The handling and ride are well-balanced making the M5 fun to drive
The 1400kg M5 can hit a top speed of 122mph
The folding chair in the middle of the rear cabin is a clever addition
Twin sliding doors are a first for mini MPVs
The looks aren't great, but the Mazda5 has many other advantages over its rivals
That 2.0-litre engine packs a punch, and twinned with the five-speed 'box it runs smoothly
The folding seats make the interior highly flexible and give good luggage space
Everything. The 5 replaces the Premacy and MPV models in the Mazda line-up, but all similarities with its uninspiring predecessors end there. Based on the same platform as the Ford Focus C-Max, the Mazda trumps its sibling by offering seven seats – including a clever folding central chair in the middle row – and twin sliding doors, a first for mini-MPVs.
What’s it like?
Compared to a Premacy it’s a revelation. The trick doors and seats combine to make the interior superbly flexible, although in reality it’s primarily a six-seater. Thanks to those underpinnings the 5 is a surprisingly decent drive, too: the 2.0-litre engine is punchy, the five-speed ‘box crisp and the handling and ride finely balanced for an MPV. And it’s well equipped and good value compared to rivals, even if the looks are unlikely to set your trousers on fire.
Should I buy one?
You should. It’s one of few MPVs that can please drivers without making the family feel hard done by. Try one before buying a Zafira or Touran.