Practical rear sliding doors, rear-most seats can take adults, good grip for a car of its size and shape, stylish looks
Six plus one rather than seven-seater, fussy interior, 2.0-litre petrol engine feels sluggish, unorthodox styling
The seven-seat people carrier. Never before has there been so much choice and while the Mazda5 may not be the first to spring to mind it is worth considering.
It has been seating seven since 2005 and has done a decent job of it too. This time it gets the full design overhaul with the look inspired by water, wind and nature.
Basically, it's got some flowing lines along the side of the car. The styling is an opinion-splitter but Mazda's ‘family face’, also found on models like the 6 and the 3, is an improvement giving the 5 a sharper front end.
Seats seven - just
While the manufacturer claims it will seat seven, squashing someone into the middle seat of the second row is not recommended and is best reserved for small children making this more of a 6+1 rather than a bona fide seven-seater. However, don’t let this put you off. The clever folding seats make the interior incredibly functional and practical, while you get the usual Mazda build quality and reliability.
Three engines available
Engine options are limited to three - a 1.8-litre petrol with 113bhp was dropped during the car's life cycle and in the end just the 2.0-litre petrol and 1.6-litre diesel were left in the range. The former has 148bhp for a sprint to 62mph in 11 seconds, while the latter means CO2 emissions as low as 138g/km and claimed average fuel economy of 54.3mpg. Not too shabby for a seven-seater people-carrier.
Update in 2013
In early 2013 a new Venture trim level was announced. Available in both petrol and diesel guises, the new specification includes rear parking sensors, a tyre pressure monitoring system, an automatic dimming rear-view mirror, sat-nav, Bluetooth connectivity, climate control, cruise control and a six-speaker stereo system.
There's also a range of new colours on offer and some new 'bright finish' 17-inch alloy wheels.
Although it's been around a fair while now, the Mazda5 does have a lot to recommend it for the buyer who is looking for something a little out of the box. To find out more about this car, read on for the full Mazda5 review.