- 7-day guarantee
- 3-month warranty
- 1-year NRMA roadside
- 7-day guarantee
- 3-month warranty
- 1-year NRMA roadside
Prices start at $14,990 for the manual Neo base model, featuring Smart City Brake Support, Bluetooth and rear parking sensors.
|1.5L petrol 6SP auto – $16,990||1.5L petrol 6SP auto – $19,690||1.5L petrol 6SP auto – $22,690||1.5L petrol 6SP auto – $23,680|
|1.5L petrol 6SP manual – $14,990||1.5L petrol 6SP manual – $17,690||1.5L petrol 6SP manual – $20,690||1.5L petrol 6SP manual – $21,680|
|1.5L petrol 6SP auto – $16,990||1.5L petrol 6SP auto – $19,690||Not available in this trim||1.5L petrol 6SP auto – $23,680|
|1.5L petrol 6SP manual – $14,990||1.5L petrol 6SP manual – $17,690||Not available in this trim||1.5L petrol 6SP manual – $21,680|
Motoring journalists generally praised the Mazda2. It was widely noted that even the base model Neo is well equipped, with cruise control and autonomous emergency braking (AEB) as standard. AEB is included as standard on only one other rival, the Skoda Fabia. Reviewers praised the handling, comparing it to a "Japanese Mini", with light, agile steering.
Testers thought the hatchback looked chic but did not like the bulkier sedan styling. The lack of rear seating space was noted as a common problem, even within the compact hatchback market. If you carry rear-seat passengers often, you might want to look at the roomier Skoda Fabia or the cheaper Hyundai Accent.
Overall, the Mazda2 was positively received, scored well and looks like the perfect car for a young driver or city commuter. The Maxx trim level was the most popular among journalists for its mixture of a reversing camera, uprated infotainment and alloy wheels.
|WhichCar||"The Mazda2 looks good, feels nice inside, and is more fun to drive than most city cars."|
|CarAdvice||"...a Hyundai Accent is cheaper, but the 2 is aimed at private buyers who are willing to pay a premium."|
|Motoring.com.au||"The changes that Mazda has introduced to the smallest car in the range are undeniably changes for the better. These will keep the Mazda2 fresh and competitive for some years to come, while the other brands catch up."|
|CarShowroom||"Mazda has seemed to have successfully extracted the premium design, materials and build from their larger cars and shoehorned them into the relatively diminutive 2."|
The Mazda2 comes with a naturally aspirated, 1.5L, SKYACTIV-G, 4-cylinder petrol engine. Even without a turbo, the throttle response is peppy and acceleration is described as “progressive”. Just like the previous generation, no diesel models are available in Australia.
The 2017 model is significantly higher powered than the previous generation Mazda2. The standard tune Neo outputs 79kW and 139Nm of torque. It’s perfectly suited to zipping around tight city streets, but you’ll notice the distinct lack of power on long-distance journeys.
All other models get a slightly more powerful engine tune, with 81kW and 141Nm. Confusingly, the GT version, despite its sporting name, has the same power levels as the Genki and Maxx models. The increase in power is offset by a slight increase in kerb weight with each specification upgrade. Still, the Mazda2 is a lightweight car, with the heaviest model, a GT sedan, weighing just 1,076 kilos.
Mazda expects 80% of buyers to choose the six-speed auto, which is one of the best in class gearboxes. Gear changes are smooth, though not seamless, and the top gear gives the car the necessary legs at high speeds. The extra gear also reduces engine noise to an acceptable level in the cabin compared to a five-speed.
The six-speed manual and automatic maximise the engine’s power and torque for decent acceleration. Flicking the sport toggle switch below the shifter produces more responsive downshifts, with some reviewers preferring to leave it in this mode all the time.
Mazda’s SKYACTIV technology helps improve fuel efficiency through the combination of high compression ratio engine, efficient automatic transmission design and lightweight body construction.
The resulting fuel consumption is reasonable, with the automatic base model achieving 7.3L/100km around town, 4.5L/100km at highway speeds and 5.5L/100km combined.
The base model Neo manual uses 0.1L/100km less fuel than the Neo automatic. On the Maxx, Genki and GT, the higher-power engine and efficient auto transmission beat the manual for fuel economy.
City drivers should achieve a comfortable 600 kilometres from a tank. The engine has i-stop functionality, which automatically switches off the engine when idling to save fuel. This further increases fuel efficiency and is quickly becoming a standard feature on most car makes, though it can be disabled. Mazda’s start-stop technology is particularly clever as it relies not on the starter motor to restart the engine but on combustion itself. This design reduces wear on the starter motor and improves fuel economy by 8%, with a miniscule 0.35-second restart time.
The Mazda2 is a lightweight car and handles accordingly. The car is stable yet still dynamic to drive and the steering feels airy and responsive. Some reviewers went as far as saying it's a fun drive.
The ride is sufficiently comfortable even with the larger 16-inch alloy wheels that have less tyre wall to absorb harsh bumps. The suspension does a good job of smoothing out road harshness, though potholes and speed humps remain pronounced at low speeds. Compromising comfort slightly to deliver a lively drive is, in our view, totally acceptable.
The Mazda2 also features G-Vectoring Control, which precisely adjusts the available torque for the current steering input. This increases grip and prevents the wheels from spinning, even on wet roads. Turn-in is dramatically improved thanks to this driver assist, which comes as standard across the range.
Be aware that the Neo and Genki have the tightest turning circles. The offset alloys of the Maxx and GT add almost a half metre to the turning radius. In tight city parking manoeuvres, this could make a major difference.
The Mazda2 runs on the DE platform, a joint development between Mazda and Ford. The Ford platform is called B3 and is the base for the seventh generation Fiesta. The two cars share similar MacPherson strut dampers with front independent suspension.
The Mazda2's interior is clean and minimal. Sharp lines and large areas of uncluttered space give the cabin an open and modern feel. On Maxx models and upwards, the 7-inch touch screen takes pride of place in the middle of the dash, easily within reach of the driver. Mazda has adopted the KODO design philosophy, which aims to create an emotional bond between driver and car. They certainly seem to be doing something right as a number of journalists ranked it top in its class.
Though this is admittedly a small, narrow car, the rear seating is far too cramped. There's a distinct lack of head and legroom, and to get three adults to fit in there they'll need to know each other very well.
Mazda sacrificed some of the rear passenger space to increase boot storage room. The hatchback has a fair-sized 250-litre capacity and the sedan has a whopping 440 litres.
The baseline Neo, starting at $14,990 for the manual version, features a lot of equipment. In fact, the Neo would sit much higher in trim levels if it were built by another car maker. The Neo has air conditioning, electric windows, autonomous braking, cruise control, steering wheel audio controls, USB audio input, Bluetooth, start-stop technology and keyless ignition. It's very well appointed.
To save on costs, the Neo does away with things like alloy wheels, replacing them with heavier and smaller steel alternatives. The detuned engine has a lower power output. You also do not get the 7-inch infotainment touch screen found on all other models. Cloth seats round out the entry-level model. Though cheap, the Neo trim is well made, with quality plastics and materials used.
Next up we have the Maxx. The Maxx gets the higher-power engine option as well as a DAB radio, 7-inch touch screen with Internet radio apps, leather steering wheel and gear knob trim and six speakers rather than the four on the Neo. The Maxx has 15-inch alloy wheels, giving the exterior a premium appearance. A reversing camera is a welcome addition as the Mazda2 has chunky, vision-obscuring C-pillars.
For those wanting a little more car, the Genki is the next option up. Note that Genki trim is only available for the hatchback model. Genki adds satellite navigation, automatic LED headlamps and windscreen wipers, plus an additional driver aid: rear cross-traffic alert. This assist notifies drivers should a vehicle pass the rear of the car while reversing. Genki has larger alloys, with racy-looking 16-inch black and silver 5-spoke rims.
The final trim option and the most expensive is the GT. The GT trim comes with leather seats, sporty 5-spoke graphite and silver 16-inch alloys and a neat heads-up display on the dash. The GT retails for $21,680.
The Mazda2 is not expected to receive a face-lift update until after 2019 and is currently in a mid-life cycle.
Every model has a three-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.
The Mazda2 has been awarded the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) 5-star safety standard, the maximum possible rating.
|Base price||1.5L petrol 6SP manual – $14,990||1.5L petrol 6SP manual – $17,690||1.5L petrol 6SP manual – $20,690||1.5L petrol 6SP manual – $21,680|
|Seatbelt warning (all seats)||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Dynamic stability control||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Power windows (driver)||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Rear parking sensors||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Steering wheel audio controls||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Autonomous emergency braking||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|15-inch steel wheels||✔||✗||✗||✗|
|15-inch alloy wheels||✗||✔||✗||✗|
|16-inch alloy wheels||✗||✗||✔||✔|
|Active driving display (HUD)||✗||✗||✗||✔|
The Mazda2 is fun to drive, economical, well equipped and stylish. This small car is ideally suited to those who do a lot of city driving where parking is at a premium, and new drivers will benefit from the numerous standard safety features, as will their fretting parents. For those who are looking for a compact mini offering the best value for money, this could be it.
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