A new design statement, seen on its concept cars over the past two-and-a-half years, debuts on a production model of the new generation Mazda5 people carrier this autumn.
This presented a challenge for chief designer Koji Tabata and his team. Applying the wave-like styling to what is traditionally a boxy shape.
While the front of the car takes on the new Mazda face first seen on the Mazda3, the rear lamps have been re-engineered to give it a more sporty look. The New model also looks lower and slimmer.
Inside, the new Mazda5, which goes on sale here later this year, continues with the flexible seating configuration, accommodating up seven passengers and luggage, as well as the sliding rear doors. The new Mazda5 is aimed at young families in their 30s with price is a priority
Since the first generation Mazda5 was launched in 2005, around 500,000 have been sold, 170,000 of them in Europe, but it has not made much of an impact in Ireland. It is a tough market, with up to 18 models in the C-MAV segment from which to choose. Mazda will be hoping that improved looks and promised improved drivability will win them more sales here.
The car will be launched in right-hand-drive initially with two engine options, a 2-litre direct injection petrol with Mazda's iStop, stop-start system, and a 1.8-litre petrol. A diesel will follow shortly after launch. The iStop start-stop system could also feature as standard on the 2-litre model. There are no current plans to make the system available on the older 1.8-litre engine, although it will appear on a new diesel due at a later date. This will be smaller than the current 2.2-litre diesel according to Mazda.
Their target for the new 2-litre engine was to be under 160g/km of CO2 to minmise tax in various European markets. By using higher gearing and the stop start system it claims to have reduced emissions from the 150hp engine down to 159g/km from 187g/km in the previous engine.
Also helping to keep emissions down is a gear shift indicator which tells the driver when to change up. It also indicates when to shift down when accelerating hard above 100rpm to optimise engine performance, particularly when overtaking.