Mazda2

Mazda2 is one of Australia's best cars

Mazda2 is one of Australia's best cars

Need to know

The Mazda2 is the best compact car available in Australia. To some extent it's a toss-up between a Mazda2 and a late-model used car in the next class - like a Mazda3 or Hyundai i30. Arguably, for the same money you get more car (but in the case of the used Mazda3, at least, you get less warranty...)

Compared with the other mainstream new cars in the segment, the Mazda2 is ahead by a mile. Its sales are line-ball with the Toyota Yaris, but the Mazda2 is better thought out, has more technology (especially the stuff that counts) and it's also better to drive.

Hyundai i20 is a big seller, too, though not as big as the Mazda2 - and the i20 just doesn't keep up on the tech or value fronts. (i20 does, however, come with more warranty and a full-sized spare tyre - advantages over the Mazda2.)

Ford Fiesta and Kia Rio? Both significantly below average in terms of reliability, according to Consumer Reports in the USA. (Rio is about 40 per cent below average, and the Fiesta scores a staggering -267% for poor reliability in the latest Consumer Reports survey.)

The Mazda2 is bigger than it looks - and the accommodation is relatively spacious. Four adults: no problem. (It's actually 160mm longer than its predecessor.) See how small cars got big >>

Mazda2 offers excellent technology and features - provided you avoid the base-model Neo and elect to go for the Maxx or Genki model variants. And if you can afford the Genki, it really is packed with cool kit.

LOVE

  • Mazda2 Maxx and Genki offer excellence in a segment where mediocrity is the benchmark
  • Hybrid-like fuel economy without the hybrid's excess baggage
  • Excellent accommodation - even in the rear
  • Hatch and sedan versions available
  • Has a proper auto transmission as opposed to a hateful CVT
  • Genki offers fun and refinement at a top price
  • Taut suspension and great grip plus tractable direct injection engine makes an engaging driver's car
  • You'd negotiate the price of the Maxx below $20k and cop a one-off tax deduction if you are self-employed and you buy the Mazda2 for work purposes
  • Excellent ergonomics and packaging
  • Manages not to look like a toy car, in a field where competitors (especially Yaris) look like toy cars

HATE

  • Mazda could do a lot better with minimising road noise. (Despite the claimed 15% noise reduction on this model, it's still a little noisy.)
  • Space-saver spare tyre
  • Instrument cluster is a little too 'sci-fi' for conservative buyers - we don't all want a Star Wars fantasy drive
  • Neo entry model variant is too stripped out on features for a private owner (with vestigial taste)
  • MZD connect - the tablet-style, app-based connectivity centre display - is available on only the Genki variant

IMAGES - click to enlarge

SPECIFICATIONS

1.5 PETROL
Power: 81 kW @ 6000 rpm
Torque 114 Nm @ 4000 rpm
Economy: 4.9 L/100km


Transmission: 6 sp auto or 6 sp manual
Preferred models: Maxx or Genki (Neo is a bit of a poverty pack)
Manufactured: Thailand
Length: 4060 mm
Width: 1695 mm
Height: 1495 mm
Kerb weight: 1049 kg (model dependent)
Maximum tow capacity: 900 kg
Seating Capacity: Five
Safety: Five-star ANCAP
Warranty: 3 years / unlimited kilometres
Service interval: 12 months or 10,000 km (whichever comes first)
Spare wheel: Space saver

Mazda2

Mazda2 Reports