The third-generation city car will be available in our market with two tunes of a new 1.5-litre direct-injection four-cylinder petrol engine.
Powering the entry-level Mazda 2 variants is the V-P5, which produces 79kW of power and 139Nm of torque – up 3kW and 4Nm over the outputs of its seven-year-old predecessor.
Higher-grade variants feature the F-P5 tune, which promises better performance and better fuel economy than the base version. Power and torque rise incrementally to 81kW and 141Nm, while the F-P5 also features Mazda’s i-stop stop-start system, a 4-2-1 exhaust system, a higher compression ratio (13.0:1 versus 12.0:1), Mazda's SVT variable valve timing, and an electric oil pump.
Both engines will be available with the option of six-speed manual and automatic transmissions – the latter with a sport mode – that replace the previous 2’s five-speed manual and four-speed auto units.
Mazda is still yet to announce fuel consumption data for the new model, but efficiency gains of up to 25 per cent have been rumoured, suggesting economy figures of between 5.0 and 6.0 litres per 100km. The current model is rated at 6.4-6.8L/100km on the combined cycle.
The new Mazda 2 sits on an entirely new platform that employs the company’s high-strength, lightweight Skyactiv principles.
At 4060mm long, 1695mm wide and 1495mm tall, it is 160mm longer and 20mm taller than the model it replaces. Its 2570mm wheelbase is also 80mm longer than before.
Despite its larger dimensions, the new 2 offers slightly less front head and leg room, and less rear head, shoulder and leg room. Its 220-litre cargo hold is also 30L smaller than that of the old model. The rear seat continues to flip down 60:40 for expanded luggage carrying capacity.
The cabin takes big strides forwards in other areas, however. The most obvious is the introduction of Mazda’s MZD Connect infotainment system in selected high-end models. Already available in the larger Mazda 3, the system comprises a 7.0-inch tablet-style floating display on top of the dashboard that is controlled by a commander dial on the centre console.
MZD Connect brings a host of new technologies to Mazda’s city car such as voice command operation, Bluetooth connectivity, satellite navigation, and a series of web-based applications. Among those is Aha, which can read the latest posts on the driver’s Twitter and Facebook feeds and ‘like’ entries. Online radio services Stitcher and Pandora are also compatible.
High-grade variants also gain a head-up display unit above the instrument cluster like that in the Mazda 3. The steering wheel now also offers reach adjustment in addition to tilt adjust.
Mazda claims revisions to the new 2’s suspension and steering systems combine for a more comfortable ride, quicker steering with added feel, and more nimble handling.
Mazda also promises improved NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) levels including reduced road, wind and powertrain noise levels thanks to greater engine and transmission refinement, higher rigidity levels, added sound insulation, and better air flow over and underneath the vehicle.
Mazda says the 2’s new body offers improved collision performance, being stronger and offering better energy absorption than its predecessor. It will continue to come standard with six airbags and electronic stability control, and will also be available with a range of features from the brand’s i-Activesense advanced safety suite. Mazda is yet to announce exactly what technologies will be offered, but systems such as adaptive cruise control, forward collision prevention, and blind-spot and lane-departure warning systems have all been tipped to flow down from the Mazda 3.
Mazda Australia will announce finalised specifications and pricing details closer to the local launch of the new Mazda 2 at the end of October. Information in the fine print of a competition to win a new 2 quotes an estimated driveaway price of $28,000 for what is understood to be the flagship variant. The base model is expected to retain its circa-$16,000 starting price.
CarAdvice is currently in Japan for the international launch of the all-new Mazda 2. Stay tuned for our review, coming soon. In the meantime, you can read our Mazda 2 prototype drive review from July.