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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

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.

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All models get body-coloured door mirror housings and a subtle tailgate spoiler, while SE-L models can be identified by 15-inch alloys and front fog lights. In mid-2015 Mazda launched a special edition Sport Black based on the SE-L, with sporty black accents for the mirrors, spoiler and side skirts. It comes loaded with kit, but the final list price is rather expensive – so unless you really love the tweaks, we’d stick with the standard car.

Sport cars get larger 16-inch wheels, LED daytime running lights and a colour-coded grille insert, while Deep Crimson Mica metallic paint is unique to the GT and higher-powered GT Sport models, so it’s easy to spot these trims. However, it’s harder to notice the Mazda 2’s 2017 update. The changes are subtle, including new seat fabrics, a new steering wheel and revised door mirrors.

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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.

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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 

Pick a model with the MZD Connect infotainment system, and the Mazda 2 delivers a high-definition seven-inch touchscreen and command wheel controller with a clear and intuitive menu system that’s very straightforward to use. 

It’s smartphone compatible of course, so gives you access to all your music, social media and text messages, as well as providing DAB radio and integrated Bluetooth.

Sat-nav is also available, and is standard on all Nav cars. Entry-level SE models have an AM/FM radio with a single CD/MP3 player and USB connectivity only.

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