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Mazda, in my opinion, are arguably headway leaders as Japanese car makers. Interestingly, in the Bloomberg report, Mazda ranks no. 1 in the Consumer Reports’ Best Auto Brands, ahead of BMW, Subaru and Porsche.
However, this is not the only consumer survey report in which the brand ranks in the top spots.
As a motoring journalist for the past 10 years, I have driven hundreds of cars. The Mazda brand stands out in my mind, having shrunk the gap between mainstream and premium products. The brand’s visual aesthetic is more compelling than most of its Japanese rivals and customers love the reliability the brand offers.
The Mazda2, albeit not new, still shows outstanding qualities that make for a fun-loving, dynamic vehicle. Having driven the Mazda2 in its current incarnation, at launch and as it progressed, I had another reminder of it and have share my thoughts.
Since its upgrade in 2020, The Mazda2 now features a new, more sophisticated design, new Skyactiv-Technologies and enhanced i-Activsense safety features.
With a very capable 1.5L petrol engine in both manual and automatic transmissions, the range consists of six derivatives made up of the Active (entry spec), Dynamic (mid spec) as well as Individual and Hazumi (high spec) grade levels.
On board, materials and colour schemes present as high quality, giving the cabin a cosseted luxury feel. In-cabin quietness has improved and increased that sense of calm too.
Comfort and convenience on board have been improved through the availability of the Bluetooth hands-free system across the range, from the Dynamic model – auto-dimming rear-view mirror, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), for smoother vehicle movements and handling.
A new front-seat design offers ideal occupant posture to minimise fatigue, enhance the feeling of connection with the car and make driving sportier and more comfortable. Meanwhile, the leather and cloth combination seat trim, front and rear chrome bumper strip and shark fin antenna from the Individual derivative enhance the car’s aesthetics, giving it a quality and stylish finish.
There are new 15” silver metallic alloy wheels on the Dynamic model and high-gloss painted 16” alloy wheels from the Individual derivative.
An expanded range of advanced safety features now includes LED headlamps fitted as standard across the model range plus side and curtain airbags, auto-dimming rear-view mirror from the Dynamic model. Additionally, auto-fold mirrors, a reverse camera and rear parking sensors are included from the Individual model, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert on the Hazumi.
Little city cars can sometimes feel just that – little. That sensation can potentially leave the car’s driver underwhelmed and believing they are less than safe as opposed to when driving a larger vehicle. I am happy to say this little Mazda2 does the opposite. With all the upgrades, you also get a reassured drive that leaves you feeling like you got bang for your buck. The Mazda2 sits confidently on the road, comfortably manoeuvring around the city’s challenging roads with aplomb.
The Mazda2 has good levels of road grip for sprightly darts around corners, though it is not a sports car – the Mazda MX5 is best left for hairpin-cornering escapades. The suspension is such that rough road setups are minimised without the Mazda2 feeling like a marshmallow.
The Madza2 is an accomplished city car: Happy to drive through less-than-perfect road conditions and outpace its competition in a sprint. The 1.5L petrol engine has a maximum power of 82 kW and 145 Nm of torque. All models are driven via either a 6-speed manual or automatic gearbox. Fuel consumption sits around the 6.6l/100km level for the petrol. These figures combine both a mixture of highway and urban driving cycles.
So, would I buy the Mazda2? I’d certainly consider it and certainly shortlist it. It’s a great all-rounder with a willingness to please.
Service and warranty
The Mazda2 range is sold with a 3-year unlimited kilometre service plan. To provide complete peace of mind motoring, a 3-year factory warranty, a 3-year roadside assistance and a 5-year Corrosion Warranty are also included.
Mazda2 1.5L Active Hatch Manual R284,800
Mazda2 1.5L Dynamic Hatch Manual R311,100 | Auto – R328, 900
Mazda2 1.5L Individual Hatch Manual R338, 000 | Auto – R357, 600
Mazda2 1.5L Hazumi Hatch Auto R383,900
Mazda2 1.5L Individual Hatch Manual R338, 000
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