- Nimble yet comfortable handling
- Low running costs
- Reliable and built to a high standard
- Rivals are better to look at
- Lacks punch
- May feel a little outdated
What's the Mazda2 like?
Mazda's SkyActiv approach to building cars centres on efficiency and light weight to give improved performance and better economy, along with lower emissions.
But unlike the majority of its competitors, it hasn’t gone down the small capacity turbocharged route for petrol engines, opting for a larger, more efficient power unit without a turbo.
And of course, Mazda’s reputation for build quality and reliability goes back many years – a reputation that other carmakers have often envied in private.
The most recent Mazda2 supermini from the company’s range is a perfect example of the SkyActiv design ethos, and it makes a great used buy.
This is a car that works superbly in every way and offers excellent economy across a small range, every one of which uses the same 1.5-litre petrol engine.
Over a fast two-day trip covering 370 miles, the Mazda2 returned an impressive 49.6mpg.
Performance matches or betters that of its rivals, and together with a nimble chassis, makes a small car that’s a delight to drive in every way.
That 1.5-litre 4-cylinder engine is available in 75, 90, and 115bhp power outputs, and they're amazingly smooth and quiet, only making a little more noise as the revs rise.
The previous model was available with a 1.5-litre diesel, but that was dropped when this latest edition hit the streets.
The front wheels are driven through a 5-speed gearbox in the two lower models, and a 6-speed for the 115bhp. A 6-speed automatic has also been available as an option on the 90bhp.
On a longer journey, it's necessary to stir the gearbox a fair amount to get the best performance, but the efficiency of the engine means that this doesn’t seem to have any great effect on the economy.
Supple suspension gives an excellent ride for a small car, both around town and on a long journey, and I thought the trade-off was likely to be less ability in the twists and turns.
It might not be that sporting, but it grips hard and, despite a little roll, always feels safe and sure, with decent feel from the steering.
All the controls are light and easy and the brakes are brilliant, with a good progressive feel from the pedal.
The level of comfort is excellent, shrugging off every kind of poor surface with huge ease and at any speed.
This plus very good refinement from the whole car makes it feel much larger, as if it was in the large family realm, two classes above.
Interior and Equipment
Inside, there's room for four adults to get completely comfortable and noise from the passing air, the road, and the tyres, is impressively low.
Mid-range SE-L Nav spec comes with cruise control, sat nav, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, mobile phone connection, and audio remote controls.
It also has USB, climate control, traction control, lane departure warning, collision avoidance braking, Category 1 alarm, and alloy wheels.
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The Mazda2 is an impressive little supermini that comes equipped with comfortable driving experience and low running costs. Whilst some rivals offer sharper looks, the Mazda2 ensures it is an attractive proposition thanks to nimble handling and decent levels of equipment as standard.