Mazda2 hatchback (2007-2015) - Engines, drive & performance

A low weight and eager 1.3-litre engine make the Mazda2 a sprightly performer, while agile handling adds to the fun

Carbuyer Rating

3.5 out of 5

Engines, drive & performance Rating

3.6 out of 5

Mazda2 petrol engines

Engine choice is limited in the Mazda2 – you can have either a 1.3-litre petrol with a five-speed manual gearbox or a 1.5-litre petrol with a four-speed automatic. The latter is more powerful and has a faster 0-62mph time than the 1.3-litre, but the rather outdated automatic gearbox can't match rivals' newer twin-clutch transmissions for smoothness and response – plus it's less fuel-efficient than the manual.

The 1.3-litre engine produces 74bhp in the entry-level SE Air Con car and 83bhp if you choose the higher-spec Tamura, Sport Venture or Colour versions, but this difference in bhp doesn't have a huge effect on real-world performance or top speed. You'll cover 0-62mph in 14.9 seconds in the less powerful SE, but all the other models take a more sprightly 13.6 seconds. Fastest of all is the 1.5-litre automatic, which needs just 11.9 seconds to complete the same sprint.

It's important to note, however, that the Mazda2's low weight (even the heaviest model tips the scales at only 1,065kg) means it feels faster and livelier from behind the wheel than those numbers would suggest on paper. And it's not just quick in a straight line – it remains controlled and composed in bends and the steering is light enough to take the stress out of town driving, too.

This eager, sporty character is also evident in the somewhat firm ride quality of the Mazda2 compared to rivals. When combined with the only average support offered by the driver and passenger seats, this can make the Mazda a bit uncomfortable on long journeys or on rough roads. The 2010 update softened the suspension a little, but there's still some room for improvement in this area. Overall, the Mazda is an engaging and enjoyable car to drive on country roads or on short trips around town. But if you do a lot of motorway miles, and value comfort over agility and responsiveness, this may not be the car for you.

Most Popular

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed
Toyota RAV4 Adventure
Toyota RAV4
14 Sep 2021

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed

Top 10 best small estates 2021
Skoda Octavia Estate
Skoda Octavia Estate
16 Sep 2021

Top 10 best small estates 2021

New Volkswagen Passat set to launch in 2023
2023 Volkswagen Passat
Volkswagen Passat
9 Sep 2021

New Volkswagen Passat set to launch in 2023

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
15 Jun 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2021
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
12 Aug 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Mercedes AMG A45 - rear
Hot hatches
25 Jun 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks