Mazda2 1.5 Exclusive

Line

Mazda2, 2022, front
Mazda2, 2022, side
Mazda2, 2022, rear, action
Mazda2, 2022, interior
Mazda2, 2022, boot

FASHION in cars changes almost as quickly as the hem length of skirts.

And, let's face it, small hatchbacks aren't currently the flavour of the month. That ‘honour' goes to SUVs, especially the compact variety.

But if you're a city driver, or someone who spends the majority of your time on smooth roads (aside from the usual pot-holes and cracked, decaying Tarmac, of course) what do you want with a high-rider!

One of the more interesting small hatches is the Mazda2, a sweet natured, easy to drive and park five-door with a miniscule thirst and an eager nature.

What's more, anyone used to a top heavy, somewhat cumbersome all-roader will relish the manoeuvrability and athleticism of the baby Mazda, not to mention its supple, roll free ride.

However with a relatively modest 88bhp being squeezed out of the mild hybrid 1.5-litre, four cylinder petrol engine acceleration is quite leisurely.

High gearing ensure relaxed cruising on motorways, but gradients force the driver to change down a cog or two as the revs die down.

Pick-up is good but, as with most Mazda variants, the engine thrives on high revs and remains sweet through to the red line. Noise levels remain subdued and pleasantly smooth even when pushed hard.

62mph is said to come up in under 10 seconds, but subjectively acceleration doesn't feel quite so sprightly. Max is 114mph.

Fortunately, the six speed gearbox is an absolute treasure. We were tempted to slip, through the gears for the sheer pleasure of it - such is the smooth slickness of the change.

Large, clear dials peep out of the instrument panel and there's a gear ratio indicator to remind you when to change up or down. A small central screen sprouts from the dash which includes sat nav and infotainment. The navigation system proved a bit erratic and somewhat hit and miss on the test car unfortunately.

Space is adequate for four adults, with those in the front doing best out of the deal. Luggage space in the boot is about average for the sector with 280 litres of cargo room. The rear seats split and fold to expand capacity to 950 litres when the seats are flat. Trim is smart yet practical with more than a hint of prestige.

The Exclusive Line version driven here includes generous standard equipment including rear wiper, sat nav, cruise control, leather steering wheel, rear parking sensors and LED headlights. It looked particularly smart with its airstream blue coachwork.

Economy proved one of the Mazda2's strengths with 50-plusmpg becoming the norm during swift cross country running and around the 45mpg when confined to town and traffic. Emissions are held to an impressively low 107g/km.

So easy to live with, and undemanding and pleasing to drive, the Mazda2 will fit the bill for many town and urban drivers who can have happily manage to avoid the lure of the SUV.

£20,365

1.5-litre, 4 cyl, 88bhp petrol engine driving two wheels five manual gearbox

114mph

9,8sec

: 58.9

18

107g/km

26%

3yrs/60,000 miles

4.5

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