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Mazda Launches All-New Type of Vehicle for U.S. Market with Debut of Mazda5 Multi-Activity Vehicle

Mazda's all-new MAZDA5 multi-activity vehicle was unveiled for the first time in North America at the North American International Auto Show. The MAZDA5, a six-passenger multi-activity vehicle that drives like a sports car but packs people and equipment like a large SUV, demonstrates Mazda's desire to bring stylish, insightful and spirited vehicles to every segment in which the company competes.

The MAZDA5 blends style and functionality with Mazda's signature Zoom-Zoom driving experience. Designed from the inside out for maximum comfort, convenience and functionality, the MAZDA5 also is an amazingly versatile vehicle with a fun-to-drive quotient to match.

Inside, the vehicle's unique and flexible seating arrangement yields a space that encourages reconfiguring for occupant seating and cargo versatility, while the flowing wedge-shaped body, with its solid proportions, defines the vehicle as unmistakably Mazda.

"The MAZDA5 provides a transportation solution for young, professional families and fits perfectly with their active lifestyles," said Weldon Munsey, MAZDA5 vehicle line manager for Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). "Mazda is leading the emergence of this new multi-activity vehicle segment, and the MAZDA5 is intended to play the role of taxi, work vehicle, limousine, shopping cart and fun-to-drive car."

Mazda's commitment to innovative design has yielded an adaptable interior that is both comfortable and spacious. The MAZDA5 boasts room for six occupants, plus a space in the center of the cabin that promotes communication, even when the exchange is between the front- and third-row seats. Through its unique approach to interior space, MAZDA5 offers easy ingress and egress, ample seating arrangements, handy storage space and practical yet visually pleasing appointments.

Thanks to tiered "theater-style" seating, all occupants enjoy ample head- and leg-room and third-row passengers will appreciate the comfortably tall hip point, as well as clear sightlines through the front windshield. The MAZDA5's large sliding doors and low floor allow for fluid ingress and egress, and a one-touch walk-in mechanism offers easy access to the third-row seats. Considerable time was spent developing an all-new sliding door mechanism that needs little more than one finger to open or close, eliminating the need for costly, heavy and slow-powered doors. Even the rear hatch mechanism was re-thought, with a double detent that allows it to stop at two different heights allowing easy reach for users of all heights.

To achieve maximum cabin comfort, Mazda engineers had to overcome a number of challenges, including developing a low-profile fuel tank to realize a low, flat cabin floor without sacrificing fuel tank integrity or capacity. Mazda also angled the rear roof pillar back toward the liftgate to add extra head clearance, which simultaneously improved the MAZDA5's aerodynamic characteristics.

To ensure the MAZDA5 delivers the same level of functional excellence for transporting cargo as it does for passengers, the second- and third-row seats easily can be arranged in a number of flexible patterns to allow maximum space efficiency. In addition to their long slide adjustment and reclining functions, the second-row seats each feature a double-fold mechanism. Folding down the second- and third-row seatbacks creates an expansive luggage area with a virtually flat floor.

The MAZDA5 is powered by an all-aluminum 2.3-liter, four-cylinder MZR series engine shared with the popular MAZDA3 sub-compact, developing 157-horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. Sequential Valve Timing (S-VT) provides brisk throttle response and plenty of torque both under acceleration and at cruising speeds. Transmission options are a five-speed manual or four-speed Sport AT automatic with manual shift mode.

Also shared with the MAZDA3, a vehicle which has earned acclaim worldwide, is the underbody architecture, including the suspension design and componentry, floor stampings and body and chassis rigidity. To suppress body roll, Mazda engineers chose MacPherson struts in the front and a multi-link suspension in the rear. The high-performance suspension combination limits the natural body-lean effects of the relatively tall height when cornering, yielding predictable, neutral handling. Four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) combine with Mazda's own Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system to ensure stability and control under braking, regardless of load or weight distribution. EBD ensures that brake pressure is apportioned properly, and works in concert with ABS to minimize stopping distances. In the event of an emergency, mechanical brake assistance boosts braking force to ensure a shorter stopping distance.

Mazda engineers optimized every detail of the body to deliver the rigidity needed for a comfortable ride and exacting handling - if this vehicle was to carry the Mazda badge, it was critical that it contain the Mazda driving-performance DNA from the outset of development. The MAZDA5 enjoys solid footing on the road at all times, and minimal road noise invades the cabin, despite the wide openings for the sliding side doors and large liftgate in the rear.

Mazda engineers evolved the company's own highly rigid Mazda Advanced Impact-energy Distribution and Absorption System to match the characteristics of the MAZDA5's body design. Accident scenarios were tested at speeds well above global regulations to protect passengers against the unpredictable variety of real-world accidents. This commitment to safety is indicative of Mazda's efforts to protect both driver and passengers through both active and passive measures.

Other passive safety features designed to protect vehicle occupants include an airbag-supported supplemental restraint system, front and side airbags for the driver and front passenger, and airbag curtains large enough to protect all three rows of seats.

Active safety measures include a driving position oriented for safety with minimal blind spots and maximum visibility through the side windows, a Full Auto Wiping System that detects rain and turns the wipers on, an Intelligent Light System that evaluates the surrounding environment and tailors light output for safe night driving and an extremely capable braking system.

Interior styling benefits greatly from Mazda's functional design approach. The center of the dashboard is raised to position the controls within easy reach for the driver and much closer to eye level, allowing the driver to monitor gauges without taking an eye off the road. In addition, clinical analysis of muscle movement when operating the transmission shifter led to the development of a center panel that positions the knob at an optimum angle for operation without bending one's wrist. Even the gauges benefit from a thorough functional examination; the large speedometer dominates the three-gauge instrument cluster and is easily viewable in all light conditions, thanks to its white back-plate and clear lettering.

The exterior of the MAZDA5 benefits from the same dedication to form and function as the interior. The wedge shape and sleek proportions yield a clean, stylish appearance. A strong character line along the side of the body runs from nose to tail, where it merges with the subtle finish of the sliding door's center rail. The strong hood line and raked windshield provide a sleek, motion-inspired appearance. To enhance the MAZDA5's solid proportions, short front and rear overhangs are complemented by sophisticated 17-inch alloy wheels. The overall toned look of the MAZDA5 creates a sense of athletic tension while hinting at the Zoom-Zoom driving experience within.

The MAZDA5 multi-activity vehicle will be available in either Sport or Touring trim levels. The Sport trim level includes an AM/FM/CD stereo, power windows and locks as well as cruise control. Touring trim includes all of the amenities of the Sport level and adds climate control, front fog lamps, attractive rear spoiler, sleek side skirts, an in-dash six-disc AM/FM/CD changer and a power moonroof. Striking 17-inch alloy rims and a comprehensive airbag safety system are standard on both models.