Mazda 2 review

Costs & verdict

Manufacturer price from:£15,795
What Car? Target Price£15,249
Mazda 2 2018 infotainment screen
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

Entry-level SE-L trim, with the 74bhp engine, the Mazda 2 costs roughly the same price as the equivalent Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo. While the price ramps up rapidly from SE-L Nav trim and above, though, they come with the more powerful 89bhp engine and a longer list of equipment to help justify it. 

Thanks to the mild-hybrid system, running costs are kept low; both engines return impressive official fuel economy at 53.3mpg, while CO2 emissions are as low as 94g/km, depending on the size of wheels you go for. Both figures are better than the Polo can manage, so the Mazda 2 will make sense whether you’re a private buyer or a company car user.

Equipment, options and extras

SE-L is well-equipped for an entry-level model; it features automatic headlights, cruise control, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, but you need to upgrade to SE-L Nav for the important safety tech mentioned above, as well as the 7.0in infotainment screen described earlier. It also gives you sat-nav, a DAB radio, upgraded speakers and an extra USB port.

Sport Nav models add bigger 16in alloy wheels, LED headlights, climate control, keyless entry and privacy glass, while top-spec GT Sport Nav adds a rear view camera, heated seats and steering wheel, and a head-up display. With all of this kit comes a significant jump in price, though, so we’d avoid the top levels and stick with SE-L Nav.

Reliability

In our 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey, Mazda as a manufacturer scored a mid-table result, finishing 17th out of 31 manufacturers. 

The 2 itself also gained a fairly average result in the Small Car category, being beaten by the Skoda Fabia and Honda i20. It narrowly beat the Fiesta, though, and finished several places ahead of the Seat Ibiza and Volkswagen Polo.

Safety and security

Entry-level SE-L Mazda 2s come with basic safety equipment including hill-start assist and tyre-pressure monitoring, but opting for SE-L Nav adds automatic emergency braking (AEB) – which we regard as a vital safety feature – as well as lane departure warning and lane-keeping assistance. Top-spec GT Sport Nav also gets a driver attention-monitoring system. 

Euro NCAP gave the 2 scored four stars out of a possible five when it was tested back in 2015. However, the organisation’s tests have grown more demanding since then, and the Ford Fiesta (which received five stars when tested in 2017) rates as a safer car overall. Thatcham security also rated the Mazda three stars out of five for its ability to resist being broken into.

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Mazda 2 2018 infotainment screen
Mazda 2 2020 front cornering wide RHD
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Overview

The Mazda 2 has a reasonably plush interior and very economical engines, when it comes to real-world fuel economy. All but the basic trim level offers a reasonable standard of equipment, too. Yet these days it has been overtaken by much newer models. Rivals that include the Seat Ibiza offer more space, better handling, a more comfortable ride, and greater refinement.

  • Frugal economy in real-world driving
  • Infotainment system is easy to use
  • Popular models comes well equipped
  • Refinement only average
  • Not much fun to drive
  • Pricey compared with rivals