2008 Mazda5 gets less change in US trim
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 The pop-up navigation screen has been replaced by an in-dash unit with new controls.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.
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