2017 Mazda 2 review – The fun little subcompact

The 3rd generation Mazda 2 (Sold in the U.S. from 2010-2014) was very underrated when compared to the competition in the crowded subcompact arena. The Mazda 2 was a great little car that was fun to drive and somewhat stylish. With the 4th generation Mazda 2, Mazda redesigned the skin inside and out, but there is no denying that its screams Mazda2. The competitors such as the Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris aim for a more practical approach, whereas the Mazda2 aims to give the driver an engaging and fun experience behind the wheel.

Styling and specs:

This new Mazda 2 hatchback looks good, the Kudo design language that Mazda created is an evolution for the 2. This new generation slightly larger than its predecessor, the ride height has increased about an inch, wheelbase increased 3 inches, and length has increased 7 inches. However, from a distance it does not look any bigger than its predecessor, but the interior is more roomier than before.

Practicality, the Mazda 2 has room, but when compared the the Honda Fit, space inside the 2 may feel more cramped. There is a split 60/40 rear seat that increases the cargo space, but that only offers about 9 cubic ft of cargo space, when compared to the Fit’s 12 cubic ft. of cargo space, it does not seem a lot. However, cargo space aside, the 2 can seat two average sized adults in the rear comfortably on a short journey.

The dashboard is a very simple design with a 7 inch screen that doubles as touchscreen navigation and a radio. Mazda aim is to make it a drivers oriented car, so I guess simplicity is good here. The instrumentation has a motorcycle/race car feel to it with the pod design. The seats add red stitching to give it a sportier appearance, however, it lacks side bolstering and is short for taller drivers.

New to the Mazda 2 is a 107hp 1.5L Skyactiv, this engine has been re-adapted. This little engine is very rev happy and has a peak power delivery at 6000rpm and peak torque at 4000rpm.

Prices in Taiwan start at $NTD 659,000 ($21,750USD) and tops out at $750,000 ($24,750USD) (this price adds additional options such as backup camera and a heads up display), the price despite being a car imported from Thailand is comparable to the locally made Honda Fit. However the locally made Toyota Yaris wins on pricing being $2,500US less than both the 2 and the Fit.

On the road:

Mazdas are known for its fun to drive dynamics and this 2 does not disappoint! Whereas the competition have shifted to CVT transmissions, Mazda has upgraded the 2’s transmission to a 6 speed auto. This combination with the Skyactiv engine aims to make for a fun driving experience. On the road, the Mazda is peppy and is able to keep up with city traffic. Steering feedback is precise giving the driver ease when making turns. This car enjoys the twisty roads, however, this test drive I was unable to take it up to the mountains for more fun. Mazda did put an effort to improve the ride quality and reduce vibrations and it shows.


4 out of 5

Its a pity that Mazda has stopped selling the Mazda2 in the United States and Canada. 2014 was the last year on sale. However, Americans can get the Toyota Yaris iA, which is essentially a Mazda 2/Demio sedan. Though if you don’t want a Toyota Mazda, then head to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, there the distributors sell U.S. spec Mazda 2s made in Mexico! This is a great little car that is enjoyable to drive and is efficient.

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