The Mazda 2 was first introduced in 2007 as the sister car to the Ford Fiesta. Compared to the newly released hatchbacks then—such as the Fiat Punto, Peugeot 207, and Vauxhall Corsa—the Mazda 2 was around 10cm shorter in size yet didn’t sport any obvious reductions to the interior packaging. The current Mazda 2 model is much lighter at 60kg than its previous generation and comparatively lighter to its contemporaries by 190kg. Only a little headroom at the rear and a few inches of boot space were let go for the smaller size. Other major changes featured in the Mazda 2 include the brand’s current engineering direction: a platform from the efforts of both the Ford and Mazda.
The Mazda 2 sports an original design that includes intertwining surfaces, a heavily sculpted skin, and clever details such as wings on the front wheels. A rising line that goes from the front wheel arch and up towards the front door handle is complimented by a the marked scallop on the lower door skin. There are also two surfaces defined by the Mazda’s stylists. On the right side is a masterclass colour that makes pressed steel pale in comparison. Rear elevation enhances this portion with its tightly drawn and neat façade. Another major improvement is the large, five-corner grille and the better fog lights.
The interior is just as impressive, benefiting from the original aesthetic of Mazda’s design team. The circles theme abounds throughout the cabin’s features such as console display, round air vents, instrument faces, and heater controls. The dashboard follows suit with its large but curved volume, a look that will carry it through the ages. The mould plastics used are also efficiently used and the screw interiors enjoying a tight finish, assuring owners of durability for the next years.
The Mazda two comes with two petrol engine units: a 1.5-litre at 101bhp or 73 and 83bhp at 1.3-litre. Then there’s the 1.6-litre diesel unit at 94bhp; all three engine options are Euro 5 compliant. The 1.3-litre at 83bhp on manual comes out as the best choice. But for those that need more time along motorways, the 1.5-litre at 105bhp is the smarter choice. Eager drivers won’t mind the satisfaction all these engines promise to deliver; even the manual gearbox promises slick-shifting as you go through the different road conditions. The 1.5-litre petrol unit also comes with a four-speed automatic gearbox that is quite refined when you have to go through motorway traffic.
The four-speed gearbox does have a downside: it tends to mute the engine’s response. But it makes up for this by being friendly to the driver who needs to go through slick gear changes and require intelligent matching to the gear speed. Expect quick and direct steering for the most part, but a slight thump and bump as you go over potholes. The brake pedals also tend to be spongy at times.
The interior may impress in terms of aesthetic, but some of the surface material fails to compete against the European supermini rivals. Don’t expect much in terms of full on luxury, but expect more for durability and quality.
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