From £9,940
Terrific pioneering supermini combines sleek looks with lightweight agility and performance.

Our Verdict

Mazda 2 2007-2014
The Mazda 2's platform was engineered in-house, but shared with the Ford Fiesta

Back in 2008 the Mazda 2 was voted World Car of the Year. Considering the car’s engineering thoroughness and individuality, that shouldn’t be a surprise.

13 June 2007

What is it?

The all-new Mazda 2 supermini, which hits the UK in September. Its body and underpinnings will also be used on the new Ford Fiesta – due in 2008.

The 2 reverses a 15-year trend towards bigger, heavier superminis. It is about 10cm shorter than the current, recently-launched crop of hatchbacks such as the Vauxhall Corsa, Peugeot 207, Renault Clio and Fiat Punto, without seeming to pay any significant penalty in reduced interior packaging, beyond conceding some boot space and a couple of centimetres of rear headroom.

Most important, with a kerb weight around 960 kilograms it is around 60kg lighter than the model it replaces, and up to 190 kilograms lighter than the porkiest of its contemporaries.

We drove the 102bhp 1.5-litre Sport five-door, which can do around 118mph flat out and accelerates from 0-60mph in around 10 seconds.

Two 1.3-litre versions, with either 74 or 85bhp, are also available.

What's it like?

From the first few yards, the Mazda 2 comes across as a sweet, easy-to-drive car with foolproof controls and steering that seems unusually accurate and reluctant to load up in hard corners (especially considering its all-electric power assistance).

The gearbox is quick-shifting and, to judge by the few decent bumps we could find, ride control is impressive.

Best of all, it feels sporty. The engine sounds purposeful but still refined at 6000rpm-plus, there is negligible body roll despite the reasonably relaxed suspension rates, and the car tucks in neatly if you throttle off in mid-corner near the limit.

Faults? The brake pedal seems rather spongy (though retardation is fine), the cabin materials quality isn’t in the Corsa class and we’ll reserve judgement on the car’s ride when fully laden, because lighter cars sometimes get unruly.

Should I buy one?

We'll have to wait until final UK details are confirmed to be sure. Prices look steep: they start around £8500 and ascend to £12,000, and we suspect you’ll pay £9500 minimum for a mid-spec TS2 model with the higher-power 1.3 litre, air conditioning, alloy wheels and a decent suite of airbags.

Join the debate

Comments
2

17 November 2007

I've recently been in the market for a small car to replace my 5 year old Seat Ibiza and after reading some high appraise for the car from magazines and internet sites (including Autocar) I decided to test drive a Mazda 2 TS (my finances are tight!). I also took a mate along with me to get a second opinion. We took the car down some country lanes and as the reviewer of this article says you can noticibly feel the weight-saving that Mazda have put the car through. It isn't a quick car (this is the TS we are talking about) but the steering was really direct and you felt the car wanted to flow smoothly round corners. I was genuinely surprised as to how good the car felt to drive and how light it actually feels. I have 2 complaints though. Firstly, as the article suggests the car is well put together (and well thought out) but the plastics in the cabin do let it down. But, I am guessing this was the result of the 2's diet. Secondly, the TS I drove had a fairly noisy engine and road noise was also very noticible. I went back to the Mazda garage and was in 2 minds about the car, until, we drove back to work in my Ibiza. It felt like I was driving a bus! Myself and my mate were really shocked at the difference. I went back to work, rang the garage and put a deposit on one, which i hope to get next week. The 2 feels really fun to drive and I agree with the reviewer that that is very important in this class of car.

Rojan

29 November 2007

Cheers :)

I really hope other manufacturers follow suit with weight saving measures like the 500 and Mazda 2. My partner has a 56 plate Mini (which she raves about) but it feels like a heavier bigger car than my 2 even though it is of similar size, But, I hear that the new one is better and lighter and practically a totally different car. I noticed that Mazda did the same trick with the new 6, shedding around 35Kg off the one it replaces. I read a review in The Independent where the journalist absolutely raves about it, It'll be interesting to read what other journalists think of it. I wonder if Mazda will make a 1??? Now that would be interesting.

Rojan


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