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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For Fun, reliable, and big enough for the whole family

Against Base models don't have enough equipment and the interior plastics are dull. Car is uncommon, too

Verdict It's good to drive and one of the most practical superminis on the market

Go for… 1.25 S

Avoid… 1.6 Sport or Capella

Mazda 2 Hatchback
  • 1. If you're buying a diesel, ask about the fuel pipes - some people have had them replaced under warranty
  • 2. The handling is impressively sharp and the steering is accurate
  • 3. Space and practicality are better than you'll find in most other superminis
  • 4. The boot is fairly big for this class of car
  • 5. One of the few grumbles about the Mazda 2 is that the plastics are a bit dull
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Mazda 2 Hatchback full review with expert trade views

The Mazda 2's predecessor, the Demio, was a decent car in all but its drive. Not only was it no fun, but the ride was uncomfortable and unrefined. When Mazda replaced the Demio with the 2, though, the creases had been ironed out.

The 2 uses the same platform as the Ford Fiesta and it shows. The handling is impressively sharp and the steering is accurate, while the suspension provides good body control, albeit at the expense of a firm low-speed ride. Refinement is better than the Fiesta's.

Inside, space and practicality are better than you'll find in most other superminis. Three adults will fit comfortably on the rear bench, and they'll have plenty of head- and legroom, as well as a boot that's fairly big for the class, too.

The only real grumble you could have about the 2 is that cabin uses dull plastics.

Trade view

John Owen

An expensive Fiesta - shame it doesn't look as good

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford

At launch the 2 came in S, TS, TS2 trim levels. S models provide a driver's airbag, deadlocks, remote central locking, power steering and an alarm. TS models added electric windows and TS2 models added alloys, electric mirrors, anti-lock brakes and air-con. A Sport model got similar kit to the TS2.

It all changed in May 2004, though. The TS and TS2 trims were renamed Antares and Capella and the Sport model was binned.

There's a decent range of engines to choose from. The 74bhp 1.25-litre and the 79bhp 1.4-litre petrols are good enough in town, but need to be worked hard elsewhere. The 1.6 gives 100bhp and feels suitably more punchy, but the 1.4-litre turbodiesel has only 68bhp so it's no powerhouse.

Of all the various combinations, we'd go for the cheapest 1.25 engine, which comes with S trim, because it’ll cost you the least to buy and it's cheap to run.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Most remain within Mazda network with 1.4 TS2 petrol and diesels best bets

James Ruppert
Used car guru

The 2 is reasonably cheap to buy from new, but fairly strong residual values mean that used prices aren't as much of a steal as many would like.

Still, you can console yourself with the fact that, whichever engine you choose, running costs will be pretty good. The smallest engine, the 1.25 petrol, returns an average of 44.8mpg, which only narrowly beats the 1.4's 42.8mpg. Even the 1.6 will provide a respectable average of 42.2mpg. The diesel is by far and away the most frugal on paper, though, returning 62.8mpg.

The 1.6 is the most expensive version to insure, being in group 6. Both 1.4 petrol and diesel units range between groups 3 and 4, while the 1.25 petrol engine is the cheapest to cover, in group 2.

Servicing costs are reasonable, but you'll pay as much to maintain your 2 as you will with some of Mazda's bigger cars.

Trade view

John Owen

An expensive Fiesta - shame it doesn't look as good

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford

Take a look at our regular reliability surveys and you'll see that Mazda is almost impossible to beat when it comes to mechanical dependability. The big Japanese firms always lead the way on this score and Mazda is one of the most consistent performers.

It's even better news for 2 owners, because the supermini is one of Mazda's most reliable models of recent years. With Mazda's excellent reputation, you can be sure that this, one of the company's toughest cars, will prove to be utterly dependable. Most owners have reported doing more than 30,000 miles without any signs of a problem, and that's extremely impressive, even for a Mazda.

If you're buying a diesel, though, keep an eye on the fuel pipes. Some owners have had these replaced under warranty.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Most remain within Mazda network with 1.4 TS2 petrol and diesels best bets

James Ruppert
Used car guru
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