Mazda 2 review (2003-2007)
Mazda has been transformed since the introduction of the Mazda6, sales are booming, brand awareness is high and there's a new sports coupe in the shape of the RX-8 to join the superb MX-5 roadster.
Mazda has been transformed since the introduction of the Mazda6, sales are booming, brand awareness is high and there's a new sports coupe in the shape of the RX-8 to join the superb MX-5 roadster. As fun as these models are Mazda needs volume, and pitched two models below the Mazda6, in the busy supermini arena is the 2. With Ford controlling the Japanese firm it's not surprising that the 2 shares its platform and much of its mechanicals with the latest Fiesta. It's slightly larger, slotting size-wise between Ford's Fiesta and the Fusion. Engines, unsurprisingly, are Ford sourced too, the 2 being offered with 1.25, 1.4 and 1.6-litre petrol engines and a 1.4-litre TDCi diesel.
It's no longer enough to offer just the usual folding rear seats in a supermini and claim versatility. With buyers demanding ever more practical features Mazda's 2 offers a fully folding front passenger seat, while the high roof and low boot floor add to the versatility. The styling suffers somewhat as a result of that high roof, looking boxy and tall, but the cabin is smart, continuing the quality feel of Mazda's more recent offerings. The ride and handling is sporty yet refined, the 2 offering a drive that's, unsurprisingly, not too dissimilar to the Fiesta with which it shares its underpinnings. A good, if unremarkable, supermini, that'll undoubtedly benefit from the increased brand awareness which cars like the 6 and RX-8 have caused.