Mazda2 hatchback - Interior & comfort
The Mazda2 has a classy-looking and appealing dashboard, but it’s starting to show its age
Compared to the previous Mazda2, the latest model’s interior is a far more appealing place to while away the miles. It’s more modern, too, thanks in part to a seven-inch infotainment screen that’s now standard on the cheapest trim level. This has reduced the need for numerous small buttons and the result is a dashboard that's much less cluttered than the previous car's. Compared to the latest Mazdas, however, the 2 is feeling its age inside.
Build quality inside the Mazda2 is excellent, too – comparable to the classy Audi A1 in some places. Top-spec models come with stitched leather on the seats, door panels and dashboard, while there's also expensive-looking carbon-fibre trim. The car's circular air vents give things a sporty feel, while the additional rectangular vent hidden in the trim is a neat touch.
The seven-inch infotainment system makes such a difference to the Mazda2 that we’re glad it’s now standard (you used to get a basic radio display in the cheapest SE-L model). It’s easy to operate and a rotary controller is used to select various functions. If you connect your smartphone, you can access functions such as social media and Internet radio through the central screen, too. As a whole, the infotainment system isn’t as crisp as some rivals’ screens, but it does come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto giving you the option to use your phone’s software rather than Mazda’s.
The rest of the car's systems are easily controlled with a few buttons, while the climate control is adjusted using three chunky dials on the centre of the dashboard. One bugbear is that there’s nowhere really to put your phone or the key, which isn’t helped by some of the space being taken up by a CD player. An increasing number of rivals don’t even offer this feature any more.
The Mazda2 is available with plenty of hi-tech equipment, whichever model you pick. The base SE-L features LED headlights, Bluetooth, cruise control, electric windows, air conditioning and rear parking sensors. There’s also sat nav, DAB radio, smartphone mirroring, plus extra safety kit if you pick the 89bhp engine, and is our pick of the range.
Sport increases the size of the alloy wheels to 16 inches, and adds a number of styling flourishes inside and out to make it look more athletic. These include a gloss black grille, chrome inserts and tinted rear windows. It also includes keyless entry and LED daytime running lights. GT Sport adds even more kit; the standard equipment includes a reversing camera, heated leather seats, a heated steering wheel and a head-up display. Top-spec GT Sport Tech gets luxuries like adaptive LED headlights and a 360-degree camera but it’s too expensive for a car that’s as old as this one.