By on August 7, 2015

2014 Mazda 5

The miniature Mazda minivan — aka the Mazda5 — won’t be brought to the United States after this year, according to the automaker (via Autoblog). The small, boxy family hauler dwindled out in the U.S. (but was never less functional) because we’ll buy anything that looks like a crossover.

In unrelated news: Mazda will be showing off its new crossover concept in Frankfurt this year, dubbed the Koeru, according to Carscoops.

Thank goodness, the world could use another crossover.

Sales of the Mazda5 peaked in the U.S. market in 2008, and it never became the sales force that the Mazda Premacy had been in other countries. In the first six months of this year, Mazda had only sold about 6,800 Mazda5 models. To date, the Mazda5/Premacy has been Mazda’s best-selling minivan worldwide.

But, there are crossovers to make and sell in the hundreds of thousands.

Mazda-Koeru-concept

In Frankfurt, the company will show off its crossover concept, the Koeru, which means “exceed,” although its unclear from the company’s photos how big it may be or what could be underneath its hood. Autocar speculated that the crossover would be roughly the size of a Cx-5 and would be powered by a 2.2-liter diesel engine.

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56 Comments on “Mazda Ends Mazda5 Because There Are More Crossovers to Make...”


  • avatar
    sirwired

    Didn’t they announce the demise of the 5 in the US like a year ago, when they said that the US was not going to receive the refresh?

    (It’s a shame, because it’s a very interesting design for a car, and would have been a dream if it had received the SkyActiv updates.)

    • 0 avatar
      Thinkin...

      Totally agree. I quite like the Mazda5, and LOVE that you can get it with a stick. However, the mpg wars are what kept it out of my stable. It’s sad but true, but even though it’s far smaller than a typical modern minivan, it doesn’t get noticeably better mpg. Thus, might as well get the 8-passanger tank with a built in vacuum.

      And I am willing to give Mazda many bonus points for keeping the zoom zoom alive with an available manual transmission in the Mazda5. However, you could only ever get it in the base trim, which is ridiculous. Had I been able to buy one fully kitted out with the manual, leather, sunroof, nav, etc, it would have been a closer battle.

      • 0 avatar

        Actually, early on, you could get the manual in any trim. Then it became the Touring trim or lower, and by the time the final refresh took place, it could only be had on the base model.

        • 0 avatar
          dolorean

          Absolutely, best value for the money. I drove my kids and wife and dog all over the country in two of these. The 5 was such a joy to drive and was the perfect size for an active family. The vehicle I had before the ’10 5 GT was the ’08 Dodge GC with the 4.0L six pot. The Dodge was fully loaded but was such a PITA with maintenance issues, eating brake rotors and pads every 20k miles, and swilling gas like a Tahoe, not to mention it was a b**** to park. The 5 would slalom, got 25 mpg, never had one issue in the 100k miles I drove it, was easy to work on, had every option and cost less than $10k than the bloated Dodge.

          I’m really going to miss this little guy.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I’m very not sorry to lose the 5, finally. It was smaller than the competition, under powered, thirsty, not available with modern options (due to the model’s age), and too expensive. It’s the van equivalent of the Ridgeline.

        And it’s ugly with those waves down the sides, interrupted by the poorly hidden door track.

  • avatar
    Speed3

    I love the 5 and think it makes MUCH more sense than a crossover for a lot of families. However, it didn’t have the best crash ratings and you really need a perfect score for minivans. I think that hurt it a bit.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    I like the 5 because it’s like an enlarged Fit. Unfortunately that includes the Fit’s lack of ground clearance.

    I see that crossover follows the current styling convention of assuming no vertebrate will ever sully its interior.

    • 0 avatar
      Ryoku75

      Hondas have always been too low, its how they get their “sports car like handling”.

      I guess that new Mazda will use “lifetime” wheels and tires too, theres no lugnuts holding them on!

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        The lugnuts are in reverse position, and just sit inside the brake disc. Just remove the brake disc from the inside, slide it inward, then gain access to the lugnut.

        Totes worth it.

  • avatar
    slance66

    It’s the last minivan. I roll my eyes every time somebody here says, don’t buy a Highlander, get a Sienna. Yes, a monstrous bloated Sienna (200″ long and 78″ wide). Those things are immense. “Mini”vans are anything but, and certainly are not an alternative to midsize crossovers. This one actually was.

    That said, few will miss it. Mazda seriously needs a competitive replacement for the CX-7. They have a huge gap there.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Yes, so called “mini”vans are now the size of the conversion vans of the 70s and 1980.

    • 0 avatar
      Willyam

      Respect the van! – Honda

      Alas, it’s true. They are no longer mini. I looked at a Mazda 5, and then bought an Odyssey. Just needed more room.

      Reasons? Crash performance was one of them. In our Odyssey, the front bumper is WAY out there. This is a good thing for crumple zones and maintenance room but the beast barely fits in the garage. The second, we US Americans (hehe sorry) do not compromise. I upgraded to the Odyssey because with four kids, two adults and a dog cage, the thing still fits all the suitcases and gear inside, with no need for a cargo box. It also gets 24 miles per gallon whilst doing this. Since I live in flyover area, parking isn’t an issue, and price wasn’t really that bad considering it’s a leather-lined rolling theatre.

      However, my oldest friend has five kids, and has owned two or three Nissan Quests, and they just keep getting bigger. We went pub crawling in downtown Chicago in one, so I guess I can’t say it’s too big. But dang, the zaftig. It dents the pavement.

    • 0 avatar
      ja-gti

      My 2006 Sienna is looking smaller and smaller compared to ever-enlarging new cars. The front end of a new SEDAN is almost as high as my van’s, and compared to a, let’s say, Ford Explorer, my van is lower and narrower. But it’s roomier inside!

      Anymore, when I see a Fox body Mustang on the streets, it almost looks like a go-kart…

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I don’t understand the derision of crossovers, Aaron.

    You act as though Mazda should just soldier on with a losing product, while bravely thumbing their nose at the hottest market segment.

    In the US, Mazda is stuck at 2% market share (or less), and can’t afford more mediocre products. Everyone says their stuff is great, but only 1 in 50 buy them. Going more into crossovers could really help the company, if they can get market traction.

    • 0 avatar
      JReed

      It is a losing product because Mazda has refused to update it. Just like the Honda Element, manufacturers shouldn’t be surprised that sales are slow when they have allowed the competition to outpace them. With Skyactivation and proper marketing, this car could sell. Some “Stow and Go” style seating wouldn’t hurt either.

      As RideHeight said, this is a bigger Honda Fit, which the wife drives. This is exactly the type of vehicle that I’m looking for, but I want 2015 fuel economy number and features like adaptive cruise control.

    • 0 avatar
      Aaron Cole

      I agree. My beef isn’t with Mazda, it’s with the conventional car-buying wisdom these days that a crossover is taller and bigger than a sedan and therefore better. They’re often no safer, no roomier, no better than sedans or anything else. I really, really appreciate minivans and the convenience that they offer, but I agree with you: I’d bail on a sinking ship just like they did. They should sell the hell out of whatever they can.

      However, I would tell Mazda that the crossover is no longer a concept. Bringing that car to Frankfurt is just another way of saying “Will you buy something kind of like this that we call a CX-?” That’s not a concept. There needs to be something new in the automotive manufactosphere.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Well put, I completely agree.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Aaron – thanks for explaining. We agree.

        Generally, Mazda needs to offer distinguishing products anywhere it can. The 5 was one such product, but they let it get stale.

        If they’re going to do the crossover thing, it should be something special. Their tentative approach isn’t helpful.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Mazda 5, loved by enthusiasts, a few placed in rental fleets, and will be missed by few families.

    They should have built a “Mazdaspeed” version just as a last hurrah.

    • 0 avatar
      Willyam

      Now THAT would have been slick. I’m thinking black leather with red piping and the turbo hood and maybe special wheels. The same visuals Chrysler has on the R/T van, with the MS3 motor.

      I always liked the few with the brown leather interior, but they seemed to come out only for the auto shows, and never exist in real life.

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      Car and Driver did build one!

      http://www.caranddriver.com/features/return-of-the-boss-wagon-mazdaspeed-5

    • 0 avatar
      James2

      Car and Driver built a Mazdaspeed 5. Wasn’t as simple as plugging in the 3’s turbo engine, though.

  • avatar

    We’ve had our ’12 for 4 years and about 60k miles now. 0 options, 6MT, 19k out the door brand new.

    I think they could’ve had a play as “the enthusiast’s family car” (it replaced our WRX wagon when we went from 1 kid to 2). It drives well and I would’ve gladly paid more for a Mazdaspeed version if they offered it.

    I will honestly concede it’s small enough to offer little more room or utility over a contemporary Forester (my brother has one). You get sliding doors and slightly more versatile seating, but that’s about it. Exterior smallness is a bonus if you’re in a city. Cheapness, simplicity and the ubiquity of the Ford C1 platform do make it a good keeper car, though.

    • 0 avatar
      UncleJunior

      You’re right on the money as to the size and utility of the Mazda5. My stepsister drives a first-gen Mazda5, and while it’s been a while since I’ve driven or ridden in it, my recollection is that it isn’t very big inside. The sliding doors are nice, as is the fact that it’s a tall vehicle, but I can move almost as much shit and almost as many people (and just as many shitty people) in my 2007 Honda Fit, which is much lighter, handles better, easier to park, gets 40 MPG on the highway, and is faster, to boot (I will take any straight-line victory that I can get; at least it’s a 5-speed, and the Mazda is an auto).

      The Mazda is still a nice vehicle, though, and I’m sad to see them discontinuing it.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    A Mazda misfire. It was a useful size but conspicuously unattractive. The genuine boxes, e.g., the orig XB and Element – were actually nicer.

  • avatar
    crtfour

    I received one of these as a rental not even a month ago and was pleasantly surprised at the ride, handling and power. I can understand the cult following and even see it meeting my needs…..hauling dogs & mountain bikes.

  • avatar
    nguyenvuminh

    I enjoy TTAC because it’s the few website where you can find people that appreciate minivans. The sliding door, ease of access, and flexibility (people and cargo) are its advantages but alas, we Americans like the CUV segment more now and it’s hard to fight against consumer trend. Within the minivan segment, I especially like the Mazda5 (and the Ford’s European C-Max had it been brought to N America as originally discussed) because of its size, sliding door, handling and nimbleness. Having said that, I do severely criticize Mazda for not putting in Skyactiv engine to allow it to match up the “better fuel economy” characteristic with its “smaller size” characteristic. As it is now, it gives up on size (and thus comfort for those families with bigger bodies) while not offering any fuel economy advantage. I do drive one and our family of 4 absolute love it. We purchased a house and its cargo handling capabilities really address 95% of our needs.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Are we sure its demise is “because we’ll buy anything that looks like a crossover”?

    It is no more a crossover substitute than a midsize sedan, and it can’t compete with current minivans. It is comparatively cramped, loud, and is propelled by a badly outdated powertrain that makes it simultaneously slow and thirsty. You seat 6, but not if you want to carry cargo as well. You can carry cargo, but not if you want to seat more than 4 people. And unlike the first generation, this overstyled flame-surfaced pod is incredibly ugly.

    Yay for manual transmission, yay for compact parkable size, yay for handling prowess. How much of that matters for consumers looking for a family hauler when it can’t seat both people and cargo at the same time? Pretty sure the market just answered that. This was a niche product for a certain buyer with abnormal priorities, and there aren’t many of those buyers around. If I needed a three row vehicle, I wouldn’t even give a second look at the Mazda5.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      The 5 was absolutely flawed, but it also in theory deserved a full redesign to address those flaws and prove itself (in other words, the fantastic current 3, but taller, and with a 2nd row bench instead of the inexplicable buckets).

      Going with a similar quasi-minivan, compare the Kia Rondo to something like the Dodge Journey. No one’s going to claim either are great, but they’re at least competitive with each other. Similar price ranges, similar usable size (same deal, 5 seater with generous cargo space, or cramped 7 seater with none), and same vague apathy to being a car. People completely forget the Rondo existed, while sales of the Journey progressively increase. This is not because the Journey is good. I doubt anyone will try and aggressively argue that point.

  • avatar
    319583076

    I tried to get a friend to buy one of these because it was *exactly* what he needed based on his criteria. He took one glance at it and screamed, “I’ll never buy a minivan!”. He rolled negative equity in a Kia Soul into a loan for a loaded Fiat 500 because his wife wanted three things – but could only get them by checking all of the boxes. She left him within 6 months.

    People do dumb things.

  • avatar
    enzl

    Leased one for 3 years. Loved the car…its a shame the mini-minivan gets no respect in the States.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    The mini-minivan seems to be pretty much dead. Well, no. If you want one, you can always get a passenger model, SWB Transit Connect. I’ll bet Nissan and RAM have passenger models at the ready, but are waiting to determine if the market exists.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      I don’t believe any of them are offered with a manual, but aside from that, they’re not bad cars. The Ford has a 4 foot roof height in the Cargo area, at least in the Van. Tall and long enough to fit a track bike to starboard, sleeping pad to port, and “stuff” for a weekend at a track around it.

  • avatar
    mfgreen40

    Yes my Sienna is 200 in. long but that is 12 in. shorter than my Mercury G.M. which does not have near as much room. For some of us the Sienna is just the right size.

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    I test drove one in Feb this year and almost bought one. In the end I bought a PriusV instead because:

    1) Wife likes the PriusV’s mid row seats better.

    2) While both the 5 and the PriusV were last year model (2014), the prices were only 3k apart (19k vs 22k before tax) yet fuel economy is 15mpg better (25mpg on 5 vs 40mpg on PriusV).

    3) The 5’s middle seat is bouncy on highway, according to my wife.

    4) If you have any cargo, the 5 is actually less useful than PriusV for 5 passengers.

    5) Reputation or real reliability of Prius seems to be better than 5.

    I want to love the 5 but it is just not the best vehicle I could get for the money. I’m sure a lot of shoppers come to the same conclusion too.

  • avatar
    EMedPA

    I gotta say that the crossover bashing gets a bit old, especially when it wasn’t that long ago that roasting minivan drivers as unclean and uncool was the meme-de-jour.

    I own an Escape and do not feel any need to apologize for it. Yes, it’s a jacked-up Focus wagon. (And yes, I wish Ford still sold Focus wagons here in North America.) But for my money I got a car that is comfortable on my commute and on long drives, handles reasonably well for what it is, can tow a good-sized utility trailer, and does all of the above while returning reasonable fuel economy numbers. As PandaBear pointed out, you can haul multiple passengers or cargo in a 5, but not both.

    CUV’s sell because people find them useful. That’s not a crime.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      +1

      I appreciate cars with more driving involvement than most CUVs offer and don’t personally see myself owning one, but there is no denying the utilitarian appeal of them. They do their job very well. The Escape is a nice place to spend time, I was impressed with the driving quality and noise suppression. Lot of rear legroom too, I’d consider it more a Fusion wagon in purpose and function than a Focus wagon, underlying platform be damned.

      • 0 avatar
        EMedPA

        They’re not for everyone, and by the time mine has reached at the end of it’s useful life, (hopefully in another 8-10 years) I may well not need or want another. Maybe at that point I’ll treat myself to something impractical like a Miata or a Jeep Wrangler. Or a nice sport sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      carlisimo

      We’re bitter (those of us who like lower vehicles) because the crossover boom meant the death of wagons and hatchbacks. The latter are recovering, but it took a while. Wagons appear to be gone for good.

  • avatar
    Undefinition

    WTF, Americans! Get over your self-conscious fear of minivans.

  • avatar
    stuki

    The Transit Connect Wagon is, if you squint, a kinda-sorta suitable replacement. No manual and a euro turbo, but better mileage, more interior space and not all that much bigger.

  • avatar
    Slow_Joe_Crow

    I thought they had already stopped selling these after 2014, which says something about how obscure the Mazda5 was. I actually like them and considered buying one, My only quibble was lack of power which could have been remedied by producing Car & Driver’s Mazdaspeed5 project. (what it sounds like, a Mazda5 with a Mazdaspeed3 drivetrain)

  • avatar
    berndl

    its a shame this is going away – we actually bought one to replace a Boxster for a growing family, and it’s been inexpensive to buy and run, and really quite good both to drive and own. It’s the only minivan that’s not a HUGE behemoth. I would have paid extra for the updated engines (the 2.5 in my parents’ CX5 makes impressively better mileage in a heavier vehicle). As an aside, I live in a college town, and see a ton of these around – not as obscure here as the sales statistics would indicate.

  • avatar

    I was never particularly enamored with the 5, but I appreciated it for what it was.

    Meanwhile, hopefully this new Mazda crossover will be the next CX-9, or its replacement. Even after its second refresh, the current one is looking a little stale with its leftover Ford interfaces and such…and it’s on the smaller side of the three-row crossover category.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Most minivan buyers these days want three comfy rows of seats and decent trunk space. Minivan buyers have kids and kids have friends and stuff to haul around This just didn’t have the wheelbase to deliver both of those,

  • avatar
    yetibiker

    The 5 was the last six occupant vehicle sold in the U.S. that is available with a manual transmission. Able to get 30 MPG, handle like a car, seat 6, and shift your own gears made this a unique vehicle. It is also sad that the U.S. never got the “magic seat” that crammed 7 people into this thing.

  • avatar
    bill h.

    I rented a 5 early this year on a business trip. It was OK, but I knew already that the crash test results were not impressive on this vehicle, and I found the road noise on the highway a bit nasty, even for someone coming from Euro type vehicles that already had plenty of aural feedback on the road.

    Others have mentioned the Ford Transit Connect–we just picked up a long wheelbase version last month. It lacks the turbo option that the short wheelbase version does, but we find the available power adequate and the handling is decent. Even the LWB version has a noticeably narrower/shorter footprint that the Odyssienacaravans, and what really hit it for us is that the middle seating height and accessibility is much easier for transporting my aged parents to their numerous medical appointments and occasional trips out for spirit-building. The non-minivans and just about any CUV are a much more difficult proposition for them. It’s a cargo van underneath to be sure, but I have seen these also being used as people movers for medical facilities and other institutions, and I credit the easier access.

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