Price £11,995 - £17,395
- Good-looking inside and out
- Efficient engine choices
- Sharp handling
- Light steering
- Noisy petrol engine
- Some cheap interior materials
At a glance
"The new Mazda2 is more spacious than the old model and has an excellent diesel engine. The petrol models lack the verve we hoped for, but the Mazda is both comfortable and fun to drive."
The supermini class is very crowded, but Mazda wants a slice of the action with its latest 2. It aims to compete with everything from the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa to the VW Polo and Skoda Fabia.
The driving experience isn't quite as much fun as the Ford Fiesta's, but there are reminders of the brilliant Mazda MX-5 roadster in the way the 2 drives thanks to its perky yet efficient engines and a class-leading gearbox.
Thanks to the Japanese brand's current Kodo design language, one of the biggest appeals of any new Mazda is the way it looks. This translates well to the Mazda2 from everything from larger models like the Mazda3 hatchback and Mazda6 family car to the Mazda MX-5 roadster and Mazda CX-5 crossover. All of the design language's features combine well to make the 2 look larger, more muscular and more attractive than before. It's certainly one of the most distinctive superminis on the road today.
Inside, the interior is thoroughly modern, with a central touchscreen infotainment system controlled via a BMW iDrive-style rotary dial between the seats, smart air vents and a decent amount of soft plastics. There are some scratchier plastics lower down, but this is the case in many other cars at this price.
In terms of equipment, the Mazda2 is available with a generous amount of standard kit, while big-car options like a head-up display, blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking and lane-departure warning are all available as options. Entry-level cars do without alloy wheels and some luxuries, while the rest of the range has alloys as standard and plenty of kit. High-spec models boast sat nav and lashings of leather, too.
The latest Mazda2 is slightly larger than the car it replaces, so there's more space for rear passengers and luggage than before, while fuel economy is good and the engines are punchy performers.
The new Mazda2 isn't class-leading, but it's cheap to run – the diesel is our pick of the range
Diesel Mazda2 is more fun to drive than petrols, but isn’t quite up to the Ford Fiesta’s standards
Excellent Mazda2 interior is let down by some poor-quality plastics
The latest Mazda2 is much more spacious than the old model
The Mazda2 is expected to be safe and popular with owners