The Mazda2 is available in three model variants - Neo, Maxx and Genki, all of which share the same 76 kW 1.5L engine.
The "super little" Mazda2 is surprisingly even smaller than the superseeded model, with 41mm cut from its length (now 3885mm), 65mm from its height, although the wheelbase stays the same (2490mm) and width has increased a little (15mm). However, interior space for people and cargo remains very competitive.
This downsizing helped Mazda cut 100kg from the first generation Mazda2. As a result, Mazda has improved the standard feature list on the Australian Neo models which are now about 60kg lighter than before.
The Mazda2's body may be lighter but it's also stronger, being the first Mazda to use new generation ultra high-tensile steel, while the proportion of high-tensile steel has jumped from just 5 per cent in the superseded car to 31 per cent.
The gear shift lever is positioned 38mm higher than on the previous Mazda2 making it easy to reach and operate. The parking brake lever is also placed closer to the driver by 43mm.
New standard features include an anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), remote locking, driver's seat height adjustment and a centre rear headrest. It has also become the first Japanese model in the light car class available with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) across all models.
Standard creature comforts include air conditioning, power windows and mirrors and an MP3 compatible CD player with four speakers and an AUX jack that enables any MP3 player (including the iPod) to be played through the car's stereo.
At just $16,500, the new Mazda2 Neo is only $165 more than the superseded model yet adds about $1000 of additional value.
Priced from $18,710, the Maxx variant adds 15 inch alloy wheels, six-disc CD player, steering wheel mounted audio controls and a rear spoiler.
Boasting a body kit, the range-topping Genki model now comes with 16 inch alloys, unique seat trim, six airbags, leather-trimmed steering wheel and front fog lamps from $20,845.
All Mazda2 models now comply with the strict Euro Stage 4 emission regulations and are powered by a 1.5-litre MZR engine that features Sequential Valve Timing (S-VT) equating to fuel consumption of just 6.4L/100km on the ADR 81/01 cycle compared with 6.6L/100km on the outgoing model. While automatic transmission versions now average 6.8L/100km compared with 7.0L/100km previously.
"The new Mazda2 demonstrates that Mazda is not resting on its laurels. As the first of our second generation of Zoom-Zoom cars it ticks all the boxes and we expect it to sell in much larger numbers than the original car."
Doug Dickson, Managing Director of Mazda Australia.
Mazda Australia expects to sell about 850 Mazda2s a month, compared to an average of just 450 a month for the previous model.
The new Mazda2, like the rest of the Mazda passenger and SUV range, comes with a three year/unlimited kilometre warranty.