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Long term test: Mazda2

Mazda

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Review

The new Mazda2 is a real head-turner. Whereas its predecessor happily blended into the background, the all-new version looks fresh, modern and funky.

In the top of the range Sport trim the 2 comes with the most powerful 1.5-litre 102bhp engine, offering enough performance to raise a smile while returning an equally pleasing 40mpg.

A chunky bodykit and 16” alloy wheels give it the looks to go with the badge.

Inside, the £1,800 price premium over the mid-range TS2 adds a raft of gadgets, including automatic lights and wipers, electric rear windows and climate control. Cruise, traction and stability controls make it suitable for distance driving.

On the road, the 2 feels stable and solid, though the over-sensitive steering makes it a little twitchy at motorway speeds. The dash-mounted gearstick is well-placed and the seats are comfortable and supportive for long trips.

In town, its compact size means it’s easy to park in tight spaces and the heated mirrors fold away electrically at the touch of a button.

The ride is forgiving over rough surfaces, but the bigger wheels do make the 2 crash over speed bumps and potholes.

Itscute looks and fun driving experience should help make it popular with younger buyers put off by the previous model’s bland and boxy lines.

Price: £12,149 (as tested)
Engine: 1.5 16v petrol, 102bhp @ 6,000rpm, 101lbs/ft @ 4,000rpm
Performance: 0-62mph in 10.4sec, top speed 117mph
Transmission: five speed manual
Efficiency: 47.9mpg (official), 42mpg (actual)
Start mileage: 693
Current mileage: 1,261
Test period: Oct 2007-Oct 2008
CAP RV 3yr/30k/60K: 43%/37%
Likes: Good looks, fun drive
Dislikes: Steering too sensitive on motorways

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