Maxx is sweet spot
1Light It looks like a winner
cars aren’t known for their exterior appeal but the Mazda2 bucks the trend. It’s a smart, stylish city car with a unique design language that is instantly identifiable as Mazda. That brand recognition is a large part of the car’s success, along with a trendy interior. The only letdown is in the rear seats — space for storage and occupants isn’t on par with some of the best in this field.
2and Price aligns on hatch sedan
Neo and Maxx variants are the same price with a hatch or a boot, at $14,990 and $16,490 respectively. Only the hatch has the top-spec Genki trim, so those looking for all the fruit and with $20,690 to spend have to take the five-door road. The six-speed auto adds $2000. The current drive-away deals are $16,990, $19,690 and $22,690.
3The The Maxx is the sweet spot
mid-range variant adds reversing camera, alloy wheels, interior leather highlights and seven-inch screen with Mazda’s improving infotainment software. It uses less fuel than the Neo, even with marginally more power and torque. The Genki premium brings extra bling and satnav, head-up display, rain-sensing wipers and upgraded lights whereas the reversing camera is a default expectation and the screen literally helps owners connect with their cars.
4The The pack is closing in
Mazda2 was launched only last year but competitors are closing in on the class leader. The Hyundai Accent — also sold as a sedan and hatch — is leading segment sales this year courtesy of a $14,990 drive-away deal on the base model. It can’t match the 2 dynamically but it doesn’t have to: price is the priority in the light car segment when other features are comparable. Mazda also suffers from an average warranty and service schedule against the South Korean rivals.
5Active Auto braking is optional
safety extends to city-speed autonomous emergency braking — as a $400 option. That isn’t unusual in this segment but newer rivals have wisely included the feature as standard to make a point of difference and nibble at sales of the 2 by appealing to the safety conscious. As always, good handling and roadholding are the first safety steps and the Mazda2 rates in this regard.