Smaller than minivans, MPVs haven't caught on like wildfire here in the U.S. the way they have in Europe, but Mazda's Mazda5 is making good headway as one of the few offerings in the segment. The next version of the small van, the 2012 Mazda5 with Nagare concept-inspired styling, goes on sale in January 2011 at a starting price of $19,990.
That's an easy-to-stomach entry price for a three-row vehicle with standard stability control; traction control; tire-pressure monitoring system; dual front seat, front and side curtain airbags; and ABS.
Available in three trim levels, Sport ($19,990), Touring ($21,990), and Grand Touring ($24,670), the Mazda5 can be packaged to fit most family needs. The entry-level Sport gets standard 16-inch alloy wheels, a six-speaker MP3/CD stereo, auxiliary jack, remote keyless entry, and 50/50 split folding third row seats among other features. The Touring adds or replaces with 17-inch alloys, side and rear aerodynamic appearance treatments, fog lamps, Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio, and an available $1,140 Moonroof and Audio Package that adds, appropriately, a power moonroof and six-disc in-dash CD changer with Sirius capability.
The Grand Touring includes the moonroof standard, adding automatic on/off xenon HID headlights, heated door mirros, rain-sensing wipers, alarm system, and driver's lumbar support seating plus more.
All versions of the 2012 Mazda5 are powered by a 2.5-liter version of the MZR inline four-cylinder engine rated at 157 horsepower and 163 pound-feet of torque. Sport models come standard with a six-speed manual and can be upgraded to a five-speed automatic. The automatic is standard on Touring and Grand Touring models.