Review

Mazda2 hatchback

Price  £11,195 - £13,495

Mazda2 hatchback

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Proven reliability
  • Good resale value
  • Sporty looks and drive
Cons
  • Uncomfortable ride
  • Seats not supportive enough
  • Not the most practical supermini

At a glance

The greenest
1.3 SE Air Con 5dr £11,195
The cheapest
1.3 SE Air Con 5dr £11,195
The fastest
1.5 Tamura Nav Auto 5dr £13,495
Top of the range
1.5 Tamura Nav Auto 5dr £13,495

"The Mazda2 is a smartly styled and robustly built supermini that’s also great to drive. It’s well equipped and cheap to run, too. However, the interior is cramped and the engine line-up is limited."

 

On sale since 2007 and refreshed in 2010, the Mazda2 supermini isn’t as fresh as some of the competition, but it remains an attractive option. It's reasonably priced, looks stylish and is good fun to drive. The latter is largely down to the fact that it shares a lot of technology with the Ford Fiesta – another supermini that keen drivers love. Other major rivals for the compact Mazda include the Vauxhall Corsa, VW Polo, SEAT Ibiza, Honda Jazz, Hyundai i20 and Toyota Yaris.

With so many models on offer in this class, it's important to review them all before you buy to find the one best suited to your needs. Many supermini buyers will have young children, so safety is always going to be an important consideration here. The Mazda2 received a maximum five-star rating from Euro NCAP when it was tested back in 2007, although the format of that crash test has been updated since then and it probably wouldn't score as well in 2014.

Looking over the Mazda2 range, the main thing missing is a diesel engine, which is offered in many of the competing models mentioned earlier. This shouldn't put you off entirely, though, as the 1.3-litre petrol engine that powers most versions (including the entry-level TS) is reasonably economical, and diesel only really makes sense if you cover a lot of miles each year. If you want an automatic gearbox, you only have one choice: the 1.5-litre Tamura model. It's faster than the manual car, but also less efficient and more expensive, so we think the 1.3-litre Tamura makes more sense, offering a decent amount of standard equipment compared to the TS, but still at a competitive price.

Previously offered with a choice of three or five doors, the Mazda 2 is now only available as a five-door hatchback, but even this version looks almost as sporty as many three-door rivals. However, it's worth bearing in mind that a new model is due soon, so make sure you haggle on the price of the car.

Not sure what you're looking for? Find out what we think is the best small car by watching our video below.

 

MPG, running costs & CO2

2.8 / 5

There’s no diesel engine, but the Mazda2 is still an efficient and cost-effective small car. Automatic gearbox versions use more fuel, though.

Engines, drive & performance

3.6 / 5

A low kerb weight and eager 1.3-litre engine help make the Mazda2 a sprightly performer. Agile handling adds to the fun.

Interior & comfort

2.6 / 5

The interior of the Mazda2 is starting to look a little old fashioned now, but it’s well built and most models come with plenty of kit.

Practicality & boot space

2.6 / 5

"The Mazda2 has compact external dimensions, so it’s no surprise to find it feels a little cramped inside, especially when compared to newer rivals.”

Reliability & safety

3.6 / 5

The Mazda2 is a solidly built and durable little car, but it lags behind the best when it comes to safety.

What the others say

3.8 / 5
based on 3 reviews
4.0 / 5
"On the outside, the 2's sporty good looks remain, but a wider front bumper, narrow upper grille and new foglight surrounds bring the design into line with the rest of Mazda's range. A fresh set of 15-inch alloys emphasises its sporty intentions, too."
3.0 / 5
"Prices are competitive, resale values are strong and even the petrol models sit in low road tax bands. All versions are frugal, too. Mazda has a reputation for building cars that last, and the 2's cabin is constructed from sturdy materials with tightly fitting panel gaps."
4.5 / 5
"Light steering makes it easy to drive in town, yet it's also responsive and nicely weighted, making it great fun on twisting roads. The simple line-up is easy to understand and there's a good choice of frugal and nippy engines."

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What owners say

4.217094017094
4.2 /5 based on 819 reviews
58%
 people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated
7 Oct 2014
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