In-depth reviews

Mazda 2 review - Interior, design and technology

Eye-catching exterior and a stylish interior ensure the Mazda 2 has plenty of showroom appeal

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

4.3 out of 5

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Mazda has applied its Kodo design language to the 2, and as a result it looks very much like a scaled-down version of the Mazda 3 hatchback. There’s the familiar trapezoidal grille that features the brand’s chrome-finished ‘wing design’ insert first seen on the Mazda 6 saloon, while elsewhere you’ll spot the bold creases and curves along the car’s flanks, the swooping roofline and the steeply rising waist. It looks a bit heavy-handed and bulbous at the rear, but overall the 2 is a smart and distinctive small car.

A 2023 facelift added pep to the 2’s styling. While the metalwork hasn’t changed, new bumpers, new wheel styles, and a choice of grille designs – including a smooth, almost EV-style grille in black or body colour options, and a sportier mesh version – give the 2 a fresh look, and Mazda has revised some of the interior materials too. There are new colour choices too, though Mazda’s characteristic Soul Red aside, it’s still a pretty monotone palette.

All models get body-coloured door mirror housings and a subtle tailgate spoiler, as well as 15-inch alloy wheels, while upgrading to Exclusive-Line trim nets larger 16-inch alloys, rear privacy glass, and keyless entry. Homura trim gets the mesh grille design, electric folding and heated door mirrors, and a reversing camera, among other toys, while Homkura Aka models add heated seats and a heated steering wheel, and are visually distinguished by a contrasting black roof.

The eye-catching design continues inside, where Mazda has attempted to push the 2 upmarket. For instance, the neatly styled dashboard gets a trio of eyeball air vents (the fourth is cleverly hidden in the facia below the infotainment touchscreen) that feature controls with an Audi-style, metal-effect knurled finish. Another highlight is the large speedometer flanked by digital readouts for the rev counter and trip computer.

Yet while the cabin looks smart and is robustly constructed, it can’t match the Volkswagen Polo for premium appeal. There are few soft-touch materials, while the plastics covering the top of the dash and door trims look and feel a little low rent. Also, the rear doors shut with a tinny clang.

On the plus side, soft leather covers the steering wheel and gearlever, while the switchgear feels sturdy in its operation. 

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment 

All Mazda 2 models include a high-definition seven-inch touchscreen and command wheel controller with a clear and intuitive menu system that’s very straightforward to use. Integrated sat-nav is available on all trim-levels, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

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