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Mazda 5: Let’s do the Karakuri

“He” – a mini-van, “she” – “Mazda”? I am constantly confused in the definition of gender – you look at the solid dimensions, wrapped in the classic forms of a mini-van, like “He.” And you get behind the wheel, glance through the interior, the familiar “twisters”, the display screen – “She”, “Mazda” comes out. Then you step into the wide opening of the sliding door, try on the middle row of the relief seats, feel the supply of space around – and again confusion.

Mazda 5

The debut of the 5–7-seater minivan took place at the Paris Motor Show in September 2004, and in 2006 it appeared in Russia.

Engines: petrol, 1.8–2.0 liters (115–145 hp).

Transmission: 5-speed manual.

Equipment: Family, Touring, Active.

Price in Russia: $ 21,900–28,700.

Test car: Mazda 5, 2,0 MT, equipment Active, additional equipment, $ 31 530.

It does not matter – we will magnify the novelty and so, and commercials, because it was made “from scratch” and besides the traditional ideology of the “Mazda” it certainly carries a lot of interesting innovations. Who strive to declare themselves: low, almost devoid of the traditional tunnel floor, some little knobs and loops, instantly changing the configuration of the seats. And in the spacious trunk hidden third row of seats.

Comfort and character

The flat ribbon of a highway, on the speedometer “a little over a hundred,” under the hood, barely audible, sings the engine. By smooth wiggling of the body, sensitive reactions to the steering wheel and gas is felt – “Mazda RX-85” in its element. Half an hour ago, without being able to show what she was capable of, she bored “hustled” in traffic jams, generously letting in more nimble neighbors. Showed a clear dislike for the tracks on the pavement, trying to swerve to the side. And now everything has fallen into place and we have to restrain ourselves and the car from the desire to “jerk all over.”

We got used to each other. I took for granted a calm, restrained interior style. He noted good visibility – and at the same time an invisible low line of the hood, forcing us to be careful when maneuvering in a dense stream. Out of habit, he grumbled at the imperfect form of the driver’s seat, seemingly wide, comfortable, but annoying with a short pillow. Conversely, I appreciated the tenacious steering wheel, adjustable in the right directions, a distinct switching of the mechanical box, a convenient combination of instruments and a pedal. Nothing extraordinary, but you appreciate the good quality and thoroughness of the machine.

The two-liter engine performs its work reliably and in a measured way, accelerating a light van without any light. Stretched by gear ratios, the “mechanics” also initially do not contribute to the bright driving sensations. But for a mini-van, this is not the main thing, especially since after a while, gaining “cruising” speed, it becomes easy, obedient, even moderately aggressive. And at the same time, acoustic comfort is beyond praise, the suspensions cope with the majority of irregularities to a surprisingly gentle degree, and in the management of the Mazda RX-85 it is convenient and obedient. Moreover, it is necessary to go porezche, in the behavior of the machine there is a hitch, the reactions are surprising integrity, composure, allowing you to feel the nuances of behavior to the subtleties. This is a completely different “Mazda” – with character.

Karakuri Secrets

This word is nothing belligerent, it only defines the principle of salon transformation, thanks to which the passenger compartment of a seven-seater mini-van can be rebuilt within a few seconds. So say the creators. Indeed, the middle row of separate seats moves longitudinally, folds, unfolds in every conceivable position. But he has one peculiarity: formally, there are three places, but in reality, two and a half. In this half – all the trick “Karakuri”. In the absence of a compact passenger (the other one simply does not fit there), you can remove the middle cushion under the folding seat on the left, and take up the resulting space with a multifunctional armrest. The second option is to expand the remaining “piece” of the back, to organize access to the third row of seats, risen from the boot floor.

In the role of the rear passenger you feel quite comfortable and even interesting: a lot of space, options for adjustments. But about seven places the question is controversial – there are probably six and a half, or rather six, with a plus.


+ Spacious, easily transformable interior, high level of comfort, interesting handling, balanced driving capabilities.

– Modest ground clearance, yaw on the longitudinal unevenness of the roadway (ruts).

Opel zafira
$ 19,750–31,900

Minivan, time-tested and sympathetic to the consumer. In many respects – the very personification of practicality and balanced properties, so valued in this class of cars.

Toyota Corolla Verso
$ 26,100–28,900

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