Mazda5 MPV

Mazda5 MPV

reviewed by Carbuyer

  • Big, versatile cabin
  • Lots of luggage space
  • Comfortable ride
  • Divisive styling
  • Small middle seat
  • Getting long in the tooth

"Wild looks aside, the seven-seat Mazda5 is good to drive, versatile and competitively priced."

Mazda has launched some great cars of late, such as the Mazda6 saloon and Mazda CX-5 SUV – but its Mazda5 MPV is starting to look a bit outdated in comparison. The styling harks back to a previous generation of Mazdas and was apparently inspired by ‘water, wind and nature’ – with mixed results.

As you’d expect of an MPV, the Mazda5 gets a hugely practical cabin that has seven seats and a very versatile row of middle seats that can be configured several different ways depending on your needs. The central seat is quite small, however. The Mazda's sliding rear doors also offer a distinct advantage over conventional doors, so getting in and out should be easy no matter how tight the parking space. 

Choosing an engine is easy (there are only two) and the 1.6-litre diesel is the one we’d go for. It isn’t fast, but it is economical, while the 2.0-litre petrol isn’t much quicker and is also a lot less frugal. It's starting to look old in a market now dominated by smaller petrols that are more efficient and just as quick.

Keeping up with the likes of the Ford S-MAX and even its Mazda CX-5 sibling, the Mazda5 is very good to drive and manages to limit the feeling that you’re driving a big MPV by having a good ride and loads of grip.

The Mazda5 comes in one trim level: Sport Venture. It's priced to match rivals like the Volkswagen Touran and Toyota Verso and gets climate control, cruise control, sat nav and big alloy wheels as standard. There are very few options on offer other than dealer-fit accessories.

The biggest issue with the Mazda5 is the car's age – it's now really getting on a bit and hard to recommend in the face of much newer rivals. Mazda stopped producing the 5 in February 2015 and it's set to be taken off UK price lists in September. The remaining dealer stock is expected to have all been sold before then, though, so if you really want one, you’ll need to be quick – and make sure you secure a significant discount, too.

MPG, running costs & CO2

2.6 / 5

The Mazda5 uses engines that are nowhere near as economical as those in rivals

Engines, drive & performance

2.7 / 5

The petrol engine fitted to the Mazda5 is a better performer than the economical diesel

Interior & comfort

2.4 / 5

The Mazda5 has a comfortable ride and good driving position

Practicality & boot space

3.2 / 5

The Mazda5 sliding doors are a neat touch, but its boot space is beaten by many of its rivals

Reliability & safety

3.4 / 5

Mazda has a good reputation for reliability and the Mazda5 has plenty of safety kit

What the others say

3.3 / 5
based on 3 reviews
3 / 5
The newcomer's looks are immediately striking. It the front, the 5 shares its nose, complete with gaping grille, with the Mazda3, which also provides the underpinnings for the MPV. But it's in profile that the nagare influence is most felt, with three waves which undulate down each flank. The creases in the bodywork are sensitive to colour, so on lighter cars you barely notice the striking lines.
4 / 5
The seven-seat people carrier. Never before has there been so much choice and while the Mazda5 may not be the first to spring to mind it is worth considering. It has been seating seven since 2005 and has done a decent job of it too. This time it gets the full design overhaul with the look inspired by water, wind and nature. Basically, it's got some flowing lines along the side of the car.
3 / 5
The Mazda 5 looks smart and handles well, as well as having a decent amount of space in the cabin. You get lots of standard equipment for your money, too.
The previous generation Mazda5 was a chunky, well-styled car. It had a powerful nose and sturdy flanks that were usually specked with mud in the case of the one belonging to Andrew, the Telegraph Motoring photographer. His Mazda5 was always stuffed with tripods, hefty rucksacks filled with lenses, maps and satnav machines and the detritus of family living.
What owners say 
4 /5 based on 182 reviews
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
17 Jun 2015
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