2011 Mazda2 – Test drive and new car review – 2011 Mazda 2

21 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2011 Mazda2 – Test drive and new car review – 2011 Mazda 2

Less is more

Meet the Mazda2, Mazda’s entry the subcompact market. Though sold the previous-generation Two in other it’s been years they offered this of small, affordable hatchback in the US. Can small car with its small and small price tag live up to Zoom Zoom tagline?

on. Price range $14,730 $17,185, EPA fuel economy 27-29 MPG city, 33-35 MPG

First Glance: Low expectations

The press junket was shaping up to be one of trips. My flight to Montreal was and late, the line for customs for kilometers, and I barely caught the end of dinner. The air conditioning in my hotel didn’t work, and opening up the let in warm, muggy air and a cacophony of trucks.

Hot, hungry, and unable to sleep, I cracked the Mazda2 press kit for a first at the specs, and they did nothing to my mood. 100 horsepower engine, powerful than all of its rivals. 4-speed automatic.

One interior (black, my least favorite). remarkable in the back seat or dimensions, and nothing to indicate the Mazda2 would outshine the Honda Fit or the cheap-and-cheeky Ford

Great, I mumbled, unable to myself over the din of the 18-wheelers. thing is going to … and going to have to write a review and lose all my friends at

The next morning, I stumbled the press briefing groggy, and late — I could sworn they said it at 8:45, not 8:15 — and got my up-close look at the Mazda2. my mood began to soften. In the Two is a cute little bugger.

stylists applied scaled-down of their latest styling — the big smiling grille goes to photo), the strong fender line, the trapezoidal window — and while same details stick out sore thumbs on the bigger they somehow manage to right in on the little Mazda2.

In the Seat: Hope springs

2011 Mazda2 dashboard

#169; Mazda

At the front of the the Mazda staffers were about the virtues of the new Mazda2: light weight, price. My brain latched on to that bit. The base-model Mazda2 they were saying, at $14,730 (including destination and comes with power mirrors and remote locks, air ( Hmm, . I thought, maybe I sleep in the Mazda tonight ), a CD and electronic stability control. an automatic transmission available for more.

Some sluggish mental put the value equation a bit behind the Versa and Ford Fiesta but ahead of the Honda Fit. Not I thought.

The briefing wrapped up and we out to the street where a row of Twos us. I was surprised at how similar the basic model is to the upscale $16,185 Inside, only a leather-wrapped wheel, cruise control, and seat cloth separates the Mazda2; outside, it gets wheels, fog lights and a roof That’s the good news.

The bad is that there are no other — if you want more you’ll have buy a bigger

I picked a bright-red Mazda2 with a manual transmission and in. The driver’s seat had a short that didn’t provide thigh support. Not a good considering I’m only But I liked the simple, straightforward A/C and controls and the high-mounted gearshift. The on the dash and door panels the nicest stuff I’ve seen, but overall the interior solid and substantial, if a bit dour.

I certainly didn’t feel I was sitting in Mazda’s cheapest I was starting to like the Mazda2, but was still that feeble to contend with. I turned the key and for the other shoe to drop.

On the Unexpected surprises

As I nosed the Two out Montreal’s European-sized streets, I was thankful for the car’s narrow excellent visibility and big side-view Clearly, this car was made for the but how would it do on the highway? I squeezed my way the gaps in traffic and headed out of

I opened the throttle as I merged the highway, and while I can’t say I was away by the acceleration, the Mazda2 was a bit zippier than I expected. engineers went on a witch-hunt for shaving an ounce here and an there brought the curb down to around 2300 150 to 300 lbs. lighter than its which helps make up for the horsepower deficit.

What really surprised me was how and quiet the ride was. The treats rough pavement as if it doesn’t exist, and while the route was short on serious the Two seemed to cling to the turns enough. Still, it was the refinement impressed me the most.

The Mazda2 may be but it drives more like a mid-size sedan than a hatchback.

A few miles down the I switched my stick-shift Two for an automatic-equipped This is where I really the Mazda2 to fall down. The automatic is 25-year-old technology offers a cheap price at the of power delivery and fuel But much to my surprise, the old-tech worked just fine, all the power I needed 95% of the time.

The 5% it didn’t work came I needed speed right now . If I the accelerator to zip into a faster-moving the transmission would pause a second too long and I’d my opportunity. But the rest of the time, the felt just as lively as the stick, which came as a pleasant and unexpected surprise.

Journey’s End: The transformed man

Mazda2

Photo #169;

I drove back into a changed man — and a happier I expected little from the and I was amazed at how much it delivered.

I buy one? As much as I liked the my heart belongs to the Ford It’s great to drive and its twin-clutch automatic delivers fuel economy than the plus it offers features the Mazda doesn’t such as seats and iPod integration.

the Fiesta lacks the Mazda’s engine and smooth ride not to mention its proven Japanese quality.

Though my heart Fiesta, my head says Fit. which has a much back seat and a huge bay. (Mazda says 20% of their target buyers more than two people, explains the cramped back and middle-of-the-road 13.3 cubic trunk .) But I’m about 20 too old for the Fit’s Anime-style dashboard, and on a trip I’d happily the Fit’s extra cargo for the Mazda’s refined road

The car that poses the biggest to the Mazda2 might well be the Versa. which has a roomy, cabin and a very attractive tag but lacks the Mazda’s good There’s also the Toyota which is strong on style and but short on cargo and back-seat Considering what the competition I think the Mazda’s mix of attributes serve it well.

It’s the grown-up-feeling car in this segment, and it a nice balance on important like comfort, space, economy, driver appeal and It might not be right for me, but I think going to be right for a lot of buyers.

I back into the hotel aglow with the satisfaction I feel when I discover a new car. The front desk me that they’d found me a with working A/C, I got a night’s sleep, and the airline me to first class for the trip I even got in 15 minutes ahead of

Turns out it wasn’t such a bad after all. — Gold

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