2012 Mazda 5 GT
||2012 Mazda 5 GT
||Four-door people carrier
||2.5L-4 (157 horsepower)
|Price as tested
$27,385 (includes automatic transmission and the Luxury package)
The second-generation Mazda 5 is marketed as a 2012 model.
The 5's chief rival, the Kia Rio, will be joined by the Chevrolet Orlando in the fall of 2011 and the Ford C-Max early in 2012.
Essentially a taller, longer-wheelbase Mazda 3, the 5 drives much like you would expect it to. Its able suspension, with a firmly-resilient ride with sure-footed handling (albeit with some lean in faster corners), reacts swiftly to inputs from the light but precise steering. While bumps themselves go virtually unfelt, noise from their impact reverberates throughout the cabin. Hooked up to a responsive five-speed automatic transmission, the 5’s 2.5L four, with adequate acceleration and relaxed cruising, is remarkably smooth and quiet. Though strong, the brakes use up a lot of travel before they react and need a long, firm, push to prove their effectiveness. Very good outward vision.
The cabin is fronted by a dashboard housing large, clear gauges and simple, logical minor controls that move with great precision. Interior design, materials and assembly are all top-notch. Very comfortable seats in the first two rows. The leather seating with contrasting piping on the car tested is most attractive. The chief downfall of the new 5 is a lack of passenger space. Limited front seat travel means just adequate legroom for drivers approaching six-feet tall, and with a large, protruding glovebox, legroom is even tighter for front seat passengers. Unlike the previous 5, which treated middle-row occupants to abundant space, legroom in the middle row of the new car is just sufficient. Though a three-seat middle row is offered in other markets, it is not available in Canada, restricting utility as it is impossible to carry five passengers and a big load of luggage simultaneously. The third-row seat is a kids-only affair. Luggage space is marginal with the third seat in place, good with it folded down, and very good when the second-row seats have been folded down. The 5's audio system produces remarkable fidelity.
Second and third-row seats folded down
Third-row seat folded down
Cargo area with third-seat in place
Predicted reliability is average, like the previous-generation Mazda 3 it is based on. Three year/80,000 km bumper to bumper warranty, five years/100,000 km on the powertrain.
Spectacular value GS Convenience and GT upgrades; good value Luxury package. The Mazda 5 GS with the Convenience package is priced virtually the same as the seven-passenger Kia Rondo EX 2.4L. The Rondo, while lacking the 5’s on-road precision, is a pleasant driving car that offers considerably more cabin space.
Seat-mounted side airbags and side-curtain airbags are standard on all models. Not crash tested. Standard ABS and ESC.
Side profile showing the 5's Nagare flowing line styling theme