• Dec 4th 2007 at 11:58AM
  • 21
Click above for high-res images of the 2008 US Mazda5

While we just showed you the revised 2008 Euro Mazda5 that will make its debut in Bologna, we wanted to let U.S. 5 fans know that it will be more than a year before most, if any, of those changes find their way to our shores. We say this based on the fact that we've already seen the 2008 Mazda5. Quietly sitting in one corner of Mazda's display area at the L.A. Auto Show was the 2008 version of this fun and practical microvan. Besides some minor exterior tweaks to the front and rear fascias, different wheels and arguably better looking taillights, all of the changes appeared to be to the interior. Some of the complaints about the current 5 had related to the lack of dual armrests for all seats, the lack of rear vents for the HVAC system, no rear window tint, and a very limited interior color palette. Well, those concerns have been addressed. The show model was painted in a new darker red that has essentially replaced the salmon-like "Cardinal Red" that disappeared in '07. The interior, however was a light gray over dark gray leather, which will supplement the tan and black leather that first appeared with the Grand Touring model this year.

Although the photos are a bit dark, you can see the light side and rear window tinting Mazda is now using, as well as the new dual armrests and the revised dash and center console, which is a huge improvement over the previous edition. The pop-up navigation screen has been replaced by an in-dash unit with new controls. The center console loses its deep storage bin and cover in exchange for revised cupholders, heated seat switches, an open storage area and those all-important rear vents. You'll also notice that the hidden power outlet has been relocated a little higher up and has been given some company via a second port. While we didn't get a look under the hood, the transmission appeared to be the same 4-speed auto from the current lineup and this unit didn't sport any power sliding doors or rear view cam either. Whether or not they will be available is unknown, but it would make sense that if Mazda had planned to offer them they would probably use the show to flaunt those features. Anyway, these are some nice changes to an already very desirable nanovan.

Check out the full gallery below.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Nice MiniVan, easy to park.

      NB: It would be nice to get the VW Touran i n the US...

      Of all the Mazda5 that I show, the 3rd row was always folded, I guess the owner needed to extend the trunk, but this provide only four seats, like the Honda Element.

      A seven seats options (2+3+2) instead of six (2+2+2) would be nice, even if the middle seat on the second row is narrow. This would allow installing at least a baby seat in the middle of the 2nd row to keep the trunk with the 3rd row folded.

      There is no trunk cover to hide the contents of the trunk when the 3rd row is folded.

      The front passenger seat should fold down, allowing carrying long objects from the dash board to the back hatch.

      Well, also a 4-speed auto is not very appealing...I hope to see a 5 speed Auto and 6 speed manual.
      • 7 Years Ago
      so the side window tinting is optional right? I hate tint.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It'd be nice if they added a little more front-seat-track travel--it was my only real gripe. Some more up/down range would be good, too.

      I'm glad that they added side airbags to the 2008 GS trim (Canada's base model). That was a big, glaring oversight.
      • 7 Years Ago
      No deep tint is definitely a negative. Who wants to deal with aftermarket tinting.
        • 7 Years Ago
        What's wrong with aftermarket tinting? I have seen aftermarket tint that has held up better than factory tint.

        I am not sure on the average prices of tinting but I got a quote of $180 for limo tint for my Regal (just the back windows...doing the front side and windshield is illegal in MI). The place that I went to is highly recommended by the aftermarket crowd, muscle car crowd, body shops, etc. A guy I work with gave me their card. He had his windows tinted maybe three years ago and it looks better than most factory tint jobs on new cars.

        Trust me, I would never take my car to a place like Ziebart (I have had friends that have gone there and after a year, the crap was peeling off).
      • 7 Years Ago
      A far more practical car than what most SUV drivers are piloting. Needs a bit more HP and better MPG to really be considered. I still like it a lot though. I drove one and it does have some zoom zoom in terms of driving dynamics. Its not sports car though.
        • 7 Years Ago
        More HP and better MPG are mutually exclusive... at least not without jacking costs through the roof.
      • 7 Years Ago
      the 2008 US-spec Mazda5 WILL have a 5-speed automatic transmission, as it's already listed on Mazda USA's website, so that's a pretty major upgrade for this car.
      • 7 Years Ago
      That looks like Mazda's Velocity Red Mica. Nice choice.

      The tail lights are better, but still oddly cut down into the body line. since sheetmetal hasn't changed, no real suprise.

      I think it would be fun as heck to transplant the Mazdaspeed 6's drivetrain into this vehicle. Turbocharged I4, 6-speed manual, and AWD, with bilstein suspension dampers and big brakes. Would seem to suit a Mazdaspeed5 to a "t".

      Blacked out rear windows (real tint, not just slight green hue) 17-18" wheels, and good tires... could be fun, for a microvan. Probably more fun than their crossover vehicles... which is why it probably won't happen.

      it is kind of unfortunate that it isn't getting the power doors or rear view camera (which is becoming more and more common, and handy on so many vehicles with such a high rear window.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I wondered too why they only are offering "light side and rear window tinting," and not the dark tint so ubiquitous on SUV's and minivans. Was Mazda unable to get the 5 classified as a truck?

        Or maybe mk is right, they were afraid it would compete too much with the CX-7.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Mazda5 is classified as a station wagon, not a truck, so no tinted windows.

        That's Copper Red Mica, not Velocity Red.

        Rear view cameras are cheap, not a big deal but kids in child seats in the 3rd row do get in the way of rear visibility, though. Power sliders are nice but add weight and the 2008 with 5AT weighs about 3500lbs. Lack of ESC remains quite annoying as all JDM and EU markets get it.


        /07 Mz5 owner
        • 7 Years Ago
        I think even the Speed3's hardware would be great, especially since price point is important in this segment. Since the 5 stickers for just $70 more than the 3 (both in Sport trim), the Speed5 could be made real for about the same money. Sure you wont win any races with fwd, but turbo power and a 6spd manual would be great for hauling around in.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It would be better if the rear seats were removable; I have been looking for a small minivan..... for delivering flowers... they are all so huge now!
      • 7 Years Ago
      LOL! That thing is ugly it looks like a mini me van. If you guys or gals like that then you must also think that the toyota prius
      is a great looking car. LOL! terriable design.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I own a 2007, for my wife, and we call it the micro van. We had a GM minivan before and it sucked, this seats six , has sliding doors, (if you have toddlers you have to have sliding doors), so you have to drive a minivan, this one is fun to drive and easy to park. I knew it was ugly, so I bought a black, always buy black, especially if it is ugly! 21 k with DVD and touring and it got 27MPG fully loaded at 75-80mph last summer.
        • 7 Years Ago

        Mazda motto is to make ever car of there look and feel like a sports car so don't give that to begin with ya know with there zoom zoom crap. I don't buy it. And this is nothing that i want it to be a sports car but it seem that mazda is trying really hard to make it look like one.The styling is terriable and i stand by what i wrote like it or not.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Then buy one if you love it some much. You sound has if your insulted by my comment about it. It's a f-ing VAN.You continue to come back and have a disscussion about a mini van for crying out load get over it. And you not fooling me or anyone for changing your name.Everyone is intitled to there opinon. You don't like it then go read something else.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Find the better looking microvan...
        Oh wait... you can't...

        Your problem seems to be more with the segment, not Mazda's styling of the entrant into that segment.

        It's like whining about minivans/vans. They are boxes designed to be safe, haul crap, and have an interior sturdy enough to withstand kids and/or aforementioned crap. Any "styling" is hard pressed to hide those engineering preferences...
        • 7 Years Ago
        It's a maximum-space-minimum-footprint design, not a two-door sportscar. Sorry if that offends you.

        Seriously, it's a minivan-what were you expecting? Minivans look like that for a reason, and attempts to macho them up (ref: Uplander/SV6/Relay/Terrazza) just end up looking contrived. You can tweak detailing and hood angle, but there's only so much you can do when your priorities are set by the vehicle's function.

        I think Mazda did a pretty good job.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'd buy one of these if it actually had stability control. (I know it handles great, but it's still tall and boxy.)

      Mazda doesn't seem to know what to do with this model, though. It's their only minivan-esque model, it sells considerably less than the Kia Rondo (which also has the Sedona to contend with), and they don't advertise it.

      The hideous rear-end doesn't help things, but the Rondo's is pretty odd as well.
      • 7 Years Ago
      IIRC, Mazda did not have very high sales goals for this car. Their marketing has been almost entirely word of mouth, I don't think I've ever seen an ad.

      People still seem to be confused by it. Whatever it is, it's a lot of darn useful car for around 20 grand. The people I see driving them are all over the map: young, old, etc. It seems to defy categorization all over.
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