From £12,5406
Range-topping version of Mazda's recently updated supermini packs 113bhp. The 2 GT is certainly swift but bland to drive

Our Verdict

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    Mazda 2 GT 2017 review

    Range-topping version of Mazda's recently updated supermini packs 113bhp. The 2 GT is certainly swift but bland to drive
Richard Bremner Autocar
9 November 2017

What is it?

This is the ultimate version of the recently updated Mazda 2, equipped with a 113bhp version of the 1.5-litre petrol engine and a six-speed gearbox exclusive to this model.

That’s not a vast amount of power for a car carrying both GT and Sport badges, but on the other hand, the 2 is light, weighing a lean 1045kg in this guise. GT Sport identifiers include LED headlights and running lights, 16in alloy wheels, a black tailgate spoiler and, inside, brown leather inserts to the dashboard and doorcards, although the highlight, almost literally, is a head-up display.

The updates to the 2 itself include more soundproofing, reworked dampers and anti-roll bar bushes, lower suspension arms aimed at improving the ride and recalibrated electric power steering to heighten feel. The steering is also said to be improved by Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control system, which finely modulates the engine’s torque output in corners to eliminate torque effects. There are new interior fabrics and a new steering wheel design, too.

What's it like?

The GT Sport’s specification conjures a hot hatch from the previous century. Ok, maybe not a 1.5-litre engine, but 113bhp, distantly peaking torque, a twist beam axle and a 0-62mph time of 8.7sec certainly feel that way. Modernity emerges from the middle of the dashboard, where you’ll find a 7.0in infotainment touchscreen and, more surprisingly, from the top of the instrument binnacle, where you'll spot the head-up display’s projection screen. Supportively walled seats and a leather-bound steering wheel hint at the potential driving pleasure, as does a gearlever that snicks home with unusual precision. Within metres you’ll be feeling quite a firm ride, too.

The 2’s motor isn’t running over with power, but if you get assertive with it you’ll find more urge than you might expect for 113bhp, especially as the 4000rpm torque peak hoves into view. It’s not madly rapid, the GT Sport, but it’s certainly brisk enough to entertain. Your ears will pay a light price though, with the four-cylinder unit’s innate vibrations straining to break through the new noise barriers. It’s acceptable, but a passenger might tell you that they’ve had enough after a while.

Happily, the 2’s firm ride isn’t so firm that it underlines that thought. It’s almost choppy, but well-controlled and good over longer undulations, besides encouraging you to make use of the extra zest. So does plenty of grip and reasonably judged steering weight, but there’s still too little feel, despite the recent tweaks. This isn’t a car that's eager to bite into bends, nor one that’ll goad you into hard-charging them, either. There’s entertainment here, but it’s certainly not full-strength.

There is another benefit in the extra power though. The GT Sport’s cruising abilities are well able to deal with distance, especially with the calming influence of a sixth gear. And the comfortable seats and a decent equipment quotient make it a good all-rounder. It would look more special to sit in if the dark brown leather wasn’t so dark as to turn black on a gloomy day.

Should I buy one?

If you want a swift supermini that isn’t 200bhp rubber-chewing hot hatch, the 2 GT Sport is worth a look. It’s better to drive than Vauxhall’s 123bhp Corsa SRi 1.0 VX-Line, for example, with its low weight delivering more go than you’d expect. It’s also well equipped, adequately spacious, especially given a footprint usefully smaller than average, comfortable enough for distance (just) and easy to live with.

It's a shame, though, that the 2's character couldn’t be more flavoursome. For many, those 200bhp superminis are simply too extreme, besides being pricey and challenging to insure. The excellent power-to-weight ratio of the GT Sport offers the potential to offer something memorably engaging for thousands of pounds less, but in this dynamic tune, it’s just too bland to have you busting to drive it again.

Mazda 2 GT Sport

Where Gloucestershire On sale Now Price £16,995 Engine 4 cyls, 1496cc, turbocharged petrol Power 113bhp at 6000rpm Torque 115lb ft at 4000rpm Gearbox 6-spd manual Kerbweight 1045kg Top speed 124mph 0-62mph 8.7sec Fuel economy 56.5mpg CO2 rating 117g/km Rivals Vauxhall Corsa, Mini One

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Comments
7

9 November 2017

I had a Mazda 3 (2.2d SportNav Fastback) and thought it one of the best driver's cars I've owned - and yet Autocar forever went on about inconsistent/ vague steering and a lack of verve.  What Car? (sister publication) is even more down on its chassis, calling it 'unruly'!  None have managed to explain what they mean by inconsistent - I certainly could not imagine how it could apply to the car I drove.  The 2 with the MX-5's engine sounds like a brilliant combo and the use of the word 'bland' is so out of the blue I spilled my tea!

The car-buying public gets what it deserves, unfortunately ...

9 November 2017

Somewhat surprising review - considering how Mazdas reviews normally say they are very good to drive. Next you’ll be telling us the Fabia is better to drive.....

9 November 2017

The Citroën C3 Flair 1.2 PureTech 110 on long term is similar money and IMHO doesn't look like it's out of the 90's.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

9 November 2017
xxxx wrote:

The Citroën C3 Flair 1.2 PureTech 110 on long term is similar money and IMHO doesn't look like it's out of the 90's.

Have you ever driven a new C3 or a Mazda2?  The C3 feels like it comes from the 80's in comparison and the Mazda2 is far more 2017 than a Fiesta, Corsa, Clio, 208, ...

The car-buying public gets what it deserves, unfortunately ...

9 November 2017
Bishop wrote:

xxxx wrote:

The Citroën C3 Flair 1.2 PureTech 110 on long term is similar money and IMHO doesn't look like it's out of the 90's.

Have you ever driven a new C3 or a Mazda2?  The C3 feels like it comes from the 80's in comparison and the Mazda2 is far more 2017 than a Fiesta, Corsa, Clio, 208, ...

What part of IMHO don't you understand. I think it's dull and looks like the last one. Get over it.

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

10 November 2017

I like it.

I think it looks great and love the fact it is na as opposed to being a tiny turbo, for me it is so much more fun using the revs, down changing to obtain the rev band for the power etc as opposed to just staying in gear and riding the torque wave. Unfortunately I seem to be more or less on my own with that opinion as everyone else, so use to their tdi's, aren't happy unless there is a torque slug to push you along. You can have this engine in lower specs and also with 89 bhp which still gives brisk performance so the steep price of this model, due to its high top of the range spec, doesnt the make the rest of the range pricey.

11 November 2017

...Or diesels come to that. This needs a v8. And why does it not have a Nurburgring record? Seems a bit pointless without these two features. While I am at it, it could do with a few more swoops and curves. And another v8.

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