Power can go to the head of some people. We’ve been running our Mazda2 long-term test car for several months and, quite frankly, we are very impressed with the way it drives.
At its heart is Mazda’s 1.5-litre Skyactiv engine, a gutsy, naturally aspirated unit that thrives on revs. Although it is not the most powerful engine in the Mazda2 range – that is the uprated 114bhp version offered exclusively in Sport trim – even in 90PS/89bhp form, it is quite a wolf in sheep’s clothing. This understated suburban runabout could suit consumers in the market for a ‘warm’ hatchback in which they can have some fun once the school run is over.
Peak power is delivered at 6,000rpm, and holding onto the revs through second gear ensures that this model cleverly leaves its mainstream rivals behind in the benchmark 0-62mph sprint. Motorway speeds are easily achieved before reaching for fourth gear, if the driver feels so inclined.
An examination of the technical specifications of our Mazda2 and those core rivals reveals some interesting selling points for the car.
Mazda’s focus on lightweight design puts it third for weight in the group, despite it having the largest capacity engine. Its power-to-weight ratio also puts it in third place, but the higher-achieving Fiesta and Clio are nowhere near it for pace, despite both having turbochargers.
The Mazda2 matches most rivals for annual VED tax costs, sitting in the 101-110g/km CO2 Band B that requires owners to pay just £20. The Corsa costs £30 to tax, although is considerably cheaper to buy, while the Fiesta incurs no VED charge thanks to its 99g/km emissions. But with both those competitors sold in tens of thousands, the Mazda2 packs much more opportunity to stand out from the crowd.
|Model||bhp||kerb weight (tonnes)||power to weight (bhp/tonne)||0-62mph||top speed||CO2 (g/km)||list price (£)|
|Ford Fiesta 1.0T Zetec||99||1.101||89.9||11.2secs||112mph||99||14,195|
|Renault Clio Dynamique Nav 0.9 Tce||89||1.009||88.2||12.2secs||113mph||104||14,675|
|Mazda2 1.5 90PS SE-L Nav||89||1.05||84.8||9.4secs||114mph||105||14,395|
|Vauxhall Corsa 1.4T SRI||99||1.18||83.9||11.0secs||115mph||120||13,505|
|Peugeot 208 1.2 Allure||81||0.975||83.1||12.2secs||111mph||104||14,795|
|VW Polo 1.2 90PS||89||1.107||80.4||10.8secs||114mph||107||14,880|
What’s being said about the Mazda2
This is one impressive supermini – one you can love with your head and your heart – and we’d place it near the very top of our favourite superminis. We applaud Mazda’s keep-it-simple-stupid mentality and focus
on making cars that keen drivers can connect to. Top work, Mazda.
Clever engineering creates a satisfying driver-focused supermini… If you like driving, and like small cars, you’ll love the all-new Mazda 2.