When is it going?

When is it going?

Not until next spring, Mazda says. Indeed it isn't the only Mazda that is going: their other people carrier, the Premacy, will also be making way for an as-yet-unnamed model. It will seat five, six or seven, depending on which model and specification you choose. In the meantime, you can still get yourself an MPV if you really want one.

What's good about it?

Without resorting to clichés, let's just say that it does what it says on the tin. It is a multi-purpose vehicle, which is what people carriers were originally called. What you get is the full MPV deal with a high ride height that is fairly comfortable. The seats come out and go back ineasily. Best of all are the big van-like sliding rear doors, which makeaccess a doddle and the family can exit direct on to the pavement. It will fit seven comfortably and the seats provide good support too. There is also a reasonable level of standard specification. The addition of a diesel engine to the line up was also a pretty good idea. .

What's bad about it?

It is a bit van-like to drive rather than feeling like a high-rise car, which the best MPVs usually are. Improvements have been made in recent years because the choice was limited to the one engine and trim option. The engine was underpowered and struggled when it was fully laden with people and luggage. The current 2.3 V6 is only OK. Although the MPV rides smoothly enough, there is a lot of wind and road noise on the move. It is dull inside and if you long for an automatic gearbox, there isn't one. It's not a bad vehicle, just very dull.

How much?

Discounts at Mazda dealers can be something of a challenge but there are several brokers who can supply models at some excitingly low prices. Motorprovider.co.uk offered modest savings, getting a 2.3 usually £18,600 on the road for £17,835 and a 2.0 diesel usually £20,100 for £19,380. However Avanticars.co.uk could get substantial savings of over £3500, putting a 2.3 petrol on the road for £14,926 and a 2.0 diesel for £16,954.

Any snags?

Not really. Mazdas are very reliable and stand up well to abuse.

FACT FILE

Launched: 1999

Engine: 2.0 2.3 2.0 diesel

Performance: 2.0 deisel, 0-60 in 11.1 secs, 113mph

Economy: 39.7mpg

NCAP: not tested, but airbags, ABS brakes all standard

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