Mazda 2 Tamura review

The Mazda 2 is getting on a bit now, but it's still a good-value supermini that's good to drive

The Mazda 2 may be getting long in the tooth now but special editions such as the Tamura aim to keep this stylish supermini fresh - ahead of the current model’s replacement.

In an attempt to keep up with key rivals like the Toyota Yaris and Suzuki Swift, Mazda has made revisions to the car that has always represented good value in the competitive supermini sector.

Sporting an athletic stance that stands comparison to the Ford Fiesta’s, the Mazda 2 Tamura is an eye-catching car that features sleek lights front and rear, sporty styling and a drive to match.

Comprised of two petrol units – a 1.3–litre with a manual ‘box (83bhp) and a 1.5–litre with a 4-speed automatic (102bhp) the engine range is fairly limited, but that comes with being a special edition model. Prices start at just over £12,000 for the manual with the auto around £1,000 more.

Interior features setting the Tamura out from the SE Air Con model it sits above in the range include a glossy audio panel, leather steering wheel and gearknob, steering wheel audio controls and a trip computer.

The Tamura Nav version adds sat nav and integrated Bluetooth. This model features a greater amount of safety features such as front, side- and curtain airbags, too. The 2 remains a solidly built car with a comfortable, if slightly cramped interior. Rear space that trails its rivals and a fairly small 250-litre boot.

Mazda 2 1.3 Tamura rear tracking

As for the exterior, the Tamura features power folding mirrors, privacy glass and side skirts for the manual version in addition to the standard SE Air Con spec. Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with traction control is standard on the auto, but not even available as an option on the 1.3-litre manual. It’s a feature we think should be standard on every model in the supermini class.

In terms of the way it drives, the Mazda 2 has always been a good performer – thanks to sharing a close relationship with the Ford Fiesta. This model continues the tradition with a fun driving experience at all speeds.

The steering is perfectly weighted and the gear change is slick, ensuring an enjoyable drive that can almost match our favourite supermini – the Fiesta. By no means is the 83bhp 1.3-litre engine a firecracker with a 0-62 time of 13.6 seconds, but you don’t have to be going quickly to enjoy this car.

It’s lively enough around town and is a comfortable place to while away the miles, thanks to a height adjustable driver’s seat, combined with a steering column that adjusts for reach and rake. Front-end grip is impressive and the brakes are both positive and progressive.

The trade-off for a more focused driving experience, though, is a firmer ride than that of the Suzuki Swift and Ford Fiesta. However, the Mazda 2 is a more composed ride than the Toyota Yaris.

Efficiency has become a word synonymous with Mazda recently and, in keeping with this, Mazda has ensured the lowest possible running costs with the Tamura. Emitting 115g/km of CO2 and achieving a claimed figure of 56.5mpg, the Mazda 2 remains a fairly cheap car to run. However, it sits in higher insurance group 11, compared with group 8 for the equivalent Toyota Yaris, group 9 for the Suzuki and group 6 for the Fiesta.

The Mazda 2 Tamura is a keenly priced competitor in the supermini sector – offering decent equipment and a great drive in this Tamura guise. However, with an increasing selection of great alternatives on the market, the 2 is starting to feel slightly outdated.

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