Mazda5 will give buyers a fresh and innovative choice in the fast-growing - and congested - Compact MAV (Multi Activity Vehicle) segment.
As the UK's best selling sports car brand in 2004 Mazda plans to inject some excitement and fun into this rather staid market.
"Four manufacturers have 75% of the segment between them so the rest of us can only be niche players there," said Jeremy Thomson, Sales Director for Mazda UK.
"We have a unique product with its 6 + 1 seating arrangement and sliding rear doors and typical of other Mazdas we expect exceptionally strong resale values."
Cars in the C-MAV segment today offer the same seating capacity as traditional full size MPVs but on a compact and easy-to-drive platform which is one of their big attractions, he said.
The medium and small family car segments are shrinking as people turn to vehicles like the new Mazda5, so they want something that is stylish and distinctive.
"People don’t necessarily see themselves as ‘family’ men or women who need a utilitarian or boxy ‘family’ car. They want a car that is attractive and also fun to drive and in general don't want to make any compromises in moving to a more practical vehicle.
The advertising for the new vehicle will reinforce this theme with the tag line of "Surprisingly stimulating."
Mazda5 went on sale from July 22 priced from £14,300 to £17,950 for the petrol versions, with diesel models following early next year, starting from £15,900.
There are eight models in the line-up with a choice of four powertrains and four equipment levels. All eight will feature a regular six-seat layout over three rows with the flexibility of a stowable seventh seat in the middle of the second row.
Its major innovation is the smooth and lightweight twin sliding rear doors, a first in the C-MAV segment. "It’s a unique feature that dramatically improves access to the rear seats making it suitable even for adults. This will help it to retain its value on the used market, much like the Mazda RX-8 does," said Thomson.Published 2 August 2005