The 5 strikes a good balance between driver appeal and practicality. Diesels should be better still.

What’s new?

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.

Rob Aherne


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