Roadshow Video Reviews
2012 Mazda5 SportMazda's secret weapon in a sea of good, small cars.
-Nobody knows quite what to call a Mazda 5. High tech sure was not the phrase I'm looking for, but the 5 is still intriguing. Let's the drive the 2012 Mazda5 Sport and check the tech. The Mazda 5 is basically a mini-mini van, 3 rows, a sort of people mover style and size we don't normally see in this country, but it sells well in many other markets, get a ride from shorty tours at the airport in Kingston for example and you will be in something like this, but in the US, this car is kind of class of 1. Maybe its uniqueness is I'm asked to choose not to bother differentiating it with tech. Now, they said it's the base Mazda 5, which for some reason it's called sport, although it's got nothing added to it that makes it sport. It's just what they call it. Inside is a basically handsome cabin. The material is pretty good for this price class. This is guy is sub 20 grand base. I like what they have done with the head unit. This one is pretty usable, easy to get to, the buttons are in logical places. Let's a take a look with what you've got. First of all, you don't' have navigation, not available, not standard, not optional, not happening. You've got AM and FM, no HD radio. CD, you can be either a single slot or a 6 disk with optional packages or trim above this car. Sirius satellite radio is compatible on all models, but not standard, not on this guy, again optional package it in, and the only other digital source you have is the aux jack down here. No, I pad connector just this guy, the old mini jack plug. So, we're talking real basic technology here. Now, overhead in this car, you've got some choices you can option or trim into, which would include a glass moon roof, again we get the base car, so it's not happening here. You can also get a rather inadvisable rear seat entertainment system that is a center ceiling mounted drop down 7 LCD for playing DVDs to the 2nd and 3rd row. I normally say don't do what because they really get in the way of your rearview mirror. However, the roof on this car is so high. It might not. One thing I like about this Mazda is this eyebrow display very consistent in their vehicle, a very Honda thing as well. This is a really great, simple, graphical way to give you a lot of status, more cars ought to do this. We have kind of rarity in this car by the way. Because it's a base trim, we have a 6-speed manual. This is the only trim level you can get this gearbox and step touring your grand touring and you've got to get an automatic. Now, a little low tech Mazda 5 is not a worth a damn if it's not good at doing stuff, carrying thing. Here your third row seat, which by the way is pretty impressive for a vehicle this diminutive and putting it down is really easy overtop, flap. There you go, the flap load floor. I got to tell you, there are a lot of cars that make that lot more difficult. Now the floor is not terribly low because the back low deck is little high. Notice the second row seat also create a pretty much level floor, and the utility continues with the side doors. There is one on each side of this little guy, so you can open it up pretty much like a skeleton, see all the way through, easy load all around. Neither door is powered, again, simple car, just simple systems at work. I got to tell you I was deflated when this 2012 Mazda 5 arrived in our garage. I recall the 2011 model with its clean, almost handsome lines that did favors for cheap car, but this overdone scallop swoopy thing going on with the side stampings is a major overcompensation and I suspect it will date rather badly. It's too bad because the rear pillar black out tail lights and the rear roof line are really nice. On front is the motor, side saddle front-wheel drive only, 2.5 liter, dual overheard cam in line 4, pretty basic stuff. Apparently, it's a hold over from their old Ford partnership days judging by that logo on the intake. This guy again got a 157 horsepower, 163 foot-pounds of torque. That's good enough to get this car up 60 in, well find next week, 9.5 seconds same difference. MPG though is pretty good for big brick 2128. I just test this Mazda 5 here on the lost treacherous scenery up in the SF area. I did stop to a full freeway traffic entering the Bay Bridge from Treasure Island, and you've got about 100 feet to make or break. Alright, not bad, that's enough power here. In fact, there's enough power here than I would consider the automatic. I seemed to recall the last time I drove one of these having automatic and I came away thinking it was it perked here than this car with the manual, maybe I'm imagining things, but at least look into it. There's not a car that much to drive with the stick and the mileage is the same, automatic or manual gearbox. So, that comes off the table as a factor. Space is green ** you can see behind me. Not a lot of blind spots, just that very far what we call of it. Deep pillar at the very back of this thing, but aside from that, it's a lot a good open space. Smooth driving car, quite for its price class. It's just a pleasant vehicle. Here's the bottom line, every time you get one of these in, I can have to fight to stop myself from going down to the dealer and thinking about getting one. Okay, let's price this little barren little wasteland of technology, a Mazda 5 Sport, the base trim, is like 20 grand out the door with destination. Now, to tech it up and I used tech liberally, you wanna add about $2600 for the top package. That turns this into a grand touring. That's gonna get you the HID zing on headlights, Bluetooth hands free, power glass moonroof and a couple other nice piece like a 6 disc and Sirius. That's about as far as you can with this guy.