Although it is quite compact and not as plush and refined as rival superminis, the Mazda 2 is something of an unsung gem. For drivers who appreciate a car that is light and taut handling, the 2 is a must-sample machine. Of course, it will do the job of a conventional supermini with ease but goes about its business with a bit of sparkle and it remains one of the most complete and enjoyable products in its class. It is also currently built at Mazda’s headquarters in Japan, rather than in a cheaper, developing-world factory which, for some, will be a worthwhile bonus.  

It is to be hoped that the SkyActive version of the Mazda 2 – which uses one of Mazda’s radical new high-compression petrol engines – will eventually be made available in the UK. This engine could well deliver over 70mpg and come in at under 100g/km of CO2. With no replacement in sight for the baby Mazda, which now just beginning to show signs of age, a SkyActive version offering diesel economy would make the 2 stand out among its rivals.

The Mazda 2 is the perfect choice for buyers who find the Fiesta a little too common