Customer deliveries of the new seven-seat Mazda5 1.6 diesel start in January 2011 and the model has among the best residual values in the compact multi-activity vehicle segment.
The arrival of the 1.6-litre 115ps 138g/km turbo diesel unit, which is available in TS2 or Sport trim, completes the Mazda5 line-up following the launch of 1.8 and 2.0-litre petrol engine derivatives last autumn.
Residual value experts at CAP have described the Mazda5 as a 'best kept secret' in comparison with rivals in the burgeoning market sector, which include the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso, Ford Grand C-MAX, Peugeot 5008, Renault Grand Scenic and Vauxhall Zafira.
The Mazda5 1.6D TS2 costs £20,650 on the road and the Mazda5 1.6D Sport £21,950. Company car drivers will pay 19 per cent benefit-in-kind tax in 2010/11 on a P11D value of £20,485 and £21,785 respectively.
Jeff Knight, Monitor Editor at CAP, said: "The New Mazda5 is the latest model in the range to receive the Nagare design language treatment. The vehicle also boasts the versatile Karakuri seating system giving the option of a seventh seat or a storage compartment. Additionally, both trim levels have key items of enhanced specification in comparison to the previous model range.
"All of that should prove popular in the fleet market when combined with the new 1.6D 115ps engine that emits 138g/km of CO2 as it makes the vehicle highly competitive within the medium MPV sector."
CAP predicts that the Mazda5 1.6D Sport will retain 32% of its value at the three-year/60,000-mile benchmark giving the model a value of £7,000, while the Mazda5 TS2 will retain 31 per cent of its value over the same period giving a value of £6,375. Pence per mile operating costs, according to CAP are 36.55p for the Sport and 35.38p for the TS2.
That means that residual values are ahead of much of the competition including the models from Citroen, Peugeot, Renault and Vauxhall.
Meanwhile, Steve Paterson, Head of Data and Whole Life Costs Products at International Decision Systems, said: "Mazda has given the '5' a complete makeover changing both the inside and out.
"The model is available with new engines, sliding doors, seven seats with the second and third row seats stowing flat and easily pulled back up and plenty of legroom. High quality interior materials are used and the unusual wavy lines running along the side from the front doors to the rear lamps based on patterns formed when wind blows across water give the car a very attractive look.
"The drive and comfort for all is first class and probably much more important than performance."
International Decision Systems gives both the Mazda5 1.6D TS2 and Sport a three-year/60,000-mile residual value forecast of 36 per cent with pence per mile operating costs of 34.15p and 35.86p respectively.
The seven-seat Mazda5 is also available with a 1.8-litre 115ps petrol engine in TS trim and a 2.0-litre 150ps petrol engine in TS2 and Sport trim. On-the-road prices are £18,150, £19,350 and £20,650 respectively.
Standard equipment levels across the range include: six airbags, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Traction Control System (TCS), two ISOFIX child seat anchor points, air-conditioning, cruise control, a six-speaker CD audio unit and alloy wheels. The 112-litre loadbay in seven-seat mode can be enlarged to 426-litres in four-seat configuration, while folding all five rear seats flat creates a vast floor to ceiling loadbay of 1,485-litres.
Mazda Fleet and Remarketing Director Peter Allibon said: "The addition of the Mazda5 diesel completes our compact multi-activity vehicle line-up, while giving fleets a complete five-model range - Mazda2, Mazda3, Mazda5, Mazda6 and CX-7 topped by the iconic MX-5.
"Just a few years ago Mazda only had the '6' as a fleet market competitor, we are now able to offer vehicle choices for all circumstances whether the requirements is for a city car, a load-lugging estate, a high-mileage rep car or a lifestyle vehicle for user-choosers."
He added: "Once again the experts are forecasting strong residual value and competitive wholelife cost figures for another Mazda model. Added to a CO2 figure of below 140g/km we anticipate the new 1.6D will prove popular with fleet operators and company car drivers."Published 11 January 2011