The supermini segment is the most hotly contested part of the UK’s new car market, but with the stylish and highly equipped Mazda2, the dealer network is well placed to compete.
The new supermini can rival the segment-leading Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Volkswagen Polo, even if it can never match them on sales volume.
Given that UK cars have to be shipped from the Far East, Mazda Motors UK prefers to equip the cars well as standard to avoid long waiting times for bespoke vehicles.
The core Mazda2 range consists of SE, SE-L and Sport trims. SE-L models, such as the car we are testing, are most in demand from the network as these offer the equipment most private buyers will desire, such as alloy wheels, front foglamps, electric folding heated mirrors, leather steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control, DAB radio, colour touchscreen with multimedia controller and Bluetooth.
Compare that to its 90bhp Volkswagen Polo competitor and the buyer choosing the VW will miss out on the cruise control and is left with a car that takes 1.5 seconds more in the 0-62mph sprint. On paper, the Mazda2 also beats it on fuel economy, with 62.8mpg compared with the Polo’s 60.1mpg. It’s a similar story with a comparable Vauxhall Corsa – the 1.4-litre 90bhp Corsa SE is more than 2.5 seconds slower than the Mazda2 and works out more expensive for a similar equipment level.
On the subject of power, the 89bhp 1.5-litre Skyactiv-G petrol engine housed under our test car’s bonnet is the most popular seller for the UK Mazda network. It’s a refined unit and its CO2 emissions of 105g/km and combined fuel economy of 62.8mpg make it the most affordable petrol-powered car to run in the supermini range. Mazda currently has the model on a 0% APR PCP to make it even more compelling. Customers unable to pay any deposit will still be able to get one for £264 a month.
For buyers seeking even more from their Mazda2, dealers can offer a Sport specification model which adds rear privacy glass, auto wipers and lights, rear parking sensors, keyless entry and climate control. In addition, the SE-L and Sport can be specified as Nav derivatives, which adds sat-nav.
What’s being said about the Mazda2
Mazda is on a roll, with an impressive range of cars that are good to drive, stylish and practical. Those ingredients have been distilled into the Mazda2. The result is a success, giving big players like the Corsa and Fiesta something to worry about.
Like other new-era Skyactiv designs, it’s a car that feels like it’s been thoughtfully engineered by specialists rather than just created by a committee set on meeting generic targets. It’s this that gives it a bit of the MX-5 spirit.