This week I had the keys to the top-spec 2017 Mazda 2 GT, for the record, both hatch and sedan share trim levels, and engine/transmission specifications - all you need to do is choose which suits your needs/tastes.
On the Outside
Great proportions make the sedan look bigger than it is. Make no mistake, it is a city car through and through. Up front, the Kodo Design language sees a shield grille, and flowing lines in the headlight arrays.
A 2,560mm wheelbase, and 16” wheels sit well, lower grades though get 15” wheels.
As always with these small city cars, the hatch seems better resolved than the sedan. The hatch looks rounded, and the character lines, or creases in the metalwork, look better placed.
However, the sedan remains a model in its own right, despite the hatch outselling it.
The rear pillar makes the spacious boot look chunky because of the amount of space between the top of the wheel arch, and the bottom of the pillar.
On the Inside
The cabin is great quality despite the entry level pricing.
Smart City Braking (AEB autonomous emergency braking) is now standard in the little Mazda and that is a great inclusion.
Plastics and other surfaces have a quality feel. Soft touch is associated with luxury, and Mazda have rolled soft touch out across its range to great effect.
The centre stack has a 7” LCD touch screen, with a controller on the console near the gear selector. It is much easier to touch the screen for inputs.
Steering wheel controls have most of the basic functions for audio, and cruise control. The driver instruments contain the usual fuel and trip information.
Seating is comfortable. Remembering most drivers won’t be traveling long distances, comfort and space is more than adequate.
Either a 79kw/139Nm or 81kw/141Nm 1.5 engine is teamed with a six-speed manual, or a six-speed auto.
I’m very pleased to see a proper automatic transmission with torque converter, instead of a CVT which is now being favoured by a lot of other manufacturers.
The power is fine for city speeds. Manuals give much more control, and are easy to use, but autos are better for traffic.
Mazda2 feels nippy on takeoff, but overtaking needs planning.
Light steering, and a good quality reversing camera, make negotiating car parks easy.
Top models get climate control (manual AC on lower models) with vents that can be aimed exactly where you want them.
In addition to the regular driver instruments, sat-nav and speed readouts appear on a Heads Up Display (HUD). The small glass panel flips up on the top of the dashboard.
Some brands project the info right on to the windscreen, but this fighter-jet-style flip up panel is a little easier to use.
You’re probably not going to use Mazda2 on road trips, so city short trips is its raisons d’etre.
A quiet-ish cabin, well laid out instruments, and comfortable seats, make commutes pleasurable.
All in all, a great package.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2017 Mazda2
- Engine: 1.5 litre petrol producing 79kW/139Nm (standard-spec) and 1.5 litre petrol producing 81kW/141Nm (high-spec models)
- Transmission: Six-speed manual (Neo only) or six-speed auto
- Safety: Five stars
- Warranty: Three years
- Origin: Thailand
- Pricing: from $14,990