How Mazda’s supermini puts up a good fight alongside the class-leading Ford Fiesta
The Mazda 2 supermini may not sell as well as a Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa or Volkswagen Polo. But it’s still a strong competitor to those formidable top-10 players.
Indeed, its blend of styling, reliability and advanced infotainment systems mean it should really be on more peoples’ radar than it actually is. Certainly, equipment levels will impress the uninitiated, so long as they’re looking at anything but the base model.
Our favourite is the SE-L model, which has an impressive haul including all-round electric windows, leather trim, cruise control and alloy wheels. It also includes automatic city emergency braking, further enhancing a decent amount of safety kit on all trims.
Low running costs are a Mazda 2 strength. The car’s light weight and efficient engines delivers low CO2 and high mpg. The diesel emits just 89g/km CO2 and can do well over 50mpg even in real-world testing. It’s not quite the cheapest car in its sector to service and maintain, but it’s still affordable.
All Mazda 2 engines are 1.5 litres. Our pick is the 89bhp Skyactiv-G petrol motor (diesels are called Skyactiv-D). It’s nippy and smooth enough, and the gearchange is excellent. It’s mechanically dependable as well – indeed, the Mazda 2 is the most reliable small car in the What Car? Reliability Survey.
Inside, the driving position is good, with ample adjustment for steering wheel and driver’s seat. And there’s a further benefit to choosing SE-L trim – an almost class-leading infotainment system complete with seven-inch touchscreen and rotary controller. It’s an easy to use but comprehensive system.
Overall, there’s lots to like with the current Mazda 2, then. But the strengths that make it good as a new buy also carry through to the secondhand market. Examples of the previous generation car can be bought today from a bargain £3000, making them a tempting purchase.
Our tip is to budget £5000 for a five-year-old 1.3-litre petrol Mazda 2 Tamura. This will have around 40,000 miles on the clock, a decent spec level and great dependability. It’s a car almost as good used as it is brand new.