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2008 Mazda5: What's New

Substantial changes for the midi-van.

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by Marty Padgett

New for 2006, the Mazda5 is a three-row, six-seat sport minivan that's slightly smaller than conventional short-wheelbase minivans like the Dodge Caravan. It shares platforms and its powertrain with the Mazda3 sedan. Thanks to its "theater-style" seating, all occupants enjoy ample head and leg room with good outward visibility. A one-touch walk-in mechanism offers easy access to the third-row seats  and both the second- and third-row seats can fold down to create a virtually flat floor for transporting large objects.

The 5 comes powered by a 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engine with Sequential Valve Timing that generates 153 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. It can be mated to either a five-speed manual (a rarity among minivans) or a new five-speed automatic gearbox with a manual-shift mode.

The vehicle's handling is enhanced via MacPherson struts in the front and a multi-link suspension in the rear, with 17-inch wheels and tires. Four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution are paired with stability control for added surefootedness. Front-side and side-curtain airbags to protect all three rows of seats are also included.

Available in either Sport or Touring trim levels, standard features include a CD stereo, power windows and locks, and cruise control. Available equipment includes air conditioning, fog lamps, a CD changer, and a power moonroof.

For 2008, the Mazda5 gets a touched-up exterior design, a new five-speed automatic gearbox, rear vents, an iPod input jack and on some models, LED taillights. Grand Touring models also get standard alarm systems, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, automatic headlights, heated sideview mirrors and rain-sensing wipers.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
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