Having done just over 2000 miles since taking delivery, I am very impressed with this new Mazda. Load space is superb, and the access is excellent thanks to the tall rear doors, clever seat dropping mechanism and the huge boot with no daft lip inside the rear door.
There are a few places where the materials used are not great but its nothing show stopping, and having owned a Volvo V50 2.0D SE Sport for the last 3 years that had 15 trips back to the garage with faults that never got resolved I am sure it will be more reliable that that!
The drive is nice, and the 18" wheels dont seam as effected by the centre numbness I found on the demo car which had 17" alloys. Stereo is ok but has to be played with to get it to sound its best with way too much coming out the centre speaker and the sub in the boot floor needing cranking up although I would sacrifice the sub for a proper spare tyre instead of a pump and some goo. The seats are sporty and firm, you dont sink into them like the Volvo armchair seats but I knew that when i took the test drive.
Economy is never going to be great on a car this big but I have noticed a gradual increase in economy to an average 48mpg over the last few tanks of fuel. Also the engine is now loosening up nicely and feels much livelier than it did when i first got the car.
Overall very impressed so far and think the car is great value for money.
I very much wanted to love this car but I was so disappointed by the reality. The car (to my eyes) looks fabulous, and the cabin is stylish and spacious.
However, the combination of blue and red lighting is too 80s disco to be classy. The seats are hard and don't prove to be comfortable, even after an hour at the wheel, compared with my current Volvo.
The radio struggles to maintain reception, but the sound quality when receiving a signal or playing a CD is good.
The weight-saving means that the rear doors close with a lightweight clang rather than a solid thump, although the car does seem very well built and stiff. Refinement is fair.
The grip and handling are great. Sadly the 2.0D lump is gutless and only achieves 36mpg (although there are only 1000 miles on the clock so the engine is probably still tight), whereas my three-year-old Volvo V70 D5 achieves 42-43mpg driven over the same roads in the same manner.
The gearing seems to be too long for the car, which means you need to be a gear lower than you would have expected, perhaps damaging economy?
Potentially it's a great car, but crying out for a truly modern diesel. Sad.
Thought I'd return for an update. Mine's just over a year old now with 19,300 miles recorded. My high opinion of the car continues. It's proved totally reliable and has been to the garage only for the 12,500 mile service. Overall, it's extremely practical, well built and very good to drive. I praised the lights and seat folding mechanism when I reviewed originally and the car is comfortable on long trips. Luggage capacity has been well tested and has yet to be defeated. I have a very few minor niggles. The rear load cover is brilliant when in place but I find removing and replacing it a bit awkward. Personally, the CF-Net feature does little for me and, on roundabouts especially, I find the indicators self cancel when you want them to stay on and vice versa. And that's about it apart from the rear light covers which very occasionally, briefly and slightly mist up inside. This only happens when I am unable to take the car in to the dealer to show them, of course. So, why only four stars, you ask? Because of the fuel economy. Current tank of fuel (around 400 miles so far) is showing 39.5 mpg, according to the trip computer. 36-38 is common, depending on use. The best I've seen on a tank used on a long motorway trip is 43.5 mpg. My old Mondeo gave about 42-43 in everyday running and I expected better from the Mazda, given the official figures. Despite this, it's a stylish, well-equipped, comfortable and practical estate and, MPG aside, I really like it.
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