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.
Mazda 5 1.6D 2011 Road Test
Long Term Test Mazda 5 1.6D
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Real MPG average for a Mazda 5 (2010 – 2015)
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Reviews for Mazda 5 (2010 – 2015)'s top 3 rivals
Ask Honest John
Could you suggest a family car to replace a Mazda 5?
"Our Mazda 5 was written off recently. We don't need five seats but we do like the space. We have a budget of £8000-10,000. Any advice what we should replace it with? Thanks."
If you want another MPV then the Ford S-MAX could be a good replacement: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/ford/s-max-2015/
Alternatively, if you want a crossover with a raised driving position, you may want to consider the Honda CR-V: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/honda/cr-v-2012
Are there any cars with sliding doors that fit three child seats?
"I want a car or MPV with sliding doors for a family of three kids and two adults. I currently have a Ford S-MAX and we can get three child seats in the middle row but obviously that doesn’t have sliding doors. I’m considering the Mazda 5 but want to know if the middle row will hold three seats. We don’t want to go as big as the SEAT Alhambra. Hope you can help."
Unfortunately, the Mazda 5 is not compatible with what you want. It's very unlikely to seat all three kids in the back - and it only has two Isofix anchor points in the second row anyway. That leaves you with two options (unless you can think of an alternative model I haven't): 1) a larger car like the Sharan or MPV with sliding doors, 2) a slightly smaller car without sliding doors. You're unlikely to get a smaller car with sliding doors, essentially.
Here are some models that fit three child seats across the back (but not all have three Isofix points):
2) Peugeot 5008
4) VW Sharan/SEAT Alhambra
5) Citroen C4 Grand Picasso
6) Ford Galaxy
7) Renault Grand Scenic
8) Citroen C5 Aircross (two outer seats get isofix mounts)
9) Vauxhall Combo Life/Citroën Berlingo/Peugeot Rifter (second row gets 3 isofix points and fits 3 child seats, but the third row with two seats isn't suitable for car seats. It has sliding doors but is obviously much larger than your S-MAX as it's van-based).
10) Volvo XC90
Answered by Georgia Petrie
Could you recommend a seven-seater for a narrow driveway?
"We have a very narrow driveway and are thinking of buying a seven-seater to house two children's car seats (one three-year-old and one newborn) and two adults and luggage most of the time. Occasionally, there's five adults and the two child seats. One adult is small and mobile (e.g. can climb over and sit in a small space) but two of the adults are elderly with very limited mobility. We were thinking that one with sliding doors would help with our narrow drive situation (brick walls on either side). Even on our Ford Fiesta, we can't open both sides fully and therefore it's difficult getting young children and elderly adults in and out. We're also looking to buy secondhand. What should we look at?"
I'd recommend a Volkswagen Sharan or SEAT Alhambra. They're not particularly narrow but have plenty of space and sliding doors. Also consider a Mazda 5.
What's the best used MPV to buy for less than £7k?
"I'm looking to purchase an MPV for up to £7000. I currently own Citroen Xsara Picasso on a 54-plate, but the air conditioning no longer works and the heater has also stopped working. I am wondering what car you could recommend. I need a fairly big boot to carry a folding wheelchair and comfortable seats. Also, the height is important as a standard car is to low for him to get in and out of. A couple of cars come to mind, the Ford C-Max or S-Max and Honda FR-V (late 2009), I know this is no longer made but some are still available. Also the Mazda 5. I want a car that can deal with steep roads but it doesn't need off-road capability. Truthfully, I'm not too bothered about the look, just the practicality and reliability. Mileage wise, I am looking up to 70,000 miles. I do roughly 8000-10,000 miles per year so I thought a diesel might be best. I hope to keep the car for at least five years. Since this is a major purchase for me, I want to get it right."
Unless most of your miles are covered on the motorway, I think you'd be better looking for a petrol. Older diesels can be expensive to maintain and the diesel particulate filter (DPF) can get clogged if you don't regularly drive at motorway speeds for prolonged periods. A Mazda 5 would be a good choice, especially with the 2.0-litre petrol engine. A Ford C-Max wouldn't be a bad choice, but avoid the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine and the Powershift automatic gearbox.