Mazda 2 review
The Mazda 2 is a dynamic, stylish and well built supermini that offers great value for money
The Mazda 2 is very different to its predecessors, but it has been made to a successful formula. It's built on the same platform as the Ford Fiesta and comes in three and five-door guises. It is a great value, stylish and economical supermini with dynamics to impress even the keenest driver, while all engines suit the car well, offering class leading economy. All of the above means you can forgive the sporty 2 of its shortcomings, like the small boot and unsupportive seats – the well built Mazda 2 is a great-value small car.
Our choice: Mazda 2 1.5 Sport 5dr
When the Mazda 2 was introduced in 2007, it was clear that Mazda’s engineers had put the supermini on a strict diet. The new car was much leaner and considerably more stylish than the model it replaced. Gone were the boxy MPV lines, replaced by a sleek supermini body, far more in keeping with the brand’s ‘zoom-zoom’ tagline. And the 2 really does stand proud, with a pair of boomerang-shaped tail-lights and pert rear-end the baby Mazda has a sporty presence. The sharp creases down the side of the bodywork only emphasise this and the well-proportioned body gives a squat stance. Inside the design is simple but well proportioned and everything falls to hand perfectly.
From behind the wheel, the Mazda 2 feels every bit the sporty supermini. The driving position is spot-on and the seats are comfortable, if a little unsupportive. As you move off it becomes clear the Mazda shares its underpinnings with the dynamically excellent Ford Fiesta. On the road the 2 is superbly composed, with well-weighted steering and exceptional levels of grip. Although it feels agile at speed, it also manages to remain a joy to drive in town, too – with excellent damping and a light gearchange.
Mazda sits mid-table in our Driver Power survey, and although the 2 doesn’t feature, it should prove as reliable as the Mazdas that did appear in our Top 100. This, along with the standard three-year, 60,000 mile warranty should give owners peace of mind. In terms of safety, the Mazda 2 gets a host of airbags and gains a full five stars in the Euro NCAP safety ratings.
Disappointingly, the Mazda 2 falls short of the Ford Fiesta in terms of outright carrying ability. With just 250 litres on offer, the boot is 45 litres shy of the 295-litre Fiesta, but it does impress with the removable lining and reversible floor. Fold the seats down, and the area expands to a respectable 787 litres. In the back, legroom is generous and the high roofline means that there is plenty of room in the rear for adults. Up front, there is plenty of additional storage, with a two-tier glovebox and big door bins. One disappointing aspect of the 2’s design are the seats, which although stylish, can lack support on longer journeys.
The baby Mazda 2 excels when it comes to reasonable running costs – even the largest petrol engines manage close to 50mpg. If it's economy you desire, though, the 1.6-litre diesel motor combines lively performance with an impressive 67.3mpg and 110g/km, putting it on a par with the Ford Fiesta Zetec S (67.2mpg and 107g/km). You can only get this engine in a five-door body, though. It isn’t just running costs that impress, though – standard kit is generous, too. All but the most basic models get alloy wheels, and air-con is standard across the range. The baby Mazda represents a great-value package, from initial outlay to running and residuals.