Mazda2 one of the

best

Mazda2 Sport Black, side action
Mazda2 Sport Black, front action
Mazda2 Sport Black, rear action
Mazda2 Sport Black, front static
Mazda2 Sport Black, rear seats
Mazda2, boot

MOST of us have lusted after a Mazda MX-5 sports car at some stage in our lives but can't reconcile it with the needs of family practicality.

But now you can get the same feel of the marvellous 1.5 MX-5 engine in the excellent Mazda2 supermini.

It's the only petrol engine available in the Mazda2 line up and comes with a range of power outputs from 75 to 115bhp.

I drove the mid-range SE-L, with 90 horses doing their stuff under the bonnet and gave it back to the man from Mazda with great regret.

What's not to like? Zero to 60 miles an hour in under ten seconds, low, low emissions and real economy of nearly 48 miles per gallon.

It's a petrol engine without a turbocharger and achieves the same kind of performance and economy as the small boosted engines now available from other car makers.

But this is a Mazda, and I know from personal experience that they go on and on.

The MX-5 is thought by some to be the most reliable car in the world and I have a friend with an early 90s model that is approaching 200,000 miles without having had any major problems.

This latest 2 was designed around Mazda's flowing Kodo theme and is one of the most stylish and distinctive five door superminis on the market.

It also features the company's SKYACTIV technology to improve economy and efficiency through lighter weight and performance betters that of many competitors.

The whole car is very refined and quiet, and the engine pulls beautifully between 2,500 and 6,000 revs.

That means you do have to rev it more than others to gain the good performance but since it is so smooth and willing, that's no hardship.

It makes the car a joy to drive, but there is not much urge at low revs and in fifth gear of five, that means very little acceleration until you reach motorway speeds.

The suspension has been designed to give a bigger car ride and succeeds very well, soaking up urban potholed roads with ease and maintaining that comfort at speed.

Yet it also corners accurately and safely, feeling stable and assured, with excellent grip and well-controlled body roll.

The whole car feels marvellous out on the road, with the air of something larger.

Inside, there is good room for four adults and excellent headroom for those who miught need it.

Equipment includes a leather covered multi-function steering wheel, internally adjustable headlight beam, aircon, DAB stereo with touch screen and separate controller and a split fold rear seat.

FAST FACTS

Price: £14,000

Mechanical: 89bhp, 1,496cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 114mph

0-62mph: 9.4 seconds

Combined MPG: 62.8

Insurance Group: 15

C02 emissions: 105g/km

Bik rating: 18%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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