Dynamometer Model: Model 224X Dynojet
Testing Facility: Raceline Development USA
In 2006, Mazda sought out a new car design by taking a vehicle, raising the roof line and adding sliding rear doors to birth the Mazda5: a vehicle that combines the best features of a wagon, an SUV, and a car. With styling reminiscent of a minivan that’s been reduced to seven-eighths scale, the Mazda5’s subcompact crossover design allows it to handle more like a car than an SUV, but with the convenience of third row seating. The Mazda5 shares a similar design and 2.3L engine with the Mazda3, delivering a factory-rated 153 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque.
Finding aftermarket performance parts for the Mazda5 proved difficult. After a little research on the web, we found three bolt-ons.
A long-time friend graciously offered up his Mazda5 to test in Power Pages this month. The Mazda wagon was given a freshening up with an oil change and spark plug check before dynoing. Our baseline dyno figures were expectedly low due to the vehicle’s five-speed automatic transmission.
5Zigen Border S Exhaust
Exhaust, instructions, sticker
12- and 14mm sockets; 12- and 14mm open-end wrenches; ratchet; extension; crescent wrench; WD-40
The 5Zigen Border S axle-back exhaust delivers additional power gains without the unpleasant, increased decibel levels associated with aftermarket upgrades. The 304 stainless steel exhaust is equipped with a 90mm slanted tip and polished muffler to improve both the looks and tone of our Mazda.
Installing the Border S exhaust with the factory spring-loaded bolts required scavenging the studs off the factory exhaust. The studs were stubborn to remove and required a pair of Vise-Grips and some WD-40 to break loose.
Dyno testing the exhaust revealed an increase in power and torque throughout the powerband, with healthy gains in the midrange to top-end (3,500 rpm to redline). Keep in mind this exhaust system still uses the factory mid-pipe and catalytic converter to keep the vehicle smog legal, while its quiet tone keeps the cops off your back.
K&N Typhoon Cold-Air Intake
High-flow filter, two-piece aluminum intake pipe, mounting hardware, three-ply silicone couplers, stainless steel clamps
10-, 12-, and 14mm sockets; 10-, 12-, and 14mm open-end wrenches; ratchet; extension; screwdriver; pliers
Taking one look at the stock airbox, it’s no surprise that the 2.3L engine’s air supply is literally being chocked off with power-robbing restrictions. The K&N cold-air intake is designed with a two-piece, 3-inch, mandrel-bent aluminum intake pipe that can be configured either as a cold-air intake or a short-ram intake. Interestingly enough, the K&N kit we used is designed for the ’04 to ’08 Mazda3 equipped with a 2.3L or 2.0L engine (P/N: 69-6010TS). We were hesitant at first because we thought the intake would pose fitment problems due to it being designed for a completely different vehicle platform, but found it to fit perfectly, as if designed for the ’09 Mazda5 as well.
Installing the cold-air intake requires pulling the resonator box located behind the bumper on the passenger side. The resonator was difficult to extricate, as its unique design inconveniently wrapped around the bumper support. Removing the unit required plenty of patience to remove every nut and bolt before we were able to fully remove it.
The new cold-air intake system increased both horsepower and torque throughout the powerband, as the Mazda5 saw consistent gains of 4 hp and 5 lb-ft of torque from 4,000 rpm to 4,890 rpm, and 6 hp and 5 lb-ft of torque from 5,250 rpm to redline.