Currently reading: Mazda 5 grows soft in middle age
Facelifted MPV gets automatic sliding doors, improved economy, lower CO2

Mazda’s mid-sized MPV, the Mazda 5, is being made a little softer, better-equipped and cheaper-to-run as part of the car’s first major facelift since its launch in 2005.The seven-seater remains the only car of its size to get sliding rear doors, which make it easier to get in and out of in tight parking spaces. As of 2008, Mazda will make them open and close electrically, at the touch of a button by the steering wheel, on the door or on the key fob, for anyone willing to pay for the optional extra.The car’s getting new front and rear bumpers, new light clusters, a new front grille, new 16- and 17in alloy wheels and a choice of seven new exterior colours too. On the inside, the cabin’s been made “with a more luxurious finish,” says Mazda, and gets new satellite navigation and audio systems, and a Bluetooth mobile ‘phone system. It’s also been made quieter, more refined and comfortable to ride in by a noise-reducing resonator, strengthened wheel rims, a thicker roof lining, some more compliant chassis settings and an easier-to-modulate hydraulic braking assistance system.Every new Mazda 5 will be more fuel efficient and CO2-parsimonious too; the 1.8-litre petrol and all diesel models have moved down one Road Fund Licence tax band.


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The second-generation Mazda 5 faces tougher than ever opposition, with established rivals like the Ford Grand C-Max controlling the MPV segment

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