Review: Mazda 5 (2005 – 2010)

Rating:

Sliding side doors, can carry seven people in comfort, well styled, rearmost seats fold flat into the floor, five-star crash test rating.

Some problems with excessive tyre wear on Sport models, diesels can use a lot of oil while they're bedding in.

Recently Added To This Review

10 June 2016

Complaint of ABS module failure on 2008 Mazda 5 Sport at 50k miles. Quoted at £1,449 +VAT + fitting to replace. Suggested sending module to ECU Testing for replacement of brake pressure sensor... Read more

11 June 2014

Repeated forced DPF regenerations needed to 60k mile Mazda 5 Sport diesel used mostly in town. Read more

23 March 2014

On a 37k mile 2010 Mazda 5 TS2 2 litre petrol, “both front lower arm rear bushes perishing” and “both rear trailing arm front bushes in poor condition”. Estimate for repair: £1,005.... Read more

Mazda 5 (2005 – 2010): At A Glance

The Mazda5 is a people carrier that ticks nearly every box on the compact MPV wishlist and is still affordable and stylish. It's certainly one of the better looking MPVs around and far less boxy than many alternatives the same size. However, it's real selling point is the sliding rear side doors, making getting in and out - even in tight sports such as multi-storey car parks - easy and dent-free.

Mazda has created a 6+1 seating system and it’s the middle row which differentiates it from the others. There are two individual chairs that slide, recline and fold flat, while both have lift-up bases which conceal extra storage. To create the all important seventh seat, the left-hand chair also contains an extra flip-up cushion, while the central armrest doubles as the back support. It's clever stuff and it works well.

Build quality is good in the 5 and the interior feels strong and robust, evident in the folding seat mechanism. There's plenty of space inside and the third row offers considerably more space than most other people carriers this size with really impressive headroom. And it's equally as good on the move. The Mazda is based on the same platform as the Ford Focus and it shows – turn in is sharp and the handling is agile while body control is very good indeed.

It was facelifted in 2008 with a slightly different nose while all the engines were made more efficient while a revised version of the 2.0-litre petrol engine was launched. However, the best engine remains the 2.0-litre diesel with 143PS and a positive six-speed manual gearbox.

Mazda 5 2005 Diesel Road Test

Mazda 5 Facelift 2008 Road Test

What does a Mazda 5 (2005 – 2010) cost?

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Mazda 5 (2005 – 2010): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4505–4565 mm
Width 1755 mm
Height 1665 mm
Wheelbase 2750 mm

Full specifications

The 6 + 1 idea involves a gap between the two centre row seats into which either a narrow centre seat base can be swung from inside the left seat base, or a console tray with a suspended oddments bag from inside the right seat base. The Japanese call this idea, and indeed any idea that is unexpected yet well thought out, "karakuri".

Behind these seats is another pair, really only of use for children who do not need booster seats or for very small adults, that can be easily accessed by a lever that slides each centre seat forward. These rearmost seats can be individually collapsed at the pull of a tab to create more luggage space.

But that's not all. The centre row centre seatback can be folded down as an armrest or folded and twisted to poke things like surfboards or skis through. Both the front and centre row seats slide, so legroom can be fairly distributed for all three rows. The front seatbacks can be folded right down to meet the rear seat squabs so they can become beds. The centre seatbacks also recline, making it more comfortable to sleep on a journey. And the centre row can be quickly re-convoluted to create a flat load floor, admittedly with a small hole in it.

The sliding side doors not only make entry and exit easier in confined spaces like multi-storey carparks, they also allow the ‘bum first' entry method favoured by anyone with a stiff back. And, of course, they make it easier for a disabled driver to sling a wheelchair in behind him.

Additional thoughtful touches include oversize door mirrors giving a good view along the sides (very important for spotting small children on the school run). If you opt for the excellent but expensive DVD satnav, you get a colour rear camera that automatically displays the view behind with an outline of the vehicle on the satnav screen whenever you select reverse. The split cubby behind the parking brake has a tray perfect for any size of mobile phone, including the fat new PDA size ones. There are bottle holders all over the place (at least eight). A rubberised dash shelf is useful for phones or pens.

2008 facelift

The satnav used to pop up like a carbuncle on top of the dash, but now has been pleasingly integrated and works by voice command, by toggle switch or by touch screen and still turns into the screen for a reversing camera when parking.

There's better soundproofing. Better brakes. Air intake damping to cut the noise from that. The dials now glow white on a black background making them easier to read. The CD player is MP3 compatible and has an AUX jack. And on some versions, the rear side doors are now electric so you can open or close them with buttons on the key or on the dash as well as by the handles.

As if that wasn't enough, on ‘Sports' versions you now get a ‘Sports Appearance Pack' that adds a winged grille design, new front bumper with spoiler, pointed foglights, sports side sills and white rear lamp clusters with LED turn and stop lights. And you can go for an extra cost Luxury pack that brings you the aforementioned electric sliding rear side doors, xenon headlights and black leather trim, for a slightly eye-popping £1,750 (but remember, that's for six and a half leather seats). All get new look headlights and tail lights and five new paint finishes.

Standard equipment from launch (2005):

TS models gets driver and passenger front airbags, front side airbags, full-length curtain airbags, Isofix child seat anchorages, a Thatcham Category 1 anti-theft alarm and immobiliser, 15-inch steel wheels with 195/65 R15 tyres, body-coloured bumpers, electric door mirrors, remote central locking, electric front windows, manual air-conditioning, power-assisted steering, charcoal black cloth trim, height & reach adjustable steering wheel, height adjustable driver’s seat with armrest, front centre console with storage and cup holders, radio/dingle CD audio system, auxiliary input plus an underboot floor storage box.

Takura adds 16-inch alloy wheels with 205/55 R16 tyres, body-coloured door handles, side mouldings, mirror housings, black roof-rails, privacy glass, front fog lamps, SAP (Sports Appearance clear lens) rear lamps, electric front and rear windows, electric and heated door mirrors, global opening/closing for all windows, driver’s seat adjustable lumbar support, folding picnic tables (back of front seats), a leather steering wheel and gear knob, second row outer armrests, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, overhead console with sunglasses holder, Karakuri storage box and a chrome gear knob trim.

Furano has 17-inch alloy wheels with 205/50 R17 tyres, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and Traction Control System (TCS), sports styling Kit, sports-styled LED rear lights, trip computer, cruise control, dusk-sensing auto-lights, rain sensing auto-wipers, climate control, six CD autochanger, hands-free kit with voice control and integrated Bluetooth, electric sliding rear doors plus black leather trim.

Child seats that fit a Mazda 5 (2005 – 2010)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Mazda 5 (2005 – 2010) like to drive?

So what is this paragon of versatility like to drive? The 2.0 litre petrol with a five-speed gearbox is quite low geared, giving around 21mph per 1,000 rpm, though this makes sense considering the loads it may sometimes be asked to haul along. Fortunately it's a smooth engine, so the revs aren't wearing at motorway speeds.

The Mazda5 steers and handles very well indeed. More like a car than an MPV and the steering feedback is as good as a Mazda6. As a driver, you simply aren't conscious of the any difference in centre of gravity. Any breakaway you eventually experience will be at the front and even that is kept in check by the various electronic systems.

Both versions of the 2.0-litre diesel - the 110bhp and 143bhp - are geared at the same 35mph per 1,000rpm in 5th so offer a much more relaxed drive than the petrol engine, plus the steering is a bit more meaty too. The handling is excellent and the 143hp version has the same smooth grunt as it does in the Mazda 6, making it the most satisfying Mazda5 to drive. But the 110hp is far from a poor relation. It still gets a move on, cruises quietly at motorway speeds, and only shows its lack of power if you let the revs drop too low on hills, Since it starts £2,000 cheaper than the 143bhp Sport, it's likely to be the diesel of choice for taxi drivers.

Rather than think of the Mazda5 as an MPV that drives like a good car, it's probably better to think of it as a good car with the versatility of a very good MPV. If you like driving and you have a family but only want one car, then it does both jobs better than anything else.

2008 Facelift

There wasn't much wrong with the original 2005 Mazda 5. Sliding side doors, decent diesels and six-and-a-half seats. But there were a few niggles - no automatic, for one. This shortcoming has been addressed with a useful five-speeder that pulls reasonably relaxed and has a manual shifter.

Another criticism was fast and unevenly wearing tyres. Mazda had already partly overcome this by specifying just one special type of tyre: Dunlop SP Sport 2050s. But now the entire rear suspension has been redesigned, ostensibly to "optimise stability on motorways and curves." But really to eliminate once and for all the bugbear of excess tyre wear. To make absolutely sure, new, much stronger alloy wheels are also fitted.

The petrol engines have been given a touch more torque at low revs by means of en electronic throttle valve and sequential valve timing. The diesels emit slightly less CO2, pulling them down a tax band and are marginally more economical. The suspension changes have made the ride and handling better, but it would take 20,000 miles to tell you the effect on the tyres.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.8 38 mpg 11.3 s 179 g/km
2.0 36 mpg 10.2 s 187 g/km
2.0 Automatic 34 mpg 12.4 s 194 g/km
2.0 D 46 mpg 11.0–13.9 s 159 g/km

Real MPG average for a Mazda 5 (2005 – 2010)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

85%

Real MPG

23–48 mpg

MPGs submitted

93

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Mazda 5 (2005 – 2010)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Mazda 5 ABS pump failure

I own a 2008 Mazda 5. Last week a warning light came on. I took it for a service and have been advised that the ABS pump needs replacing. The part has been quoted at £1449 +VAT and labour. This is very disappointing as the car has only done 50k miles. I notice from various websites that the ABS pump problem is well-known and also the rust issue could be related to cars of this age coming from China. Please can you advise if I can challenge Mazda to pay for new ABS pump?
The module doesn't need replacing. Only the brake pressure sensor within it does. Take the module off and send it to http://www.ecutesting.com who will recondition the module, fitting it with a modified brake pressure sensor, for about £400. Then, of course, it needs returning to you and re-fitting to the car.
Answered by Honest John
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