Boasting a lot of bang for your buck, the Mazda2 is a quick and peppy ride with amazing gas mileage and an extremely agreeable pricetag, all-in-all exemplifying the old Mazda maxim, “Zoom zoom.”
Taking design cues from its sporty cousin, the Mazda3, the Mazda2 retains much of the signature hatchback sleekness that the 3 is known for. Its smooth lines give it an aerodynamic aesthetic, and the wide headlights and unique honeycomb front grill make for a fun-looking ride.
Surprisingly, in a car of Mazda2′s size, there’s a good amount of headroom. Being 6’3″, I found plenty of space between my giant head and the car’s ceiling and found that there was plenty of comfortable space for my legs and arms as well. The backseats looked and felt a little restrictive, but on the plus side they come with a 60/40 split fold-down so you can greatly increase the car’s cargo capacity, since the regular trunk space is rather paltry.
As far as interior amenities are concerned, the Mazda2 are rather lacking. Air conditioning, power windows and locks are all standard but you won’t find any navigation screens or state-of-the-art computing here. The most appealing feature I found here is an auxiliary input for your iPod and a pretty decent 4-speaker stereo system. But for someone like me, that’s really all I need, so I can’t complain.
The Mazda2 features six standard airbags, great visibility, and a confident braking system that makes you feel safe while driving such a compact car.
Powertrain & Performance
The Mazda2 has a 1.5 liter four-cylinder engine that cranks out 100 horsepower and 98 lb.-ft. of torque. This may seem weak, but with the great power-to-weight ratio, the Mazda2 accelerates faster than you’d guess.
I got to drive the Mazda2 for a solid week and was impressed. I would have loved to try out the 5-speed manual while I was cruising along curvy country roads, but my as-tested 4-speed automatic was more than diligent, and the handling was responsive and assertive. I had no problem hugging the curves in this car along the backroads or avoiding the common pitfalls of Washington DC traffic. And, as a side note, this the easiest car you will ever parallel park.
With gas mileage that is practically comparable to hybrids (27 city, 33 highway! and even better if you take the 5-speed manual), the Mazda2 is a fun little ride that you’ll enjoy whether you commute in the city or the country, and it won’t break your bank either. With an as-tested price of $17,185, the Mazda2 seems to outclass its competitors such as the Honda Fit or the Toyota Venza with its confident and sporty attitude.
|Price As Tested:||$17,185|
|Engine & Torque:||1.5-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder with VVT, 100 horsepower @ 6000 rpm, 98 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm|
|Transmission:||4-speed electronically controlled overdrive|
|Wheels & Tires:||15-inch alloy wheels with p185/55 r15 all-season tires|
|Warranty:||36-month/36,000 “bumper to bumper”|
|Fuel Economy:||27 city, 33 highway|
|0 – 60 MPH:|