Mazda5 2.0 Sport - MAZDA 5 Car Review
Added: 12 Dec 2008
PEOPLE movers don't tend to be sporty - but no one has told Mazda.
The car maker whose Zoom Zoom slogan was introduced to describe the sportinesss of the whole range believes its MPVs shouldn't be exempt.
Even though the Mazda5 might have seven seats and a brilliantly flexible arrangement of them you don't feel as if you are driving a vehicle that's just designed for the school run.
The 5 is probably the most stylish, sporty medium sized people carrier on the market today. It's certainly one that often gets a second look, and rightly so.
From its huge and highly distinctive rear lights through to its tapering nose and swept back headlights the Mazda5 is a real good looker.
Get behind the wheel of the Sports version and it feels just that - Sporty.
The handling is pin sharp. There is none of the soft wallowing suspension often associated with people movers and the 2.0-litre 143bhp engine is enjoyably responsive and satisfying.
What wasn't so satisfying on my test car was the notchy gearbox, with first gear - the shift is mounted high up on the centre console and falls easily to hand - being particularly stiff to engage at times.
Opt for the Sport over the TS or TS2 and you get a Sports styling kit which really sets the vehicle off. This includes side skirts, a rear roof spoiler and sports bumpers.
It also comes with 17-inch alloys, Dynamic Stability Control with Traction Control and Bluetooth voice activated controls.
But people movers are all about space and flexibility and this is where the Mazda5 really scores.
With seven rather than five seats it gives owners a multiplicity of combinations. These range from carrying a full load of passengers in a 2-3-2 configuration to folding all but the driver and front passenger seat down to give the carrying capacity of a small van.
Unlike some vehicles none of the seats need to be removed to create extra space and Mazda even gives you a carpet to place over the folded seat backs to protect them when carrying large loads.
And when it comes to loading large items the low sill beneath the wide opening hatchback is a real bonus.
Unusually for a medium sized people the Mazda5 has electrically operated sliding side doors. Just touch the handle - inside or outside - on either one and the door slides open automatically. You can even use the key fob to open the door - a useful feature if you come back to it laden with parcels.
Mazda5 2.0 Sport 5dr
Mechanical: 143bhp, 1,999cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6spd manual gearbox
Max speed: 121mph
0-62mph: 10.2 secs
Combined mpg: 35.8
Insurance group: 8
CO2 emissions: 187g/km
BiK rating: 24%
Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles, 3yrs paint, 12yrs anti-rust
Keywords: Mazda, 5