TWO TO THE FORE (some text hidden)
By Andy Enright
Introductionword count: 119
If the Mazda2 was a song, it's probably what you'd describe as a bit of a slow burner. It doesn't grab you at first, but spend a little time with it and its qualities shine through. A similar thing happened with used sales. When the car first launched in 2003, it didn't exactly kick on but, as time passed, UK buyers began to see the merits of this small car. Well, some did. Most just bought Ford Fiestas and Vauxhall Corsas instead. A turning point perhaps came in 2007 with the launch of the well-received second generation model. It's the updated 2011 to 2015 version of this design that we're going to evaluate here as a used car buy.
Modelsword count: 25
5dr hatch (1.3, 1.5 petrol, 1.6, diesel [TS, TS2, Tamura, Sport, Takuya edition, Black edition, Venture edition, Colour edition, Sport Colour edition, Sport Venture edition])
Historyword count: 402
Mazda launched the first generation Mazda2 in 2003 but, truth be told, it wasn't a car that really threatened the best in class. What it did do was establish Mazda as one of the pack; capable of building a decent supermini. Clearly more was required and that appeared in 2007 with the launch of the second generation Mazda2. This model effectively ran right through to 2015, but it did get facelifted at the tail end of 2010, with those cars going on sale as 2011 model year vehicles. It's this version of the Mazda2 that we examine here. The launch trims were pretty easy to get a handle on - TS as the entry level, with the TS2 the next step up, then Tamura and finally the range-topping Sport trim. Engines comprised a 1.3 petrol in either 75 or 84PS tune, a 102PS 1.5-litre petrol and a 95PS 1.6-litre diesel. Mazda didn't take long to start down the special edition route. In fact, the first appeared within two months. The Takuya edition was based on an 84PS Tamura and also got front fog lights, black sports trim, rear electric windows, automatic climate-control air-conditioning, a Parrot Bluetooth hands-free kit and a new rear bumper sports trim. The next special was also based on the 84PS Tamura. The Mazda2 Black appeared in July 2011 and added a black vinyl roof, matt black 16-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights, privacy glass and a rear bumper sports trim. Inside, there is the Sports interior with climate control air-conditioning, a Parrot Bluetooth hands-free system, electric rear windows, plus unique 'Black Edition' exterior badging, uniquely numbered interior plaque and Limited Edition floor mats. There was then a hiatus of nearly two and half years. Then at the start of 2014, Mazda rejigged the range and ditched the TS and TS2 models for an SE Air Con. The 1.5-petrol engine and the diesel were both pensioned off and a 102PS version of the 1.3-litre engine featured in the Tamura Nav Auto. The Sport Venture edition also appeared, based on the 1.3 Tamura but with 13 extra items of equipment. At the start of February 2014, up popped the Colour edition and the Sport Colour edition, the former based on the 75PS engine, the latter on the 84PS. That was the last of the major changes before the car was replaced at the start of 2015 with an all-new model.
What You Getword count: 217
The Mazda2's cabin is one area where it feels a little behind the pace of the very latest cars in the class, with some rather hard plastics on display but there's a huge difference between perceived and actual quality. A case in point. A Volkswagen Polo will feel a good deal more premium but which of the two cars do you think results in higher warranty claims? Well done if you said the German one. The five-door Mazda2 model's cabin is laid out in a sensible well thought out way. There's excellent storage inside the cabin and a sporty edge to the details too. Most of the dials and vents are circular in design, and their design seems to be part of a conscious design theme rather than a trawl through a parts bin. The sporty edge continues outside the car where the look tends to resemble the stance of a hot-hatch, rather than that of a supermini. The overhangs are minimal at each end, the bumpers body coloured and if you specify the alloy wheel option, you end up with what is still one of the tidiest looking of all superminis. There are some slick styling touches in the design of lights and grilles too, these revised items being cohesively integrated into the Mazda2's overall shape.
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