We test the Mazda2 and find it just as appealing as it always was
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 petrol and engine noise is engaging. The engine is a little rowdy in that national speed limit zone, thanks in part to the fact that its high compression ratio when you are travelling at 120km/h. We tested it 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 km/h 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 1.5 Hazumi Auto once again impressed us on test, four years down the line. It’s growing old gracefully 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 still 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: R395K RATED: 7