It has based the fourth generation new Mazda2 on the larger CX5 stablemate after its joint venture which produced the Ford Ka came to an end.
The result is a larger Mazda2 than before which not only creates more room that makes it ride and handle better than before but it has also allowed Mazda to develop a new infotainment system in the car with a popular seven-inch touch-screen display and console mounted multimedia control, cloud linking and Bluetooth compatibility.
Without doubt this is the most youthful Mazda2 to date. It’s a rebirth of the model. There are 16 models in the new Mazda2 series in a combination of seven trim grades based on four engines including just one diesel unit and a few automatic models.
The safety pack comprises blind spot monitoring, active head-up driving display and high beam control on top of the standard lane departure and smart city brake systems.
We tested the top petrol model and it packs a good punch for longer distances or carrying more than one person.
The engine was quiet, smooth, free-revving and economical, but we thought the clutch travel was unnecessarily long and contrasted with the short-throw direct gearchange.
Steering had a good turning circle without being twitchy and it felt about right for assistance and feedback while the brakes were up to any task pushed onto them.
Minor controls were close to hand behind the wheel and the infotainment display was operated through console buttons and rotary knobs which mean you sometimes had to look down to verify what you wished to do.
The central display was of a good size and very clear while the usual driving instruments were also highly legible and cleanly styled. The small display between tachometer and speedometer included linear presets which were also straightforward.
Air conditioning was simple and effective throughout, backed up by powered front & rear windows.
Wipers and lights did a good job when needed, the visibility was unobstructed and parking helped with the rear radar sensors.
The boot is a bit small at 280 litres but it rises gradually to 950 litres. Rear legroom is suitable only for ages up to the teens and then with the co-operation of anyone infront who agrees to move forward their seats and shoulder space is restricted in the back. The test car had optional leather seat covers and they not only looked very attractive but were comfortable and the shape held you fairly well.
Noise levels were low, the road rumbles being more noticeable on bad surfaces, while the engine never really intruded.
From standstill, the Mazda2 moved swiftly thanks to its 115ps output and you had to make quick changes to maintain momentum as it revved very easily. There was no trouble maintaining the 70mph motorway maximum and it proved economical even at a high speed.
We did feel once or twice that it’s stability was affected by cross-winds because it would suddenly but marginally move about from the straight ahead.
Mazda2 is not the cheapest modern city car but its possibly one of the best of the new breed.
|Mazda2 115ps Sport Nav+||Insurance group: 19E|
|Price: £17,845 (inc. safety pack, leather trim and special paint)||Mechanical: 1496cc 115ps 4cyl petrol, 6sp manual|
|Max speed: 124mph||0-62mph: 8.7sec|
|Combined mpg: 44mpg||CO2 emissions: 117gkm|
|BIK rating: 16%||Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000miles|