Mazda's design language, known as "Nagare," has come to the Mazda5, and the effect has been a positive one. Shown at the LA Auto Show, the 2012 Mazda5 does look a bit like an over-caffeinated cat, but we mean that in the nicest possible way. The otherwise flowing look keeps the Mazda5 from having the box-on-wheels look that plagues so many people movers. A bigger engine will be offered for the 2012 too, bumping displacement up to 2.5-liters and allowing for 157 hp.
A five-speed automatic transmission comes standard, but an available Sport trim has a six-speed manual. In addition, there will be an entry-level trim, as well as Touring and Grand Touring. Unfortunately, you can only have all the bells and whistles on the Grand Touring, but you can't get it in a manual. Nothing more annoying than having to choose between a power moonroof and a stick.