Mazda will meet increasing company car driver demand for vehicle choice and flexibility with its 2005 entry into the fast-growing mini-MPV sector.

The Mazda5 made its world debut at last year’s Paris Motor Show, alongside the Mazda6 MPS, and it will find its way onto company car choice lists just as the UK MPV segment reaches record levels.

Flexible lifestyle vehicles are in high demand from company car user-choosers. In fact, total C-segment mini-MPV sales in 2004 was more than 15 per cent up on 2003’s 220,008 units, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

The Mazda5’s double sliding doors on both sides - unique in the class - provide entry to a vehicle with room for up to seven adults and walk-through convenience, while the cabin’s open space encourages and facilitates interaction between passengers with an emphasis on flexibility and comfort.

The Mazda5, which will enter showrooms in the final quarter of 2005, has a unique seating concept which sees the second row of seats slide adjust and recline, and both second and third row seats can be folded down to form a large load area with a virtually-flat floor.

The engine line-up will include two derivatives of a newly-developed 2.0-litre common-rail turbo diesel engine (110ps and 143ps) with a catalytic diesel particulate filter and a new six-speed manual transmission. Completing the list of Mazda5 powertrains will be two four-cylinder MZR series petrol engines - a 1.8-litre with 115ps and a 2.0-litre producing 145ps - matched to a five-speed manual transmission.

Mazda fleet and remarketing director Adam Pumfrey: "The flexibility the Mazda5 provides, coupled with the driving experience and seating configuration gives us a unique vehicle in a fast-growing market sector.

‘While the likes of the Vauxhall Zafira and the Renault Mégane may be the market leaders we believe that the success Mazda has had in other sectors of the fleet market place will be repeated in this segment.

"The Mazda5 will come with the same hallmarks as established fleet and user-chooser sector offerings, such as the Mazda6, MX-5 and RX-8, including superb reliability, excellent value for money and ultra-competitive wholelife costs.

continues... | Part Two

Published : 23/02/05 Author : Melanie Carter

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