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2017 Mazda2 Upgrade Launch Review

Refreshed 2017 Mazda2 Road Test and Review…

The Mazda2 is continually one of the most popular cars in Australia and now the model features extra safety gear, more standard features and a minor styling upgrade.

I got along to the Australian launch of the updated offering and can report that these are the major changes being introduced:

  • Addition of new top-spec Mazda2 GT model grade
  • Inclusion of Smart City Brake Support (forward) as standard
  • Standard fitment of Autonomous Emergency Braking
  • Removal of CD player
  • Inclusion of Digital Radio on Maxx and above
  • Inclusion of folding wing mirrors on Genki/GT grades
  • Addition of G-Vectoring control as standard (a system that helps stabilize the vehicle in turns)
  • Improved cabin insulation
  • Tweaked suspension settings
  • Improved steering feel
  • Cabin improvements, including new steering wheel
  • New alloy wheel designs
  • New paint colours

The big talking point from that list is the inclusion as standard of the autonomous emergency braking (or Emergency Brake Assist), the Mazda2 now being the only high-selling light car in Australia to offer the possibly lifesaving technology.

The Skoda Fabia, a low volume selling model also has it, while Volkswagen offers it as an option on the Polo.

Another new safety addition is Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, both are now fitted as standard equipment on the Genki and GT grades.

It should also be noted that the entry-level Mazda2 does miss out on a reverse camera as standard, though an optional kit that sees the rear camera image appear in the rear-view mirror can be installed by your Mazda dealer (and would be worth investing in).

2017 Mazda2 Upgrade Launch Review
Entry-level 2017 Mazda2 Neo.

I have not had the opportunity to do a substantial road test of the updated model, but I will be presenting a Mazda2/Toyota Yaris comparison next week (the Yaris being one of the Mazda2’s main competitors).

After reviewing the now superseded version of the Mazda2 in February (review here), I can tell you that the updated Mazda2 doesn’t look anything less in the easy to drive stakes.

Again, seating position, visibility, cabin space and boot space are all impressive.

While my early observation of the updated model (I have the top-spec GT) is that a centre arm rest is still sadly lacking (but not uncommon in this section of the market).

The lack of arm rest also means that you don’t get a proper centre console bin.

The other early observation is that the cabin is definitely quieter and the fit and feel inside the cabin is top notch (and improved over the old model).

With prices remaining exactly the same as the superseded model, and permanent drive-away pricing being offered by Mazda Australia, at this stage I can see no reason to again either not recommend the Mazda2 or feel that it will be anything less than the continuation of a very popular offering.

More to follow.

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 $16,990 drive-away to $25,680 drive-away

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About Joel Helmes 3765 Articles
Joel is the founder and CEO of Behind the Wheel. Joel has a background as a radio broadcaster with on-air roles at 4BC, 4KQ, 2KY, 2LT and 2UE amongst others, as well as a news editor and program director. Joel’s relationship with cars stems back to his early childhood learning to change oil and brakes with his father and uncle. This continued on into his driving years owning an assorted collection of cars.

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