From £9,940
Auto ’box is merely adequate, but the other tweaks are welcome

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.

What is it?

It’s a mid-life facelift of the Mazda 2, and given the car’s success (it has sold over 207,000 units in Europe since the Mk2’s introduction in 2007) it is understandable that the changes are relatively mild. All the engines have been brought up to Euro 5 emissions standards, the dampers have been softened, and there are some subtle tweaks to the interior and exterior styling.

What’s it like?

We're testing the 101bhp 1.5-litre petrol motor, complete with a four-speed automatic gearbox that joins the line-up for the first time and is only available with this engine and in TS2 trim. It’s not the most hi-tech gearbox but it does what it needs to do.

Hum around at urban speeds and it’s a satisfying car. Step-off is progressive, with no unpleasant jerkiness or hesitation and it sits in the right gear and shifts smoothly. This is not the transmission of choice if you want to plunder the Mazda 2's energetic motor, but those wanting the auto are unlikely to care. In everyday use it is more than adequate.

The suspension alterations are a change for the better, particularly in terms of the 2’s ability to soak up smaller surface imperfections. At slow speed the big bump absorbion can be a little firm, but not uncomfortable and we never found a road in or out of the city where the Mazda 2 didn't feel at home. It has one of the best blends of ride comort and body control in the segment.

The changes made here are marginal, but they all add up to a product that feels slightly more grown-up. Changes to the interior add appeal, and it is no bad thing that the 2 looks pretty much as it did. In fact, it is no bad thing that the 2 also feels pretty much as it did. The auto model is not the best in the range as it does mask the engine’s abilities beyond normal, everyday driving and it’s a way off the emissions of rivals such as the automatic Vauxhall Corsa and Toyota Yaris, but it is one of the best-value superminis at this price.

Should I buy one?

Yes. We’d opt for the 83bhp manual 1.3 model as our pick of the range, but whichever 2 suits your lifestyle it will do the job with ease and a bit of sparkle. It remains one of the most complete and enjoyable products in its class and one of our favourites, too. 

Mazda 2 1.5 TS2 Activematic 5dr

Price: £12,060; Top speed: 105mph; 0-62mph: 11.9sec; Economy: 44.8mpg; CO2: 146g/km; Kerb weight: 980kg; Engine type: 4cyl in line, 1498cc, petrol; Power: 101bhp at 6000rpm; Torque: 98lb ft at 4000rpm; Gearbox: 4-spd auto

Join the debate

Comments
13

4 November 2010

I didn't think they even made 4-speed automatics anymore! I do like the 2, though, it's cute and peppy.

4 November 2010

[quote Dark Isle]I didn't think they even made 4-speed automatics anymore![/quote]

You'd be surprised! This is a torquey little motor though so you don't really notice the lack of one or two extra cogs.

4 November 2010

Great little car, it's hard to think it's been around 3 years because it still looked pretty fresh before the facelift! Only thing is, I can't understand why they dropped the 1.4 Diesel - it was one of the most economical cars around, I think it did 80+ MPG! But it's good to see they've made the 1.3 petrol a lot more economical. Hopefully we'll be seeing the new engine tech that was mentioned a couple of weeks ago, fairly soon. Overall though, great car, great facelift. Liking that colour, too.

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

4 November 2010

That kerb weight figure of 980kg is pretty impressive for a full-size 5dr 1.5 litre automatic supermini. No wonder it goes well.

Mazda actually quotes 1065kg, but this includes an allowance for a 75kg driver, so it looks like the Autocar data is accurate for once!

Makes pretty much all competitors seem grossly overweight.

4 November 2010

This is by far the best Mazda since the original 6, a very enjoyable car. The 1.3 might be the most sensible choice, but the 1.5 is really quicker and worth the extra money. A shame that the 5th gear got so short ratio (a common problem of petrol powered Mazdas), which drives up the otherwise decent consumption. I know this because I had a full spec 3dr for a while and it really grew on me.

4 November 2010

My favourite small car just got even better. I could do without the auto but I really can't understand why people would choose a gorky Fiesta over one of these.


4 November 2010

[quote bomb] but I really can't understand why people would choose a gorky Fiesta over one of these.[/quote] The Fiesta's interior feels much better built, has a longer option list, wider/better engine range - and it is probably better value. Considering all these I would probably pick it over a Mazda2...

4 November 2010

[quote optimal_909]Considering all these I would probably pick it over a Mazda2...[/quote]

Fair enough.

I have to like how a car looks before I'd consider it for my driveway and can't get past those Fiesta looks. And I shudder at how pricey the Fiesta is...


4 November 2010

Thanks for the review. I have driven the 5 spd manual and preferred over the Fiesta. Much like my Miata in feel and responsiveness.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/d70w7/5085933689/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/d70w7/4478984748/

C2100

4 November 2010

[quote optimal_909][quote bomb] but I really can't understand why people would choose a gorky Fiesta over one of these.[/quote] The Fiesta's interior feels much better built, has a longer option list, wider/better engine range - and it is probably better value. Considering all these I would probably pick it over a Mazda2...[/quote]Ah but Ford's base-model Fiesta doesn't have Air Conditioning. I think the 2 does now. Plus, Ford have a habit of overpricing... Fiestas are so expensive in comparison! I'd choose a 2 just to be different... Fiestas are everywhere, however nice they are.

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

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