Review: Mazda 5 (2010 – 2015)
Family friendly seven seater. Sport has remote electric sliding side doors. Economical and light new 1.6 diesel. Compliant suspension astonishingly good on poor road surfaces.
Folding centre seat not as clever as Ford Grand C-MAX.
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Mazda 5 (2010 – 2015): At A Glance
The 2010 Mazda5 was developed with more legroom in the second and third rows, comfortable seats, instruments that are easier to use, and high levels of seat flexibility and functionality. But the big talking point is that unusual crease that runs down the side - apparently it's based on patterns that are formed when wind blows across water.
It's certainly different and makes the new Mazda 5 stand out from other people carriers this size. Inside there's a new dashboard design to make the cabin seem larger than before. The interior is quieter and more comfortable at higher speeds. Wind noise has been reduced by new windscreen pillars which reduce air turbulence and wind noise. Elsewhere there are wider front seatbacks for both driver and passenger and the rear seats have been made more comfortable with extra padding.
The engine line at launch consisted of an updated 1.8-litre petrol with 115bhp while there was a new 2.0-litre DISI diesel. This produces 150bhp along with 191Nm of torque and also features Mazda's stop/start system, i-stop, which saves fuel by switching the engine off when the car is stopped in traffic. For 2011, the 2.0 diesel was replaced by a new PSA 115PS 1.6 litre 8v diesel and a new 6 speed manual transmission, the combined weight of which is 120kg ligter and endows the car with outstanding front end grip and suspension compliance. It corners astonishingly well on uneven surfaces. And in 2012 the 1.8i 115 was replaced by a 2.0 litre 150PS petrol engine.
Two factors separate the Mazda 5 from most other people carriers. One is sliding side doors, electrically operated on the Sport version, which makes loading and securing children easier. The other is an exceptional combination of ride comfort, bump absorption and handling - at least on the TS2 1.6 diesel fitted with 205/55 R16 Toyo J48 tyres.
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Mazda 5 (2010 – 2015): What's It Like Inside?
This is a compact seven-seater with sliding side doors that is more likely to be bought for the purpose of ferrying children to school than taken on the special stages of a rally. And as a school bus, carrying six kids, it excels.
As before, the centre rear seat can be stowed under the cushion of the left hand side rear seat, an idea borowed and developed by Ford for the new Ford Grand C-MAX. Except Ford took it a stage further, enabling the entire centre seat to be stowed under the right side rear seat. In the Mazda you have to fold the centre rear seatback sideways. Yet it still allows room for kids to climb in and get to the rearmost seats without disturbing smaller children strapped into the centre outer seats.
Of course practicaility is a key are for any MPV and the Mazda 5 is very family friendly. The second row features Mazda's unique 'Karakuri' system. Tipping the left seat cushion forward means you can store the middle seat cushion in the space below it. You can then either drop the centre seatback forwards and down for a wide and comfortable centre armrest, or fold out a practical utility box - located under the right seat cushion - into the centre space. It sounds complicated but it's actually very simple.
When the box is in use, a 6.3-litre space is made available under the right seat cushion for extra storage. When the middle seat is folded into the side seat, it leaves a space large enough to allow access to the third row, which means you don't have to remove any child seats mounted in the second row outer seats and tip the seat forward, to get to the back.
However, where the ‘Sport’ version of the Mazda 5 puts one over the Grand C-MAX is that its siding side doors can be opened and closed electrically, either by the keyfob or by a button on the dash. Young mums have told me this is a boon because it enables them to be sure that the kids in the back are safely locked in without having to leave the driver’s seat. That feature alone has often led to a purchase decision in favour of an MPV fitted with it.
Child seats that fit a Mazda 5 (2010 – 2015)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.
What's the Mazda 5 (2010 – 2015) like to drive?
Driving the Mazda5 1.6D, the biggest difference from the old Mazda 5 diesel is its agility. It is 120kg lighter which gives it much more bite at the front end. It doesn’t have the same steering feel as the Ford Grand C-MAX, but it certainly hangs on very tidily through bends never giving any cause for alarm. At least it does on the standard TS2 16-inch alloys, which also imbue it with excellent ride quality.
The engines are a chain cam 115ps 1.8-litre petrol and a 150ps 2.0-litre petrol. But the engine the car was waiting for was Mazda’s development of the belt cam 1.6-litre diesel. Mazda have effectively taken this engine to bits and re-engineered it. As a result it develops 115PS and 270Nm torque from just 1750rpm. Very significantly, with its new six-speed transmission, it’s a huge 120 kilos lighter than the old 2.0 litre engine and gearbox. And in the stylish new second generation Mazda5 bodyshell, it covers 0-62mph in 13.7 seconds while averaging a claimed 54mpg on the EC combined cycle with 138g/km CO2.
The performance figures don’t read very impressively, but the useful torque output means that this big car doesn’t feel underpowered. The nice surprise is the way the much lighter engine and transmission improves the handling. It's now very sure-footed at the front end and a good drive.
|1.6 D||54 mpg||13.7 s||138 g/km|
|1.8||39 mpg||12.8 s||168 g/km|
|2.0||41 mpg||11.0 s||159 g/km|
|2.0 150||41 mpg||11.0 s||159 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Mazda 5 (2010 – 2015)
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.
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.
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