From £17,845
The 5 strikes a good balance between driver appeal and practicality. Diesels should be better still.

Our Verdict

Mazda 5

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

  • First Drive

    Mazda 5 2.0 TS2

    Nice to drive and well priced, but still a niche choice. Worth waiting for the diesel variant
  • First Drive

    Mazda 5 1.8 TS

    A compact, practical and flexible MPV worth popping on the shopping list
21 July 2005

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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