This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Mazda 5 (10-15) review.

Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

From the behind the wheel, it's clear that the 5 is part of the Mazda family, with clear instruments, upmarket-feeling materials and a generally good driving position. The gearstick is sited conveniently on the dashboard and has a slick shift action, and with the exception of a steep windscreen pillar - which could obscure cyclists or motorcyclists when turning at junctions - visibility is excellent.

It is often the case with seven-seat people carriers that the two seats in the third-row are the occasional ones. The Mazda5 is different in that the centre-seat in the second row is the part-time one - it can be folded to one side or used as an armrest. The centre seat base also folds away into the cushion of one of the other seats. However this middle seat is not as comfortable as the outer ones and not really suitable for adults on long journeys.

The third row is surprisingly roomy though, with decent legroom, which can even be expanded if necessary by sliding the second row forward. The Mazda5 has a supple ride. Driving over bumps or expansion joints in the roads poses no problems, even for models on larger wheels.