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Herald Sun - Motoring - - Onroad -

Yaris or the Honda Jazz or all the rest of the lit­tle cars in show­rooms. The en­gine is strong enough for the job, and there is noth­ing spooky in the han­dling, though there is still a fair bit of tyre roar on some sur­faces.

And it runs on reg­u­lar un­leaded, which is a cross against the ri­val Volk­swa­gen Polo which now sets the over­all stan­dard for the class.

The booted sedan has a huge cav­ity in the tail that’s easy to load and Mazda has done it with­out tak­ing away from the Two’s funky looks.

It says only a tiny num­ber of buy­ers wanted the out­go­ing three-door car and it’s easy to make a strong case for a four-door sedan.

The best thing about the up­grade is the im­prove­ment in value and, de­spite switch­ing to assem­bly in Thai­land, there ap­pears to be no slack­ing in the qual­ity depart­ment.

Doug Dick­son, boss of Mazda Aus­tralia, says: ‘‘It’s a very im­por­tant car for us.

‘‘It’s the en­try point for the Mazda brand, and if cus­tomers have a good ex­pe­ri­ence we hope they’ll stay and try some­thing else.’’ He is right and so is the car. The com­pe­ti­tion has never been tougher, par­tic­u­larly from the Volk­swa­gen Polo, but the Mazda2 has al­ways been near the front of the class.

Ap­peal: the re­vamped Mazda2 is seen as a step­ping stone to the brand for a younger mar­ket. And now there is a big-booted sedan .

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