Mazda delivers a whole new level of zoom-zoom in the MPV segment with the launch of the Mazda5 in South Africa. And as their slogan for the new product announces, it is 'surprisingly stimulating'.
The Mazda5 rivals the Renault Scenic and VW Touran
One would almost find it difficult to believe that the car can actually seat seven individuals, but this is possible thanks to its sleek and dynamic styling. The Mazda DNA is incorporated substantially throughout its stylish design, its fun-to-drive-handling and its high functionality.
The MPV has been rated the top Japanese car of the year in 2006 and was placed fifth in the European Car of the Year listing.
The Mazda5 has a unique '6+1' seating arrangement and the designers have done a splendid job transferring the central open space of a family living room into the MPV. While the car is practical and innovative on the one end, its handling and performance still delivers on the other.
The vehicle is available in two model specifications, that being the Active and Individual. Both models offer the same multi-adjustable seating configuration, sliding rear doors, value and that zoom-zoom driving experience.
Under the bonnet
So it's a '6+1' MPV and you're probably not expecting much power from a people's carrier, right? Well, surprise surprise... under the hood in both models, lies a 2.0-litre 16 valve petrol engine that kicks out a pleasant 107kW of power at 6 000r/min and offers a maximum torque figure of 185Nm at 4 500r/min.
The engine and the five-speed manual transmission is basically the same as the high performance MZR-series engines found in the Mazda3 range as well, but incorporates enhancements for a smoother and easier operation.
The Mazda5 range is equipped with a feast of convenience and comfort features which includes power remote door mirrors, power door locks, power windows, remote keyless entry and manual air-conditioning.
It also has an unbelievable 45 compartments of storage space, including an illuminated glovebox, bottle holders in each front door pocket, second row under-seat storage and audio steering controls.
The sleek, sweeping and wedge-shaped lines and curves distinguish the Mazda5 with 17-inch alloy wheels, colour-coded bumpers, side mouldings, mirrors and door handles.
The 'Individual' model has a much more aggressive look, thanks to the Sports Appearance Package (SAP). This includes a colour-coded front sports bumper, sports grille, side and rear under-skirts and roof spoiler.
The '6+1' packaging concept provides for occasional use of a 'plus 1' seat, creating more space and easier cabin access. This versatile Karakuri seventh seat is the perfect solution when accommodation for a seventh person is required.
The Karakuri basically is a functional, jump seat that can be unfolded in a matter of seconds to create a three-person bench seat.
Another enjoyable feature on the car is the manual operating sliding rear side doors on both sides of the car that can be operated with the touch of a finger. It enables a wide opening for easy movement to the second and even the third row of seats.
The Mazda5 offers 15 000 km service intervals, a three-year/100 000 km warranty, as well as the Mazda Motion five-year, 60 000 km maintenance plan and roadside assistance.
The new Mazda5 is for the family man or woman who has acquired new sets of responsibilities, but hasn't lost his or her zest for life. It's a product for those who still want to go 'zoom-zoom'.
Mazda5 2L Active R199 990
Mazda5 2L Individual R216 990