The Mazda 2 is consistently a top three seller in the light car segment, battling it out with the Hyundai i20 and the Toyota Yaris.
In fact you could argue that among private buyers, it is the most popular car in its segment. And better yet, the 2015 Mazda 2 is a new car, inside and out.
Compared to the previous generation, it’s bigger. The wheelbase is 80mm longer, the body is 160mm longer and its 20mm higher – those changes add 20-kilos to the weight.
It’s a sporty looking little thing – its Kodo design language and SkyActive Achitecture is shared with the Mazda 3, 6 and CX-5, its just shrunken to suit the 2.
There are three variants and this is the flagship Genki model – other offerings are the entry-level neo and then the Maxx.
It’s nicely finished inside, with a floating 7.0-inch screen – operated with this multi-function commander control.
The MZD Connect infotainment system is well thought out and simple to figure out, it has Bluetooth integration and phone connectivity.
With the Genki you get satellite navigation as well as access to internet based radio apps. Six speakers instead of four and auto headlights plus rain sensing wipers.
Disappointing not to have a reversing camera or sensors – you have to option them in across the range – and with the rear visibility being as bad as it is, even being so small it makes it trickier to park.
You can also option Smart City Brake Support – low speed crash avoidance technology.
In the back, this is pretty much class average though as you’d expect from the body dimensions, its bigger than before, a little more head leg and shoulder room.
Not a lot of storage though, one map pocket, that’s it. The seats are 60:40 split fold.
A smaller cargo space than others in its class, you get 250L back here. The Honda Jazz gets 350, while the Polo offers 280L.
A space saver spare gives you quite a deep space though.
All of the variants come with a 1.5-litre petrol engine, with a manual and automatic transmission option across all three trim levels. The higher spec Maxx and Genki produce 81kW at 6000 rpm and 141Nm at 4000rpm, the six-speed automatic is a lot better than the old four-speed.
It will struggle a little on hills, but shifts down when it counts.
It lacks a bit of low down torque, but power delivery at urban commute speeds makes it a great little city car particularly in stop start traffic. Its even got a sport button, to help hold lower gears longer.
Electric assisted steering – and its direct.
The ride is firm but compliant – comfortable overall - you’ll notice potholes, but smaller undulations not so much.
Mazda claim road noise has been reduced 15 percent – but you’ll still notice wind noise.
Fuel use is a claimed 4.9-litres per 100km.
Priced at $19,990 before on-roads, its no wonder the Mazda 2 is so popular.
You’ll get a three-year unlimited kilometre warranty and lifetime capped-price servicing every 12 months or ten thousand kilometres.
As standard its missing things like a reversing camera – which is disappointing but overall its well equipped, well appointed and a smooth drive.