a cargo mat for the rear if you want it. It is not listed on the site, but is available if you call them. You get 2 piece front mats, single piece 2nd row and single piece 3rd row mats to cover and protect the factory originals. I am getting my 5 back tomorrow and will be purchasing the mats to keep the kids from trashing the carpet. I have also designed and built a custom 10" 300 watt subwoofer system for the back of the car. If anyone is interested email me and I will send pictures. :shades:
  • Dalan now has a class 1 trailer hitch for the MAZDA 5

    Will order when I get my 5 back!
  • bjerrybjerry Posts: 59
    If you order this online, who would install it? Would installing this void the warrenty?
  • Unless you are leasing... installing a hitch should not void a warranty - unless you are pulling more than the recommended weight (2000lbs).

    Besides, all new hitches are BOLTED on, nobody welds hitches on anymore...most cars/trucks have pre-drilled holes, and some have electrical all set up ready to rock.

    Read your lease agreement around adding accessories. You may be wasting your $$. Here in Canada - the cost of installation of a hitch is around $50 (about 20 min shop time plus materials - bolts and such). The hitch costs around $150 - $250 depending on the car/small truck.
  • I'm interested in aftermarket wheels to replace the painted aluminum I currently have. I'm thinking some simple 5 spoke chrome wheels would look great on the carbon gray 5. Anyone have any suggestions?, nothing racer type, but rather simple and shiny.
  • If you check these items you will find that a lot of them are not available yet and some have no dates at all. I ordered a front mask (BRA) in late July, as of yet I have not seen it, the delivery dates have come and gone, they have given me three dates, the latest date is 26 December 2005, I believe this like I believe I will win the lottery, the part I dislike is that I had to pay in advance for this item to order it and it will be over six months before I see the part, :mad:
  • congerconger Posts: 1
    Hey guys, love the chit-chat so far! My wife just bought a 5 and I was wondering how well it gets up the mountains. I love to snowboard and was planning on taking it in the next few months but I'm afraid of how little the engine is.
  • With the new heat shield installed. just slap it in manual. Put it in second and leave it there. It should do great to about 65 mph or so I've heard. Your ear muffs should drone out the engine noise. :)

    Seriously, I'd like an answer to that question too. I suspect with a full load you'd have zero acceleration but it'll make it up in one piece.

    I do believe that the manual shifter is nice to have to help hold whatever gear avoids hunting. OF course you could do that on any automatic too.
  • What wattage output is the Touring 6 speaker stereo???? Are there any upgrades available thru Mazda??? If I wanted to upgrade it.... does anyone have any advise? I saw someone put a 300 watt subwoofer in theirs, but I could not find their email.

  • What is it's wattage??? Can it be upgraded???? By Mazda???

  • ajpendoajpendo Posts: 19
    When I get my recalled Mazda5 back (hopefully soon) the dealer should have installed the roof rails I bought on line (link courtesy of this BB). The ultimate goal is to install a roof cargo box such as from Thule or Yakima. Does anyone have any idea on availability of cargo boxes??

    Further does anyone have recommendations regarding the different makes?

  • nola1nola1 Posts: 18
    Does anyone know when or if the Sirius Radio will be available for the Mazda5? I live in New Orleans and have my 5 back, but we are still very limited in the number of commercial radio stations available.
  • afticaaftica Posts: 14
    Roof Rails! are these the ones that come on the european version. If so please point me in the direction to where I can order them. I have even called a Mazda dealer in the UK and they don't have access to them yet as they normally come on the vehicle and they are not yet available for parts. Would very much appreciate if you could post all info you have on these rails. :)
  • ajpendoajpendo Posts: 19
    google search rosenthal mazda...
  • afticaaftica Posts: 14
    If this is the item you are refering to, this is the optional Mazda 5 North America rack. The european Mazda 5s have a rail system stock see picture.
    Personally I am hoping to get the Euro rack as it looks better and gives more choices for which brand of accessory mounts you can buy.
  • wmiiiwmiii Posts: 10
    I have just finished building a custom 10" 300 watt sub for behind the 3rd row passenger seat. I will be offering it to someone here in a couple of weeks when the design and building of a 10" transmission line 300 watt sub is finished. The new design will fit in the space occupied by the tray above the spare tire. The new design will not sacrifice any of the interior room behind the 3rd row seats. The current system made a tremendous difference in the overall sound of the radio and I anticipate the new design to be even better. I do not like to feel the bass in my kidney's but I do like to be able to when wanted. If you would like to see photo's you can email me.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092
    Why don't you post the pictures here. That way all can admire your handiwork.
  • ajpendoajpendo Posts: 19
    I was referring to the cargo boxes that go on the rails/racks whatever...
  • are you talking about something like this: 000012231186302498

    I think some of the better ones are made by Thule, I gave a link for the one from walmart, they are about $100-150
    hope this helps
  • bwatersbwaters Posts: 52
    Personally I am hoping to get the Euro rack as it looks better and gives more choices for which brand of accessory mounts you can buy."

    Same here! I'd consider the Euro rack but am not interested in the US version. It should be standard next year!
  • afticaaftica Posts: 14
    Standard next year? Spill the beans dude, what do you know. I had been speaking with a fellow in the parts dept (Paul) at Elite Motors Mazda in London UK. He thought the rails would be available as a separate part and requested that I e-mail him some details about my vehicle, VIN, model etc. Unfortunately he has yet to respond. I have sent another e-mail today and will call again to see if he can get these Euro Rails. Does anyone out there have connections to European Mazda dealers?
  • Thule does make good quality cargo boxes, though the one you linked to is on the lower end of their spectrum. I personally prefer their lower, longer boxes, as they would look better with the MZ5 and be more aerodynamic (and therefore more fuel efficient). The Evolution and Spirit models are particularly nice. They also might just be low enough to actually park in your garage while still attached. Check out">link title

    The accessory rack in the catalog looks to be of decent quality; it actually looks like it was made for Mazda by Thule. I have two concerns--I don't necessarily want to mount the rack in the position dictated by the holes in the rubber rainstripping (get in the way of the sunroof?), and I want to be able to carry wider loads/more stuff on wider crossbars, which the rack design does not seem to accomodate (as the sides of the upright mounts seem to be closed, rather than open to allow for wider crossbars). Anyone have any experience with this? Obviously, using a different upright system attached to existing roof rails (as on the Euro-spec version) would be ideal as far as moving the mount sites forward or rearwards, as you could use any part of the bar. Plus, those mounts are made to accept any width crossbars. Check out the Crossroad and Rapid Railing kits:

    Hope this has been somewhat heplful. I would prefer the Euro roof rails as option, but haven't heard anything about that yet.
  • ajpendoajpendo Posts: 19
    Is there an advantage to the european style beyond esthetics?
    If so will they be available in the usa?
    I am still am keen to know if thule or yakima are close to making the equipment needed to attach the cargo boxes available. does anyone know?
    I would also value input of yakima vs thule vs sears whatever in terms of the qualties of the boxes/attachment equipment.

    My ultimate goal is to have a wind efficient, light weight, secure box so i can take stuff with us on a road (given the limitations of cargo space in the cabin...)

  • afticaaftica Posts: 14
    I saw the Mazda 5 roof rack yesterday, first impression is that it is really small. I don't think it was any more than 40 " wide, you would be lucky to get 3 bikes on it. It also sits inboard quite a bit so a ski box would have to be mounted past center interfering with the antenna. The box indicated that it was made in Japan, square bars, looked a bit like Thule, but Thule does not yet have a rack for the 5 so its probably an unknown manufacturer. The benefits of having the Euro style rails are two fold. Firstly they are clearly more aesthetically pleasing, secondly they offer more options in which company you buy your rack accessories from. All the major rack manufacturers have a rack which will attach to an existing rail system. I personally like the Saris stuff from Graber, in my opinion better build quality and heft than Thule or Yakima. By attaching a rack like shown in this link you will also gain some rack width as the entire roof width becomes available rather than just between the towers. I have posted here and on other forums about trying to get the european rails, and continue to await confirmation. If I can get them would anyone be interested in a group purchase to defer shipping and custom costs.
  • Does Graber make any cargo boxes? I have yet to see one, though to be honest I don't often see Graber racks. I can second the build quality, though--very strong, and they come preassembled in the box. If you've ever tried to put together a Yakima setup from scratch, you know preassembled pieces are a major improvement. :)
  • afticaaftica Posts: 14
    Graber used to make boxes but they no longer do. I have a Thule box which I was using the Thule mount to attach to my Saris rack. I spoke with one of their tech support guys and he was able to provide me free, some of the wing nut assemblies which they used to use to mount their Graber boxes. These work really well, I think the real beauty of the Saris rack is how easy the accessories slide onto the rack, no tools, easy on and off. I have used Saris racks for the past ten years on three separate vehicles with zero complaints. My last rack was being transitioned from a 1995 Odyssey to a 2003 Protege5, it was way too wide so when I spoke with the tech he said he would send me a new one to fit my Protege5 for $100 plus I pay to ship the old rack back. I was real impressed with this, not sure if Thule or Yakima offer this. :shades:
  • 5thave5thave Posts: 13
    The rack is made by Thule, rebadged with the Mazda logo. To my knowledge, it is similar, or perhaps identical to the Thule rack that has been offered for the previous-generation (EU/Japan-only) Mazda Premacy. At least one Mazda5 owner has ordered Thule racks for the previous-gen Premacy and they bolted on without modification. Clearance for the sunroof was adequate by his account. Now that the racks are finally becoming available through Mazda accessory channels, it is probably not necessary to order from overseas. Try phoning Thule directly, maybe they just haven't updated their catalog yet.
  • afticaaftica Posts: 14
    I actually did call Thule at their head office in Connecticut and they do not have anything yet for the Mazda5. I also found out that they are looking for Mazda5 owners in the CT area to come to their facility to trial racks with their technicians. I Posted this on the MazdaV site, they need a test bed for the proposed rack. I agree that the rack looks like a Thule but Thule NA knows nothing of it. The rack now available still poses a problem with its limited width. Do you have any details on the Mazda owner who installed the prev gen Premacy rack, where did he order it from / any details.
  • ajpendoajpendo Posts: 19
    Did the Thule USA folks have any predictions about availability date?
  • Have you really thought this through? Painfull experiences have taught me that a hitch with tray style mounts work much better. You don't scratch your car up trying to put bike in the mounts, you don't tear up your car, the house and the bikes when trying to pull into a garage with bikes still on top and lastly bikes on top make a lot of noise and I predict will drop your mileage 5-7 mpg. No you won't look like Lance's support team but they don't go far or very fast.
  • Does anyone know if there is a way to buy or add the seventh seat. I know they have it in europe, is there a way to order it from over there and install it here. I would love the 7th seat.
  • To order it you would need to completely replace both of the middle seats. I'm not sure about where the seat belt lives in the 6+1 seat as well.
  • buy a caravan :)
  • If you do find a source in Europe who is responsive about the middle second row seat, please post here. I spent some time looking for a source for the European taillights, which are red rather than the clear "Altezza" style we get here, and couldn't find anyone who could provide.

    I can imagine there is a size of passenger for whom the 7th seat would be just the ticket. For me, the space between the seats is precious: that's where all the stuff goes when I am trying to "clear the decks" for a flat load floor.

  • Got my 5 tinted this afternoon, paid $240 (with tax)
    looking good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    couldn't do the front windows, they told me it wasn't legal to do it even a little bit :(
  • It seems that many Dodge Caravans come with tinted windows.
  • very true,
    they also come with a badge that says "dodge"
    how unfortunate.
  • I also need 7th seat. Did you get a chance to buy the 7th seat. This is the only reason which is stopping me to buy this Mazda5.

    I don't understand why these options are available in europe, but not US.
  • I don't see why both seats should be replaced, since they pop out of the seats, i believe. so just buying the components should do. I had a dealer in the U.K. ask me for more info on the 5, but then did not respond back. If someone finds out a way to get the seat, please let me know. Thanks
  • Somebody posted a link to pictures of the seats earlier. It appears that the seat bases and backs are different to accomodate the moveable +1 back on one side and the base on the other. No armrests on those seats and no shoulder belt provision. If you absolutely have to fit a 7th person on board, you might want to put them on the rear bench or have them straddle the flip out console in the Toruing models, although both methods are illegal in the States at least. Don't ask how I know, ;) but three slender adults can be reasonably comfortable in the third row for short trips.
  • Does that mean I can fit 8 people in the car? I'm Kidding, so it is pretty hard (and too expensive) to try to add that magic 7th seat.
  • Now that I have our car back after the recall..

    I have the Mazda USA rails installed and just bought the Thule cascade XT 1500 (37 lb). Mazda seemed coy in phone calls to Mazda USA today to specify whether thule made the racks but I have seen postings on this site saying Thule made the racks (not Thule USA as they deny this).

    The accessory web site rated the rails for 100 lb. load but the instructions rated the rails for 165 lb...

    REI asked us to sign a waiver as the box has not been tested by Thule USA. Apparently wind forces could theoretically damage the car roof??...

    Does anyone know for sure if Thule Europe (or ? Asia) made the Mazda branded roof rails?

    Does anyone know of any safety qualms with the Thule cascade box with the Mazda USA rails?

    I am not sure why Mazda would make roof rails available but make it hard to get info as to what can go on the rails???
  • bjerrybjerry Posts: 59
    I have the Mazda USA rails installed and just bought the Thule cascade XT 1500 (37 lb). Mazda seemed coy in phone calls to Mazda USA today to specify whether thule made the racks but I have seen postings on this site saying Thule made the racks (not Thule USA as they deny this).

    I, for one, would like to see what the rails look like on your car, if you have a chance to post a photo.

  • The proper roof rails are offered by Mazda in Japan and Europe. Here is a link">link title...I don't know why these factory rails are not available in North America
  • why are these proper? My goal is to add a roof box for extra storage. Don't the european rails then need cross bars? The US bars work fine with the thule racks???
  • Then you can put the crossbars anywhere you like to accomodate anything on the roof, or remove them altogether. They finish the look of the car IMHO.

    I was not impressed with the US bars at all.
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