Initially, we found the accelerator to be a little sensitive when pulling away, with just a light touch resulting in the car lurching forward.
The Mazda2 is clearly a car which has been designed and set up for town driving, and in that scenario it performs well. Initially, we found the accelerator to be a little sensitive when pulling away, with just a light touch resulting in the car lurching forward. However, this doesn't take long to get used to, and once achieved, the car is nimble; pulling out of junctions and around parked cars is simple with ample power to get out quickly.
The automatic gearbox is also well suited to town driving, offering smooth gear changes, with the simplicity of simple drive and reverse selection ideal for quick manoeuvres.
If you are living in or regularly visit a larger town or city, the benefits of a small car will be clear; parking, commuter traffic and pedestrians are all easy to deal with if a car is nimble and responsive.
When we ventured out of town and onto the motorway, it started to feel a little out of its comfort zone, where it lacked mid range power. Accelerating from 60 to 70mph requires a kick down, which results in the engine straining and feeling underpowered, leading to a lack of confidence to perform a quick overtaking manoeuvre, where instead, giving the car bit of a run up is preferable.
Official fuel economy figures are 34.9mpg urban, 53.3mpg extra urban and 44.8mpg on the combined cycle. Between the combination of town and motorway driving, we were achieving between 41 - 41.8mpg, which, when considering we were pushing the car for overtaking on the motorway, is a good return.
How It Drove - Ride/Handling
For the upgraded Mazda2, engineers have increased the body rigidity, which helps to improve both the car's handling and environmental impact. The stiffer body shell and retuned rear dampers aim to help improve road holding and ride comfort.
All of these revisions do seem to have made a difference; in town, the Mazda2 is enjoyable smooth and comfortable, typical town streets with bumps and potholes are dealt with well, with the ride remaining composed. The steering is light enough to nip through traffic and undertake street parking, but there is enough feedback to be able to place the car where you want it through bends.
Of course, it is not expected that drivers of the Mazda2 will generally be tackling tight corners and long sweeping bends at lightening fast speeds, but it is fair to say that (safely) pushing the car through some country lanes, the car generally behaved well, with the car remaining tight through the bends. However, body roll is more apparent than we would really like, with passengers being rolled around a bit more than is comfortable.
Ease of Use
The Mazda2's driver's seat is height adjustable across the range, which is nice for a city car, providing the driver with an extra bit of height helps improve front visibility. All round visibility is excellent, which again, is a real positive for town driving where tight-space parking is common.
The steering wheel is adjustable for tilt and has convenient stereo controls under the left thumb, allowing for volume, mute, mode and skip track control.
Mazda Mazda2 Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Mazda Mazda Mazda2 TS2|
|Colour||Aquatic Blue Mica|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||11.9 Seconds|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||53.3 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||5 Star|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Price (when tested on the 25/05/11)||£12,375|