What is it?
A specced-up version of the Mazda 2 supermini. This 2 costs the same as the 89bhp Sport Nav model on which it is based in the line-up, but adds some cosmetic flourishes to the mix. 16in Gunmetal alloy wheels, a chrome exhaust pipe, black front and rear spoilers and different side skirts are included.
The alterations are design-focused, so the engine is untouched, meaning you get Mazda's standard 1.5-litre naturally aspirated petrol powerplant paired with a five-speed manual gearbox.
'Special editions' are often little more than models with extra packaged at a tempting price, and the Sport Black is no exception. However, do these cosmetic flourishes add any extra charm to this already great hatchback, or is it all style and no substance?
What's it like?
The stand-out difference on this 2 is its looks, but not all you see is standard. Our car is, for instance, is wearing £186 ‘KODO’ graphics that run from the front headlight to the rear, while the ‘Race’ graphics along the side skirts come in at £149 and the black door mirror covers are £59. Strangely, though, this 'Black' edition doesn't actually come in black body paint - only red or white are available.
This special edition 2 is only available with Mazda’s 1.5-litre naturally aspirated engine, but that’s no bad thing. It’s nippy around town and fun on faster A-roads, but it will leave you longing for a bit more flexibility if you’re racking up regular motorway drives.
Decent fuel economy will also keep running costs down, although expect real-world fuel economy closer to 50mpg than the claimed 62.8mpg. The five-speed manual gearbox has a short, sporty throw and is one of the best in the class. However, those 16in alloys may make the ride a bit harsher than in other superminis, and the 2 doesn't usurp the Ford Fiesta as the best supermini in terms of handling.
The engine is a bit thrashy at higher revs, too, and because it’s not turbocharged you do need to push it pretty hard to make swift progress. Aside from engine noise, though, the special edition is fairly hushed in the cabin, with road and wind noise kept to a minimum and only becoming an annoyance at motorway speeds.
Standard equipment is impressive, almost mirroring the Sport Nav offering; instead of climate control you only get manual air-con. That means that rear parking sensors, 16in alloys, front fog lights and privacy glass for the rear windows, as well as automatic lights and wipers all come as standard. There’s also an extra sports styling kit that adds a gloss black rear spoiler and side skirts, and a chrome exhaust trim.
Inside, you get Mazda’s brilliant 7.0in colour display screen and infotainment system in the Sport Black. It’s a good cabin – if lacking a little panache – and there’s plenty of room up front, too.
It’s not all good news in the cabin, though. Space in the rear is fairly limited, while rear legroom is merely acceptable and headroom is pretty restricted, so will be uncomfortable for adults on longer journeys The boot space is small for the class, too.
Should I buy one?
The extras on the Sport Black are attractive additions, but they’re ultimately too subtle to warrant us encouraging you to opt for it over a lesser-specced model like SE-L Nav, which is £1000 cheaper and still very well equipped.
Furthermore, for £15,395, it's possible to buy Ford's Fiesta in well-specced Titanium trim, which is a better dynamic proposition, and is hardly short of aesthetic flair itself.
Mazda 2 1.5 Sport Black
Location: London; On sale: Now; Price £15,395; Engine 4 cyls, 1496cc, petrol; Power 89bhp at 6000rpm; Torque 201lb ft at 4000rpm; Gearbox 5-spd manual; Kerb weight 1050kg; Top speed 114mph; 0 62mph 9.4sec; Economy 62.8mpg (combined); CO2 rating & BIK tax band 105g/km, 16%