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STYLING | 7 out of 10
significantly smaller than traditional minivans
mildly freshened front and rear styling
a sensibly sized wagon
The 2008 Mazda Madza5 is variously called a mini-minivan, microvan, vanlette, and tall wagon. Whatever you call it, the Mazda5 looks sporty and offers room for six passengers in the footprint of one of Mazda's smallest vehicles.
Cars.com says the 2008 Mazda Mazda5 is "significantly smaller than traditional minivans," and Mother Proof notes it's "more than a foot and a half shorter and 8 inches narrower than most minivans." It would not be a stretch to call the Mazda5 a "sensibly sized wagon," in the words of ConsumerGuide, if you overlook its sliding rear doors. A good idea, the Mazda 2008 Mazda5's sliders "make loading passengers in tight parking spaces easy," reports Edmunds, which attributes the feature to the Mazda5's European roots. For 2008, Mazda has slightly refreshed the Mazda5's grille, headlights, bumper, color options, and tail. Also new are restyled 17-inch alloy wheels.
For Mazda, 2008's interior design of the Mazda5 can be summed up as "sensible." A large speedometer dominates the three-gauge cluster, and the gearshift is mounted on a center panel. Cars.com confirms this, writing of the 2008 Mazda that "controls are sensibly arranged." Electroluminescent gauges (those that are lit day and night) are favorites of Mazda; 2008’s Mazda5 now features them "along with rear sear air vents and controls [and] additional passenger flip-down armrests," according to Edmunds. New this year is the optional navigation screen that no longer pops up out of the dash but now adorns a prominent position at the top of the center console. Mother Proof thinks it's "huge."
The 2008 Mazda Mazda5's chief visual attribute is its size: petite.