The Mazda 5 handles well, and is competitively priced and generously specified – including sliding side doors and curtain airbags on all three rows of seats
The cabin isn't roomy or clever enough to compete with many MPVs, and the motorway ride isn't great. Some plastics feel rather flimsy
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Mazda 5 performance
The 5 is available with 1.8- and 2.0-litre petrol engines, and a pair of 2.0-litre diesels that produce either 108- or 141bhp. If you regularly carry a full load of passengers, the smaller petrol engine may struggle, but the other motors deliver more than enough go.
Mazda 5 ride & handling
The 5 has the handling to match its sporty looks, with strong grip and competent suppression of body lean. The steering is light and easy around town, yet still offers sharp reactions to help the car turn briskly into corners. A bouncy high-speed ride makes the car feel unsettled on the motorway, though, and more vicious bumps thud into the cabin.
Mazda 5 refinement
Other than the slightly underpowered 1.8-litre petrol unit, the engines in the 5 seldom need to be pushed. That's just as well, because they become rowdy and intrusive as they approach the red line. The 5’s rakish shape means there's little wind noise, though, and there's no more road noise than in most MPVs.