Mazda5 MPV

£20,495 - £21,895

Mazda has done some great things with its model range of late – with cars such as the Mazda6 and Mazda CX-5 – but its Mazda 5 MPV is starting to look a bit outdated by comparison. The styling matches the last-generation models and was, apparently, inspired by ‘water, wind and nature’, with mixed results.

As you would expect of an MPV, the Mazda 5 gets a hugely practical cabin that has seven seats and a very flexible row of middle seats that be configured several different ways depending on your needs, although the central seat is quite small. The Mazda's sliding rear doors also offer a distinct advantage over conventional swing doors, and getting in and out should be easy, no matter how tight the parking space.

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

The Mazda 5 comes in one level of trim called Sport Venture.