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Mazda 5 2.0 Individual

Broadcast date : 20th May 2007

The Mazda5 is, quite definitely, the sportiest MPV weíve yet driven.

And yet, not only is it low-slung and racyĖlooking, but it has a very useable six-plus-one seating arrangement.

That "plus-one" seat in the centre row folds up to allow access to the third row in a walk-through arrangement, but preferably for either very skinny or very young people.

Still, itís an eminently useable family vehicle, and it has a sense of fun thatís well in keeping with Mazdaís Zoom Zoom outlook on life.

We enjoyed the exceptional on-road poise of the Mazda5.

For a high-roofed vehicle, itís centre of gravity is low, thanks to the seating positions and high glass-area that extends down to a low waste-height on the body.

That gives the driver and passengers an airy feeling inside the cabin, something that Mazdaís competitors should take notice of. And itís real driverís car too.

The MX5 is a full five-star- NCAP safety-rated vehicle, which means it has a full complement of airbags, including curtain airbags for that all-important cargo it is likely to carry.

That earlier never-ending sequence of children streaming out of the car was made possible by dual sliding doors, one on each side of the vehicle.

So for loading cargo, human or otherwise, the MX5 makes a lot of sense.

For a dad, or a mom for that matter, with petrol rushing through their veins, the Mazda5 is an MPV that still embodies some sports-car joy de vivre.

The steering is responsive, body-roll is at a minimum for a seven-seater and performance is none too shabby.

The rakish bonnet and angled headlights and purposeful air-intakes are familiar styling cues to owners of more sporty Mazda models, and talking of models, the Mazda5 comes in two variants.

This is the top-level Individual model, which gives you colour-coded bumpers, a sportier grille, driving lights and leather upholstery.

That sets you back just under R217 000, while for R17 000 less, the Active model offers much the same, still with alloy wheels and all the comfort goodies, as well as the 107 kiloWatt 2-litre 4-cylinder mill.

The good news is that both models are extremely well-specced. Thereís a six-speaker CD audio, DSC traction control, climate control and a very tasty interior styling package to go with the highly versatile furniture arrangements.

Itís up to you whether leather upholstery and the cosmetic detailing is worth the extra R17000.

We really enjoyed the styling of this car, mixing just the right amount of bling and practicality. Mazda is on a roll right now, and at the price, the Mazda5 is a winner.

Car Magazine, incidentally, said it has set a new benchmark for this class of MPV.

According to Car Magazineís test of the MX5, the free-revving two-litre motor will take you to a 100 km/h in 10,5 seconds at sea level, without all six passenger seats being filled with young bodies.

Top speed is just shy of 200 km/h, which is more than sporting enough for a family car.

Mazda5 2.0 Individual
  • Engine: Four-cylinder petrol, 1 999cc
  • Power: 107 kW @ 6 000 rpm
  • Torque: 185 Nm @ 4 500 rpm
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 10,64 seconds (Car Magazine)
  • Top speed: 198 km/h (Car Magazine)
  • Fuel consumption: 10,1 litres/100 km (Car Magazine)
  • Price: R216 990

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