The pretty cool Mazda 2
EVER since Mazda split from Ford they’ve been trying to re-establish themselves here in South Africa. They have introduced a number of quality products over the last few years, namely, the Mazda 2. This stylish little hatchback enters a competitive market but after spending some time behind wheel I think they have what it takes.
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 250Nmof torque. The six-speed auto box is smooth and thanks to luxuries such as satellite navigation andclimate 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.