Mazda2 1.5 115ps GT

Sport Tech

Mazda2, 2021, side
Mazda2, 2021, front
Mazda2, 2021, rear
Mazda2, 2020, interior

THERE was a soundtrack to my time with the Mazda2 that I am going to miss when the electric revolution eventually banishes the internal combustion engine to the annals of motoring history.

The supermini added a higher powered 115ps version of the Skyactiv-G petrol engine towards the end of last year as the Japanese motor manufacturer produced a revised line-up after making improvements to its smallest model.

Pressing the ignition button to fire up this beast introduced a pleasant growl into the cabin as the four-cylinder naturally-aspirated power unit - that means no trendy turbocharger - proceeded to efficiently propel me around the nation's roads thanks to compression ratios that have been increased from 13.1 to 15.1 and an improved exhaust system.

The extra power compared to the original 75 and 90ps engine options is put to good use as - with the help of a slick six-speed manual transmission - 62mph is reached from a standing start in just over nine seconds on the way to a claimed top speed of 124mph.

Mazda believes ignoring the current fashion for small capacity engines boosted by turbocharging and instead going down the high compression, naturally-aspirated route delivers customers real-world fuel savings - while the addition of its mild-hybrid system on all the manual versions gives a green hue to the e-Skyactiv G badge.

So this supermini is able to use petrol like a miser achieving around 50mpg while carbon dioxide emissions are low at 113g/km.

Life behind the multi-function steering wheel is a lot of fun as the Mazda2 is a pleasure to drive with plenty of grip, informative steering and agile handling. The ride is comfortable with the suspension absorbing most of the humps and hollows passing for roads these days.

Refinement is good enabling the supermini to move with ease from the urban jungle to the motorway as little wind or road noise make it into the cabin.

There is a sporty feel to proceedings that is complemented by a stylish exterior boasting a purposeful face - thanks to distinctive eagle-eye headlights - smooth lines and neat rear end.

The interior doesn't let the side down with figure-hugging seats and the use of good quality materials plus a fit and finish that shouts quality.

There is room in the rear for two adults to sit in reasonable comfort - although a raised transmission tunnel is awkward if you want to squeeze a third passenger in the back.

The boot offers a decent load space for a supermini, with the rear seats able to be split and folded when extra luggage room is required. There are the required cubby holes and cup holders available to provide a home for your drinks and nik-naks.

All models in the range are fitted with satellite navigation, cruise control, integrated Bluetooth and air conditioning which usefully has separate dials so you don't have to fiddle with the infotainment system.

Those equipped with smartphones will be glad to hear the latest Mazda2 offers wireless Apple CarPlay from Sport trim onwards.

Step up to GT Sport trim and the supermini adds a natty colour head-up display, reversing camera, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel.

The flagship GT Sport Tech model I spent time with also comes with smart-lookng adaptive LED headlights, while safety is catered for with handy blind spot monitoring system, a 360-degree camera, rear smart city brake support and a plethora of airbags.

FAST FACTS

Mazda2 1.5 115ps GT Sport Tech

Price:£20,945

Mechanical:115ps, 1,496cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via a 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:124mph

0-62mph:9.1 seconds

Combined MPG:56.5

Insurance Group:22

C02 emissions:113g/km

Bik rating:27%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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