the Mazda2 is no ball of fire but it's a respectable performer...
Small cars are big news, where much of the action is on the motoring scene, and Mazda has a strong player for attention with its stylish little Mazda2. This five-door Supermini has a couple of really good things in its favour: sportier looks than some of its rivals, and good driving dynamics that result from it using similar underpinnings to the well-respected Ford Fiesta.
The Mazda2 comes in three main versions, all of them with five-door hatchback bodies: the 1.3 TS, 1.3 Tamura, and 1.5 TS2. Mazda also has special equipment editions of the car like this Venture model we tested. The engine options for the range are a 1.3 litre (75 bhp) 1.3 litre (84 bhp) or 1.5 litre (101 bhp). They are all 16-valve petrol units, there is no diesel option available in the Mazda3. Transmissions are either a five-speed manual or four-speed auto.
The mini-Mazda has a five-star Euro NCAP rating, so it may be small but there are no qualms about its safety provision, and it rates four stars for child occupant safety. That’s better than some small hatchbacks and makes it worth considering as a suitable car for a young family.
Standard equipment across the range is pretty good, with features like central locking, air conditioning, electric front windows and mirrors provided on all versions.
With a 0-62 acceleration time of 13.6 seconds and a top speed of 107 mph, the Mazda2 is no ball of fire but it’s a respectable performer for a car of its type and size. It feels nippier than the figures suggest and it does not feel stressed clocking up the miles on a motorway, although it can be a bit noisy at higher speed.
The 1.3 litre, 16-valve petrol engine in the test car has a power output of 84 bhp at 6,000 rpm and its peak torque of 90 lb ft is at 3,500 rpm. With a combined fuel figure of 56.5 mpg and a CO2 output of 115 g/km it is in VED band C for road tax, meaning a free tax disc in the first year and only £30 payable annually thereafter. Insurance premiums should be reasonable too, with a group 11 rating on the ABI Thatcham scale.