Stylish Mazda2 full of promise and delivers driving appeal too

New Mazda2 drives as good as it looks and boasts a more grown-up, quality feel.

New Mazda2 drives as good as it looks and boasts a more grown-up, quality feel. - Credit: Mazda2

The new Mazda2 is going to play a big part in Mazda hitting 50,000 annual sales, says motoring editor Andy Russell.

Mazda is buzzing with year-on-year sales growing around 20% with new launches – double the industry average – and a handful of fresh models coming on stream.

Mazda is confident it can hit 50,000 UK sales this year – back to pre-recession levels – built on more favourable exchange rates against the yen and all-new models like the second-generation Mazda2 supermini.

Following the revised Mazda6, upgraded CX-5 sport utility vehicle and ahead of all-new CX-3 crossover and MX-5 sports car, the Mazda2 has a big role to play as a big-selling model in a market dominated by superminis and downsizing.

No wonder the Mazda2 has moved upmarket with a grown-up look – the latest model to benefit from the Kodo Soul of Motion design philosophy – and a quality feel inside.


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The Mazda2 is a looker and stands out from the crowd but to succeed it needs to drive as good as it looks.

It doesn't disappoint with a new, efficient range of SkyActiv petrol and turbo diesel engines and an all-new, ultra-stiff chassis which is more rigid but lighter. As well as a more grown-up feel, it has physically grown – 140mm longer, 20mm taller and an 80mm between the front and back wheels boosts space.

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There's four 1.5-litre engines – 75, 90 and 115PS petrol – and 105PS turbo diesel. Petrol engines are mated to five and six-speed manual gearboxes with the 90PS unit also offered with a six-speed automatic while the diesel is six-speed manual only.

The petrol engines rev freely, just as well because, with peak torque at a heady 4,000rpm, they feel flat at low revs so need to be stirred into life with their slick manual gearboxes. Even so it's not difficult to get 50mpg.

The real surprise and star is the diesel. With maximum torque from 1,400rpm, it's got plenty of low-down grunt and pull. With no need to keep changing gears it's more relaxing to drive, even more so because it's so quiet and refined.

The new Mazda2 also drives better than the original which had a lumpy-bumpy ride on bad roads. It's now more supple and composed and, in with good agility, grip and body control through corners.

One of the more spacious superminis, there's more rear legroom and shoulder room so it can accommodate four large adults with ease. The well-shaped boot has grown 30 litres to 280 litres but has a high sill. The 60/40 rear seats backs (standard on SE-L and Sport) fold flat to give 950 litres of load space but step up from the boot floor.

The driving position has all the adjustment you need, the simple fascia is user-friendly but chunky rear pillars hinder visibility.

Cutting-edge technology and connectivity sees a seven-inch touchscreen and rotary controller on top models put a host of functions at your fingertips which, via smartphones, gives access to free mobile content and audio feeds.

Available in SE, SE-L and Sport versions, the last two with satellite-navigation version, the Mazda2 offers a good range of equipment and safety measures.

The Mazda2 has always offered something different in the small-car sector and this new model is an even more attractive all-round package that deserves to be on your supermini shopping list.

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