That’s a swanky-looking city car…
And that’s exactly what you wouldn’t say about the old Mazda 2. That was a Japanese compact par excellence, meaning it was reliable, economical and very boring. The fourth-generation Mazda 2, as you can tell from its taut proportions, clean lines and LED headlamps, is meant to appeal to those who want a little more.
You mean it’s an..ulp..lifestyle car?
That implies it doesn’t have much practicality, but it’s not a ‘children-be-damned’ sort of car. Like its equally good-looking big brother, the Mazda 3 , the 2 is new from the ground up: the platform, drivetrain and electronics all incorporating Skyactiv, Mazda’s label for its improved efficiency technology.
Will it get me high?
In power stakes, no, since it’s only packing 115bhp (the same drivetrain as on the Mazda 3) although it will out-sprint its brother by almost 2.0 seconds (10 versus 11.7 seconds) in a 0-100km/h race. What will also please the driver is that it’s smooth and more than adequate. Like all small Japanese engines it does wheeze, but Skyactiv is not hot air, and you’ll easily better 6.5L/100km thanks to the frugal engine and start-stop system.
Start-stop? How European…
That’s true, as Mazda’s taken many steps forward in the past two years to become the arguably ‘most Continental’ of mainstream Japanese carmakers. It’s reflected on the interior too, where there’s been a huge step up in quality, it’s light years away from the previous model. And it comes packed with features and tech too, such as driving modes, i-Eloop (start stop), keyless entry/go, LED headlights, Mazda’s Connect infotainment system with Bluetooth and navigation (impressively)…the list goes on.
So it’s really quite pleasant?
Yes, it’s become immensely more mature and from a line-toer to something rather different. But, though there are two buts: One is that interior space hasn’t expanded much, even though the car’s grown almost 18cm. Boot space, for example, is still a tiny 250-litres. The other ‘but’ is the Mazda 3 hatch, which in basic spec, costs only $7k more. Still, there’s the to-be-released basic spec 2, which should cost another $5,000-$7,000 less, but which will do without niceties such as navigation and LED headlights.
For an in-depth review and feature on the new Mazda 2, check out the next issue of CarBuyer, #231 March 2015, out in mid-Feb!
NEED TO KNOW
Engine 1,496cc, 16V, in-line 4
Power 115bhp at 4000rpm
Torque 150Nm at 4000rpm
Gearbox 6-speed automatic
Top Speed 184km/h
0-100kmh 10.0 seconds
Fuel efficiency 5.1L/100km
Price $122,800 with COE