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Car companies are no strangers when it comes to collaborating on a vehicle and selling it in different markets. Case in point, what we call the Mitsubishi Outlander, in France is sold as the Peugeot 4007 and the Citroen C-crosser.
Typically, such collaborations start from the very beginning, but that is not the case with Nissan and Mazda. While Mazda has been selling its Mazda5 mini-van (called Premacy in Japan) for a few years now, Nissan has just rebadged a version of it for itself, and are calling it the Lafesta Highway STAR, and it will be on sale in Japan, not some market where Nissan exists and Mazda doesn’t.
The Lafesta Highway STAR is simply a Mazda5 with a new grille, even the interior is exactly the same, including the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine with direct injection technology. Also included is an“Idling Stop System” which cuts the engine when the vehicle is at a stop, this vehicle can achieve 10-miles/liter of petrol. That means it qualifies as a low emissions vehicle in Japan.
The Lafesta Highway STAR can be had either as a front-wheel drive vehicle with a five-speed automatic transmission or all-wheel drive with a four-speed automatic transmission.
This model is on sale in Japan now, so if you’ve always wanted a Mazda with a Nissan badge, your prayers have been answered.
The re-designed Mazda5, the smallest minivan available for sale in North America, will go on sale with a base price of $19,990 starting in January of 2011.
The Mazda5 will come in three trim levels, with the base trim being Sport, Touring being the mid-level and Grand Touring acting as a top of the line car. All models get Dynamic Stability Control , traction control, anti-lock brakes , tire-pressure monitoring, and a multitude of airbags. Luxury features like Bluetooth start to appear on the Touring model, but the good news for the certifiably nutty is that a 5-speed manual is available on this sliding-door equipped van! It doesn’t get much better than that, as far as we’re concerned.
After the car first broke cover in Euro-spec form at the Geneva Auto Show, Mazda has finally rolled out the second-generation of its Mazda5 model at the LA Auto Show. The car’s clever packaging has yet to catch on, which is surprising when it delivers as much space as a mid-size crossover and comes with a fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engine. Oh, and Mazda has always offered the 5 (based on a version of the Mazda3 platform) with a manual transmission – how very European!
For 2012 the all-new Mazda5 gets a more swoopy design, while the engine grows in size from 2.3-liters to 2.5-liters with a total of 157-hp and 163 ft-lbs of torque. A 5-speed automatic transmission is standard on most models, with a 6-speed manual the base transmission on the Sport trim.
Mazda says fuel economy is unchanged, despite the displacement increase.
In terms of safety, the 5 comes with stability control as well as a new Brake Override Feature.
For 2012 the Mazda5 will be offered in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trim levels. Standard features on the Sport model include 16-inch alloy wheels, power windows and door locks, power mirrors, A/C, a 6-speaker audio system, tilt and telescopic steering, remote keyless entry, a driver’s one-touch up/down window, a 50/50 split 3rd row seat and steering wheel mounted audio and cruise controls. Touring models get the 5-speed automatic, 17-inch wheels, an aero kit with rear spoiler, fog lights, Bluetooth and a leather wrapped steering wheel. The top-level Grand Touring trim then gets a power moonroof, HID automatic on/off headlights, heated mirrors, rain sensing wiper, driver’s seat lumbar, heated front seats and leather throughout.
GALLERY: 2012 Mazda5
Get even more details on all three trim levels after the jump: