Mazda 2 Review

Mazda 2
Finder.com.au is a personal finance comparison site that provides you with the tools you need to make better decisions. Learn
how we work and how we make money.

finder score: 82.50%

Avg. critics score: 82.50%
4 critics
How did we calculate this? We analysed and aggregated the scores of Car Advice, WhichCar, Motoring and Car Showroom to bring you the finder.com.au score. This is a comprehensive score that brings together the four different expert ratings you see below.
Finder.com.au is personal finance comparison site that provides you with the tools you need to make better decisions. Learn
how we work and how we make money.

How does the Mazda2 compare with its peers?

Updated February 29th, 2020
Name Product Boot displacement ANCAP rating Price (from) Finder Score Read review
Mazda 3
295L
5 stars
$24,990
83%
Mazda 2
250L
5 stars
$14,990
82.5%
Hyundai i30
378L
5 stars
$19,990
82.2%
Volkswagen Golf
380L
5 stars
$22,840
82%
Ford Focus
341L
5 stars
$25,990
82%
Holden Astra
445L
5 stars
$21,490
81.2%
Toyota Corolla
333L
5 stars
$22,870
80.25%
Volkswagen Polo
280L
5 stars
$18,790
79%
Honda Civic
414L
5 stars
$22,390
78.6%
Subaru Impreza
345L
5 stars
$23,080
77.75%
Suzuki Swift
242L
5 stars
$15,990
76%

Compare up to 4 providers

The complete Mazda2 review

Mazda2 pricing

Prices start at $14,990 for the manual Neo base model, featuring Smart City Brake Support, Bluetooth and rear parking sensors.

Hatchback

NeoMAXXGenkiGT
1.5L petrol 6SP auto – $16,9901.5L petrol 6SP auto – $19,6901.5L petrol 6SP auto – $22,6901.5L petrol 6SP auto – $23,680
1.5L petrol 6SP manual – $14,9901.5L petrol 6SP manual – $17,6901.5L petrol 6SP manual – $20,6901.5L petrol 6SP manual – $21,680

Sedan

NeoMAXXGenkiGT
1.5L petrol 6SP auto – $16,9901.5L petrol 6SP auto – $19,690Not available in this trim1.5L petrol 6SP auto – $23,680
1.5L petrol 6SP manual – $14,9901.5L petrol 6SP manual – $17,690Not available in this trim1.5L petrol 6SP manual – $21,680

Overview

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.

ProsConsNotable quote
WhichCar
  • Easy on fuel
  • Auto braking as standard
  • Tiny tachometer – difficult to see what the engine is doing
"The Mazda2 looks good, feels nice inside, and is more fun to drive than most city cars."
CarAdvice
  • One of the more agile and fun to drive little offerings out there
  • Price has remained same as last model
  • Not very spacious in the rear compared with rivals
  • No Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
"...a Hyundai Accent is cheaper, but the 2 is aimed at private buyers who are willing to pay a premium."
Motoring.com.au
  • G-Vectoring Control on wet roads
  • Unfussed touring ability
  • Respectable performance
  • Slightly compromised driving position
  • Squeezy back seat
  • Gooseneck hinges in the boot
"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
  • Interior feels like a step above rivals
  • Spritely engine
  • Intuitive infotainment
  • Below par rear passenger space
"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."

Engine and performance

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.

Features and statistics

Engine type
- Direct injection, 16-valve with double overhead cam and sequential valve timing
Fuel type
- Unleaded petrol (91 RON or higher) or E10
Engine size/displacement
- 1.5L, 1,496cc
Cylinders
- Inline 4
Fuel consumption – urban
- 7.3L/100km
Max. torque
- 141Nm @ 4,000rpm
Fuel consumption – extra urban
- 4.5L/100km
Max. power
- 81kW @ 6,000rpm
Fuel consumption – combined
- 5.5L/100km
Acceleration
- N/A
CO2 emissions
- 114g/km
Top speed
- N/A
Emissions standard
- Euro stage V
Transmission
- 6-speed SKYACTIV automatic or manual
Security
- Engine immobiliser
Drivetrain
- Front-wheel drive
Towing capacity (braked/unbraked)
- 900kg/500kg
Engine type
- Direct injection, 16-valve with double overhead cam and sequential valve timing
Fuel type
- Unleaded petrol (91 RON or higher) or E10
Engine size/displacement
- 1.5L, 1,496cc
Cylinders
- Inline 4
Fuel consumption – urban
- 7.3L/100km
Max. torque
- 141Nm @ 4,000rpm
Fuel consumption – extra urban
- 4.5L/100km
Max. power
- 81kW @ 6,000rpm
Fuel consumption – combined
- 5.5L/100km
Acceleration
- N/A
CO2 emissions
- 114g/km
Top speed
- N/A
Emissions standard
- Euro stage V
Transmission
- 6-speed SKYACTIV automatic or manual
Security
- Engine immobiliser
Drivetrain
- Front-wheel drive
Towing capacity (braked/unbraked)
- 900kg/500kg

Fuel efficiency

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.

Handling

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.

Interior and other features

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.

Trim levels

Neo

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.

Maxx

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.

Genki

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.

GT

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.

NeoMAXXGenkiGT
Base price1.5L petrol 6SP manual – $14,9901.5L petrol 6SP manual – $17,6901.5L petrol 6SP manual – $20,6901.5L petrol 6SP manual – $21,680
Seatbelt warning (all seats)
Dynamic stability control
Cruise control
Trip computer
Power windows (driver)
Bluetooth
USB-audio input
Keyless start
Rear parking sensors
Steering wheel audio controls
Air-conditioning
Autonomous emergency braking
Start-stop technology
15-inch steel wheels
15-inch alloy wheels
16-inch alloy wheels
Touch-screen controls
Rear-view camera
DAB radio
6 speakers
Blind-spot monitoring
LED headlights
Sat nav
Auto wipers
Active driving display (HUD)
Leather trim

The verdict

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.

Compare some options to finance a 2017 Mazda2

Updated February 29th, 2020
$
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Min Loan Amount Loan Term Application Fee Monthly Service Fee Monthly Repayment
IMB New Car Loan
5.45% (fixed)
5.8%
$2,000
1 to 7 years
$250
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate of 5.45% p.a.
A low minimum borrowing amount of $2,000 that you can use to purchase a new car or one up to two years old.
Stratton Finance New Car Loan
From 4.69% (fixed)
5.64%
$10,000
3 to 7 years
$700 (for private seller vehicles this fee is $608)
$9
You'll receive a fixed or variable rate depending on the lender you are approved with
Apply for up to $100,000 and use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit. Optional balloon payment available.
Loans.com.au - New Car Loan
From 4.89% (fixed)
5.44%
$5,000
3 to 5 years
$400
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.89% p.a. based on your risk profile
Finance a new car and benefit from features such as fast approval, no ongoing fees and an optional balloon payment.
RACV New Car Loans
From 5.69% (fixed)
6.39%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$499
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate from 5.69% p.a.
A larger loan of $5,000 or more to help you buy a new or used car. 5-hour pre approval available and no ongoing fees.
Beyond Bank Low Rate Car Loan
5.49% (fixed)
5.73%
$25,000
1 to 7 years
$175
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate of 5.49% p.a.
Take advantage of a competitive rate, pre-approval and no early repayment fees when you finance a car under two years old.
Credit Concierge Car Loan
From 4.79% (fixed)
5.34%
$10,000
1 to 7 years
$400
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate of 4.79% p.a. with a comparison rate of 5.34% p.a.
Get access to over 20 providers to fund a new or used car.

Australian Military Bank Car Loan
From 5.71% (fixed)
6.57%
$4,000
1 to 7 years
$500 (from $100 to $500)
$10
You'll receive a fixed rate between 5.71% p.a. and 8.66% p.a. based on your personal credit history
A flexible loan to help you finance a car, motorbike or boat up to five years old.
NRMA New Car Loan
From 5.69% (fixed)
6.39%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$499
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate from 5.69% p. a.
Purchase a new car with this loan and benefit from a fixed rate and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.
Jump Payments Car Loans
From 4.69% (fixed)
5.51%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$295 (Varies by lender, starting from $295)
$10
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.69% p.a. and comparison rate from 5.51% p.a.
Borrow between $5,000 and $250,000. Get access to customised finance options.
CUA Secured Fixed Car Loan
6.79% (fixed)
7.16%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$265 ($175 Establishment Fee + $90 Security Administration Fee)
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate of 6.79% p.a.
A secured loan with a high maximum borrowing amount up to $100,000. Redraw facility and no monthly fees.
RateSetter Car Loan
From 4.69% (fixed)
6.03%
$10,000
3 to 7 years
$499 (from $499)
$9
You'll receive a fixed rate from 4.69% p.a.
Borrow up to $100,000 with a RateSetter Car Loan and benefit from no early repayment or exit fees.
MyState Bank Secured Fixed Rate Personal Loan
From 5.99% (fixed)
6.63%
$10,000
1 to 10 years
$200
$5
You’ll receive a fixed rate of 5.99% p.a. ( 6.63% p.a. comparison rate ).
Apply for up to $75,000 available with asset security. Only good credit applicants can apply for this loan.
Westpac Car Loan
8.49% (fixed)
9.67%
$10,000
1 to 7 years
$250
$12
You'll receive a fixed rate of 8.49% p.a.
Finance a new or used car and benefit from convenient features for car buyers including a car search tool and the option to borrow extra for on-road costs.
St.George Secured Personal Loan - Fixed Rate
From 8.49% (fixed)
9.6%
$3,000
1 to 5 years
$195
$12
You'll receive a fixed rate from 8.49% p.a. based on the value of your car
Get a competitive rate and apply for a larger loan up to $80,000 when you attach a new or used car as security to the loan.
IMB Secured Personal Loan
6.45% (fixed)
6.8%
$2,000
1 to 5 years
$250
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate of 6.45% p.a.
Benefit from this competitive rate by securing the loan with a vehicle up to 6 years old. Use this flexible loan for any purpose.
NRMA Used Car Loan
From 6.99% (fixed)
7.7%
$5,000
1 to 7 years
$499
$0
You'll receive a fixed rate from 6.99% p.a.
Finance a used car with NRMA and benefit from a fixed rate term and no monthly fees. Pre-approval available within 5 business hours.

Compare up to 4 providers

Pictures: Mazda.com.au

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.
Ask a question
Go to site