I recently had the pleasure of getting myself the 2009 Mazda 5 Original. Being an owner of a 1999 Mazda 323 Sting, that I didn’t have one problem with in the last ten years, I naturally decided to buy another Mazda - without even test driving it!! For my family of four, the 5 stood out as the best option and I decided this is the one that’s best for our needs.Wow! What a stunning looking car! Smooth lines with a beautiful sporty finish. Mazda has truly developed stunning class-leading cars in the last couple of years and everywhere I drive people glance at this baby. The sliding doors are great and definitely one of the aspects that makes this a class leader, no worries about the kids hitting anything. I also had a towbar fitted and smash-and-grab for the windows. I can now easily fit seven people and tow a trailer with all our luggage.ComfortWhen looking at the interior, "stylish", "sleek" and "spacious" are the words that come to mind. The height adjustable seats are very comfortable and one hardly feels tired after a 900km journey. There are more than enough seat configurations to suite everyone’s needs. Clever usage of space and there are too many places to mention for you to store almost anything the kids want to tag along. The controls are easy to use and nothing is out of place. I would have preferred a trip computer, though. Remote central locking, airconditioning, power windows in front and lots more are standard. The boot is also fitted with lights for night use and there are cup holders at the back for passengers in the very last row. Safety is important to everyone and the 5 offers peace of mind with its five-star rating. The noise levels on the road are extremely low and the audio system makes for excellent sound quality, volume is auto adjusted as per speed travelled. An MP3 socket is standard.Driving itThe 2.0-litre 107-kw MZR engine is a peach. You can hardly hear the engine idle and its responsiveness is amazing. If you need power, it’s there and the six-speed gearbox delivers precise smooth shifting. Consumption in windy conditions with five adults and luggage was 10 km/l and 12 km/l on our last trip with luggage and the kids. (All I’ll say is that’s going above 120 km/hour.) One would think fully loaded it may be sluggish, not a chance! This baby doesn’t even notice the load, and passing is still easy as pie. Handling of the 5 is super, the steering very precise and smooth. Braking is excellent and I can hardly wait to hit the road again.Let's face it, it’s not the cheapest motor around, but the pricing is very good compared to its competitors and the peace of mind the warranty and all the other goodies like road side assistance and a service plan is all worth it. This is true value for money. Who said a family sedan should be boring?The Mazda 5 delivers in all expectations and is definitely leader in its class. Sporty, stylish and affordable… ZOOM ZOOM!Do you have what it takes to write a winning reader road test? Enter our competition and you could win cash or a Garmin GPS!