There is no escaping the Mazda magic when you get behind the wheel of the new seven-seater on offer. The latest version of the Mazda 5 is bigger, quieter, more powerful and more environmentally friendly than most cars in its class. The only thing that has not changed compared to the outgoing model is the price which has hardly moved despite the improvements. It gives a warm feeling to know you are getting good value for money and this is true of all Mazda models these days.
There is an old saying that the best cars for reliability and build quality are Japanese cars built in Japan and this is very obvious in the new Mazda 5. The finish is flawless and it is a certain candidate for top marks in the highly regarded JD Power reliability awards in the future.
The long sleek body now has a sporty look with stylish curves in the metal which complement the twin sliding rear doors. These are electrically operated and make for the easiest entry/exit, even to the third row of seats. Up front it gets the Mazda family face, while inside the cabin is even more roomy than the outgoing model and there are lots of storage spaces.
The rear seats are easily folded away and this leaves up to 1,485 litres of luggage space. With the seats in the upright position designers have allowed for extra legroom for second- and third-row passengers.
Lather seats are on offer depending on trim level, and although the external measurements are much the same as the outgoing model, a lot of creative work has gone into the interior. Even with all seats occupied there is room for the family pet and some luggage.
The new model gets a responsive 1.6-litre turbodiesel engine which puts out 115bhp and a very respectable 270Nm of torque between 1,750 and 2,500rpm. This replaces the two-litre 90bhp engine in the outgoing model and result is that the car is now much more fun to drive. The engine is mated to smooth six-speed manual transmission and the changes are slick. The clutch pedal has a very light touch.
Overall the new set-up results in a 15% lower fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions (from 159g/km to 138g/km) which puts it into Band B (€156 road tax). Mazda says overall fuel consumption is 5.2L/100km but 8.5L/100km is more realistic in mixed driving.
The suspension allows the driver to do some smart cornering but the traction control and ESP keep all on board safe. Country roads are ironed out easily and overall roadholding cannot be faulted.
There are four specification levels – Comfort (€24,995), Executive (€25,995), Executive SE (€26,995) and Sport (€29,995). Bluetooth comes as standard, and cruise control, folding wing mirrors and leather seats are available. The safety pack includes a full complement of airbags as well as ESP and traction control.
A new, face-lifted Mazda 2, which has been tweaked to fall into Band A (€104 road tax), is also on offer.
Get off to a profitable sports betting start today at sportsbetting.co.uk