By on August 15, 2016

2016 Mazda 5 sliding doorsTwo years after reporting on its U.S. death, TTAC can now report the Mazda5 will live on in current form for at least another model year in Canada.

The 2017 Mazda5 is not yet featured on Mazda’s Canadian media site, but when asked by TTAC last week whether the one true remaining North American “mini”van would hold its place in Mazda Canada’s lineup, we received an affirmative response.

“We are continuing to offer the Mazda5 here in the Canadian market,” Mazda Canada’s director of public relations, Sandra Lemaitre, told us via email last Friday. “The 2017 model year Mazda5 began production in July, so it should be in dealer showrooms shortly. It will be a carryover product with no major changes.”

This is news that will excite seven Canadians, and perhaps nine Americans who are considering crossing the border for a USD-equivalent $18,555 manual-transmission mini-MPV.

Oh, no, one prospect just financed a 2016 Dodge Grand Caravan Canada Value Package interest-free over 84 months. And look over there: a Minnesotan just realized he might as well lease a six-seat F-150 SuperCrew south of the 49th.

Make it six Canadians; eight Americans.

2013 Mazda 5To be fair, there are literally, well, dozens of remaining Mazda5 buyers in Canada. Mazda Canada is currently selling an average of 136 Mazda5s per month. But that’s half the number of Mazda5s that were being sold a year ago in Canada and well off the peak of 1,000 monthly Mazda5 sales in 2008.

Admittedly, the Mazda5 isn’t the only remaining mini-MPV in Canada. The Chevrolet Orlando is dead, but the Kia Rondo lives on in an iteration never sold in the United States. (Kia USA’s first attempt at selling Rondos expired in 2010.)

2016 Kia Rondo But unlike the Mazda 5, the Kia Rondo has not adopted traditional minivan characteristics: standard three-row seating and sliding doors. (The seven-seat Kia Rondo has a lofty CAD $27,735 base MSRP.) Though marginally more common than the Mazda5, Kia Rondo sales fell by 42 percent in Canada this year. Like the Mazda5, the Rondo is on track for its worst Canadian sales year ever.

Re-launched as an all-new vehicle for model year 2013, the Kia Rondo fights alongside a Mazda5 which has enjoyed updates but no major re-engineering since its 2005 launch.

Leftover Mazda5s are still leaving U.S. showrooms: 346 in 2016’s first seven months; 17 in July alone. The Mazda5 owned 4 percent of America’s minivan market in 2011; less than 2 percent of Canada’s minivan market today.

[Images: Mazda,, Kia Canada]

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31 Comments on “Cross-Border Shopping? Mazda Canada Forges On With Same Ol’ Mazda5 For 2017...”

  • avatar

    Yay Rondo! Even the present runty incarnation. Wish the US got those.

    • 0 avatar

      I love my Rondo (Carens here in Hong Kong), especially as it was priced at around US$20K pre-tax for a fairly loaded version.

      The fact that it is compact makes it much more likely to fit in some of the obscenely tight parking around here. But I typically only need to ferry around smaller Asian-type people (including myself), and so yeah, it is likely this compactness makes it a bit small for many Americans. Having said that, I’ve got two rear-facing car seats in the middle row, and can still regularly haul around three adults along with the two kids.

      Not sure Canadians are that much smaller though…

  • avatar

    Our 2012 Mazda 5 GT 6MT has been a stellar vehicle. In four years of ownership, we have only had one minor non-maintenance issue (squeaky clutch ignition-lockout switch). It’s not the most exciting to drive or the quietest (power is barely adequate, and even in 6th gear it is turning close to 3000 rpm at 120 km/h), but it satisfied my wife’s desire for a tall wagon with sliding doors that was not an SUV or a regular “mini” van (we have a Grand Caravan already). Like Tim said, there are about a handful of people looking for that type of vehicle.

    • 0 avatar

      I have a 2012 Mazda5 Sport AT, and I think it’s great. If you need the sliders and you want something reasonably responsive and easy to park, it’s just about perfect. It hasn’t needed any attention from the dealer besides scheduled maintenance.

      I am hopeful that Mazda will actually bring the 5 (AKA the Premacy) back at some point in the next 5 years. I mean, they are still working on the rotary. So I think they are just ingenious and stubborn enough to do it.

  • avatar

    That huge grin of a grille has got to go. Maybe a few more would sell if it wasn’t trying to do a happy Pokémon impression.

    • 0 avatar

      You’d think Mazda would face lift it, as their derpy grin eras done with.

    • 0 avatar

      No way. Now is a great time to jump on the Pokemon bandwagon!

    • 0 avatar

      I can see the utility of the Mazda 5, but man, it is one ugly car all around. Narrow, tall, with a frumpy rear end and that goofy front fascia. I had to rent one on a recent business trip – inside, it wasn’t terrible and driving dynamics were okay for a rental – but I couldn’t bear to look at the exterior for more than a couple minutes.

  • avatar

    I wonder how many Ford Transit Connect Wagons and Ram ProMaster City wagons have been selling to private users? Those, to me, are the closest competitors to the Mazda5.

    • 0 avatar

      I see a fair number of Transit Connect Wagons and Transit wagons, but with the larger versions its always hard to say if its a Church Group or not.

      Our local Ford dealer has started to stock enough Transit Connect Wagons that I’m starting to see them in the hands of locals.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    My dilemma. We have a previous generation Rondo and are very pleased with it. But are now contemplating retiring it to 3rd car status.

    I want a true mini-van. The Value Package Caravan. But just cannot find it in me to trust that it will last the requisite 7 years or 175,000kms required without an unscheduled major repair bill (or 2). I am willing to put up with the catastrophic depreciation on the Caravan.

    The new generation Rondo does not have the same great sightlines and headroom of the previous model. It is however capable of carrying 5 passengers and some cargo.

    The other option is the Mazda 5, rusting concerns are of course an issue. Also the fact that it is more a 4 seater with room for 2 ‘in a pinch’ You cannot carry 6 and any cargo.

    As for a pick-up, wouldn’t allow my family to drive a 2wd model and 4wd with seating for 4/5 are about the same price as a luxury vehicle (outside of my budget).

    • 0 avatar

      Arthur, I am in the southern Ontario rust belt, so a yearly oil spray is part of my fall maintenance regimen, as it should be for anyone driving in a jurisdiction that is addicted to road salt. Four winters on the 5 so far, and no rust. You are correct, however about the uselessness of the third row. Unless you are under 10 or a double amputee, the rearmost seats are not for you, and with the seats in use, cargo capacity is limited to a few bags of groceries.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m also in Southern Ontario . I believe that Mazda has addressed the rust issue. However, I still see a whole lot of older , very rusted Mazdas. I agree, a yearly, liberal application ,, of an oil based rust inhibitor, is the only way to keep the ” Rustys ” away.

  • avatar

    The local Ford/Mazda dealer still has a 2015 Sport trim 5 on their lot. It was there on the Memorial day weekend when I went to check out a C-Max and a CX-5 and it’s still there…

    The sales guy said he could get me a great deal on it, but apparently there are still no takers. Not a bad vehicle if you don’t want an oversized S/CUV to move people around though.

  • avatar

    I don’t care what Bark says about the Mazda5, I love my Tinivan. Despite my desire to get on board and support FCA, I will miss it if/when it is replaced in the stable with a Sergio-approved mode of transportation.

  • avatar

    Are they actually a new model year or just relabeling old inventory? Are they still being made, and if so, why?

    • 0 avatar

      You can’t get away with re-labeling a car built for the 2016 MY to a 2017 MY, and that is not something mfgs have been able to do since the 70’s.

      • 0 avatar

        MY ’89 Mustang had a little “08” sticker over the build date [month]. It read [08]/88 which was probably an 06/88 car to be originally sold as a “1988”, since there were no body/cosmetics changes for the ’89 changeover.

        There were some tiny paint blemishes on the hood, as if masking tape was dragged across the surface before it cured. It was a special ordered, ’89 black GT with scarlet/pimp red interior, 5-speed and convertible (ACS conversion) so, I didn’t get it until Sept 23rd.

  • avatar

    I have no offspring, so I have no need really for a minivan (I need something more than a trunk perhaps once or twice a year, and there’s a zipvan less than 5 minutes walk from me, which I can rent for peanuts for an hour or two).

    However, if I did, I would seriously consider something like this instead of a minivan. My dealer uses a mazda5 for their customer shuttle, and I’ve always been impressed by the handling of it. Given that I’ve never been a SUV guy I think I’d prefer the car-like dimensions more than a Minivan.

  • avatar

    In Canada you can also get a fully loaded Mazda 6 grand touring with a manual transmission (think they call the trim something else in Canada). In the US you can only get the 6MT in the lowly sport and touring trims.

    Would love to see a story on how to buy in Canada as my inquiries were rebuffed by the Windsor Mazda dealership. They cannot sell to American’s was the response.

    How to get a dealership to work with you, lease and purchase and how to get it across the boarder and into my garage in the good ol USofA.

    • 0 avatar

      “How to get a dealership to work with you, lease and purchase and how to get it across the boarder and into my garage in the good ol USofA.”

      As I understand it from back when the $CDN was super-low and Americans were seriously considering importing, one of the biggest issues was actually getting warranties honoured. As dumb as that is – it’s not like they don’t use the same parts for the vast majority of the car.

  • avatar

    The Orlando isn’t being made anymore? Ironically, I just saw one (Alberta plates, I think) on my way to work. On that same day I also saw a 2017 Acadia. Like most new cars, it looks better in the metal than in pictures.

    This was also the same day my father came across a John Deere 7810 open station (meaning without a cab!!!) at his local dealer. It must have been one of those days.

  • avatar

    My wife and I have toyed with a strong desire to upgrade her sedan to a Mazda 5, but the crash test ratings look miserable in the post-partial offset world. :( We’re reaching the point where we frequently need more than 5 seats and wedging an adult in between the two car seats in the back is always a chore, but don’t want a monstrous “minivan” devouring garage space and fuel in commiserate amounts.

    Compare that to the Mazda 6 (all G’s) or an Odyssey (again, all G’s). It’s too bad Volvo’s never made something similar to the 5.

  • avatar

    I rented one a few years ago in Las Vegas for a trip to the Grand Canyon and the Utah national parks. It was the only non-premium car that we could fit our family of 4 and all our luggage. (The impala may have fit the luggage, but none were available.) I was surprised at the power from the older generation 4-cylinder engine even going up mountains at 75 MPG. As for the popularity – convenience and entertainment equipment was lacking by the standards of 2012. Fuel economy was exactly the same as my 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan got on my previous trip, 25 MPG (but driven slightly slower). The car did seem to do better than my Dodge minivan in the city – about 21-22 MPG. I’m surprised Mazda never dropped the Skyactive engine in the Mazda5. It might have finally given the vehicle a highway fuel economy advantage over the full-sized minivans.

  • avatar

    I recall being an American trying to buy a car in Canada to bring back because many Canadian cars offer a wider range of options and equipment variations than the same cars sold stateside, but finding there was too much bureaucratic red tape and legal differences to feasibly be able to federalize even a Canadian-spec car.

  • avatar

    I traded my 06 this spring on a T&C. I put 192K on it, it was a FANTASTIC vehicle for me and my family. I still miss it every time I get in my lumbering bus of a van… After having a vehicle with “van doors” I don’t see why EVERYTHING doesn’t have them-it’s SO much easier to get in and out of, especially with back issues. I too would love to see how to get a Canadian vehicle down here, especially since I’d want a 5-speed one. When I got mine, my local dealer had to get it from a couple states away since nobody within a couple hundred miles had a 3-pedal 5. A good freind of mine was given a car by a relative in Canada, and had so much “red tape” trying to register it in the USA that she ended up just driving it back up to her aunt instead of going thru everything she was supposed to… It was a 90’s Escort so it wasn’t anything enthusiast-approved.

  • avatar

    I have a 2012 Grand Touring and love it. It has an incredibly turning radius, nothing has gone wrong in 65k miles, you got heated leather seats, HIDs, sun/moon roof, rain sensing wipers, automatic wipers, leveling headlights (manual), etc. It handles impeccably for a “minivan” and I actually enjoy it. Do I wish it was more powerful or slightly bigger? Only on the rare occasion that I need the power or space, otherwise I love it.

    Keep in mind that I’ve also owned an Audi B5 S4 (TT V6 FTW), 2003 350z, 2002 325Ci, 2006 WRX Limited wagon, and currently have a 1972 240z with an LSx swap (so that list is a big F-U to the given up on life crowd).

    It is life style vehicle without a doubt. It seats 6 uncomfortably but can do it in a pinch. Road trip with 6? Oh hell no, but for a family of 4 it is perfect.

  • avatar

    Oh I should mention, my 5 spent it’s life in MN and WI, and the only rust on it was a small patch on the rear wheel arch, where every “modern” car seems to rust, where the bumper cover meets the rear fender and traps salty dirt. 9 years in the midwestern salt bath didn’t fase it at all. There literally isn’t any other vehicle you can shift yourself, that can fit 3 car seats plus some luggage. Just because I have kids shouldn’t mean I can’t have a car that isn’t fun to drive… I miss my 5.

  • avatar

    I’ve got a ’12 Touring (A/T) and it’s okay. Just okay…

    The 2.5l engine is pretty bullet proof, but mpg is meh. After the drive train warranty ran out, I began using M1EP on a yearly OCI (<12K miles). Blackstone advised low wear metals and that I could run it out to 15K, but I won't reach that in a year (and I always dump at a year max).

    Versatility is nice (can haul six in a pinch, though I wouldn't want to sit in the back-back seat), there's quite a bit of room w/the rear seats down, a roof rack w/cargo box really amps up the storage for vacation trips.

    Mine eats tires (just on new third set, 58K miles on the ODO). Regular rotations, front-end alignment at ~30K miles, no steering shimmy, car tracks well, I mostly drive it like a grandma.

    Hard plastics abound.

    Seat fabric is cheap.

    Road noise is terrible (thanks to the 205/50R17 tires and lack of sound proofing).

    Paint is thin.

    In hindsight, I wish I had bought a low mileage last-gen Town & Country Touring w/added warranty. My brother went this route, purchase price (w/extended warranty) was about on par w/my new Mazda5 Touring. Quieter, a genuine 3rd row, stow n'go, pretty solid (albeit ancient) 3.6l engine, better interior materials, cool entertainment system for the kiddies. Oh well.

    Slight O/T, but I wonder if they’ll continue to sell it in Hawaii (via Canada). Between taxis and rental fleets, they’re all over the place on Oahu…

  • avatar

    I have a 2013 GT and it has served our family of 4 great. Road trip is fine and daily driving is perfect for the tight parking spaces. Fuel economy is average for a relatively small car but the handling has been great for a minivan. I was hoping for Skyactiv engine too but that would have demanded changes to the chassis (from what I read) so Mazda decided against sinking their precious fund into this dying segment. BTW, I believe the Canadian 5 has the flip out 3rd seat in the 2nd row whereas US’ 5 do not (safety regulation I believe). I agree with some of the sentiments expressed here and in the past regarding this car, perfect size, good handling for a minivan, flexible 3rd row seating when needed, and the oh-so-great sliding door. Downside is the windnoise, cheap window and windshield glass from Mazda that affects their other cars as well.

    • 0 avatar

      Canadian 5s have never had a 7th seat. They FINALLY have the fold out cup holders/storage bin in all models though. I used to work at Mazda and was amazed that the cup holders only came on the GT models when I started selling in 2009. When they redesigned for 2012, you had to buy a GT with Luxury Package (leather, etc) to get the cup holders. Simply amazing that a family vehicle has ZERO cup holders for the most common place the kids sit; the 2nd row. The 3rd row has always had holders on the outboard sides but they are too far aft for anyone in the 2nd row to use. I spoke to Mazda about this at the time and it took them 3 years to make the change and use common sense by installing in all models for 2015. The owner of the dealership was amazed the cup holders weren’t there from the beginning. We actually had to install them on a used Mazda5 GS (only came with GTs at the time) for a customer and it cost $500 and involved getting some parts machined because they couldn’t all be purchased from Mazda.

      I have a 2003 Honda Odyssey that has served me well for 13 years and I am considering a 2017 Mazda5 GS 6MT with Convenience Package as a replacement. I tried to get my wife to buy one to replace our front wheel drive Tribute with the 5MT but she was ready for an AWD automatic and chose a Honda CR-V. She was not a fan of the comfort in the front seat of the Mazda5 (lacks thigh support and does not go back enough) and was looking for a backup camera and heated cloth seats. Sadly neither are available in the 5. I wish Mazda would throw some love at this model but I believe it will be dead here in Canada by the end of 2017. Such a shame!

      Consumer Reports had once called it one of the best overlooked vehicles and they are right. I had a few Mazda3 customers who needed more room but they would walk right by the 5. I tried suggesting it as a great vehicle and there was no way they would even take it for a drive because of the sliding doors and styling. The people who did give it a try, were pleasantly surprised though.

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