MAZDA2 ON TEST — A PROVEN ADVANTAGE

The Mazda2 may be well into its life cycle, but it’s still sharp as ever

The Mazda2 1.5DE Hazumi is getting a bit long in the tooth. But that doesn’t mean it has relinquished is place close to the top of the entry hatchback market. It’s still a decent looking car inside and out — especially in the cabin department. High quality materials and features still stand it apart in spite of that age.

Pliant ride. Proper performance

Power is adequate from the little fifteen-hundred turbodiesel and engine noise is engaging. The engine is also relatively quiet in that national speed limit zone, thanks in part to the fact that it’s ticking over at around 2000rpm when you’re travelling at 120km/h. We tested its sprint time to 100km/h at 9.8 seconds, while and 80 to 120km/h went down at a notable 7.14 seconds.

The Skyactiv-drive 6-speed dual clutch gearbox works well with the engine’s output and delivers quick, smooth gear changes. It however often selects the wrong gear for what you’re trying to achieve. Downshifts come too soon when you’re gradually speeding up and upshifts happen early when accelerating slightly quicker. So it’s a bit of a trick to cruise nicely at 100 kph on the open road, which is a pity considering its other virtues.

Road holding and ride are good, albeit a tad rigid over rougher surfaces. Connection to the road is positive and handling is predictable and refined. Mazda once told us that it optimised the chassis. It gets what they call lightweight front strut and rear torsion beam suspension with revised geometry and electric power-assisted steering.

Smart cabin has a progressive feel

The smart half-leather trimmed cabin has a most progressive feel about it and is well specced at this level. There are one or two flimsy finishes — like the centre console, which bends when your knee pushes against it. The Mazda 2 also has a fair safety spec that extends to dynamic stability control and there’s also a blind spot monitor and rear parking sensors among others.

It has heads-up display, while the 7” colour touchscreen infotainment gets Bluetooth, USBs, satellite navigation and the lot. It’s all quite simple to use and the sound system is good. The infotainment and volume buttons are however in an awkward spot — not very ergonomic in an area that some carmakers are progressing apace.

All in all, the Mazda2 1.5DE Hazumi Auto once again impressed us on test, four years down the line. it’s ageing well and while it’s age is beginning to compromise in some areas, its advantages still keep it ahead of the curve.

MAZDA2 Perfect if you prefer a proven model

We also know that Mazda does not sit still too long and considering the healthy strides the new 3 made, we anticipate a cool refresh on the 2 too. It’ll be a year or three before that yet. So if you’re one of those who prefer a well proven new car versus the newest thing on the showroom floor, this one certainly is worth a serious look. – Giordano Lupini

Images – Michele Lupini

ROAD TESTED: Mazda2 1.5DE Hazumi Auto
Engine: 85 kW 148 Nm 1.5-litre petrol I4
Drive: 6-speed double-clutch automatic FWD
TESTED:
0-60 km/h:        6.61 sec
0-100 km/h:       9.84 sec
0-120 km/h:       11.62 sec
0-160 km/h:       21.44 sec
400m:             16.9 sec @ 132km/h
80-120 km/h:      7.14 sec
120-160 km/h      9.82 sec
CLAIMED
Vmax:             184 km/h
Fuel:             6.0 l/100km
CO2:              140 g/km
Warranty/Service: 3y unl/3 unl
PRICE:            R359K
RATED:            7
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