Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Unfortunately this is the biggest disappointment in this car. While all the dials and buttons are well laid out and the centre console clear and easy to understand, it’s all very dreary.

The materials used are dark and this makes the inside of the cabin feel very samey. Another issue is the baffling number of materials found around the cabin. There’s a different material for the dash, for the stereo surround and then a different material for the inside of the door. And while many of Mazda’s competitors offer soft-touch plastics on even mid-trim models, even the top spec Sport models get tough plastics that are rather cheap looking compared to the rivals.

Mazda5 comfort levels are pretty good. While the Japanese manufacturer claims the model can seat seven, you do have to be particular about who will be in which seat.

Unlike many other seven-seat cars the rear-most seats aren’t the issue, the issue is with the middle seat in the second row, which is only really suitable for small children.

You can take this middle seat out for people to walk through to get to the sixth and seventh seat, which can be very convenient. The second row also slides back and forth which makes it all very flexible and, as a result, you can easily fit two adults in the middle row and two in the third row seats without any problems.

All passenger seats are comfortable and the driver’s and front passenger’s are also cosseting with good side supports. There’s a little wind noise, especially at higher speeds. Road noise is minimal and the cabin is also well insulated against engine noise