Drive Review of the Mazda5

Drive Review Mazda5 Venture Edition MPV 1.6D 115 Venture 5dr

In Car Reviews by Bill Dent

The Mazda5 Venture Edition was a car full of many surprises…

A car that perhaps underwhelmed at first sight, on a grey drab day, just got better and better. The model tested was the Mazda5 Venture Edition MPV 1.6D 115 5dr.

My first drive was a revelation; a local twisting A-road proved a good match for the Mazda’s capabilities, surprisingly nippy, surprisingly grippy, and very agile even on the tighter corners. Its sporty diesel engine often exceeded my expectations of a 7-seater family car.

Driving the Mazda was easy;  good visibility, well-weighted steering, clutch and gearbox, and other driver-friendly features such as rear view camera, cruise control and a good (though not infallible) combined SatNav and Blue tooth In Car Entertainment  System, all made for easy day-to-day transport.

The car’s most immediately obvious features, the two large sliding rear doors, provided easy access to the rear seats, and we appreciated this very logical solution time and again, more than we thought we would,  in tight supermarket parking spaces.


And what clever rear seats they gave access to…folding, sliding, splitting, moving, they provided an endless range of options for any load, and any eventuality.  Just when we thought we’d found them all, we discovered yet another option, a fold up table  and netted storage, sitting snugly underneath a seat base, ready to swing up and replace the centre armrest, which itself had previously been part of the seat back. Great engineering!

The rearmost seats were a bonus, too.  Our youngest child, used to being relegated to a variety of tiny jump-seats and foldaway stools in other cars, was especially impressed by the Mazda’s offering, which otherwise folded flat down on the base of the boot.  As his feet slid easily under the seats in front, giving him a plenty of room to stretch out his legs, he beamed that this was the most comfortable rearmost-seat travel that he’d ever had…

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As the heat wave returned, and the sun came out, the previously unconvincing styling too came into its own, cleverly reducing the bulk of the Mazda’s visual side-on bodyweight.

More likes: the way the buzzer sounded OUTSIDE the car as I walked away having mistakenly left the lights on while playing with the switches; the wide tailgate opening and the multitude of storage spaces in every available space.

Minor dislikes: for me the seat squab seemed too short, and the engine seemed slightly breathless on a long motorway journey.

But that is not, I think, the car’s intended environment.  As an everyday car, for transporting an everyday variety of people and luggage, and everyday stuff, in an exceptionally capable manner, the Mazda 5 would be hard to beat…

Tech Spec: Mazda5 Venture Edition MPV 1.6D 115  5dr

Acceleration (0-62mph)   13.7  seconds

CO2 emissions  138 g/km

EC emission level      EC Stage V

MPG Combined   54.3 (5.2) mpg (l/100km)

MPG Extra Urban  61.4 (4.6) mpg (l/100km)

MPG Urban   44.1 (6.4) mpg (l/100km)

Top speed   111 mph

Displacement  1560 cc

Maximum output   115 (85) / 3600 ps (kW) /

Maximum torque    270 / 1750 Nm /

Cargo volume:

  • 2-seat mode (to belt line)     857 litres
  • 5-seat mode (to belt line)     426 litres
  • 7-seat mode (to belt line)     112 litres
  • Kerb weight incl. driver (75kg)  1490 kg
  • Overall length / width / height   4585 / 1988 / 1615 mm


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