MAZDA2 GENKI

Herald Sun - Motoring - - HEAD TO HEAD -

VALUE

LED head­lamps, dual-zone air­con and 16-inch al­loys are stan­dard. The price in­cludes $2000 for the six-speed auto and $400 for au­tonomous emer­gency brak­ing. Ser­vice in­ter­vals are 12 months/ 10,000km, which amounts to $941 over the first three years if you keep un­der the dis­tance limit or $1332 if you do 15,000km a year. Mazda has an edge on re­sale val­ues, ac­cord­ing to Glass’s Guide.

DE­SIGN/TECH

The Mazda is a vic­tim of its own suc­cess. The cur­va­ceous “Kodo” styling is such a com­mon sight on the roads that it’s taken for granted. The cabin lay­out is cute without be­ing cut­ting edge, though the head-up dis­play is a wel­come ad­di­tion. Lug­gage space isn’t huge at 250L but this isn’t a fam­ily bus. The front seats are among the best in class with good bol­ster­ing and a de­cent drive po­si­tion.

EN­GINE

The 1.5-litre four-cylin­der (81kW/141Nm) claims thirst of 4.9L/100km. It is a will­ing com­bi­na­tion, be­ly­ing the low out­puts to de­liver solid per­for­mance around town or on the open road, though it isn’t as in­stantly re­spon­sive as the Skoda.

SAFETY

A five-star safety rat­ing and six airbags put the Mazda2 at the top of the light car totem pole. The au­tonomous emer­gency brak­ing op­er­ates at up to 30km/h, while Skoda’s ver­sion is good up to triple fig­ures. The Mazda per­formed bet­ter in phys­i­cal crash tests.

DRIV­ING

As a bal­anced package, the Mazda takes some beat­ing. It cedes out­right pace to the Skoda, not poise. The sus­pen­sion is firm enough to sit flat through the turns without un­duly jostling the oc­cu­pants and the steer­ing weight and re­spon­sive­ness are class-lead­ing.

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