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by Matt Campbell

The new-generation Mazda 2 will get a price cut when it goes on sale on November 1, with the new model range starting from $14,990 – down from the $15,790 list price of the current model.

That price puts it $800 lower than the list price of the existing Neo, though that car has been seen on dealer lots from $15,990 driveaway for months. However, to kick sales off for the 2015 Mazda 2, the Japanese brand has also introduced national driveaway pricing for the all-new model – see our pricing breakdown below.

We’ve previously driven the all-new Mazda 2 in Japan. The car brings a range of new technology and equipment, and is now powered by a choice of two 1.5-litre engines.

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The entry-level Neo model is powered by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder Skyactiv unit producing 79kW of power and 139Nm of torque, with fuel use rated at 5.4 litres per 100 kilometres for the six-speed manual ($14,990) or 5.5L/100km for the optional six-speed auto ($16,990).

In comparison to the previous model, the new Skyactiv engine’s fuel use represents a 15 per cent improvement for the manual and a 19 per cent drop for the auto.

Standard gear for the base model Neo includes 15-inch steel wheels, black and blue cloth trim, air conditioning, tilt and reach adjustable steering, a four-speaker stereo with Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, USB input and steering wheel audio controls, push-button start and six airbags.

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Its $14,990 price means the Neo matches the likes of the Honda Jazz VTi, though the Mazda misses out on items offered as standard on that car, such as a colour touchscreen media system and reverse-view camera – it is optional, see below.

The Neo range will be on sale from November 1, but cars may not arrive in showrooms until mid-to-late November.

The mid-spec Maxx model is priced from $16,990. Over the Neo, it gains a slightly more powerful 1.5-litre engine (producing 81kW and 141Nm) with stop-start, a higher compression ration (13.0 compared to 12.0:1), and electronic valve timing, all of which helps cut fuel use – and all Mazda 2 models can run on regular unleaded fuel.

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Consumption is claimed at 5.2L/100km for the six-speed manual, while the auto (priced from $18,990) uses just 4.9L/100km. That means a drop of nearly 19 per cent for the manual and a huge 28 per cent decrease over the previous 1.5 auto combo. That’s despite the new model weighing slightly more than the car it replaces – the 2015 Mazda 2 ranges between 1027 kilograms for the Neo manual to 1058kg for the Genki auto, whereas the previous generation started at just 1010kg for the base Neo Sport manual and topped out at 1037kg for the Maxx Sport auto.

Equipment additions for the Maxx include 15-inch alloy wheels, a unique interior trim finish, high-gloss black trims on the doors, centre console and dash, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake lever, and cruise control (the latter of which is fitted standard on cars such as the aforementioned Jazz VTi, $15,690 Yaris Ascent and $15,990 VW Polo 66TSI).

Maxx models can be optioned with a Colour Pack (pictured below), which is only available on cars finished in Snowflake White, Aluminium Metallic or Black Mica, that adds high-gloss red and white highlights in the cabin, as well as red cloth seat trim. It costs $250.

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The flagship Genki model – which was discontinued from the existing Mazda 2 range in September 2013 – returns for the 2015 version, bringing plenty of standard gear and utilising the same 1.5-litre unit found in the Maxx model.

Standard inclusions are 16-inch alloys, chrome exhaust tip, front fog-lights, body-coloured upper grille insert, auto on/off headlights, auto wipers, black interior trim with red stitching highlights, climate control air conditioning, head-up display, digital speedometer, and a 7.0-inch MZD Connect touchscreen audio system with internet radio functionality, six-speakers and satellite navigation.

All models are available with an optional Smart City Brake Support automated low-speed braking system (operating between 4 and 30km/h), which costs $400. The availability of this unit should allow the 2015 Mazda 2 to secure a five-star ANCAP crash test score.

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Mazda has added three new colours to the Mazda 2 palette – Soul Red Metallic, Dynamic Blue Mica (top) and Smoky Rose Mica (below), and all colour options are available at no cost, except Soul Red, which adds $200.

Buyers can option rear parking sensors ($399 fitted) and front parking sensors ($599) on all models, while a reverse-view camera is $778 fitted for the Neo and Maxx models as it sits in the rearview mirror, and $420 on Genki (displays on MZD media screen).

As is the case with all Mazda models, the 2 is covered by a three-year, unlimited kilometre warranty, and receives Mazda’s recently introduced lifetime capped-price service program with maintenance visits due every 12 months or 10,000km.

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Stay tuned for our first Australian drive review of the new Mazda 2, coming this week.

2015 Mazda 2 pricing plus on-road costs (national driveaway promotional pricing in brackets):

Neo six-speed man – $14,990 ($16,990)
Neo six-speed auto – $16,990 ($18,990)
Maxx six-speed man – $16,990 ($18,990)
Maxx six-speed auto – $18,990 ($20,990)
Genki six-speed man – $19,990 ($21,990)
Genki six-speed auto – $21,990 ($23,990)