Let’s face it, there’s a veritable sea of MPV type cars out there to choose from, so what is it that we need from this segment of cars?
Foremost should be room, a big boot and at least six usable seats. It should be easy to park – and for bonus points, it should have sliding doors on the back. The Mazda 5 has all these things and has the potential to be the perfect parent partner car.
The important business of a car like this happens in the back so lets start there. In 4/5 seat mode, there’s a huge boot with a decent flat floor with some load spaces under the floor.
One problem I did have is that there’s no where to put the boot cover, it’s like a roller blind, but when you want to use the back row of seats there’s nowhere to store the cover, which is rather inconvenient when your kids decide to bring home some friends, so I ended up putting the cover in the garage and there it stayed while I had the car.
The back row of seats are just about big enough for adults on a short trip and they’re handy enough to get in and out because of the sliding door.
The next row of seats are made up of two decent-sized seats and one moveable short journey middle seat that can be cleverly folded away to make a load through for the boot. This is something Mazda call Karakuri seating, which is clever if a little over-engineered.
The sliding doors make access to the child row very easy,and the kids can hop in and out easy enough. The doors are also available in electric sliding if you want to be truly cool at the school gates.
There’s decent space up front and lots of adjustment on the drivers side, it’ll take awhile but you’ll find a comfy spot to sit. You’ll get a trip computer, Bluetooth, AUX connector, air con, cruise control and lots of other toys if you plump for the mid range.
On the road, the Mazda 5 does a good job at keeping everyone in the car comfy and free from that seasick feeling I get when I sit in the back row of MPV style cars.
Handling isn’t bad either, it’s surprisingly agile in the corners, even though I thought there’d be a lot of body roll due to the height it remained straight up.
The 1.6 diesel has loads of low down torque to get you going, even with a full load and it seems to cruise happily enough on the motorway due to the six- speed gearbox.
The Mazda 5 doesn’t shout about what it does, Mazda didn’t add loads of chrome trim and big alloys that scream attention.
Instead, Mazda have quietly made a car that does a decent job at moving your family around and generally giving you plenty of options when it comes to space versus price.
The Mazda 5 range starts at €26,595, and for that, you get a decent level of standard kit.