Mazda 2 Review & Prices
The Mazda 2 has been treated to a revised exterior design, new technology, a quieter, higher-quality cabin and a better drive for 2019
Find out more about the Mazda 2
Like a mongrel at Crufts, it’s difficult for any small hatchback like the Mazda 2 to stand out in a world of hot-right-now small SUVs. However, the Mazda 2 has always been one of the best looking small cars on sale, more so since its most recent 2019 update.
Mazda’s designers didn’t mess about too much with the 2’s external look, giving it just a new mesh grille, new headlights and revised rear bumper. Inside, you’ll find new dashboard trims, upgraded materials, more comfortable front seats and extra sound-deadening materials to keep the cabin hushed at speed.
The way the Mazda 2 drives has also been given attention. Its steering has been re-tuned, its suspension made more comfortable and Mazda’s clever G-vectoring control system which brakes the car’s wheels for more stable cornering has been added.
You get the choice of two engines, both 1.5-litre in size, which either 75 or 90hp. Then there are four different trims – SE-L, SE-L Nav, Sport Nav and GT Sport Nav. Entry-level cars come with things like LED headlights, climate control and rear parking sensors, while higher up the range comes a 7.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and built-in sat nav.
The Mazda 2 has a RRP range of £18,615 to £23,835. However, with carwow you can save on average £1,403. Prices start at £17,375 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £205. The price of a used Mazda 2 on carwow starts at £10,877.
Our most popular versions of the Mazda 2 are:
|Model version||carwow price from|
|1.5 Skyactiv G 75 Centre-Line 5dr||£17,375||Compare offers|
There are two strands to the Mazda 2 range, with the mild hybrid and hybrid models being different cars sold with differing trim options, the latter being a rebadged Toyota Yaris rather than Mazda’s own small hatchback featured here. With the mild hybrid range, you start with the SE-L with 75hp engine and stepping up the 90hp engine in this model adds £900 to the bill.
Move to the Sport and you’ll spend a further £850, while the GT Sport commands another £1000. The GT Sport Tech is unique in having the 115hp engine and is £1620 more than the GT Sport.
If you want an automatic gearbox as offered in the Sport and GT Sport trims, you’ll pay an extra £1520.
The Mazda 2 is enjoyable to drive in town and on the open road, but all the suspension in all models is too firm, which impacts upon comfort
There’s a lot to like about the Mazda when driving around town. It offers better vision in all directions than most of the cars in its class. This is thanks to its slimmer front and side window pillars that just offer more of a view than thicker ones.
The Mazda also provides a good driving position for anyone as the driver’s seat adjusts for height. Couple that to a steering wheel that moves for reach and height, and you will quickly get comfy in this small car. The seat gives good support and all Mazda 2s have rear parking sensors to help out, while the GT Sport gains a reversing camera and the GT Sport Tech ups that with front parking sensors.
There’s a firm edge to the Mazda 2’s suspension around town. It picks up on more little imperfections than a Volkswagen Polo or Ford Fiesta, so you have to learn to dodge these to avoid the worst thumps making themselves felt inside the car.
However, the Mazda 2 compensates with good steering feel, a tight turning circle, and a general feeling of nimbleness.
The entry-point 75hp is best avoided unless you’re really not in any hurry to get anywhere. It’s just too sluggish, so the 90hp version of this 1.5-litre petrol engine is a better bet. It’s nippy off the mark, but does need to be revved more than you might expect. The same is true of the 115hp 1.5 petrol, but it does reward with surprising zippy pace.
On the motorway
The firmness that you feel in the Mazda 2 at lower speeds becomes more noticeable as the pace increases. It’s not harsh, but you will feel more lumps and dips than you would in a Citroen C3 or VW Polo.
An upside to the Mazda’s suspension set-up is it feels very stable and secure on the motorway. Even in crosswinds or when passing big trucks, the 2 is a plucky small car that feels more than up to long journeys. Just avoid the 75hp engine for this type of driving as it’s underpowered on the motorway.
There is more road noise in the Mazda 2 than in most other cars in this class, and the engines can be louder as they have to be revved a fair bit to give their best. At least wind noise isn’t an issue.
On a twisty road
Mazda is well known for cars that handle with a bit of pizzazz and the 2 is no different. It turns eagerly into bends and holds its line.
Good steering feel is up there alongside the Ford Fiesta, and the Mazda 2 always has a sure-footed feel as you switch directions on curving roads.
The more powerful versions of the 1.5-litre engine pull well out of corners, especially the 115hp version. However, the 75hp motor is best kept for town use as it’s quite tardy.
Anyone sitting in the front of the Mazda 2 will love it. For those in the back, it’s less impressive
Getting into the Mazda 2 is a very simple operation as the front doors open wide. The driver’s seat in every model has height adjustment, so you can fine tune the position to suit any size of occupant. It also slides back quite far, so taller drivers are looked after, and there’s a good amount of head, leg and shoulder space.
The steering wheel has quite a thick, chunky rim that gives a bit of a sporty feel to the 2’s tiller. It moves up and down, and in and out, so it adds to the wide range of movement for the Mazda’s driver to get comfortable.
The gear lever for the manual or automatic gearboxes feels sportily close to the steering wheel, while the pedals all work with an ideally weighted precision.
In front of the gear stick is a small tray with USB ports. However, it’s not quite big enough to hold a phone, which seems daft.
More storage is offered in decent sized door bins, and there are twin cupholders in between the front seats, though they are set quite far back. You also get a lidded cubby behind the cupholders, plus a small glovebox.
Space in the back seats
If the Mazda 2 is very good in the front seats, it’s pretty mediocre in the back. Adults are going to find it tight for knees and heads, and don’t even bother trying to fit three grown-ups across the bench, although there is a trio of three-point belts.
Kids have a better time, and you get ISOFIX child seat mounts on the two outer chairs. Children not in a seat or on a booster might find the upswept window line of the 2 means they struggle to see out, though.
A bit of storage is offered with a tray on the centre tunnel, but this does hamper legroom for anyone in the middle seat. There are also small door bins.
At 280 litres with the rear seats in place, the Mazda 2’s boot is far from the most generous in its class. A Skoda Fabia’s is much bigger and more useful.
Mazda further compounds this with a high load sill and a small tailgate opening. When you want to boost the load capacity, the rear seats are split 60:40 and tip forwards, but leave a large step from load floor to folded seat back. All in, the Mazda 2 can carry up to 950 litres of cargo.
The Mazda 2 is unquestioningly well put together and has an excellent infotainment set-up, but some plastics look a bit cheap
The overall ambience inside the Mazda 2 is one of quality and a car that has been made with attention to detail. All of the gaps between panels and trim are tight, and there are no rattles or squeaks.
Some of the plastics on the lower parts of the dash, seats and doors looks and feels a bit hard and scratchy, but everything fits well and will put up with plenty of hard use.
In the GT Sport Tech, there’s the option of some more appealing trim options, which further adds to the 2’s overall high grade appearance and feel.
Mazda has also stuck with a more traditional dash that uses a large, circular analogue speedo. It might not be as high tech as some other similarly sized cars, but you cannot fault how clear and bright it is to read.
Either side of this are digital displays. The one on the left is for the rev counter, while on the right is the onboard computer read-out that can be altered using the steering wheel buttons.
Where Mazda really comes up trumps in the 2’s cabin is with the infotainment system. There’s no touchscreen, so instead you work the 8.0-inch display with the rotary controller set behind the gear lever.
This arrangement lets you scroll through menus and click on what you want using the big, bright on-screen icons. All of the menus are straightforward, and it makes using the infotainment much simpler than in most other cars of the Mazda’s size.
For the SE-L model, there’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but you need a wire to connect your phone. In the other trims, this connection is wireless.
Below the infotainment screen that sits in the centre of the dash are the ventilation controls. They use simple round dials and are the best you’ll find in this sector.
Every Mazda 2 has hybrid technology of some description now. With the 75, 90 and 115hp versions of the 1.5-litre petrol engine, this is of the mild variety.
As a result, these versions of the Mazda 2 have no electric-only range and you won’t even notice it in action. What you will notice is the 90hp engine with manual gearbox is more frugal than the 75hp motor, as the less powerful engine has to be worked harder more of the time. As a result, the 75hp motor gives an official average of 58.9mpg and 109g/km carbon dioxide emissions to the 90hp’s 60.1 and 107g/km.
Take the automatic gearbox with the 90hp engine and you get 52.3mpg and 122g/km, while the 115hp motor is at 56.5mpg and 113g/km.
For better economy and emissions, the full hybrid Mazda 2 - the separate model with a different design that is a rebadged Toyota Yaris - serves up official figures of 74.3mpg and 87g/km.
In addition to six airbags as standard, every Mazda 2 comes with hill start assist and cruise control with adjustable speed limiter. Move up from the base SE-L and the rest of the range has keyless entry, lane keep assist, and automatic emergency braking. Only the GT Sport Tech comes as standard with rear smart city braking to avoid hitting anything as you reverse out of a space. This trim also has driver attention alert and blind spot monitoring included.
Mazda’s hard-earned reputation for reliability and longevity will not be undermined by the 2. It has gained a solid name for keeping going and not costing anything outside of routine servicing to run. The warranty is the basic three-year/60,000-mile minimum offered by any mainstream manufacturer.
There have been two recalls for this generation of Mazda 2, both for the fuel system, and they should have been dealt with on any car affected by now.
Configure your own 2 on carwow
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*Please contact the dealer for a personalised quote, including terms and conditions. Quote is subject to dealer requirements, including status and availability. Illustrations are based on personal contract hire, 9 month upfront fee, 48 month term and 8000 miles annually, VAT included.