Firstly, perhaps it would be useful for readers if there was a section about the dealer. (no names?). I hunted around for a Mazda dealer and asked one them if I could test drive a 2.0-litre diesel.
The response was 'We've just sold it - diesels are difficult to get. We had one as a demo but then a customer comes along, does not want to wait and buys it. But you can test drive a 2.0-litre petrol - same car, to be honest.'
What? Anyway, after ringing the few Mazda dealers within 30 miles, not one had a 2.0 Diesel so I decided to have a look at the Mazda some 12 miles anyway. The 5 looked very good and that sliding door was a brilliant idea - once inside at 6ft tall, I felt it a squeeze up front and even worse in the centre seats.
Looking around the cabin, you are cocooned in cheap-looking plastic, and more silver-sprayed plastic around the dash which looked as though you could just rub it off. I also noticed that the material on the driver seat was beginning to look worn and a few of the other seats also, but to a lesser extent. I asked how old the car was - three weeks was the reply. Oh dear!
Once on board the 2.0-litre petrol demo model, the first thing I noted was the rather hard, unforgiving ride. I also noticed the engine and road noise, in more decibels than my ears could just about tolerate for a 10 minute test drive. Sadly, I quickly decided that the Mazda 5 had very little going for it, except for that sliding door.
I've had this car now for 2 weeks and I love it. We bought it to replace a scenic and whilst this doesn't have all the electrical gadgets that the scenic has it is fantastic to drive. The interior looks smart even though we haven't gone for a top of the range one. it doesn't look plasticy or cheap. It is a very smooth ride and I can't get over how much leg room there is - even in the rear seats. I've not experienced any problems with speed bumps as other readers seem to have done.
I can't comment on running costs yet as we're still on the first tank of petrol but so far it seems to be about average for a car of it's size.
On the whole I am very impressed with the mazda 5 - it is a very well built car. Mazda customer service seems very good too. Having had problem after problem with my scenic it is very refreshing to get good customer service and a well made car!
The only serious competitor for us was the Toyota Verso, which didn't seem to match the rear legroom (the Mazda Chassis is apparently 15cms longer and this may be making the difference), and price was the other factor.
Like other reviewers, I believe that Mazda needs to improve delivery times - even three weeks is too long. However, since delivery, over the past two months I have been delighted. Yes, the ride is firmer than my old hatchback, but the suspension has to be able to support seven people, and fortunately to date I've had no problems going over speed bumps.
If buying, do be aware that rear bumper scuff guard (which is excellent for dogs) is not part of the door scuff guards accessory set and costs extra. I feel that the accessories catalogue should have these items adjacent, not on different pages, and I was also misled on this matter (perhaps unintentionally) by the salesman.
However Mazda's response to my written comment about this was very positive. Also, I can`t support fuel consumption figues given elsewhere by other reviewers. We've now done over 3000 miles, including two long trips, and seem to be getting 26-29mpg which I find disappointing (my Mazda agent has kindly checked the engine). I will consider the diesel next time.
The appearance of the car is very pleasing with its darkened glass and 17 inch alloys.
I think the ride is just right. I would not like it to be any softer.
My children love being able to access the 3rd row seats by walking between the 2nd row seats. Having sliding rear doors means that I can let the kids open them without fear of adjacent cars being dented.
I have managed to get an average of 40 mpg so far from my 2.0 litre petrol engine. Most of my travels so far have been a 20-minute journey to work, mostly on A and B roads. I am very impressed with this figure considering the engine is new and there have been many cold starts.
The engine is smooth and refined, especially at low revs. Gear changes are precise and slick.
As the 6-CD multichanger can read MP3 files it means I can access around 60 albums at the touch of a button without having to manually change discs. I’m hoping Mazda will help me to activate the dynamic navigation (TMC) function of the sat-nav, the instruction manual for which is not clear. I ditched the manual and played around with it for a while. After a few minutes I had most of it sussed.
The rear view parking camera is a big advantage and its on-screen guide lines make reversing a synch. The instrument lighting dims too much when the headlights are switched on and I would like to see the trip computer display fuel economy in mpg. Apart from these minor criticisms this car has more than impressed me so far.
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