Jolly little jelly bean
The smallest Mazda wins on looks alone
Given Mazda is a market leader, it’s hard to believe that it was struggling just a few years ago. Then came a remarkable rebirth following the launch of the new ‘‘Zoom Zoom’’ range of models.
Mazda is expected to sell more than 100,000 cars in Australia this year led by the Mazda3. Its glory has reflected on the smaller Mazda2.
The Mazda2 was launched in 2002, winning small car fans with its practical boxy shape, quality and economy. It was upgraded in 2005 and replaced in 2007 by the appealing ‘‘jelly bean’’ shape. Initially it was a five-door hatch. The three-door added in 2008 was in turn replaced in 2010 by a four-door sedan. The model range starts with the Neo, then goes up-spec to the Maxx and the rangetopping Genki.
Mazda optimised the cabin to make it as roomy and as comfortable as possible within the 2’s modest dimensions. Upright seating positions and high roofline meant it could accommodate four adults in acceptable comfort.
There was plenty of scope for adjusting the front seats for a comfortable position for the driver and front passenger. Rear occupants also could adjust the seats fore and aft as well as for rake. The boot is small but holds a relatively reasonable amount of gear. The performance was quite strong in all conditions with its 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine showing plenty of pulling power and response across a broad range of engine speeds. Transmission options were fourspeed auto and five-speed manual. The manual was the pick if you wanted the best get-upand-go but the auto was widely preferred. The 2005 upgrade brought manual shifting to the auto, which made it a much more attractive option.
The Mazda2 rated highly for its ride and handling. Its roadholding and cornering were exemplary and the ride was firm but comfortable.
The only downside of the 2007 model’s revised lines is slightly restricted rear vision.
The few complaints fielded by
Carsguide are an indicator that Mazda got it pretty right. It’s a solidly built car with a sound mechanical package and little of a serious nature seems to go wrong.
That’s a good starting point, but each car needs to be thoroughly inspected before any money changes hands. The Mazda2 is still relatively young — with the earliest cars clocking 150,000km or so, and later ones yet to reach 50,000 km — but it’s important to check the service history of any example under consideration.
Oil changes are scheduled for 10,000km and it’s vital that this routine is kept up. For some owners, the 2’s reliability is an invitation to skip services. Only buy a car with a service history that stacks up.
It’s a keeper and you can buy with confidence.