By on 2012-07-23 -
Mazda5 1.6D Sport
AFTER a thorough makeover the current Mazda5 features a much more purposeful look to its design and with busy flowing lines through the door panels the car stands out from most of the MPV crowd.
The seven seat Mazda5 was one of the first medium size MPVs to use sliding doors which can be motorised as an option.
But even without the electric doors the vehicle is a boon to families with practicality and kiddy safety enhancements created and designed to ensure days out are a pleasure.
In tightly packed car parks the sliding doors are easily opened and provide good access to the middle and rearmost seats.
In fact, the middle row of seats all adjust independently while the centre pew can be stowed completely to make a handy walkway through to the back row.
That's a thoughtful piece of design, particularly if you are carrying youngsters who can decide to become a little unruly on occasions.
With five seats in place there is a decent 426 litres of luggage capacity while, with only the driver and one front passenger to consider there is a vast flat floored cargo area designed to accommodate all manner of long or bulky items.
On the road the Mazda5 1.6D Sport is enjoyable to drive.
In a nicely appointed and generously kitted out cabin the durable feel of the fabrics suggests the upholstery may be quite youngster proof.
Perhaps the only downside is the third row of seats which are a little tight on legroom unless the middle seats are slid quite well forward.
Mazda mechanical reliability is legendary as for some years now the car maker has earned a well deserved reputation for manufacturing trouble free motors.
Powered by Mazda's latest 1.6-litre diesel which has replaced the old 2.0-litre oil burner, the newcomer is more muscular and, with an extra 5bhp under the bonnet, total power to hand is now 113bhp.
This smaller engine is also paired with a lighter gearbox and overall the seven seater Mazda5 weighs some 120kg less than the old model.
As a result it feels more agile and with body roll well under control there's plenty of grip to enjoy from this MPV.
The steering is nicely weighted and precise while the whole vehicle delivers a comfortably competent performance in all parts.
Fuel economy and overall CO2 output has been improved rising to 54.3mpg while the emissions drop from 159g/km to 138g/km.
All three trim levels are generous from the 1.8 TS to the SportD and safety has been properly addressed, too, with all models featuring front side and curtain airbags, ISOFIX child seat anchor points along with ABS with electronic brake force distribution and emergency brake assist.
Overall, this is a fine effort from Mazda and it proved enjoyable and fun to drive while challenging the likes of the Ford Grand C-MAX in the people carrying stakes.
Mazda5 1.6D Sport
Mechanical: 113bhp, 1,500cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max Speed: 111mph
Combined MPG: 54.3
Insurance Group: 16
C02 emissions: 138g/km
Bik rating: 18%
Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles
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