MAZDA; new reg.
The Japanese manufacturer has a host of fresh products towhet the appetite - ranging from a three-door version of the Mazda2 supermini to a near-silent new generation of the popular Mazda6.
Somewhere between the two, and ideal for families on the move, is the newly-launched and upgraded Mazda5multi-activity vehicle, a car designed from the inside out rather than the other way round.
The '5' offers customers a nine-strong model line-up with choice of four powertrains and four equipment levels. Petrol and diesel engined models are priced from pounds 14,760 on the road, with a new automatic transmission variant available from March to complete the range.
Its regular seating features a six-seat layout over three rows, with a flexible stowable seventh seat - in the middle of the second row-which can easily be folded into position when needed.
It continues the original model's success with a refreshed design, newpower sliding doors as part of an option package and a new automatic transmission option.
The newcar also has a more luxurious interior finish, improved comfort and convenience, new suspension settings for optimised handling and enhanced refinement, better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions.
Not only is the upgraded Mazda5 more convenient to use, it also promises to be more fun to drive - the MZR 2.0-litre petrol models feature a 146PS engine that has been completely revised.
The latest Mazda2 range has been up and running since last autumn but the March new registration coincides with the arrival of a three-door version.
It uses the same 1.3 and 1.5-litre petrol engines as the five-door hatchback, plus a 1.4-litre turbo iesel, but will have a sportier feel.
The company is so pleased with its stunning newMazda6 family saloon and hatchback range that is feels confident it will take sales from buyers of both Audi and BMW models.
While the original '6'was an outstanding car in its own right the new generation ups the ante thanks to its sporty design, improved passenger space, near silent engines and overall refinement. There are three powerful petrol engines, a 2.0-litre 140bhp diesel and six trim levels with prices from pounds 16,300.
Also proving a hit with buyers is the CX-7 sports SUV, designed for families who enjoy an active lifestyle but also need a car that's both fun and practical. Prices are from just under pounds 24,000 and all models feature a 2.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine.
And for sports car lovers there's the iconic MazdaMX-5 from pounds 15,730, now also available with a folding metal roof, and the rotary-engined RX8 - a stunning coupe with space for four. Prices are from pounds 21,500.
ZOOMZOOM: The 2008 Mazda 6