Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Engine, 0-60mph and gearbox
The Mazda 2 comes with a choice of two petrol engines – the Skyactiv G and the e-Skyactiv G – and each is available in two different power outputs. Neither has a turbocharger, but the 'e' version has mild-hybrid technology.
All other trim levels come with 16in wheels, something that only exacerbates the issue. On the larger wheels, you’ll find that bumps feel even more abrupt and, at motorway speeds, the ride can feel quite busy at times.
The Mazda 2’s steering is nicely weighted, becoming lighter for town driving and slow-speed manoeuvres but then slightly heavier when speeds increase and you take a corner.
Unfortunately, the steering wheel never really gives you much information about what the front wheels are doing or how much grip they have. The ultimate grip levels aren’t especially high, either.
The firmer ride means that body lean is relatively well controlled, but if you fancy something capable and entertaining on a twisty road, we’d steer you towards the Fiesta or Seat Ibiza.
Noise and vibration
Small cars are not always very adept at isolating wind and road noise, and although Mazda has fitted the 2 with additional interior sound-deadening material over the years, it still lags behind the Fiesta and Polo when it comes to quietness and relaxation on a long journey.
The engines sends vibrations through the steering wheel and pedals, and often sound coarse when revved, comparing unfavourably with rivals including the Fiesta’s 1.0 petrol.