Adam Pumfrey, Mazda’s fleet and remarketing director, said: ‘While the Vauxhall Zafira and Renault Scenic may be market leaders, we believe the success Mazda has had in other sectors of the fleet marketplace will be repeated in this segment.
‘The Mazda5 will come with the same hallmarks as established fleet and user-chooser sector offerings such as the Mazda6, MX5 and RX8, including reliability, value for money and competitive wholelife costs.’
Mazda calculates that the 108bhp Mazda5 2.0d TS2 has a pence per mile cost of 36.47p over three-years/60,000-miles, which it claims puts it ahead of the likes of the new Vauxhall Zafira Club 1.9 CDTi, costing 38.42ppm over the same period. The Volkswagen Touran SE 1.9 TDI will cost 37.15ppm to run and the Toyota Corolla Verso T3 2.0 D-4D’s figure is 38.54ppm, according to Mazda.
Prices will start at £15,900 for the entry-level model, climbing to £19,550 at the top end and it is expected to hold its own on residual values.
CAP predicts that the less powerful of the two engines will hold 36% of its value and be worth £5,625 after three years/60,000 miles while the more powerful version will be worth £6,100/34% after the same period.
With running costs a key element of family vehicles like this, it’s a benefit the firm will be pushing hard to potential users, of which about a quarter are expected to go to the fleet market.
The two new engines are essentially the same diesel Euro lV powerplant in two different states of tune: a 2.0-litre 108bhp and 2.0-litre 141bhp. They come in four trim levels – TS, TS2, Sport and Sport Nav and complete the eight-model Mazda5 range.
It is the only vehicle in its sector with sliding rear doors as well as having the now-requisite seven seats, although the seventh passenger would have to be pretty small to fit on the last folding seat.
Based on the same platform as the Mazda3, the new MPV looks sporty, with typical Mazda styling. Standard specification includes driver and front passenger airbags, side airbags, curtain airbags, ABS with EBD and Emergency Brake Assist and Thatcham Category 1 alarm and immobiliser.
Height and reach adjustable steering wheel, radio/single CD audio system, manual air-conditioning, electric front windows and electric/heated door mirrors are also standard.
Behind the wheel
THE two diesel engines available on the Mazda5 are both pretty feisty for an MPV. Both are 2.0-litre and although one produces 33 more bhp than the other, the torque on the 108bhp version still stands at a respectable 229lb-ft at 2,000rpm.
The less brawny of the two is ample for the mini-MPV, although I didn’t have a full load and a gaggle of kids in the back, which could make a difference. But there’s enough pick-up from the engine to cope with overtaking and it’s pretty nippy, suggesting a heavy load should not worry it unduly.
The 141bhp gives the extra kick sometimes needed on these larger vehicles. It makes lighter work of driving than its smaller brother, especially on motorways, and the extra power could appeal to those who will be using the Mazda5 for higher mileage driving rather than as a workhorse.
The sleek styling on the exterior is enhanced by the sliding doors and the modern styling continues inside with a contemporary feel throughout, including a silver-tinted console.
A six-speed transmission gives a smooth, precise shift and it’s more like driving a car than an MPV. Mazda uses high absorption materials to keep down noise in the cabin and it seems to have worked as it doesn’t have the gruff roar found on some diesels.
The car-like handling and sporty image of the Mazda5 should appeal to fleets with young professionals looking for a larger car without compromising on image. The diesel engines offer a refined and economical alternative to the petrol version and could be the main contender on vehicle choice lists.
|Max power (bhp/rpm):||109/3,500||141/3,500|
|Max torque (lb-ft/rpm):||229/2,000||267/2,000|
|Max speed (mph):||111||122|
|CO2 emissions (g/km):||173||173|
|Transmission:||6-sp manual||6-sp manual|
|Fuel tank capacity (l):||60||60|
|On sale:||early 2006|
|Price (OTR):||from £15,900 to £19,550|