The Mazda5 made its UK debut on the 22nd July 2005 and it has been given a facelift for 2008, we drove the pre-face lifted model in 2006 ( Mazda5 Review ) and at the time commended Mazda for producing a well-conceived and executed family vehicle that was fun to drive.

Since then the Mazda5 has been revised with a refreshed design, including new front and rear bumpers, new front and rear light clusters, new front grille, new-style 16-inch and 17-inch alloy wheels, and a choice of eight exterior colours.

Plus now there are power sliding doors (as part of an option package) and a new automatic transmission option.  The new car has a more luxurious interior finish, a higher comfort and convenience specification, new suspension settings for optimised handling and enhanced refinement, improved fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions.  A more individualised Sports Appearance Pack is fitted as standard on Sport and Sport Nav models.

Mazda’s market research shows that the majority of Mazda5 owners are 35-to-45 year old professionals with young families who enjoy a busy lifestyle and an above average income. A finding endorsed by the current sales mix with almost 50 per cent of buyers choosing the range-topping Sport or Sport Nav models, which we drove this time round.

There is a choice of four engines, 1.8 litre(115p), 2.0 litre(146ps) petrol engines and 2.0 litre(110ps) and 2.0 litre(143ps) diesel engines. If you require an automatic, then this is only available with the 2.0 litre petrol engine. The 1.8 litre comes with a 5-speed manual box and the rest of the range gets a 6-speed box as standard.

There are four trim levels, starting with the 1.8 TS specification at £14,770 rising to £20,355 for the Mazda5 Sport Nav diesel.

We drove the Mazda5 2.0 Diesel (143ps) Sport Nav which was fitted with the optional luxury pack.

The 2.0 litre diesel engine delivers 143ps @ 3500 rpm and produces 360Nm of torque at 2000 rpm. This propels the Mazda5 from 0-62 mph in just 11 seconds and onto a top speed of 122 mph.  The engine pulls very well throughout the entire range and feels quicker than the quoted 0-62 mph time. The 6-speed manual gearbox at times felt a little notchy and we would have liked to have seen the option of a diesel automatic, especially on a family orientated vehicle - it is simply more relaxing to drive.

Overall the diesel engine is a sensible choice if you do a fair amount of mileage, losing out fractionally to the equivalent petrol model on performance but making up for it in fuel economy. The diesel engine costs £1465 more over the equivalent 2.0 petrol engine.  Mazda quotes an urban figure of 38.7 mpg, extra-urban 52.3 mpg and a combined figure of 46.3 mpg. The 2.0 litre petrol engine had a quoted combined figure of 34 mpg.

Mazda5 Review | Part Two

Published : 20/08/08 Author : Melanie Carter

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