New Mazda2 is classy and desirable

Hugh Maguire


Hugh Maguire


New Mazda2 is classy and desirable

If I was looking for an example of just how good a small car can be I would look no further than the new Mazda2. Not so long ago small cars were devoid of nice standard features, pretty basic and utilitarian. Everything the new Mazda2 is not!

I spent a week behind the wheel of the new Mazda2 GT and was truly very impressed.

There are three versions to choose from, GS, GS Sport and the model on test here the GT. Prices start at €19,755.

Has it Got Street Cred?

The stylish new Mazda2 boasts Mazda’s KODO Soul of motion design language. It has a cheeky dynamic style that will appeal to a broad range of age profiles. To the young it looks snazzy and yet those who are older will not be put off. For style Mazda score a bulls eye! It’s compact exterior however belies the roomy cabin inside.

So What’s it like inside?

Inside once again Mazda’s designers have put together a very nice package. It all looks very contemporary and gives the car a nice modern feel.

All the instruments are well placed and generally the ergonomics of the dashboard deserve praise.

Though the switches for turning off lane departure, I-Stop, stability control and tyre pressure set are rather awkwardly paced out of sight behind the steering wheel.

The driving position is good the whole cabin feels pretty roomy, even the rear has a decent amount of leg and headroom for a car in this class.

I love the contrasting stitching on the upholstery, the deep blue trim and the quality feel to the whole interior.

This car really feels a cut above its rivals.

Standard equipment on the SkyActive-GT model tested is very comprehensive but highlights worth a mention include, new LED front/rear lights, cruise control, 16 inch alloy wheels, a 7 inch TFT screen and multi media commander with Bluetooth, DSC, with traction control, new premium deep blue cloth interior, rear parking sensors, new electric and heated folding door mirrors, privacy glass, rain sensing wipers, and Smart City Brake, to name but some of the kit on board.

This is one very nicely specified car!

What is under the bonnet?

Power for this Mazda2 comes from a 1.5 litre 90PS SKYACTIV petrol and mated to a very smooth 6-speed manual gearbox. Acceleration is pretty good throughout the gears though once in 6th gear it really struggles to accelerate for example from 100km/h to 120km/h.

A change down to 5th or 4th gear is needed to boost progress. Its frugal too burning just 5.6 litres of petrol per 100km.

Emissions are low and as a result road tax is only €180.00 per year.

Will I enjoy driving it?

It really is great to drive. In cities it’s neat size, light steering and good turning circle make it a doddle to drive. Out on the open road it is quiet and refined and will cruise all day at the legal limit.

The handling is surefooted and predictable whether on wet or dry roads, so yes this is a small hatch thats quite fun to drive.

So What’s the final verdict?

This Mazda2 1.5 SkyActive GT petrol is truly an excellent small car that delivers in all areas.

It is compact yet roomy, nippy yet frugal, stylish yet not OTT.

I liked it very much. It is well equipped with great road manners. Finally an observation.

Many small cars feel small and I don’t like that. The Mazda2 is compact but feels substantial around you.

The GT version tested costs €22,155. The new Mazda2 GT is in my opinion probably the best compact hatch on the market today!