Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Three engines are available to meter out Mazda5 performance.

Petrol options start with the entry level 1.8-litre 113bhp engine that does 0-62mph in 12.8 seconds and a top speed of 113mph. Considering the relatively low power output, this engine carries the 5 well and there is a good amount of power low down in the range.

The top petrol option is the 2.0-litre direct injection version. This comes with 148bhp and will reach the 62mph benchmark in 11 seconds and eventually reach 120mph. Despite the extra power, this is the more disappointing of the two choices. It feels sluggish and you will have to give yourself plenty of time and space before overtaking slower traffic. This top-of-the range choice comes with the manufacturer's start/stop system. The system stops well but won't always work if you’re using the air-con at the same time. The start-up isn’t particularly smooth and it's a little noisy.

There's also a 1.6-litre diesel in just one power output of 113bhp. It’s the slowest of the three engines with 0 to 62mph taking a lengthy 13.7 seconds and a top speed of 111mph. All three engines come with a six-speed manual gearbox that is competent and precise.

This is a bit of a mixed bag for the Mazda. There is a fair amount of body roll despite improvements to the chassis and suspension. Get into a corner – even at moderate speeds – and the driver and passengers will all be fighting against the body lean. Still, the car responds well on turn-in and it is surprisingly agile for a car of this size and shape.

The steering is light at lower speeds making it ideal around town, but get it up to higher speeds and there’s still enough weight to give the driver confidence.