Two has loads in mind
Sedan version might tip men into the delights of Mazda’s little hero, says PAUL GOVER
GOLFERS of Australia, your new baby is here.
Building a boot into the back of the Mazda2 has created a new sedan and a new choice for people who have clubs — or anything that fills 440 litres of storage — but only want or need a sub-compact car.
Mazda has always done a good job on designing its little sedans and the new Mazda2 is more of the same, with a cute tail that balances the design a little better than the hatchback.
There is some clever thinking in the boot, including sculpted plastic side panels that liberate space normally hidden behind a flat filler panel, and the arrival of the sedan also brings a slight tweak to the rest of the Mazda2 models that arrived late in 2014.
There is still no standard reversing camera, but equipment from the Neo up runs to cruise control and rear parking radar. The Genki, only available as a hatch, gets LED lighting but also a $700 price rise.
The bottom line is still pegged at $14,990 for sedan and hatch, while the Maxx opens at $17,690. A camera comes for $778, satnav is $570 and there is a $400 safety pack, although few people take it.
The man who created the booted Two, designer Shigeki Nakamura, is crafty and classy with his car.
“We looked at everything to maximise the space. And we used plastic panels because we wanted a more upmarket look,” Mr Nakamura tells CarsGuide.
“We’ve tried really hard to put some emotional value into the car. We wanted a premium look and feel.”
On the numbers front, apart from a boot that’s almost doubled from 190 litres in the hatch to 440 in the sedan, the car is 260mm longer and 25mm lower.
The only obvious visual clue is a missing rear wiper.
The sedan range mirrors the hatch, with Neo and Maxx models — although no Genki — and two levels of tune for the 1.5-litre petrol engine. That means 79kW/139Nm and 139/141, with six-speed manual and automatic gearboxes.
Mazda Australia expects the sedan to contribute an extra 200 sales a month, taking the Mazda2 to 1200, with 70 per cent choosing the cheapie Neo and about 80 per cent going with the auto.
“We’ll just see if we pick up a few more male customers. We’re not sure how many, but the hatch is running 80:20 in favour of women,” marketing head Alastair Doak said.
Testing the booted Two is easy. I open the lid, put things in the back, and they fit.
I have nowhere near enough stuff to challenge the carrying capacity on an overnight stay in Adelaide, but there is plenty of proof that it will be a welcome workhorse for a lot of people.
Sitting butt-to-butt with a Mazda2 hatch, the carrying space is wider, deeper and longer. It looks like the sort of boot that will be good for smallfamily work and weekend warriors of any age.
Dynamically, there is no change and noise levels seem the same as the Mazda2 hatch on unfamiliar Adelaide roads.
Against its rivals, there are only four. And the Mazda is way better looking than a Toyota Yaris or Hyundai Accent.
The Two is a classy car that should jump to the top of its class — four stars out of five.