The 2008 MAZDA5 gets a slight face lift featuring a new grille, headlight and taillight design. A revised dash includes a new center console, electroluminescent gauges and second-row fan-speed controls. A new five-speed automatic becomes standard on Touring and Grand Touring trims.
The Mazda5 is an interesting offering. Built from the same chassis that spawned the smash-hit Mazda3, the Mazda5 looks like a cross between a compact hatchback and a midsize minivan. Offering sliding side doors and three-row seating, the Mazda5 can certainly swallow its share of people and cargo, and its willing suspension is truly delightful. If the Mazda5 has a weak point it's that the standard 2.3-liter engine lacks enough muscle to give this family-friendly vehicle the "Zoom-Zoom" attitude found in the CX-7 and Mazda6 Sport Wagon. Still, for those who travel mostly in urban settings and don't require the ability to tow a trailer, the Mazda5 makes an excellent alternative to a cramped compact wagon or heavy SUV.