Mazda pretty much owns the MPV market on this side of the Atlantic, but it faces stiffer competition in Europe and is about to get more rivals in North America from models like the Ford C-Max and Chevy Orlando. So to stay ahead of the competition, the Japanese automaker will debut an all-new second generation Mazda5 model (called the Premacy in some markets) at the Geneva Auto Show in March.
Mazda gave the 5 a facelift in 2008 and while this model looks only like a cosmetic tweak (like the new Mazda3) there’s more to it than that. In Europe the new 5 will be offered with either a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder or a 2.o-liter 4-cylinder with direct-injection and Mazda’s i-stop start-stop technology, which will reduce emissions by 15 percent. Both engines will come with a 6-speed manual transmission as standard.
As for the aesthetic changes, they include some swoopy lines on the side of the car, inspired by Mazda’s recent concepts like the Nagare and Furai. In addition, it’s hard to miss the aggressive (or, as some might, say, excessively happy) front end.
Once it arrives in North America, we expect to find the company’s 167-hp 2.5-liter engine under the hood, most likely mated to a six-speed manual transmission as standard.
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GALLERY: 2011 Mazda5
Official release after the jump: