Mazda2 - Used Car

Review

Mazda2, front
Mazda2, front
Mazda2, rear
Mazda2, interior
Mazda2, boot

THE Mazda2 supermini is a perfect example of the company's Skyactiv design ethos, and it makes a great secondhand buy.

This is a car that works superbly in every way and offers excellent economy across a small range, every one of which uses the same larger than usual 1.5-litre petrol engine.

Some now have mild hybrid technology to add to the petrol power and all the engines are smooth and very quiet.

Of course, Mazda has a reputation for build quality and reliability that goes back many years - a reputation that other car makers have often envied in private.

That on its own would be a great recommendation, but the fact that it drives so well and is so reasonable to run adds hugely to its desirability.

Mazda's Skyactiv approach to building cars centres on efficiency and light weight, to give improved performance and better economy, along with lower emissions.

But unlike the majority of its competitors, it hasn't gone down the small capacity turbocharged route for petrol engines, preferring a larger more efficient power unit without a turbo.

That efficiency really shows too. I drove one a couple of years ago, and over a fast two day journey covering 370 miles, it returned a real 49.6 miles per gallon! Try getting that out of a 1.0-litre turbo.

Performance matches or betters that of its rivals and together with a nimble chassis, makes a small car that's a delight to drive in every way.

That 1.5 four cylinder engine is available in 75, 90 and 115bhp power outputs, and they are amazingly smooth and quiet, only making a little more noise as the revs rise.

The front wheels are driven through a six speed gearbox but a six speed automatic has also been available as an option on the 90bhp car, and the hybrid comes with a CVT auto as standard.

The lowliest power unit gives 0 to 60 acceleration in 11.7 seconds and 60 miles per gallon, while the 90bhp model drops the sprint to 9.1 seconds and can do 62mpg.

Top performer is the 115bhp as you would expect, reaching 60 in a very good 8.4 seconds and still rated at 56mpg.

On a longer journey it is necessary to stir the gearbox a fair amount to get best performance, but the efficiency of the engine means that this doesn't seem to have the same effect on economy as it does with turbocharged engines.

Supple suspension gives an excellent ride for a small car, both around town and on a long journey, and I thought the trade-off was likely to be less ability in the twists and turns.

Not so. It might not be that sporting, but it grips hard and despite a little roll, always feels safe and sure, with decent feedback from the steering.

All the controls are light and easy and the brakes are brilliant, with a good progressive feel from the pedal.

The suspension shrugs off every kind of poor surface with huge ease and at any speed.

This plus very good refinement from the whole car makes it feel much larger, as if it was in the large family realm, two classes above.

Inside, there is room for four adults to get completely comfortable, and noise from the passing air, the road and the tyres is impressively low.

Mid-range SE-L Nav spec comes with cruise control, sat nav, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, mobile phone connection and audio remote controls.

It also has USB, climate control, traction control, lane departure warning, collision avoidance braking, category 1 alarm and alloy wheels.

Pay about £8,550 for an '118 18-reg 90bhp SE-L, or £14,850 for a '20 20-reg 115bhp GT Sport Nav.

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