Price from £9995
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CO2 110-146 g/km
As far as face-lifts go, the Mazda 2’s is on the barely noticeable side of subtle.
There’s a new front bumper that incorporates the brand’s latest look, but nothing else has changed on the outside. Inside, there are upgraded materials, but that’s about all you can see.
The biggest changes are the ones you can’t. The engines have been tweaked to provide slightly better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions, although the changes are only a couple of miles per gallon here and the odd g/km there.
The previous 1.4-litre diesel version has also been dropped, and the 1.5-litre petrol engine can now be combined with a four-speed automatic gearbox.
Mazda has also fettled the 2’s suspension to provide a more supple ride. It’s still on the firm side, but it now strikes a better balance between sportiness and comfort. Where the previous car was impressively controlled through corners but unforgiving over all but the smoothest surfaces, the new one is more easygoing. It’s still good fun, with impressive agility and responsive steering, but you no longer feel like your fillings are about to be shaken out.
Mazda hasn’t made any strides in making the 2 more refined, though. As before, there’s more engine and road noise in the cabin than you’ll find in many rivals, which can become tiring over longer journeys.
Prices have gone up by a fraction, but the 2 is still keenly priced. It’s good value, as long as you don’t expect too much kit. Entry-level TS versions have air-conditioning, front airbags and an aux-in socket, but you need to move up to TS2 to gain side and curtain airbags and stability control is only fitted to automatic and Sport versions.
What Car? says Changes don’t go far enough, but still decent value