Mazda reckons that it has a premium competitor for the likes of the VW Polo, Ford Fiesta, Honda Jazz, Renault Clio, Opel Corsa, Peugeot 208 and the Kia i20, to name a few. Bold statements, but after driving the top-of-the-range Hazumi Auto 1.5-litre DE (from R259 900) model, I believe they are on the right path.
This all-new Mazda 2 is destined to blow away people’s expectations of a super mini. It is the fourth car in the Mazda range to feature the Kodo – Soul of Motion design. Thanks to this new design language, the Mazda 2 has a solid stance, muscular lines, a rear-leaning cabin and an overall look that depicts a forward momentum. However, concentrating such vibrancy and emotion into Mazda’s smallest car was no easy task. The biggest challenge for the designers was to adapt the Kodo design - which was created for much larger cars - into the smaller Mazda 2. The result is a great combination of sportiness, which is combined with a touch of elegance.
Just like the exterior, style elements of the neatly-crafted interior work in symbiosis with comfort and ergonomics. The interior is split into two zones: one is focused on driving and the other on connectivity and infotainment. I also found that the stylish arrangement not only heightens the quality look but also accentuates the feeling of roominess. The interior features a rich blend of materials and finishings that are unusual for a car in this segment. Mazda has evolved and redesigned the overall shapes and design details to give customers the impression that they’re sitting in a more premium segment car.
On the open road the little Mazda feels much bigger than it really is; it feels good, actually. It not only delivers a comfortable drive but that little oil burner up front does a good job with its 77kW and 250Nm of torque. The six-speed auto box is smooth and thanks to luxuries such as satellite navigation and climate control, driving long distances is no hassle. It’s also great around town, sipping just 6.8 litres/100km during my test week.
This car - in a word - is uncompromising. It looks and feels original and does so in a package that is completely harmonious. I think that this is something that drivers and passengers will appreciate.