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2005 New Car Model Guide, Model Guide, New Car Reviews, Mazda Cars, Trucks, & SUVs


2005 Mazda New Car Model GuideMore sport-tuned cars show up this year in the line of Mazda, that "Zoom-Zoom" brand from Japan. There's the rotary-powered RX-8 in pillar-less four-door coupe format, a turbo-charged Mazdaspeed Miata roadster, a mid-size sedan titled Mazda6 spinning off a sport wagon and hatchback-style 5-Door, plus the compact-size Mazda3 4-Door and 5-Door. A minivan, SUV and truck also carry the Mazda emblem for 2005.

Mazda RX-8
2005 Mazda RX-8

The slinky sports coupe from Mazda is a high-revving sports car with perfect weight balance and an attitude that seems most satisfied when sent through a slalom course. It's also a high-tech automotive wonder equipped with a modern version of Felix Wankel's rotary engine. And it's a two-door sports car that cleverly conceals a four-door design with the practicality of a sedan and two rows of seats. At the heart of the RX-8 is its powerful rotary engine. The twin-rotor plant, displacing only 1.3 liters, puts intake and exhaust ports on the side in a new design that differs from every previous rotary. When tied to a six-speed manual gearbox, the engine hits 238 hp.

An electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission is also available, but the engine's output dips to 197 hp. Mazda loads the RX-8 with equipment but clusters optional items in packages. The Sport Package includes xenon headlights, fog lamps and a vehicle skid controller; a Touring Package brings a moonroof and Bose audio system, while the Grand Touring Package adds leather seats and heat elements in front buckets and exterior mirrors.

2005 Mazda6

Mazda's sporty mid-size sedan draws from a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine or twin-cam 3.0-liter V6. The sleek package displays styling hints borrowed from European touring cars. A spacious cabin, with two front buckets and a rear bench for three with split folding seatbacks, adds titanium-finish trim elements on the central dash with round dials and chrome accents.

Changing the optional equipment forges new Sport and Grand Touring editions with new safety gear added like side-impact air bags and curtain-style side air bags. Also, the Sport's automatic transmission on V6 models upgrades to six-speed configuration for smooth shifting. A five-door model called -- go figure -- Mazda6 5-Door looks similar to the four-door sedan yet carries a back gate and cargo bay that expands with rear seatbacks folded. And a five-door station wagon also shares components of the Mazda6 sedan but shows the boxy contours of a wagon. Its cargo compartment measures 33.7 cubic feet with seats up and 60.4 cubic feet with seatbacks down.

Mazda Miata
2005 Mazda Miata

Mazda's two-seat and open-top roadster, still the ultimate affordable sports car, has the perfect weight balance which sets up that Miata magic of predictable vehicle control for a driver. For 2005 it continues in two editions -- Miata and Miata LS -- both packing a twin-cam 1.8-liter four-in-line engine zipped to 142 hp. The Miata LS stocks leather seats in either black or parchment, plus power door locks and a Bose audio kit, with a six-disc CD changer optional along with a six-speed manual transmission. The base Miata provides stock items like power steering, power windows and power mirrors, air conditioning, fog lamps and an audio system with CD deck. Two new paint colors emerge this year - Nordic Green and Razor Blue.

Mazda Tribute
2005 Mazda Tribute

Even the sport-utility vehicle from Mazda is fun to drive. Built on the chassis of a front-wheel-drive (FWD) car, Tribute has a tightly tuned suspension and a strong engine that sets up sporty driving traits. Tribute first appeared in Mazda's 2001 line but it shows up in 2005 with a new 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine worth 153 hp for the base trim, Tribute i, as the Tribute 's' edition stocks a 3.0-liter V6 with 200 hp. Anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake force distribution (EBD) are now standard with either trim, and a full-time four-wheel drive (4WD) system is optional. By mid-year a five-speed manual transmission will be offered on the 4WD Tribute i, with a new premium package available for the Tribute i with an automatic transmission.

Mazda MPV
2005 Mazda MPV

The compact-class minivan from Mazda goes by the label of MPV, which means Multi-Purpose Vehicle. It received a face-lift and new cabin features last year and repeats in 2005 with changes to optional packages. Rear air conditioning becomes a stand-alone option for LX trim, the All Sport Package adds power controls to the driver's seat and the LX Plus lists the rear air conditioner as standard.

MPV's cabin has two tall bucket seats in front flanking consoles on the floor and ceiling. On the second row, seats split and slide laterally to form either a continuous bench for two or two stand-alone chairs. The third-row bench, sized for three but more comfortable for two, folds down and disappears into a flat floor to increase rear cargo space. Power sliding rear side doors are optional on the MPV, with side-impact air bags plus a traction control system (TCS) available in a package. The MPV feels enthusiastic because it carries a 3.0-liter V6 that generates 200 hp.

Mazda B-Series Truck
2005 Mazda B-Series

The compact-class trucks from Mazda return for another year with three cab configurations and best-in-class powertrain performance. The two-door Regular Cab works for all B2300 and several B3000 issues, with a four-door extended CabPlus for B3000, and CabPlus4 for some B3000 and all B4000 models with twin rear-hinged back doors. Top truck B4000 -- with 4WD and push-button shifting into four-wheeling mode -- also has a husky six-pack that ripples with 207 hp. This optional engine caps Mazda's B-Series truck line and bumps its trailer-towing ability to 5,900 pounds.

Two other powertrains are offered - the B2300 with a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine worth 140 hp and the B3000 with a 3.0-liter V6 at 150 hp. Special edition Dual Sport carries the raised suspension of a 4WD truck but retains the rear-wheel-drive (RWD) orientation. It also has plush gear like a leather-wrapped steering wheel and cruise control; power to run windows, doors and mirrors; and a bed liner in back.

2005 Mazda3

Compact-class cars from Mazda, with styling drawn from the Mazda MX-Sportif show car, look muscular in the promise of spirited performance and dynamic handling traits. And they bring optimal space in a five-seat cabin plus lively throttle action out of two different four-cylinder engines. The Mazda3 4-Door is styled as a four-door notchback sedan and outfitted with either a 2.0-liter four-pack for 148 hp or a 2.3-liter upgrade with 160 hp. The Mazda3 5-Door is a hatchback aimed at the youth market and decked out with fog lamps, low side skirts and 17-inch alloy wheels. The 5-Door pulls strictly from the larger 2.3-liter engine. All models for 2005 offer an optional audio system fixed for Sirius satellite radio service.