click above image to view more pics of the redesigned Mazda5

The Mazda5 seems to be a few quarts short of Zoom-Zoom juice compared to the rest of Mazda's lineup. It just has never seemed able to generate the same excitement from customers as the brand's other cars. Perhaps that's because it's fundamentally a little minivan, a type of vehicle that by its very nature defies the Zoom-Zoom culture. Nevertheless, Mazda will be introducing a redesigned Mazda5 at the Bologna Motor Show this week with a fresh face and new features that the automaker hopes will attract new customers in Europe and likely the U.S., as well.

New features include power sliding rear doors that open and close in less than five seconds, a new DVD-based nav system with a 7-inch touchscreen and a rear-view camera. Additional insulation and a resonator have also been added to the air intake to reduce engine noise seeping into the cabin. The 5's MZR 2.0L gets an electronic throttle and sequential valve timing, and at least in Europe you can order one with a 5-speed automatic or 6-speed manual. We'll likely find out at the Detroit Auto Show in January what new features will carryover across the pond, but we'll let you know what the new Mazda5 has in store for U.S. customers as soon as we find out.

[Source: Mazda]

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PRESS RELEASE

Mazda5 now even more Family Friendly

Leverkusen, 3rd December 2007. Mazda's multi-activity vehicle, the Mazda5, will hit showrooms in early 2008 in a facelifted version that is even more family friendly with enhanced comfort, convenience and safety, combined with lower driving costs.

Talk about family values! The Mazda5 is the only MAV in the C-segment with two sliding rear doors, each with an impressive door opening width of 700 mm, which allows you to enter the vehicle with a baby in your arms.

The Mazda5 facelift takes this convenience even further by introducing optional new power sliding rear doors that open and close in less than five seconds and stop automatically if obstructed. They are operated by a button from the driver's seat, by the door handles or by the remote control key,
which is especially convenient for families with small children.

Not only is the Mazda5 facelift more convenient to use, it is also more fun to drive. The MRZ 2.0-litre petrol engine has been completely revised and now has electric throttle and sequential valve timing (S-VT), which makes maximum torque available at a much lower engine speed than before for quick engine response in every gear. Two newly-introduced transmissions enhance the lively and agile character of this engine: a six-speed manual transmission as standard and an optional five-speed automatic – a first for the Mazda5 line-up. Yet despite its fun-to-drive nature, the new MZR 2.0-litre uses 4 percent less fuel than the outgoing 2.0-litre, which means lower operating costs on a daily basis.

Mazda5 facelift retains its predecessor's uniquely communicative interior with Karakuri seat and storage flexibility, and adds new navigation and audio systems for even more fun and convenience. It has a new DVD navigation system with a new 7-inch multifunctional touch screen now integrated into the centre panel, which makes it easier to read and use. And the system allows you to use Mazda5's rear-view camera for stress-free parking. Also new is an auxiliary (AUX) jack and recessed niche at the front of the floor console – for hooking up and listening to an MP3 player using Mazda5's audio system – and a new in-dash, 6-CD changer for hours of non-stop music. And if you need to stay in touch while driving, a new Bluetooth mobile phone system with steering wheel control is now available as well.

To enjoy these new features to the fullest, Mazda5 facelift's interior is now quieter and more comfortable. It has a new multi-resonator located around the fresh air intake duct that lowers engine noise, strengthened wheel rims and Thinsulate® insulation sheeting newly added to the roof liner to reduce road noise. Together these updates make listening to music or talking with the kids much more enjoyable.

New front dampers and a refined suspension provide enhanced riding comfort and maximum stability when cornering at high speeds, while a newly optimised brake booster is introduced for precise feedback and optimal brake response.

Mazda5 facelift will make its European debut at the Bologna Motor Show, starting 5th December 2007.