Mark Slack – Road Test

Mazda 2 – well worth adding to your small car pick list

If you think of small cars then not unnaturally cars like Ford’s Fiesta, Vauxhall’s Corsa and Renault’s Clio, plus others, spring to mind. One car that arguably gets overlooked is Mazda’s 2. It offers everything you would want from a small car but with the added bonus of Mazda’s reputation for quality. Other Japanese car makers such as Honda all make small cars but Mazda’s 2 is perhaps a more complete proposition. There’s a more obvious styling link to the larger models in Mazda’s line up.

The range offers four trim levels, petrol and hybrid powertrains with one engine option, a 1.5-litre petrol allied to either manual or automatic gears. There are three power outputs 75PS, 90PS and 115PS. Standard fare across the line-up includes climate, cruise control, powered and heated folding door mirrors, navigation, Car Play and Android Auto, auto lights and wipers, LED headlights, rear parking sensors, auto dimming mirror, engine stop/start push button and tyre pressure monitoring system.

Prices start from €21,744/£18,615 and my test model, the top-of-the-range Homura Aka at €24,955/£21,365, added such items as black roof film, half-leather upholstery, privacy glass, smart entry and start, reversing camera and heated steering wheel.

I find the build quality on all Mazda’s is superb and the cars, even at this entry level to their line-up, feels premium. The instrumentation displays, both in front of the driver and the central screen, are easy to assimilate when on the move and thankfully the Mazda2 eschews the trend for mass digitalisation in favour of dials and buttons. Hurrah! These are so much easier, and safer in my view, to operate with little need to take your eyes off the road.

I found that over the hilly terrain here in the Derbyshire Peak District of the UK the 90PS unit needed copious use of the delightfully positive and slick 6-speed manual gearbox. The ride quality is good and once on the move it can be quite good fun along twisty roads if you keep the revs high and gears slightly lower.

As mentioned earlier the Mazda2 seems to fall under the radar, which given its many virtues is a shame. It offers something a little different to the standard small car choices and in terms of equipment a very good array of standard features. It’s a car that’s as capable on longer runs as it is for a city runabout and well worth adding to your small car pick list.

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Written by

Mark Slack

If you're a petrol head you're in good hands with Mark Slack, whose expert take on the latest car releases will help you make your next purchase.