2012 Mazda5 headed to Los Angeles Auto Show

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
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When the next-generation 2012 Mazda5 hits the dealership floor early next year it will have been seven years since the current model arrived on the market with only a minor facelift in between, which is a great deal longer shelf life than most cars enjoy.

Since the 5 first arrived Mazda has overhauled the majority of its lineup to conform to its new Nagare design language, with only the Ford Escape-based Tribute, Ford Ranger-based B-Series pickup truck (and this one is on its way out), and Mazda5 soldiering forward relatively unchanged. The new 5, as seen in these photos, will get the swoopy lines already incorporated into the 3, 6, CX-7, CX-9, and, at least in the grille, the MX-5, which will likely breathe new life into sales.

The Mazda5 has virtually no competitors in the compact mini-minivan segment, which is surprising considering its relative success in a market that is downsizing overall. Most rival automakers offer mini-minivans (or MPVs as they're referred to in Europe) in other markets, so it remains possible the segment will grow if fuel prices rise.

The 2012 Mazda5 will first be shown in North American specification at the Los Angeles Auto Show later this month, after its global unveiling in Geneva earlier this year. The new model, which continues to be based on the Mazda3, will get the same 157-horsepower, 2.5-litre inline four-cylinder engine that powers the smaller sedan and hatchback as well as the larger Mazda6 in base guise, and a manual gearbox will still be part of the standard package.

The 5 will also continue forward with its six-occupant multi-configurable seating system, which, along with compact car-like fuel economy and sporty driving dynamics, has made the van such a hit with new families and empty nesters alike.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Minivan, Mazda, 2012, Mazda5,

Organizations: Mazda

Geographic location: Los Angeles

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