Saturday, September 16, 2006

Horsepower Interpretations

A friend said to me the other day that he was thinking about getting a Mazda5 but that he'd heard it was underpowered (review on Edmunds and see quote below). Underpowered is an assessment not a fact. The car in the US has a 2.3L gas engine with 157/148 horsepower/torque. In the UK the car varies from 113/122 to 141/266 (those last numbers with a diesel that of course we aren't allowed to have over here). TopGear recommends the 2.0L petrol which is rated at 143/137. Are US road conditions really so demanding that we have to have much more powerful engines? This is all interpretation based on culture.
Easy to drive and perfectly adequate scooting around town, the 5 loses some of its flair on the highway, however. When traveling the speed limit, it has nothing left for passing. It offers a quiet, comfortable ride but is at a slight disadvantage in the raging L.A. freeway culture.

During acceleration tests, our best 0-60-mph time was 10.1 seconds and that's without a full load of passengers. We managed our fastest times in "D" rather than manually shifting. Compared to the much larger, much heavier 240-hp V6-powered Honda Odyssey, which managed 0-60 mph in 8.1 seconds during our 2004 Minivan Comparison Test, the Mazda 5 is underpowered in the minivan market. -- Edmunds
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