Mazda 5 – My first impressions

Buying a car is expensive nowadays, and I did a lot of homework before deciding on the Mazda 5. My reason for deciding on it was that it had the most space in the third row of seats out of all the MPVs I tested, but was still small enough for my wife to drive, seeing that she’s moving up from a Peugeot 206.

I’ve had the car for a few weeks now, and overall I’m loving it.  There is plenty of space, with two baby seats in the middle row, an 8 year old in the back row, and multitudes of bags and prams in the boot.  Ok, half the boot, seeing the back row of seats fold flat to create the boot, so we have one up and one down to fit the whole family.

The car’s power was the biggest surprise, with the 2 litre motor putting plenty of power to the road through the 17″ wheels, and acceleration much better than my Conquest.

I opted for the middle of the range, with the nice body kit, tow bar, aircon etc, but not the electric sliding doors.  I didn’t feel it was worth the premium for those, the manual ones are a breeze to open and close anyway.

Overall the driving experience is awesome, with the car surprising me in the rain.  We came back from the Vaal in a heavy thunderstorm on Boxing day, and it felt like I was driving in drizzle, not in a storm.  Visibility was excellent, probably because of the angle of the windscreen, and with the big tires on it, the water made no difference to the handling.

The car is fairly low on the ground, which makes it much nicer to drive than a mini-bus, of which I drove quite a few.  It doesn’t feel top heavy at all, in fact there is very little body roll for such a big car.  It feels like a normal car, with the space of a bus.

The inside is very functional, with the middle seat in the second row able to fold away under one of the other seats, and this can then be replaced by a utility bin, with a basket and cup-holders which folds away under the other seat.  The middle row seats can also be moved forward and backward, which means there is always enough leg-space for the people in the third row.  The quality of the plastics impressed me, with other cars in the price class looking a bit cheaper on this front.

One thing that is irritating me is that the suspension has developed a nasty squeak after the first week, not sure what the dealership did to hide that.  You only hear it when going over large bumps at low speed, but it is still irritating.  Not sure if anyone else is experiencing that.

Just a pity that I don’t get to drive it every day now, seeing my wife is the one that has to cart the kids around.

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