The 2 gets Mazda’s Skyactiv technologies, which are designed to match the fuel efficiency of small turbocharged engines or even hybrid systems without the complexity or expense. We’ve already seen the process delivering competitive CO2 emissions in the 3, 6 and CX-5.
The new 2 gets a new set of chassis components, but it’s broadly the same size as the car it replaces – only a little longer and wider. It gets Mazda’s distinctive deep grille at the front, and complex creases along the doors; they’re designed to disguise the fact that the car has quite shallow side windows. Overall, the 2 is one of the more dramatic-looking offerings in the small car class.
Skyactiv generally means lighter construction and larger engines tuned to run more efficiently – and that’s exactly what the 2 will get. It will be offered with a choice of 1.5-litre, four-cylinder petrol or diesel motors – an unusually large size, given that many of its rivals are now offered with 1.0-litre three-cylinder units.
Mazda hasn’t confirmed precisely which motors will be sold in the UK, beyond confirming that the core of the range will be a 74bhp unit with 100lb ft of torque and a five-speed manual gearbox. However, British buyers are also likely to be offered the more potent version of the same engine, with 101bhp, and that comes with a six-speed transmission.
The 1.5 diesel, meanwhile, will be the most efficient model in the line-up; expect CO2 emissions of less than 90g/km and a government fuel economy average of more than 70mpg.
The front of the cabin takes cues from the latest 3, with a clean, uncluttered design that has very few buttons, simple circular air vents and a large screen mounted high up in the centre of the fascia. This is the same unit that you get in the 3, which means that it can be operated with either a touch-screen interface or via a rotary controller mounted low down between the front seats.
Mazda claims to have improved rear cabin space. However, from our experience with the early prototype, we’d say legroom is still likely to be an issue for anyone who’s more than six feet tall.
Boot space has increased for this generation, giving a capacity that’s comparable to a VW Polo’s. That would give it around 280 litres, which is more than enough for the average weekly shop. The boot itself is quite deep, though, so there’s a high lip to lift loads over.
Mazda hasn’t issued UK specs for the 2, let alone any prices. However, we’d expect the prices to start at the same figure as the current car’s, with entry-level editions from around £11,000. That would pitch the 2 slightly above the normally aspirated petrol editions of the Fiesta and Corsa, but cheaper than any of the turbocharged models offered by Ford and Vauxhall.