We’d steer potential Mazda 5 buyers towards the TS2 rather than the Sport specification of the 1.6 diesel Mazda 5, unless leather seats are a real priority. It misses very little else from the standard kit list. Even the entry-level car with the 1.8 petrol engine gets a decent roster of kit – the all important air-con plus electric windows all round, alloy wheels and plenty of safety equipment.
TS2 adds privacy glass, rear parking sensors, climate control and Bluetooth. The 5 comes respectably equipped in Sport trim, including those leather seats (of average feel), cruise and climate control and parking sensors. Like most Mazdas, the 5 is relatively light on options; you can’t get factory-fit sat-nav. Given the cheapness and excellence of many aftermarket nav systems, that is no bad thing
Against the 1.6 diesel’s natural rivals (Ford’s Grand C-Max in 1.6 TDCi Zetec trim and a Peugeot 5008 1.6 HDi Sport, all three of which share some engine components, interestingly), the 5 Sport looks a little pricey. The Ford looks like the bargain of the trio. However, the 5 – as befits a car that will sell in more limited numbers and to fewer fleets – is also predicted to retain more of its value than the other two, making it marginally cheaper to run over that time.
Our 1.6 diesel test example proved frugal enough. We saw a respectable 41.2mpg on our touring route, and no less than 35.1mpg in overall mixed driving, still some away from the claimed average of 54.3mpg. Even with stop/start fitted the 2.0-litre petrol only manages to improve the 1.8’s official claimed average 39.2mpg to 40.9mpg.
The 1.8 and 2.0 petrol duo fall some way short of that, and only really make sense if you won't cover many miles. It's a hard call to make between which unit is better, but the larger engine does at least carry Mazda's i-stop fuel-saving tech, meaning emissions and economy are improved.