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All new Mazda 5 due here in the Autumn

Mazda has revealed details of its all-new Mazda 5, the latest version of its popular people carrier. As before, the MPV has seven seats and children-friendly sliding side doors - ideal for narrow supermarket carparks - while there are improvements to the interior practicality plus new engines.

The new Mazda 5 has been developed from the ground up 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 unusual 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, plus there are is a new stereo control panel with chrome plating on the controls. Chrome plating is also new for the gear shift knob, the air-conditioning air vents, and door handles. 

The cabin is also 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.

Of course practicaility is a key are for any MPV and the Mazda 5 promises to be 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.  

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.

The engine line consists of the updated 1.8-litre petrol with 115bhp while there's 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 at a traffic light or in a traffic jam, and then automatically restarting it when the driver depresses the clutch pedal to resume driving.  

For the new Mazda5, the i-stop system has been further improved and now shuts the engine off for a longer time when air con is on, making sure that all auxiliary systems and equipment continue to operate normally when the engine is off. As a result, Mazda says the new Mazda 5 will be lively and fun to drive, while still averaging 40.9 mpg, a reduction of 13 percent, while emitting 159g/km of CO2 - 15 percent less than the engine it replaces.

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