£12,595 - £18,835 Price range
56 - 83 MPG
There’s big business to be found in the supermini market (the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Volkswagen Polo are some of the most popular cars in the UK), so Mazda certainly needed to pull out all of the stops with the new Mazda2.
Prices start from £12,595 and if you buy your new 2 using carwow you can save £2,110 on average.
Mercifully, all the signs suggest the Mazda 2 is worthy of your consideration. As well as being distinctive to look at inside and out, the Mazda 2 is also noteworthy for being well-priced, affordable to run and very enjoyable to drive in cities and out on the open road.
Though the Mazda 2 range does look a bit expensive at first glance, the premium is offset by the surprisingly good levels of standard equipment on offer and even basic SE trim comes with manual air-conditioning.
So, does the Mazda 2 still have what it takes to tussle with the class leaders?
Why not check out the colours available using our Mazda 2 colours guide.
Cheapest to buy: 1.5-litre 75hp SE petrol
Cheapest to run: 1.5-litre 105hp Sport diesel
Fastest model: 1.5-litre 115hp Sport Black petrol
Most popular: 1.5-litre 75hp SE-L petrol
The latest additions to Mazda’s line-up have all made marked improvements with regards to interior build quality, and the Mazda 2 is no exception. Compared with its predecessor, the new car’s cabin is a much nicer place to be, thanks to the upscale in overall build quality and the more distinctive and attractive interior design.
Ergonomics are also very good overall: the major controls are all laid out well and are intuitive to use, and the dials on the dashboard binnacle are especially clear to read. Plenty of usefully-sized storage cubbies are also dotted about the cabin, with the door bins in particular being quite large.
If there’s one notable criticism to label at the Mazda 2’s interior, it’s the relative inconsistency of the quality of the materials. Though the main surfaces are all made of tactile materials, and top-spec cars come with leather trim on the dashboard, there are some cheaper plastics elsewhere in the cabin.
Mazda 2 passenger space
For the driver and whoever’s riding shotgun in the front passenger seat, the Mazda 2 should prove to be a pretty comfortable car. Not only is there plenty of space all round up front, but several of the critics also pointed out that the front seats were superbly cosseting and offered lots of support.
Things don’t fare quite so well in the back, though. Whilst it by no means has the most cramped rear seating arrangement in this class, adults will be left wanting some extra head and leg room. The centre rear seat is on the narrow side, too.
Shoulder room does appear to be fairly decent, however, and there’s enough space in the back for children to sit comfortably.
Mazda 2 boot space
At 280 litres, the boot in the Mazda 2 is above average by the standards of the supermini class – a Volkswagen Polo has the same capacity, and rivals such as the Renault Clio, Hyundai i20 and Skoda Fabia come with 300-, 326- and 330-litre capacities respectively.
The overall shape of the boot is quite boxy, though, and the boot opening itself is quite wide, so larger items should slot into the back of the Mazda 2 with relative ease. However, issues do arise once you stow away the rear seat backs to increase the loading space – for instance, the seats don’t fold completely flat, and the 950 litres you do have to play with again is above average for a supermini (the aforementioned Skoda Fabia, for instance, has a maximum boot capacity of 1,150 litres).
Despite all the know-how gained from making the critically acclaimed MX-5 sports car, Mazda hasn’t been able to make the Mazda 2 the best-driving supermini. However, whilst the Ford Fiesta still stands strong in the handling department, the 2 is still a very nice car overall: the steering is light and precise, the body roll is well controlled and there’s plenty of overall grip.
The trade-off for not being the sharpest car in the world to drive, though, is that the Mazda 2 is quite comfortable and civilised for a supermini, with decent levels of noise insulation and a ride that only starts to get jittery on models fitted with the 16-inch wheels. Good all-round visibility also makes the Mazda 2 pretty easy to place into tighter spots.
One recurring complaint of the road tests, however, is that there isn’t a huge amount of feel through the steering, even by the standards of modern road cars. However, since this appears to be the biggest issue with the Mazda 2, it’s safe to say that most buyers will be pretty satisfied overall with the way the car drives.
Currently, Mazda is only offering two engines in the 2 range – one petrol and one diesel, both of which being 1.5-litres in size and the former available in three power outputs.
Mazda 2 petrol engines
Where the diversity comes from, though, is in the power outputs: buyers can specify their 1.5-litre petrol to come with either 74hp, 89hp or 113hp. We reckon it’s best to avoid the least powerful version, given the 89hp model is much quicker whilst also being more fuel efficient (60mpg vs 62mpg) and sitting in the same £20-per-year road tax bracket. However, it is worth considering that you’ll have to pay a £1,000 premium for the privilege of owning it over the basic version.
Unless Mazda ends up building a dedicated performance version of the Mazda2, then the 113hp engine option will be most preferable to those who are also looking at entry-level performance hatchbacks like the Suzuki Swift Sport and the Ford Fiesta in Zetec S spec. Though its rivals are more powerful, the Mazda2’s low weight gives it plenty of speed (0-62mph, for instance, only takes 8.7 seconds), whilst also allowing this engine to return a fairly impressive 57mpg.
Mazda 2 diesel engines
Only one diesel engine is available for the Mazda2. However, where things differ is in the power and gearbox options: plump for diesel power, and you’ll have to make do with 104hp and a five-speed manual gearbox.
Surprisingly for a diesel, it’s actually quite a refined engine, which makes it pretty well suited for journeys on A-roads and motorways. The punchy torque output at lower revs also makes overtaking at higher speeds quite straight forward for something so city-centric as a supermini, along with giving the Mazda 2 some decent acceleration credentials at urban speed limits.
Running costs are also very good: with the claimed fuel economy figure of over 80mpg, the Mazda 2 is amongst one of the most efficient (on paper) cars in this class. The sub-100g/km CO2 emissions also make the Mazda 2 exempt from all road tax charges.
If there’s one major downside to the diesel, it’s that it’s very expensive to buy in comparison with the other petrol engines in the range – so much so, that the extra efficiency of the diesel will only start to pay off the premium if you regularly drive on longer journeys.
The Mazda 2 has yet to be officially crash tested by Euro NCAP, so it’s impossible to say exactly how safe it actually is. That being said, the early signs are all pointing to the Mazda 2 being one of the safest superminis on the market.
For instance, all models come with a full complement of front, side and curtain airbags, stability and traction control, ABS and a tyre pressure monitoring system, with lane departure warning and a brake assist feature that slows the car down if it detects a possible frontal collision at speeds of up to 18mph being added on mid-range models.
It’s also worth pointing out that the Mazda 2 features some of the most innovative safety technology in the supermini sector – the aforementioned lane departure warning and optional heads-up display systems, for instance, make their debut in this sector on the Mazda 2.
The step up to SE-L trim, from the entry-level car, isn’t too steep and adds goodies like cruise control, DAB digital radio, front and rear electric windows, alloy wheels and a seven-inch touchscreen multimedia display on the dashboard.
Other useful gadgets are offered on SE-L Nav and Sport models: both trims come with a built-in satellite navigation system, with the Sport models coming with climate control, keyless entry and rain-sensing front wipers. The Sport models, however, are fitted with the 16-inch wheels that many critics reckon have a negative impact on the ride quality, so – unless you can put up with a slightly jittery ride – we’re more inclined to recommend one of the two SE-L specs.
Mazda 2 Sport Black
The sport black trim comes with everything from the Sport Nav and adds gunmetal-grey alloy wheels, a chrome exhaust pipe, black outside trim pieces as well as sporty decals. It is designed to appeal to younger buyers and it really does make the 2 look more aggressive and stylish.
No matter which version you go for, though, the Mazda 2 should hold its value well come resale time. Coupled with the impressively low running costs, this should mean the Mazda 2 shouldn’t be too hard on your wallet during the ownership period.
Have a look at our colour guide we have prepared to help you choose the best shade for your new 2.
Though other rivals do pip it to the mark in certain areas, the Mazda 2 is a very well executed supermini that covers all of the bases. Overall build quality is good, there’s a decent amount of space, claimed running costs are very impressive by the class standard and it’s pleasant to drive.
Put simply, the Mazda 2 is more than capable of holding its own amongst its rivals, and is one of the best superminis currently on sale.