The Mazda2 is one of the longest serving small car models on the market. Nevertheless, it is particularly contemporary in one respect.
Mazda likes to go its own way. With the rotary engine, turbo waiver and rightsizing electric cars, the Japanese have proven their stubbornness again and again. Even the actually quite conventional small car Mazda2 has a special character - for better or for worse.
The current generation made its debut in 2015 - making the four-meter-short five-door model one of the longest-serving models in its class. This is hardly noticeable from the outside; Although the competition now has sharper folds in the sheet metal and sleeker headlights on the face, the design of the smallest Mazda still looks coherent and winning. In comparison with the visually increasing bitterness of the competition, the two-car even looks extremely friendly, although it was not one of the explicitly cute small cars on its debut either.
Inside you can see the advanced age earlier. Above all on the small screen of the infotainment system and the slightly old-fashioned operation of the same via a rotary push button in the center console. That wasn't exactly elegant in the past, it now looks really impractical compared to the large touchscreens of the competition. The central instrument, which houses a large rev counter, but only shows the current speed via small digital digits, also looks a bit quirky. If desired, the speed is also shown in the optional head-up display, which projects its information onto a small plastic screen in front of the windshield.
On the other hand, the interior furnishings are still convincing. The cockpit looks more elegant and of higher quality than one is often used to from a small car, the choice of materials and workmanship are also at the upper edge of the class standard. The space in the front, however, is only average, the rear downright tight. However, this is due to the handy dimensions of the Japanese. Against the market trend, Mazda is still orienting itself towards the four-meter mark and foregoing the fashionable growth in size towards compact-class dimensions in its small car. So the trunk remains rather small and, with its high loading sill, also not very ergonomic. Whoever folds down the back seat has more space; due to the resulting high edge, however, it is difficult to use.
The qualities of the Mazda lie elsewhere anyway, namely on the road. Not because the small car would be a particularly sporty car - even in the 66 kW / 90 PS top variant, the performance is too poor - but because it is a particularly organic one. It starts with the 1,5-liter gasoline engine: because Mazda, unlike the entire industry, does not use turbocharging in principle, the four-cylinder offers particularly smooth and always linear power delivery. What the driver's foot indicates is converted into propulsion in the same way and without turbo lag or boost. In addition, there is an equally linear steering and a precisely adjustable, but gently engaging brake. The overall package looks coherent, also because the binding chassis dispenses with extreme rigors and does not pretend to be a false sporting spirit.
If you drive the 2 Series as relaxed as its character suggests, you will reap very low consumption values of just under 5 liters. This is not only a very good value for a small car that is essentially more than seven years old; even many more modern competitors hardly achieve it in practice. Mazda itself specifies 4,1 liters, which is possible with a little discipline and under good environmental conditions. The recently introduced mild hybrid system on a 24 volt basis also helps here (also unusual; the competition uses 12 or 48 volts), which, however, remains very in the background while working on the drive and does not attract any attention.
Even if the Mazda has been around for a long time: In terms of price, it has joined the general price trend. The basic model with 14.450 kW / 55 PS in the entry-level “Prime-Line” version costs 75 euros. If you want the stronger model, you pay 17.200 euros. After all, that comes in the next higher “Center Line”, which also has two important extras with air conditioning and a rear seat that can be folded down in parts. However, modern assistance systems are only available one step higher, which then increases the price to at least 18.310 euros. A lot of money, but most of the competitors are not cheaper either. So if you can get something from the crisp dimensions, the relaxed driving behavior and, above all, the low consumption, the Mazda2 is good for you.
Mazda2 - Technical Specifications:
Five-door, five-seat small car, length: 4,07 meters, width: 1,70 meters (with exterior mirrors 1,98 meters), height: 1,50 meters. Wheelbase: 2,57 meters, trunk volume: 280 - 950 liters
1,5-liter four-cylinder petrol engine, 66 kW / 90 PS, front-wheel drive, six-speed manual transmission, maximum torque: 135 Nm at 3.800 rpm, Vmax: 200 km / h, 0-100 km / h: 9,8 s, Vmax: 183 km / h, consumption (WLTP): 4,1 l / 100 km, CO2 emissions: 94 g / km, emissions standard: Euro 6d, efficiency class: A, test consumption: 4,8 l / 100 km / H; Price from: 17.200 euros.
Mazda2 - brief characteristics:
Why: low consumption, handy dimensions
Why not: narrow rear, small trunk, slightly dusty infotainment
What else: VW Polo, Kia Rio, Renault Clio