RSS icon Home icon
  • 2012 Mazda5 Sport

    Posted on August 19th, 2011 ninarussin

    Mazda’s mini-minivan is big on versatility

    By Nina Russin

    2012 Mazda5

    Mazda’s new compact minivan epitomizes what active lifestyle vehicles are all about. It’s small enough to park on the street, fuel efficient and affordable. A versatile interior holds up to six passengers, as well as bicycles, camping equipment, skis, snowboards and wetsuits.

    Best of all, the Mazda5 is a hoot to drive, with a peppy 2.5-liter engine and six-speed manual transmission. The smiling grille says it all.

    While the front-wheel drive car doesn’t have the traction in rain and snow that an all-wheel drive crossover would, it’s a package that will fit the squares for a lot of readers, and their budgets as well.

    The minivan comes in three grades: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. Base price on the Sport model tested is $19,195, not including the $795 delivery charge. The upscale Grand Touring model starts at $23,875.

    Standard comfort and convenience features on the Sport include remote keyless entry, dual-zone climate control, an AM/FM/CD audio system with satellite radio compatibility, steering wheel audio and cruise controls, and an auxiliary outlet for MP3 players.

    Test drive in southern Arizona

    2012 Mazda5

    My 100-mile test drive included the freeways around Phoenix, Arizona, some surface streets and the Bush Highway east of town. Fuel economy for the test drive was in line with the EPA estimated 21 miles-per-gallon around town and 28 on the highway.

    Having driven the Mazda5 with a five-speed automatic transmission this past spring, I would opt for the six-speed manual gearbox. It makes the car more fun to drive, and distinguishes it from other vehicles in the segment.

    Standard sixteen-inch alloy wheels offer enough of a footprint to provide good traction, although I prefer the 17-inch rims which come standard on the Grand Touring grade.

    The four-wheel independent suspension offers a compliant ride without being overly soft. Stabilizer bars on both axles keep the chassis flat in the corners. Front-to-rear weight balance is 56/44: quite good for a front-wheel drive car. I didn’t notice any tendency towards understeer in the corners.

    Feedback from the electric power steering system is good at all speeds, with enough assist on the low end for maneuvering through crowded parking lots, and good on-center response on the highway. The car’s short wheelbase is reflected in its 36.7-foot turning circle. Performing the occasional U-turn is a non-issue.

    While the Mazda5 is by no means a sports car, I was impressed by the handling and response on the Bush Highway: a two-lane road peppered with sharp turns and pitchy hills.

    Four-wheel disc brakes stop the Mazda5 in a firm, linear fashion.

    Visibility around the perimeter is good, except for some small blind spots in the rear corners. Over-the-shoulder visibility is excellent. I had no problems monitoring traffic in adjacent lanes on the highway.

    Engineers did a good job of minimizing noise intrusion to the interior, making it easy for all three rows of passengers to converse.

    Versatile interior

    Mazda5 Interior

    Although the Mazda5 has a smaller footprint than most minivans, its interior is surprisingly versatile. Three rows of seating hold up to six passengers. Second and third-row seats fold flat to create a long cargo floor capable of holding a couple of road bikes.

    Sliding side doors make it much easier for parents to install child seats in back, especially when the car is parked in a tightly-packed lot. Captain’s chairs in the second row have a space in-between for third-row passengers to climb through, so they don’t have to maneuver over the seats themselves.

    Leg and headroom in the third row is sufficient for a small adult. However the passengers’ heads are precipitously close to the rear glass. I wouldn’t want to be seated in back during a rear-impact collision.

    Manual seat adjustments are easy to use. I found the driver’s seat comfortable on my two-hour test drive, with plenty of lower lumbar support.

    A standard tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel makes it easier for small drivers to maintain a safe distance from the front airbag and a clear forward view. Both the gauge cluster and digital information display at the top of the center stack are easy to read in bright sunlight.

    Passengers in the second row have ample head and legroom. Vents behind the center console circulate air through the back of the cabin. Overhead reading lamps in front, a dome light over the second row and a cargo bay lamp illuminate the interior at night.

    Because the Mazda5 sits low to the ground like a passenger car, access and egress is excellent. The low lift-over height makes it much easier for smaller drivers to load up the back with cargo.

    Passengers in all three have ample access to cup and bottle holders. There are plenty of open storage bins as well, including several in the center console and center stack. Two twelve-volt power points recharge portable electronic devices on the go.

    Standard safety

    The Mazda5 comes with front, side and side curtain airbags, four-channel antilock brakes, traction and stability control. Mazda’s comprehensive three-year/36,000 mile factory warranty includes 24-hour roadside assistance.

    Mazda builds the Mazda5 at its assembly plant in Hiroshima, Japan.

    Likes: An affordable compact minivan with an extremely versatile interior which is ideal for active lifestyles.

    Dislikes: Glovebox does not lock. Third-row passengers sit very close to the rear glass, which could affect their safety in a rear-impact collision.

    Quick facts:

    Make: Mazda
    Model: Mazda5 Sport
    Year: 2012
    Base price: $19,195
    As tested: $20,770
    Horsepower: 157 Hp @ 6000 rpm
    Torque: 163 lbs.-ft. @ 4000 rpm
    Zero-to-sixty: N/A
    Antilock brakes: Standard
    Side curtain airbags: Standard
    First aid kit: N/A
    Bicycle friendly: Yes
    Off-road: No
    Towing: No
    Fuel economy: 21/28 mpg city/highway

     

    40 responses to “2012 Mazda5 Sport”

    1. Mazda5 is amazing car, with perfect design and very good specification. I love the Japanese cars and this that they are highly better than the German and American ones.

    2. Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass favor.

    3. Hi, i think that i saw you visited my site thus i came to return the favor.Im attempting to find things to improve my website!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

    4. I was recommended this blog by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble. Youre incredible! Thanks!

    5. Hi, i think that i saw you visited my web site so i came to return the favor.Im trying to find things to enhance my web site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

    6. Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass favor.

    7. Youre so cool! I do not believe I have read through something like this before. So nice to find someone with unique thoughts on this issue. Really.. thanks for starting this up. This website is one thing thats needed on the internet, someone with some originality!

    8. Im impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across a blog thats both equally educative and amusing, and let me tell you, youve hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which too few people are speaking intelligently about. Im very happy I came across this in my search for something regarding this.

    9. Im impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across a blog thats both equally educative and amusing, and let me tell you, youve hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which too few people are speaking intelligently about. Im very happy I came across this in my search for something regarding this.

    10. Im impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across a blog thats both equally educative and amusing, and let me tell you, youve hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which too few people are speaking intelligently about. Im very happy I came across this in my search for something regarding this.

    11. Youre so cool! I do not believe I have read through something like this before. So nice to find someone with unique thoughts on this issue. Really.. thanks for starting this up. This website is one thing thats needed on the internet, someone with some originality!

    12. Currently it sounds like Expression Engine is the preferred blogging platform available right now. (from what Ive read) Is that what youre using on your blog?

    13. The very next time I read a blog, Hopefully it won’t disappoint me just as much as this particular one. After all, I know it was my choice to read through, nonetheless I really thought you’d have something helpful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could possibly fix if you weren’t too busy seeking attention.

    14. There is definately a great deal to find out about this subject. I love all of the points you made.

    15. Greetings, I do think your blog could be having internet browser compatibility problems. When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to give you a quick heads up! Besides that, excellent site!

    16. I was recommended this blog by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble. Youre incredible! Thanks!

    17. Im impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across a blog thats both equally educative and amusing, and let me tell you, youve hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which too few people are speaking intelligently about. Im very happy I came across this in my search for something regarding this.

    18. Hi, i think that i saw you visited my web site so i came to return the favor.Im trying to find things to enhance my web site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

    19. You made some good points there. I checked on the net to find out more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this website.

    20. Your style is very unique compared to other people I’ve read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this page.

    21. This site really has all of the info I wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

    22. I was recommended this blog by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble. Youre incredible! Thanks!

    23. Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass favor.

    24. Youre so cool! I do not believe I have read through something like this before. So nice to find someone with unique thoughts on this issue. Really.. thanks for starting this up. This website is one thing thats needed on the internet, someone with some originality!

    25. Currently it sounds like Expression Engine is the preferred blogging platform available right now. (from what Ive read) Is that what youre using on your blog?

    26. I was recommended this blog by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble. Youre incredible! Thanks!

    27. Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass favor.

    28. I was recommended this blog by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble. Youre incredible! Thanks!

    29. Hi, i think that i saw you visited my web site so i came to return the favor.Im trying to find things to enhance my web site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

    30. Currently it sounds like Expression Engine is the preferred blogging platform available right now. (from what Ive read) Is that what youre using on your blog?

    31. Im impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across a blog thats both equally educative and amusing, and let me tell you, youve hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which too few people are speaking intelligently about. Im very happy I came across this in my search for something regarding this.

    32. Hey I am so glad I found your weblog, I really found you
      by error, while I was browsing on Aol for something else, Nonetheless
      I am here now and would just like to say cheers
      for a tremendous post and a all round entertaining blog (I
      also love the theme/design), I dont have time to read it all at the minute but I have saved it and also added your
      RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a
      great deal more, Please do keep up the excellent work.

      Also visit my web site: TulaLZollman

    33. Currently it sounds like Expression Engine is the preferred blogging platform available right now. (from what Ive read) Is that what youre using on your blog?

    34. P?s ?til ir? mantê-los aos cumprimentos favoritos

    35. Hi, i think that i saw you visited my site thus i came to return the favor.Im attempting to find things to improve my website!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

    36. Hi, i think that i saw you visited my web site so i came to return the favor.Im trying to find things to enhance my web site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

    37. Youre so cool! I do not believe I have read through something like this before. So nice to find someone with unique thoughts on this issue. Really.. thanks for starting this up. This website is one thing thats needed on the internet, someone with some originality!

    38. Im impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across a blog thats both equally educative and amusing, and let me tell you, youve hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which too few people are speaking intelligently about. Im very happy I came across this in my search for something regarding this.

    39. I was recommended this blog by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble. Youre incredible! Thanks!

    40. Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass favor.

    Leave a reply