Mazda 2 Hatchback full 9 point review
There’s a choice of 74, 89 or 113bhp 1.5-litre petrol engines, or a 1.5-litre diesel. The 89bhp petrol is pretty lively when you work it hard, but because it’s not turbocharged, it doesn’t respond with as much verve from low revs as many turbocharged rivals. You’ll also find yourself dropping a gear or two if you need a burst of acceleration. The 113bhp petrol feels similar to the 89bhp version in most situations.
Ride & Handling
The Mazda 2 has plenty of grip, so you can fling it through bends with gusto and it won’t wash wide of your chosen line too early. It also keeps its body reasonably well controlled. The steering is a disappointment, though; it is vague and light initially, yet quite quick and heavy when you apply more lock, resulting in an inconsistency that makes it difficult to trust. The ride is a bit unsettled over tatty town surfaces, but things improve on faster roads.
Tyre and wind noise are perfectly acceptable for a small car, but the 1.5-litre petrol engine sounds coarse when you rev it, which means it’s pretty buzzy anywhere out of town and can make long journeys tiring. There are a few vibrations through the steering wheel and pedals, too.
Buying & Owning
The Mazda 2 is a bit more expensive than rivals such as the Ford Fiesta and Skoda Fabia so, despite its low CO2 emissions, it costs a touch more to run as a company car. Its generous equipment roster accounts for some of that difference, however, and Mazda typically offers competitive finance offers and discounts. Economy should be good; the 89bhp 1.5 petrol achieved an impressive 50.8mpg in our real-world True MPG tests. Re-sale values are respectable, if not as good as a VW Polo’s.
Quality & Reliability
The cabin feels well put together from sturdy, if hard, materials. The switches are well damped, and glossy plastics and metal-effect inserts help brighten the interior, but many rivals have cabins that look and feel more appealing. The previous-generation Mazda 2 was the most reliable small car in the latest JD Power customer satisfaction survey, which should bode well for this version.
Safety & Security
Standard safety equipment includes six airbags, stability control and tyre-pressure monitoring. You also get hill-hold assist, which helps stop the car rolling backwards when pulling away on a slope. SE-L versions and above get automatic emergency city braking and a lane departure-warning system as well. An engine immobiliser and an alarm are fitted to every model.
Behind The Wheel
There’s a good range of adjustment to the seat and steering wheel, including driver’s seat-height adjustment on all versions, so even tall drivers should be able to get comfortable. Some people will want more lower-back support on long journeys, however. All the major controls are simple to use and forward visibility is good, although the rising window line and small rear window obstruct your rearward view.
Space & Practicality
Four adults will be fairly comfortable, although the Mazda 2 offers less room than many rivals; a Skoda Fabia, for example, has a bit more head-, leg- and shoulder-room in its back seats. The 2’s boot is also relatively small and has a narrow opening, although it’ll be fine for most everyday needs. Like in many small cars, folding down the rear seats leaves a step where the boot floor meets the seats.
Even entry-level SE versions get air-con, a USB input, front electric windows and audio controls on the steering wheel. Our pick of the range is SE-L trim, which adds alloy wheels, Bluetooth and rear electric windows; if you go for it with the 89bhp petrol engine, it also gets a 7.0-inch touch-screen control system and a digital radio. Sport models come with climate control, rear parking sensors, keyless entry, and automatic lights and wipers, but they’re pricey.